Elderhostel Notebook #99 March 3,  2002

Welcome to and Goodbye from Elderhostel Notebook, the e-zine
where hostelers compare notes on elderhostel programs.

EN is an independent project, appreciative of but not associated
with Elderhostel Inc.    http://www.elderhostel.org

    From the Editor's Notebook

Computer old timers here will recognize the 99 was the code
often used in old data base programs for End of File or end of

It is appropriate then that this is notebook #99 and it brings
the notebooks to an end.

For a variety of different reasons I am discontinuing the
Notebook project - It's been an interesting and rewarding


    Comments and Queries

Subj: 	"new improved, no wait system"

From: 	joy@fastol.com

I for one am appalled at the first come, first served change that
is I believe driven by EH's desire to cut THEIR costs (call me
cynical if you must) at the expense of a fair system that works
for most of us. It will not relieve the heavy registrations for
the most popular programs. It will get the $ for registration
into the hot hands of the headquarters at lot faster. The major
problem we've had over the span of the past 12 years is the late
canceling of programs (up to 1 month before scheduled date) and
scrambling to undo all the plans made around the anticipated
program of planned family and friends get togethers as well.
Now........Go fix that headquarters, and you'll have accomplished
something that really benefits us!

I am legally blind and it takes a tremendous effort which is
lengthily and often frustrating using a CCTV system to peruse the
whole catalogue (better than trying to keep track with the on
line one) and now I will be further handicapped by the immediate
registration policy! And...........how about those people without
internet access or unwillingness? That puts those hopeful
participants at a big disadvantage too. Thanks, Fritz


From: "Ken Senstad" 

A follow up to our review of the Elderhostel Program at the
Cerveny Conference Center wherein we described the lack of
additional instructors for the birding program for 44
participants and the lack of adequate transportation for field
trips. Well, we received a letter from Boston telling us that we
could get a refund of up to $100. We declined the offer, but it
is a good gesture on the part of Boston.  Best, Ken and Carol


From: "Roger  Weiss" 

We recently were informed an elderhostel we had signed up for had
been canceled . We then researched four alternatives
using the elderhostel web site. Of these four, three had also
been canceled . We have signed up for and attended nine
elderhostels in the past seven years and never encountered a
cancellation. Have others also encountered a rash of
cancellations recently? Has elderhostel changed its policies

Anne and Roger Weiss


From:  itisalive@erols.com

Since l992, I have been to more than 60 Elderhostels, and I have
enjoyed perhaps about 90% of them.  However, there seems to be a
trend:  The registration is becoming more and more efficient,
especially if one wants to register on line.  At the same time,
most of the EH experiences are becoming more and more expensive,
especially if a person has to travel solo. EH will soon become
quite prohibitive for many people, as the original idea of
college campuses fades into luxury motels and hotels.

Still, I have managed to scratch out two more of them this July
and August.


From: "Rosemary" 

Those Elderhostelers who enjoyed wonderful trips in the South
Pacific, via Pacific Island Institute in the early 90s and
perhaps visited the Lockwood home, will be saddened to learn that
Diana Lockwood passed away in January.She had been ill for
several years as perhaps you know. We were on Maui recently and
learned of her death when prayers were offered at Trinity-by
the-Sea Episcopalian Church. Her husband who was very helpful to
the Hostellers is Chancellor of Hawaii University.

Rosemary B. Wallis
Betty Amos
Vancouver, B.C.

From: Ewdeitz@aol.com

Has anyone been on the trip to the Baltic States - 3 weeks,
visiting Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moscow and St. Petersburg?
Would like feedback, esp. regarding accommodations and FOOD!!

Thanks. ewdeitz@aol.com


Subj: 	Elderhostel  Program in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Hello,  We are considering the Glacier Bay program in September
2002 - If you have attended this program in the past, please let
me know how it was. And was there a bad mosquito problem - I've
heard that Alaska in September had MANY mosquitos. Were the
accommodations up to par - and the food?  How wasthe program?  I
would appreciate any comments on this program.Thank you.  Mary
e-mail address  marywdj@yahoo.com


From: SUZIKUKAR@aol.com

Has anyone participated in the spring program in Grants, New
Mexico, which studies various Indian tribes?


From: 	BAHamm@webtv.net

ROSE BOWL PARADE Has anyone attended the program held in
Pasadena, Calif that is held in Dec. on the Rose Bowl parade..??
Please send details if you have. Thanks----cmil@hotmail.comt


From: 	Jmernay@aol.com

Has anyone done the program "Zooventure For All Ages" at the West
Liberty State College/Oglebay Resort?  We are looking at the July
2002 program.  Please e-mail me at Jmernay@aol.com


From: D912j@aol.com

Have the trips up and down the Nile River been eliminated? Any
news of when they will be offered again?


From: TBENSP@aol.com

There was a time when Tom and I were the best Elderhostel
Ambassadors on the list. We now believe it no longer is a good
bang for the buck as it was awhile ago. The cancellation policy
stinks. We were forced to cancel an Elderhostel last May one week
before it began because we were both ill and under Drs.' care.
Too bad. You still pay $100. each no matter what the excuse is. I
think that policy is way out of line.

There were so many people on the waiting list as it was a popular
Elderhostel that it wasn't a problem filling our places.
Nevertheless we were out $200. for nothing. Since then, we don't
even look at our catalogs and will probably not be getting them
much longer. The Senior Center in our town takes trips and if you
cancel at any time and they can fill your place, you don't have
to pay a dime. I am not suggesting that Elderhostal can do that
but the paperwork doesn't cost $200. and we were both too ill to
travel at that time. Tom had just gotten out of the hospital and
I had acute bronchitis. Maybe they would have rather that I went
and infected everybody in the place! Who knows? Very disappointed
in the new policies.

Pat   Tom Bensch (80 Elderhostels)
For comments email tbensp@aol.com


From: PMuller141@aol.com

Am contemplating late summer EH to Halifax and Louisbourg
(program 65230) and would appreciate any evaluations, comments,
tips, etc. from others who have participated in the past. Pl
email pmuller141@aol.com.


Subj: 	People of theMekong Delta Four Country Elderhostel

From: 	Gaoxing@aol.com

Would be interested in any input . . i.e. climate in October,
suggested clothing, amount of strenuous activity ( . . walking,
climbing, etc.) . . ..gifts for children . . any personal
experiences outside of the scheduled agends. Many thanks.


From: 	rjwhelan@cox.net

Am interested in a review of From the Big Apple to Big Ben:
Architecture in NY and London. Thanks.


Subj: 	Three elderhostles

Desert Hot Springs CA. intermediate computer classes. Best
instructors- best organized-adequate food and comfortable

Sedona AZ. beginning drawing.instructor in wrong
category.mediocre course.Adequate food and comfortable lodging.

Tuscon-Nogales AZ. Two part program. Tuscon just getting started
and it showed. Nogales excellent.Plenty of excellent food
.Accomodations at Tuscon the better of the two.We were pleased
with this one.

Doug and Faye Finkelnburg finkel@centurytel.net


From: 	BBCareers@aol.com

Do you have any information from people who have been on
Elderhostel"trips: Russian Federation or
Lithhania/Latvia/Estonia/Russian Federation? I would appreciate
contacting anyone who has made either trip. Thanks.


From: "Matt Gooby" 

We're thinking of a trip to both Vancouver and Victoria BC this
summer. There are several interesting programs in the Elderhostel
catalog, would appreciate info  and suggestions. Matt   Dot Gooby
Hampton, NH

    Program Reviews

      Palm Springs Film Festival
      Cumberland Falls Kentucky State Resort Park
      Savannah State University Program
      Alamo City, The LBJ Ranch, And The Texas Hill Country


Nortel International Film Festival-CELS
Palm Springs, Ca.
January13-18, 2002
bahamm@webtv.net  Billie Hamm

This was the 13th International film festival for PS and the 4th
offering by CELS for EH and my second year to attend.

Those of you who remember my report from last year about all the
lack of electricity at the Ramada will be happy to know Edison
cooperated this year and everyone had lights, etc the whole week

There were some 500 persons enrolled staying at three different
motels this year.

Dinner was on our own.  This is something new CELS tried this
year. Our tuition was less than those staying where meals were
included.( around $100 less) andI personally liked this idea. We
got to try the local fare and had some delicious meals.  I liked
this option. Drawback-if you didn't have a car you were pretty
well stuck eating within walking distance of motel, but again
there were several choices available.

Note:  Only draw back to this is you didn't really get to meet
and talk to others since you were eating on your own.  WE did
meet people in the swimming pool and hot tub and of course saw
our "neighbors" each day as were coming and going-guess if you
were determined to meet others you would-just not as handy as
when you are thrown together for meals. NOTE: I would not
recommend this site for some one traveling alone, especially
without a car.

Cels synchronizes things nicely.  Everything ran like clock work.
They had a van that made rounds to all the Motels to pick up
those that didn't walk or drive to the theater.  We were offered
discount tickets to other theaters and films if we wanted to see
more on our own.

This is a fun week in a warm spot in January for those that enjoy
films. We saw two a day and had critique sessions at each motel
afterward if you wanted to discuss what you had just seen.

NOTE:  This program is listed in 3 or 4 different places in
catalog ( depending on how many motels were used)  We were
invited to other sites for programs planned at night and did
drive over to Desert Hot Springs to hear and watch a Hollywood
make up artist show us her trade !  There were two motels in Palm
Springs and one in Desert Hot Springs used this year.

There is a lot to do and see in area so if you go, spend a couple
of extra days ! You will be back to the cold and snow soon



Cumberland Falls Kentucky State Resort Park,
November 4-9, 2001.
My Elderhostel No. 61

The first time I went to an Elderhostel in Kentucky, I felt as
though something bit me and I went mad about the State. Kentucky
is neither South North, East nor West. It is quite varied and
beautiful, despite pockets of Appalachian poverty. From the
beginning, I enjoyed the local folklore, history, and humor, and
I felt the same way a few years later with my fourth Elderhostel
in KY.

Located in the Daniel Boone State Forest, near Corbin, the
original home of Kentucky Fried Chicken, this resort park lives
up to its name as a resort. It features a beautiful stone lodge,
private rooms and baths, and dramatic mountain views.

A note of caution: If you are driving here, be aware of twisting,
steep mountain roads to get to the lodge.

Cumberland Falls, the object of some of our studies, plunges 68
feet into a boulder-strewn gorge and is known as "The Niagara of
the South." On clear nights during a full moon, a "moonbow" can
be seen, when the Falls appear milky white. We had plenty of time
to hike down from our mountain and visit either individually, or
as a group.

The luxury offered by this park was enhanced by delicious,
nutritious food, buffet style, with drinks that were served by
friendly waitresses. Unhappily, this was spoiled, somewhat, by
the fact of smoking in the dining room, although supposedly there
was a non-smoking section, which was undefined. One should
remember that tobacco in Kentucky is known as the "largest legal
crop" in the state.

Our several short courses included the geology and geography of
the area, two field trips to learn about its mining history,
Appalachian music and religion, and Native Americans.

Evening activities consisted of photographs of the region, an
"Owl Prowl," a one-woman presentation of a well-known country
singer, and a very enjoyable farewell party with square dancing
and food. The last morning offered craft demonstrations of basket
making and weaving by some of the local women.

Our coordinators were Steve and Bret, Kentucky Park rangers who
did everything possible to make our stay comfortable,
educational, and fun.
Sid Kessler itisalive@erols.com


Savannah State University Program - February 2002

For our 30th Eldherhostel experience we enrolled in the Savannah
State University program that focused on the history of the city,
the history of jazz, and marine biology of the nearby ocean. We
must say at the outset that this was one of the best organized,
best presented and most interesting program we have attended. We
were housed in a Day's Inn just a block from the City Market. The
rooms were adequate, and there was a $5.00 a day charge for
parking which was not mentioned in the catalogue. No matter.

The SSU itself was founded in the l890s as an industrial school
for blacks. Today is is a full universeity with extensive
undergraduate programs and an enrollment of about 3,000. The
Elderhostel group consisted of 44 individuals from around the
country. It wa a good group with many interests in common. The
fact that the school is primarily black made our group a
minority--a feeling not usually experienced by our all-white
group.The program was divided into three parts: History of
Savannah pesented by 78-year-old W.W. Law, one of the most
knowledgeable teachers we have encountered in a long time. Mr.
Law led the civil rights movement in Savannah and is known and
loved throughtout the city. Next we had a overview of the history
of jazz, the unique American art form, presented by Teddy Adams,
a professional trombonist, and teacher. He covered the subject in
an excellent manner starting with African drums through modern
jazz. The third portion of the program was marine science as it
related to the local Savannah area. The instructor, Dr. David
Davies, not only was an expert in the field, but his sense of
humor was enjoyed by all. Of note for Elderhostelers no
instructor used slides--something of a first for us.

We ate in the student cafeteria for most of our meals (except for
a dinner at Ryan's Steak House.) The cafeteria food was really
above usual Elderhostel standards and the variety ranged from
full meals, to individually made sandwiches, salads, made to
order omletes and full breakfests--not the chow of our college
generation. Since it was Black History Month we were also lucky
to have been invited to attend a reception and concert given by
jazz pianist Consuela Lee at the beautiful Telfair Museum of
Arts. We also were taken to a night club for an evening jazz
concert by a local talented pianist. Finally, to top off the
program, we were given a newspaper published in our honor
describing our backgrounds, likes and dislikes and photographs of
the group. This was a most rewarding program and one we would
recommend without reservation. We did not find any brused
bananas, either.


FEB 10 - 15, 2002 - # 37123-0210-01

Wonderful 5 nights nights at one of the best hotels on the Oregon
Coast-"The Inn At Spanish Head".It is right on the beach , with
unlimited ocean views.Bellman service if required,valet
parking(optional) bar and public restaurant on 10 floor. -
conference room ,private dining room for us,and all rooms have
this beautriful view.Heated pool,fitness room and huge spa
Shuttle available from Portland airport. about $50.00. About 2
hrs west of Portland,Ore. Lincoln City is a nice city with outlet
stores for shopping, a big casino, and many fine restaurants and
motels if you decide to explore the coast before or after the EH.
On top of that we had 5 days of sunshine. Carol and Lynn Unser
can't be beat for hosts of this program as well as 26 other EH in
Oregon.I attended another one of theirs in 1999 at
Florence,Ore.It was great


Sunday - Wine and cheese reception followed by a lovely dinner.
34 attended Monday - 8am Breakfast - Fruit and rolls some
mornings - served breakfast other days. All very good 9am -
(program started each day)."Where exactly are we" by Carol Unser
Natural History"Whats on the Beach" by Janet Rogers- a walk on
the beach and also Tai Chi Janet was our instructor on all our
nature subjects and is so knowledgeable. Lunch at hotel and
Afternoon program Cooking with "The Crabby Gourmet" Chef Nancy
Brannon. She made the most wonderful Dungeness appetizers - and
we all enjoyed them (2nds too) Dinner - followed by slide show by
Janet. Each evening program ended by 7:30 so we could all watch
the winter Olympics or enjoy the pool Tuesday 9am continued
cooking class with Chef Nancy Brannon. More good eats
Lunch(always nice )- salads   cold cuts some days - other times a
served lunch Afternoon - Natural History field trip- 3 new vans
used Dinner and slide show-A discussion re:Commercial boats and
fishing by Lynn Unser. (He had owned his own large boat and had
wonderful stories and information) Wednesday After breakfast a
Trip To Newport,Or. Self guided tour of Oregon Coast Aquarium
-outstanding-, box lunch at aquarium ,boat trip on Yaquina Bay
Estuary, crabbing,plankton trawl on the Marine Discovery boat.
All made it an outstanding day. We even came upon a capsized
dingy(about a 16ft boat) with 3 people hanging on while on the
bay. The Discovery Boat captain spotted them and quickly called
the coast guard. We brought the woman onboard and saw the coast
guard in action. dinner followed by entertainment by Mike
O'Donnell .singer,song writer and entertainer and Lynn spoke of
the Lincoln City 2002 Glass float program We all hoped to find
one on the beach

Thurday Morning program "Time with the Executive Chef of the
hotel - Ken Martin.Salmon and Potlatch demonstration of Native
American Cooking Traditions Lunch and more from the Chef -
followed by Oregon Wine tasting presented by Patrick McElligott
Dinner What a gourmet Delight Seafood Buffet. Bigger and better
than you would find at a 4 diamond hotel Fun and Frolic -
passport signing. Carol and Lynn made this a really fun evening.
gifts to all - one lucky person received a glass float Friday
Breakfast and box lunches.

If any one makes a statement that the food isn't good at an
elderhostel program - they have not attended one run by Carol and
Lynn - and been at The Inn At Spanish Head. I don't want to brag
too much as I plan on returning next year and it would be sold
out early. By the way - I attended this program with a lady I met
at another EH last year. She came from Hawaii and stayed
overnight with me in California - we drove up the Oregon Coast
together to Lincoln City.	New friends - exciting educational
programs -enjoying the beauty of the USA Thats what Elderhostel
is all about any questions - OK to contact me


  Alamo City, The LBJ Ranch, And The Texas Hill Country

We attended this excellent program, sponsored by the San Antonio
Jewish Community Center-Downtown, in October, 2001. All aspects
of this program were interesting and informative. Every day was a
true learning adventure.

We were treated to five lecture programs. Our program began
Sunday evening with a talk by Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa on "San
Antonio: the Rose of Texas." Dr. Hinojosa gave an entertaining
talk which gave us a whole new perspective on the history of the
Alamo and the socio-economic factors which led, inevitably, to
Texas becoming part of the United States. Over the course of our
stay, Dr. Char Miller gave three fascinating lectures. "Legends  
Landmarks of San Antonio," which covered the history of San
Antonio from the founding of the city to the present. Joanne
Wells, our program coordinator, told us about "Jewish Texans:
Adventurers, Frontiersman   Cattle Barons."

Activities and field trips included: walking tour of downtown San
Antonio, boat tour of the famous San Antonio Riverwalk, tours of
Mission San Jose; the San Antonio Museum of Art and Rockefeller
Center for Latin American Art; King William Historic District;
Institute of Texas Culture; and the Texas Hill Country including
Fredericksburg. founded by German immigrants, and the LBJ ranch.
All of the tours were docent-led either by our program
coordinator or knowledgeable guides. Most of our transportation
was by motorcoach. However, we accessed the King William Historic
District and the Institute of Texas Culture by public trolley

We did not have much free time, but we did have an opportunity to
visit the San Antonio Mexican market, and the SAS Shoe Factory
and Store. While in Fredericksburg., we had the option of
shopping in the boutiques that line the main street or a visit on
our own to the World War II Admiral Nimitz/ George Bush Museum of
the Pacific War. I recommend a visit to this museum. It presents
a graphic tale of an important part of our history. We also were
treated to a fine production of Edward Albee's play, "Who's
Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," at the Jewish Community Center.

Our accommodations were at the Radisson Emily Morgan, a
historical hotel which has recently been refurbished. Our room
was large and airy with two queen sized beds. The only caveat is
that the hotel does not have a gift shop to purchase sundries,
newspapers, etc., on site.

Our buffet breakfasts as well as three buffet lunches were taken
at the hotel. Our dinners were taken at a variety of restaurants
allowing us to sample the different ethnic cuisines in the area.
One dinner was in the revolving restaurant at the top of the San
Antonio Space needle. The level of the restaurants varied, but
all provided tasty and wholesome meals.

One other note: this program does involve some walking and