Elderhostel Notebook #25 April 5, 1998

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It provides a place for elderhostlers to share information about
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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel Reviews


    Editor's Notebook

 Maggie and I are preparing for an Elderhostel in Mid April at
Henry Horton State Park in Tennessee.

As usual we will attempt to keep in touch with our family and
others by e-mail as we drive down and back using one or another
of the techniques for connecting on line as we do. It is very
nice to let family members know where we are each day, like
sending a postcard that gets there at once. It's also nice to use
the net to see what the weather will be like in cities along our
planned route for the next day using one or another of the
national weather web sites. Sometimes we can even get a web copy
of the local paper for a daily destination city and see if there
are some special events planned there for the next day or so.

I am tuning up the laptop computer by adding a file of local
America On Line Access numbers for cities in the states we will
be travelling (although that isn't necessary as AOL will list
them online.) I have also set up a couple of free web based e-mail
accounts that I can use at any time I have access to the internet
through a kiosk in a shopping mall, visitors center, public
library, hotel business room, or any other place where an
internet connection is accessible. They are becoming more and
more common.

Since I do have a laptop with a modem, that will be my primary
way to connect and I'll use the web-based e-mail provider as a
backup. Each night as we pick a motel I'll be sure to ask if they
provide free or inexpensive local phone calls, if 800 numbers are
treated the same as local calls, and if they have a switchboard
that provides a standard dial tone. We have learned by past
experience that these three conditions are needed for easy

I don't worry if there is a computer phone jack on the side or
back of the room phone, although that is a nice feature. It is,
however, no problem to plug in a phone line to the wall phone
jack or to the regular connection to the phone if it is done by a
jack and have a duplex connection (local ubiquitous Walmart has
it if you don't carry one along) to also have the hotel phone
connected as well. Having the jack on the wall under a heavy bed
does pose a problem for my old knees, but what the heck I need
the exercize from time to time and Maggie gets a laugh out of it
if I don't bump my head too hard in which case I get sympathy.

If you don't have America On Line as your service provider, you
can check to see if yours does have local access numbers as many
of them do now . Many also have an optional 800 number as America
On Line does in case there is no local number. There is an extra
charge for this, but it will come not from the phone bill but
from the bill from your access provider. At America On Line it is
an additional 10 cents per minute - In that case I write the
e-mail off line and get on and off usually within 5 minutes.

Once connected I access the AOL "setup and sign on" screen and go
to "setup" where I enter the appropriate local phone number and
the appropriate access to outside line number which is usually 9
but in some motels is 8. Some have a different number for local
calls and 800 number calls.

I never mess with long distance calls on the computer as I am not
up to that complexity- hard enough to do  outside of the computer
what with all the credit card numbers etc. and options  Besides
that I make Maggie do the long distance calls if any,  and I do
the computer connections- fair division of labor

This time I think I will also try the web based Yahoo mail
account I set up, Jimo_99@yahoo.com,in case  we run across a
terminal running the internet at a travel center, or hotel lobby,
or wherever (see Jean Sterling's note in personals.) It worked at
a kiosk our local visitors center when I experimented with it. To
set one up, go to http://www.yahoo.com and click on the logo for
their free web based  mail service. You will get to pick a user
name and a password for your free account. Your mail will be
stored at that site and you can access it any time you have
access to the world wide web.

There are several other such free services on the web- one called
"hotmail," one "Excite mail", "Mailcity"  etc. Take your choice.
I picked Yahoo because it has a spell checker, but I'm not sure
it is accessible by a non-graphical browser such as Lynx that
some libraries use. In that case I set up one also at
http://www.mailcity.com/ (where I am Jimo@mailcity.com) that does
allow such a browser to access it.

Both of these web based e-mails also allows me to read the POP
mail at my discover-net.net local ISP server mailbox so there are
plenty of options.

There are some other technical ways of using the laptop such as
having an acoustical modem for use with pay phones without a
computer phone jack, and using a special cell phone modem. I
would not recommend either of these to the causal traveller. They
are discussed usually in some detail at the RV discussion forums
and usenet news sites on the internet.

An additionl net resource is the local Cybercafe if there is one.
With just your local e-mail address operators there there can
usually pick up any e-mail sent to you and have you send some out
using that return address. You can,of course, also use your web
based mail account there. For a list of Cybercafes in the US go
to http://www.globalcomputing.com/cafes.html and if those in
Europe: http://www.xs4all.nl/~bertb/cybeurhp.html

In the next issue we will discuss the issues involved with
singles and single accommodations on elderhostels.

   Elderhostel Reviews

The Museums Of Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

We attended an Elderhostel in San Diego, CA entitled "The Museums
Of Balboa Park", during February. While the weather was strongly
influenced by El Nino we enjoyed the week tremendously. Each day
we boarded a bus and went to Balboa Park which has 13 museums and
attractions. We went through the History of Flight museum
(outstanding), the auto museum, three art galleries, the Globe
theatre, the San Diego Zoo (again outstanding) and several other
museums. The tours included "behind the scenes" visits which made
it much more interesting.

The older hotel was clean and nice and had a wonderful pool. The
food was catered and very good. Each day we took a better than
average box lunch to the park. If we got tired of box lunches we
could supplement them from the vendors that were available. All
in all it was a very worthwhile experience and had enough variety
to cover lots of peoples interests. As usual the people attending
the Elderhostel were varied and enjoyable.

Bud Hall

15-20 March 1998

An excellent program for the active Elderhosteler who is willing
to help with light kitchen and housekeeping chores.

LODGING: The facility is on Prichards Island which is one of the
barrier islands immediately off the coast of southern South
Carolina. It is a new and modern building of about 3500 sq. ft.
The dining area also serves as the classroom. There are three
bedrooms each containing three bunk beds - i.e, six people to a
room - max of eighteen students.

Staff has separate accommodations. The beds are bigger and better
than your average bunk bed. I'm a little over 6' 3" and I had
enough room to sleep comfortably - barely. If you're much over 6'
4" you might be cramped.

There is a bath with each bedroom. Hot water was getting a little
cool by the time everyone had showered. If you must have a
morning shower - get up first.

Charlie Dolson cdolson@ipa.net

ed note- here is a footnote by another hosteler at Pritchard's Island:

You should be receiving an evaluation of the Pritchards Island
Elderhostel from Charlie Dolson.  He has forwarded what he wrote
to me.  It was a good week for us, but people who go to this one
need to know what they're in for.  Especially good was the
rapport in the group; in fact, participants in our group who have
done 45+ Elderhostels said that the group relationship was the
best they'd seen.  But people who don't want to shower in salty
water and who object to sleeping in a room with people they've
just met should think about this carefully.  We LOVED it!

wjkep@net3.netacc.net (Jean   Bill Keplinger)

 Cerveny Conference Center in Live Oak, Florida  March 1-6


"Frontier Religions",
"The European Union"
"The Road Less Traveled Revisited"

The instructors were good and I enjoyed the classes. They tried
hard to do a good job. One instructor taught 2 subjects and that
was a bit much of one person all week. I'd prefer to have 3
subjects with 3 different teachers.

FOOD - They gave us a printed menu with only one selection for
lunch and dinner. Breakfast always had cold cereals and sometimes
oatmeal. Eggs were offered one day and pancakes one day. Lunch
was either a sandwich or salad and on 2 days also included soup.
Dinner featured one entree (not for the health conscious). On one
night we were fortunate enough to substitute fish for red meat.
Overall and comparing to other EH I'd rate it below average.

LODGING - The rooms were spacious with 2 double beds and patio
doors overlooking the woods. We had difficulty in getting hot
water. It stayed hot for about 90 seconds and then cold. We asked
three times to have this corrected. They said they would but
didn't. The weather was cold when we were there and the heating
unit was quite noisy. We "toughed it" out but were uncomfortable
throughout - Oh, we also had an overflowing toilet.

OVERALL - Of the 24 EH's I've attended this was the least
enjoyable. No evening activities or field trips (a short woods
walk was offered one afternoon). The dining room, unknown to us,
was located a long distance from the classroom and lodging (about
1/3 to 1/2 mile I would guess each way) and it was over hilly
sandy terrain. We couldn't walk it, many did, some didn't.
Fortuneatly we could drive back and forth to meals 3 times a day
- I don't know what people do when it rains. On a scale of 1 to
10 (with 10 high) I'd rate this a 3 at best. I had the feeling
here that they were trying to squeeze every last penny profit out
of this operation.

Larry Saxon
"Lawrence Saxon" patricksaxon@classic.msn.com


The Hopi: Pueblo People of the Mesas

This is probably the most profound Elderhostel we have ever
attended.  It was held on the Hopi reservation in northeastern
Arizona and after daily contact with many Hopi people, we felt as
though we were beginning to know them pretty well.

Our accomodations were at the Hopi Cultural Center in Second
Mesa, AZ, which is located 100 miles northeast of Flagstaff or 60
miles north of Winslow and not near anything but a service
station and an ATM!  Our room was clean but only marginally
comfortable -- really not too bad for an Elderhostel room, I
guess, but we had been spoiled by the previous three Elderhostels
we attended!

Meals were served in the restaurant at the Cultural Center.  The
food was satisfactory, but the service was only fair-to-poor.
Breakfast every morning was served buffet style and included
scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and pancakes.  On he
first morning, blue corn pancakes were also served, but that
turned out to be a one-time-only treat; hot cereal was available
the first two mornings only.  We learned by accident on the
second or third morning that we could get cold cereal.  Lunches
were always sandwiches, either in sack lunches or from a
do-it-yourself sandwich bar at the restaurant.  The sack lunch
was probably the best, because it included chips, an orange, a
candy bar and a can of soda; lunches in the restaurant were just
a sandwich, chips and beverage.  Dinners varied from an excellent
dinner in the home of one of our Hopi instructors and a
traditional Hopi stew at the community center to a T-bone steak
(unheard of at Elderhostel!) that, sadly, was cooked to within an
inch of its life.  Even though mealtimes were on a set schedule,
the staff never seemed quite ready for us and we often had to ask
for even the most basic things, like butter for our pancakes and
mayonnaise for sandwiches.

Classes were held in a conference room at the Cultural Center,
and there was some sort of field trip every day.  Our
transportation was two 14-passenger vans.  Our co-ordinator was
extremely accomodating, and all of the presenters were very
outgoing and more than willing to answer our questions.  We
watched a potter, a basket weaver, a silversmith and a kachina
carver, and visited an ancient (and still occupied) Hopi village.
 Classroom sessions covered such topics as Hopi history, customs
and traditions, and current restoration efforts.

The instructors and their subject matter more than made up for
whatever else was lacking in this program, and when you come down
to it, that's what it's all about!  We would rate this
Elderhostel 9.8 out of 10.0.

Possible side trips for this Elderhostel are Monument Valley,
Canyon de Chelly, Wupatki Ruins, several trading posts, and the
Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks.

Dick and Marion Steade - Msteade@aol.com


University of Mississippi/Oxford Elderhostel

My wife and I attended this Elderhostel the latter part of
February.  It was our fifth and we consider it the best.

It was very well organized and coordinated; everything went like

We stayed at a Holiday Inn (it was apparently sold and in the
process of being converted to The Downtown Inn while we were
there). It is located a couple of blocks from the court house
square in this picturesque small town.  Accomodations (for six
nights--Sunday through Friday) were very adequate and convenient.

We had breakfast and dinner at the motel each day.  The food was
good (buffet style), service was excellent with fresh white
tablecloths each meal.  Lunch was on-campus (fair).

The overall quality of instruction was very good.  Two Ole Miss
professors spoke every morning--one on Southern Literature
(William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Conner and others)and
the other on the history and current ramifications of the Civil
Rights movement. These two people were absolutely outstanding.
Others spoke on the changing culture of the South, architecture
and the origin of the Blues and were good.

Classes were held at a very nice Conference Center on campus.
There were two field trips and each evening films about the
stories discussed in class were shown.

For anyone interested in the subject matter, we have no hesitancy
in recommending this Elderhostel.

Lee Fettig lfettig@radiks.net


New Orleans March 8-13, 1998

Just returned from the People's Program in New Orleans and I know
I'm not to type in "caps" on Email because it means shouting but
I must say "IT WAS WONDERFUL!"

>From the moment we arrived at the Landmark Hotel in Metairie
(suburb of New Orleans) everything went so smoothly. Hotel
registration via computer in lobby and EH registering on 16th
floor done quite efficiently. We had large lovely CLEAN rooms
with private baths. Our beds were made each day and clean towels
in bath.There were over 200 people enrolled for the week and they
were broken up into color groups. We ( my husband and I and
another couple) were in the blue group. Our group leader was
Annette and she really "knows her business". She did not overlook
a detail whether it was to do with classes, busses, rooms, meals,
sightseeing etc.

Sunday night was orientation and buffet dinner for all at hotel.
Breakfast every day in hotel was a pleasant surprise. Buffet
table included hot and cold cereal (and grits), eggs, bacon,
sausages, french toast, fruit, muffins and I'm getting full
remembering it all! Each group attended a different class in the
morning. The times were staggered so we weren't overcrowded
during coffee break or while waiting for elevators. (This was
EXCELLENT PLANNING). Monday our class was literature of New
Orleans taught by a mystery writer. Next on the bus for lunch at
a restaurant and each day thereafter to a different restaurant,
each unique in its own way. Toured the Mardi Gras Museum then
free time in French Quarter. The bus was always there to pick us
up at predetermined time after wards. Dinner also was at a
different restaurant every night all serving the food of the
area. We were given food choices in advance.

Tuesday's class was History of city taught by Jerry McCurdy and
he was TERRIFIC! After lunch he took us to a park and various
cemeteries and a walking tour. From there we had a Jazz class
that was so interesting. I don't want to give too many details
about all we saw and did, as I want all of you reading this to go
on this EH and enjoy it yourselves, but you can see we were
enjoying ourselves very much. One comment that was not the fault
of EH: It was freezing there! (We're from Florida so 40-50
degrees is cold for us!) But they say it was quite unusual for
this time of year, but the Sun did shine every day. There were
optional tours available for jazz concerts and special tours
every day. Wednesday our class was held at a cooking school where
the Chef both entertained us  and cooked our delicious lunch of
gumbo, jambalaya, Bananas Foster, pralines and Bread pudding.
According to our group leader this was "Bread Pudding" week so we
tasted it in MANY forms all delicious.

Thursday was a class about architecture with a slide show then a
walking tour of Garden district and a lovely private home. Then
lunch at a Cajun restaurant where we were taught Cajun dancing.
Free time again to explore Flea market, French market and the
chance to taste the biegnet (ah, that warm pastry with sprinkled
sugar). That night was a banquet with all groups together with a
wonderful celebration I won't tell about as I want you to go and
experience it yourselves! Friday morning we had two great
lectures: Mardi Gras and New Orleans Perspectives. We were sent
on our way with a most delicious box lunch.

Those who chose to stay another day were able to go on several
other sightseeing programs. We came home and told EVERYBODY how
wonderful this Elderhostel week was for all of us. This was not
our first EH and we realize that not all accommodations are as
nice as this one. The entire week was just very special and so
were the wonderful directors of this program.  We can't wait to
go back to this marvelous city. THANK YOU FOR YOUR NEW ORLEANS

Florence   Mannie Block and Bobbie   Arny Zenker

 Silicon Valley

Just returned from a wonderful week in San Jose, California and
an EH entitled *From Prunes to Powerbooks*.  We stayed at the
Airport Inn which was very comfortable and had  very good food.

First day was *The Last 50 Years of computing* presented by Kip
Crosby who represents the Computer History Association of
California and who knows everything and everybody that has
anything to do with computers and where they started.  *The Rise
of the Silicon Valley* with Jim Williams from the Historical
Museum who shared a video of the history of Santa Clara County.
Did you know that San Jose was once the capitol of California and
is now the 2nd largest city in the state ?  We didn't either.  *A
Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon* with Dr Sy Stein who
was chief Medical Officer of NASA'a Ames Research Center at
Moffet Field in Mt. View California before he retired.

*Radio Daze* the next day with Sheldon Nagel was a trip back in
time and we heard Fibber McGee and Mollie, Amos and Andy, Burns
and Allen, The Bickersons, Myrt and Marge and many more.  Lots of
laughs.  Our evening class was the video of *Charles Herrold, The
Forgotten Father of Broadcasting* and developer of the first on
the air radio station which was in San Jose.

Day 3 we spent at the Santa Clara county Office of Education
computer Lab on Macs and PCs and learned about and got on the
internet. We also rode the Light Rail and buses.

Thursday we had a narrated bus tour of the valley and saw all the
garages where most inventions were conceived.  We saw Standford
Campus and all the work that was donated by Hewlett and Dave
Packard.  Also a visit to the new state of the art FRY'S
Electronics Store. Graduation was that night with diplomas and
good thoughts about the week.

The sponsor of the EH was the Perham Foundation a Venture Capitol
group that is working on the Electronics Museum which should be
ready nex time we come to San Jose.  Friday morning we saw a
video on the Nerds of silicon valley which gave us  a glimpse of
today and a look into tomorrow.


From: WKosl WKosl@aol.com

Subject:NYC Opera Elderhostel

I was on an Elderhostel trip to New York several weeks ago which
specialized in Opera. it was run by Brookdale Center for Aging at
Hunter College. They are relatively new at this but it was a
great program! Besides lectures at the hotel with a fabulous
opera knowledgeable team, we spent time at Lincoln Center with a
tour backstage at the Met and also a performance of "The Marriage
of Figaro". The hotel was OK as Elderhostel accommodations
usually are, also the meals. Spare time was spent with another
opera performance at the NY Opera (half price ticket to "Madame
Butterfly") but others in our group saw several performances at
the Metropolitan. On my own I went to several museums and a show
(The Lion King). All in all this was a great nostalgia trip for


From: AAAlexco2 AAAlexco2@aol.com

Another question for your newsletter:

Are there any Elderhostal programs planned for Cuba ?

This is the time to have a look - before the deluge and possible
violence to come when Fidel exits.  It's also very very
inexpensive.  I was there in the '50s and it was delightful,
beautiful... and sad (because it was so screwed up politically -
that's why Castro won so easily.)

From: HGlucks HGlucks@aol.com

Subject: New Orleans Elderhostel

Just want to add another endorsement for the People's Program
Elderhostel in New Orleans. We returned yesterday from a very
enjoyable week there, thanks to your recommendations. The
instructors were excellent, as were the hotel accommodations. In
all, it was a very interesting and varied program with lots of
sightseeing. We had lectures on New Orleans history, literature,
cooking, jazz and architecture -- something for everybody.
Everyone liked having meals at the various restaurants that were
included as part of the program. HG


From: Jean Sterling sterlij@freenet.tlh.fl.us

Hi Jim,

I noticed that you plan to write about doing e-mail while on at
elderhostel.  Three of the four hostels that I have attended have
offered access to the net.  I find that e-mail can be better than
phone calls, since with the phone you often end up talking to
somebody's machine which is not very helpful if you are on a
college campus and have no phone in your room (which you don't
spend much time in anyway).  I just telnet in to my isp and get
and send my e-mail.  The computers at the colleges were in the
library.  At the hostel in Quebec, the coordinator said that we
could use the computer in his office to get and send e-mail.

I recently purchased a used laptop (my husband says it is an
antique, but, hey, it was cheap.  First I have to get a battery
as the one in it will not hold a charge.  Also, need a new mouse.
 I plan to download all my travel info to floppy discs and get
rid of a lot of paper!

				Jean Sterling

From: AAAlexco2 AAAlexco2@aol.com

Am looking into reports of violence against tourists in Mexico,
epecially those driving. Anybody know anything concrete, i.e.,
first hand ?  Where ?

From:  PNestor@aol.com

Subject:  San Juan College, New Mexico

Would like any information on programs at this site.  Am
especially interested in attending program on "Writings of Tony
Hillerman" in Sept., '98.   Thanks.


From: Marta s773 Martas773@aol.com
Subject: Sitka Volunteer work

Personal:  I will be in Sitka, Alaska doing volunteer work at
Sheldon Jackson College.  Will probably meet the elderhostel
folks that will be attending in the summer months.  I have been
to Sitka before and can say you have a wonderful treat in store
for you.  Feel free to write me if any questions.

Would appreciate general comments on experiences with Elderhostel
programs at the Teton Science School, and/or the specific
programs "The Scientist in You ..."  and "Day Hiking Adventure