Elderhostel Notebook #31 August 24, 1998

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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel News and  Reviews

         Classic Motor Vessel Rebecca
         California Shakespeare Festival
         Whitewater Rafting on the Arkansas River
         London of Dickens/Museums and Galleries
         EH in Thailand
         Montana Intergenerational Elderhostel


    Editor's Notebook

Things have been a little hectic around the Olson household and I
am late getting this edition out.

The result has been a  backlog of reports, and I was not
able to use all of those sent in for this issue.

I will, however, do #32 in another week or two and use any
material not included here in that issue.

And if that isn't enough #33 will follow soon after.

And, of course, include a more extensive editorial feature.

   Elderhostel News and Reviews

Northwest Schooner Society
Bellingham, Washington
Classic Motor Vessel Rebecca
Aug 12, 1998


This was an fasinating Elderhostel. 13 individuals on the old
private motor yatch Rebecca. Sail out of Bellingham, Washington,
through the San Juan Isalands. Visited 5 different small
communities in the Islands, and it was a beautiful smooth trip.

Food was Good to Excellent prepared by the Chef on boad. Captain
and one deck hand were excellent and knew their way around the
islands. The coordinator and lectuer was very bad. This was his
firt trip out as coordinator and lectuer and was not prepared at

If you don't mind sleeping in bunks one above the other, in very
small staterooms, (one gets to know the other individuals very
well) then it is OK.

Motor ship Rebecca used to be a private yatch witch was given to
the Northwest Schooner Society to overahall and use. Volunteers
have been doing this for three years and it is not all gone yet.
Had trouble one engien, electric generator, and radar when we
were in fog.

Every one had turns at the wheel of the ship and all I believe
had a good time and look back as an interesting Elderhostel.


Elderhostel - July 26-31: California Shakespeare Festival,


This is a difficult EH to label. The content of the course was
pretty good, the location was terrible.

First, the content. We had daily lectures, first on Shakespeare
in general, and then on Othello. Two actors gave the lectures,
and they were wonderful, vibrant, dynamic. They explained a bit
of the actors craft - these two were actors, playing in many
regional theatre groups, and they did quite a bit of Shakespeare.
They showed the really hard work actors must do to perfect their
vocal abilities, and to keep their bodies in shape, for they use
their bodies in acting as well as their face and voices. We then
had the pleasure of seeing Othello with the actors playing the
leads- and the actor who played Othello was wonderful!! And the
setting was gorgeous - outdoors in a beautiful spot.

However, the negative in this was the terrible location.
UC/Berkeley is a large, very crowded campus, built entires on
hills, many of them. Steep hills, very steep. Up and down, etc.
for everything. We were located in a housing complex at the
highest part of the campus. To walk around the campus was
difficult - I visited one of the libraries, many feet below the
level of the housing sector, and took 45 minutes to walk back up
the many stairs and inclines to our housing. The nearest bus off
campus was one steep hill down (and up, too, of course). There
was no place on campus to get anything to eat after the cafeteria
closed, and no place to buy a morning paper.

The rooms were clean and very bare (they advised the visitors to
bring a fan and a reading lamp - A bit much for packing for most
people). There was plenty of food, all bland, and usually cold -
typical hospital/institution food.

All in all - this is an Elderhostel for somebody who loves
Shakespeare, and is totally indifferent to his physical
surroundings. Certainly nobody with any arthritis in the legs, or
any other infirmity which hinders walking should ever attend.

Louise Harrigan


Colorado Mountain College/Timberline Campus/Leadville Colorado,
06139-0719 Whitewater Rafting on the Arkansas River Natural
History Through Hiking in the Rockies

bc-stone@juno.com    Robert D. Stone


The housing is in a new dorm, 2 years old, private bath, phone,
TV hookup(not supplied) excellent facilities 	The food is at
the cafeteria which has contracted with Marriott. Good but not


White Water Rafting. This was the main reason many chose the
course. The company chosen was excellent. The Dvoraks Rafting
Company of Buena Vista, CO on the Arkansas River is one of the
top rated rafting companies. All Elderhostelers spoke very highly
of their individual guides. We received a half days instruction
prior to the trip and good instruction prior to rafting by the
owner of the company. The all day trip was very enjoyable and we
would recommend the company for individuals to contact if they
are interested.


The husband and wife team provided both top quality classroom
instruction and field experience. The first half day was about
11,000 ft.. The second day was about 12,000 ft. and the third
full day was about 13,000 ft. This was to the top of the
Continental Divide on a very rough road for a good experience at
mountain driving on trails.


The staff of the college all went out of their way to provide the
extra measure to insure that you were well cared for and had an
experience to remember.


If you can handle high altitudes, a major consideration, and want
a top quality experience we would recommend this Elderhostel.


London of Dickens/Museums and Galleries

This the best international EH I have attended. It was held in
late July, and the weather was perfect. Sunny, cool enough for a
jacket, and not much rain. Housing was in Rosebery Hall in
Islington, a student residence for the London School of

Bus stop is nearby which is convenient for exploring during free
time. No extra charge for single rooms. Sink in room, one shower
and toilet for every four rooms. There were a few ensuite
accommoations for couples. Food was excellent, best I ever had at
an EH.

Amenities include laundry room, lounge, and bar. All staff at
this EH were very helpful. Many of the lectures were held in the
field given by Kevin Fluge. They were all excellent. Dickens was
the subject of the first week; museums and galleries the second.

I have only one mild complaint about this EH. It was almost too
much of a good thing. The days were so full that even the
physically fit among us were pretty well exhausted by the end of
the two weeks. One can always skip something to rest, I suppose,
but all the offerings were so great, we didn't want to miss
anything. I rate this a 9+. E-mail PNestor@aol.com for more info.


EH in Thailand -- wonderful! CarolKD@aol.com

I did a Thai EH last November and it was very fine.

The program is run by a very fine Chiang Mai university (can't
think of the name), coordinated by Martha ?, a professor at the
college, who is very fine and keeps very close tabs on what is
going on. She actually traveled with us part of the time to keep
track of how things are managed, and she and her husband helped
entertain while we were in Chiang Mai.

I was in travel over 20 years. Believe me when I tell you I think
you will see much more of the country than on any commercial
tour, you will learn about the people and culture, art and
religion, see the most important sites, etc. The lectures for our
program were very fine and the settings are generally good. The
local university is in a beautiful park on the outskirts of the
small city,

We spent only about 4 days in Bangkok itself which is just fine.
The city has become noisy, dusty, crowded, hot of course, and the
traffic is now not just bad as it was in 1985, but horrendous.
Your hotel will probably be a moderate 1st class one right on the
river, the only enjoyable place to stay in Bangkok. There is a
shuttle boat that brings you into the center city, and from there
you can take free hotel boats to the finest 5* hotels, also free,
to get into those areas. Traveling on the river is definitely the
enjoyable way to see more of Bangkok.

(If you want to be extravagant and see a bit more of the city in
a resort atmosphere, take advantage of the depressed baht and
book into one of the fine riverside hotels for a few days of
luxury after the trip. 2 or 3 days on your own at the Oriental,
Shangri La or even the Sheraton Royal Orchid (not as fine a
hotel) will give you a chance to explore a bit and relax after
the trip, which is rather strenuous. Staying at either of the
first two hotels will be a very memorable experience. And of
course there are always local tours to take to see a little more
than the EH covers of the capital city.

All the other hotels on the trip are also 1st class and well
located. I assume you have experience with and enjoy Thai food.
You will have three very generous meals a day plus several
smaller snacks. Much of the food is prepared by the university
people in the various cities you will visit. The univ. people are
the ones who host you in each city. The food was never hot, but
there were always condiments available to add spice and heat. We
had a couple of cooking lessons, too.

There are so many wonderful crafts in Thailand that there was
even time made for shopping in various villages, not usual in EH
trips. The Mung village we visited was totally uncommercial, a
joy after my experience on a commercial day trip years ago when
the villagers stood with their hands out for tips. On the EH
trip, we met local people and really had a good experience seeing
them in their daily life.

This year you may even be going into Laos for a day, which we
only looked at across a new bridge. The coordinator was very
excited about this addition to last year's trip. It is not a
static program but is run by energetic, inventive people who
always want to broaden and improve it.

Obviously, if the hot, sticky weather is tolerable for you, you
can't help but enjoy this superb way to see and learn about
Thailand. I think it is one of the finest overseas programs EH
runs. I've done several in Europe and this is better organized
than many (except those in Italy or Britain which are also tops
with me).

Let me know if I can give any more specific answers and have a
very wonderful time!



"Natural History of the Pioneer Mountains" Intergenerational
Program for Grandparents and Grandchildren, 9-12 Sponsored by
Western Montana College Held at Birch Creek Center outside
Dillon, Montana July 26 - August 1, 1998

Joy Rising  jrising@citcom.net

SUMMARY--never having been to an Intergenerational EH, I didn't
know what to expect. It was a great experience for both
generations. Many of the participants had been to from 1 to 11
other Intergenerational programs! You were expected to oversee
your own grandchild, but there was enough separation of the
groups so that this was not oppressive. The children were from
9-12 years old, but there was a vast difference in activity level
of the sexes. The boys were very active, lots of climbing,
physical testing. No grandparent could keep up with them! The
girls were interested in talking with each other and were willing
to check in with their grandparent. That difference surprised me;
I was glad to have a granddaughter with me. The program was
excellent, the food good, and the accommodations varied. The area
is the famous "Big Sky" of Montana, beautiful. One morning we saw
a moose walking to the creek.

THE GROUP--26 grandparents, 23 grandchildren, aged 9-12. You got
to know the people in your cabin very well (maybe from 6 - 16 in
each cabin) so it didn't seem like an enormous group.

INSTRUCTION--an excellent program making use of the natural
setting of the Birch Creek Center and including 3 field trips, 2
hiking, 1 to a ghost town. There were activities together,
grandparents and grandchildren, and separate activities for each
group. There were a total of about 20 instructors, each doing
his/her specialty. The common thread for the week was a journal
we were given which we added something special to each day - some
things like plant prints that we did and some that were
informational given to us. It makes a nice remembrance of the
week. Outdoor activities included hiking, canoeing, teepee
building, gold panning, campfires. There were outdoor
demonstrations of fur tanning, spinning wool, period music, Dutch
oven cooking (which was our last night meal). Indoor instruction
included journaling, Indian history, ecology, history of the CCC
(Birch Creek is an old CCC camp), Pictionary. THE INSTRUCTION WAS
The Coordinator, Betsy Miller, was doing her first EH, and could
not be better. Mark Fitzsimons, the head of the Center, was with
us for many programs and was excellent.

FOOD/MEALS--the dining room was in a modern conference center
building and there were picnic tables right outside if you
wished. Despite the fact that we were the only group there, there
was a choice of entrees at each meal. The choices seemed to
appeal to both generations. You were expected to eat with your
grandchild. As a result order reigned, most of the time.

HOUSING--the best I can say about the housing was that the
grandchildren did not seem to mind it, my granddaughter, Whitney,
saying, "It's not so bad, it seems just like camp." We were in a
CCC cabin with 5 granddaughters and 5 grandmothers in 5 rooms. We
all got along beautifully. Each room had double bunks (you could
each have a lower bunk) with bumpy mattresses; you were to
provide your own bedding or charged an extra $8 and even at that
had to provide your own towels. Fortunately it was warm as there
was no central heat, only a homemade woodstove. There were 2
toilets for 10 of us, but there were no doors so a sign outside
the area was flipped to indicate "occupied" or "unoccupied",
effectively making 1 toilet for 10. There was no dressing area
with the one shower. It must have been even more complicated
(embarrassing?) in the cabins where there were mixed sexes as
each grandchild was housed with the grandparent(s). The
conference center where some of the hostelers were housed was
newer, had separate men's and women's shared baths, but a couple
of the bedrooms had no windows.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS--the cabins were spread out on a hillside
with the conference center above, thus everything was uphill or
downhill. The dining room was on the second floor. Some of the
hiking was uphill. Since the altitude of the camp was 6500', you
should be in good physical condition for this EH. We all had a
free afternoon and the grandparent(s) a free evening. The rest of
the evenings featured interesting programs such as folk dancing,
musical campfire. Shuttle vans were provided by the College to
and from the Butte Airport for $50 roundtrip which seems

CONCLUSION--an Intergenerational EH gives you a unique
opportunity. You or you and your spouse are with your
grandchild(ren) without other relatives; you learn much about
each other. But the child does not feel isolated as s/he might in
visiting you because there are so many other same age children to
play with. The 9-12 age range seems to work well as the children
are too old to be "homesick", yet the dynamics of coupling
doesn't exist (well, only a little of that). I highly recommend
this EH. Your grandchild(ren) are sure to love it.


From: ERWB@aol.com

We have just been accepted for an EH beginning October 18 at
Oakwood Spiritual Life Center in Indiana. Has anyone been to this
EH or are you enrolled for the one we will be attending? Would
enjoy hearing from you if you have any information about the
Center or the EH.



From: ebhale@maui.net   Emily Bott
Subject: Air Couriers

Jim, I just signed on as an air courier. Any Elderhostelers out
there who have taken trips as a courier?

From: Lee Fettig   lfettig@radiks.net

I would like to hear from anyone who has attended either of the
"Cajun Country" Elderhostels sponsored by Nicholls State
University or the University of Southwestern Lousiana. I would
appreciate comments on the quality of both the program and the


Lee Fettig


Subject: Canterbury

I would love it if you would ask if anyone has been on the
Canterbury trip in your next newsletter. Thank you so much for
all your help.



 From: FredBa@aol.com
Subject: elderhostel trip

Do you have any reports about Davis Mountain Environmental
Education Center in Texas ? Why is it for "active hosteler "?

Thanks, Fred Barnes


From: "John Renninger" jondol@email.msn.com

Please include this message in the next Elderhostel Notebook:

We are interested in Homestays in France, particularly Five
Centuries of Food and Wine in Burgundy. Has anyone attended this
Homestay? It really sounds like a good one, however we're
wondering about the homestay part, so even if you haven't any
information on this particular one, we would still be interested
in hearing about homestays, especially in France. Also is it
necessary to speak some French?

John and Dolores in Frederick, MD jondol@msn.com

From: Jacquie    jacquievanhaelst@worldnet.att.net

My next 2 Elderhostel trips are scheduled for Sept. 12-20,1998 to
Jekyll Island (domestic)and the next one is March 5,1999-March
27, 1999 destination France, France Homestay, Discover
Provence.If anyone has had any experience on either one of these
trips or know of anyone who has experienced them, I would be most
appreciative to hear from them. Thank you and I hope you're
enjoying the summer. jacquie van Haelst


From: Meyer111@aol.com

I noted with interest, the description of the Trinity College
Elderhostel. I also attended Trinity this past march, and confirm
the excellent facilities and food offered by this elderhostel.
However, the week I attended, a computer course was offered. I
can say without hesitation, that this course was the most poorly
organized class I ever attended. There was no structure, and we
bounced around from one subject to another, with much of the time
spent by the instructor trying to find out what she was doing.
The overwhelming consensus was ....thumbs down!

All other phases of the program were excellent. The lectures, the
tours, fhe dorms, were all first class. However, the computer
course was the primary reason for most of the students signing up
for this program. Should this course be offered again, I hope the
instructor has a purpose and a plan.

Meyer Zucker

From:  cbuzz@mail.dancris.com

July 26-Aug 1
Oregon Shakespear Festival
Ashland, OR
Oregon Southern University

Excellent program as always. Intersting and well informed
lecturers, and of course the attendance at three plays. You could
add more if you wanted. I did five plays while there. All of the
performances were excellent and they were not all Shakespear
(only two).

Facilities are good in building with bath down the hall. Food in
student dining room was good and adquate.

Highly recommend this for those who want to get a lot of theater
in a short period of time.

C. "Buzz" Buzzard

From: TBENSP@aol.com

We are going to Ventura-by-the-Sea/West outside of Los Angeles in
November and would like to know if anybody out there has gone to
their Elderhostel. Any information or tips would be appreciated.
Thank you. TBENSP@aol.com