Elderhostel Notebook #71 Sept.2, 2000

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

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    From the Editor's Notebook
I've built up the reserve file of reports again so the next issue
will come out in a week or so. I continue to keep the length of
each issue ot less than 24k of space as I think (but don't
really) know that larger issues would create a problem for some
subscribers with limited e-mail space as it did in the past.

My own method of transcribing the reports to the interactive
archive web spot, http://members.aol.com/EHindex2  also limits me
to 10 reports per issue as that is the limit of the template I
have set up. I could enlarge that but that is about all I can
handle with a few senior moments intruding here and there to
complicate the process and further diminish my attention span for
the project.

    Program Reviews

          Doane College (Crete, Nebraska)
          Monastery of the Ascension/Jerome, Idaho
          Navigating Wall Street - #32114-  Seaport Museum
          Intergenerational EH at Pine Mountain KY
          Adventures Afloat Lake Michigan
          London Theatre Program
          New Zealand   Australia  "Gaudeamus"
          Biking in Denmark
Doane College (Crete, Nebraska)  CZECH ELDERHOSTEL
July 30 - August 5, 2000

SITE:  Very pleasant, quiet (pines and lagoon,with white swans)
in a gentle, hilly terrain, with small town outside of campus

ACCOMMODATIONS:  A new (not completely finished) 3 story
air-conditioned dormitory  with elevators; modified wings (we had
5 separate rooms, sharing the grooming/toilet/shower area)with a
separated  small common area in the center with sofas and
chairs---seems like a new concept in dormitory housing;  the
distance to the dining area and class (a theater type room) was a
comfortable walk  (golf carts were available for those who needed

CLASSES:  The Czech Republic: Past   Present---very ably
presented by native Czech Professor Eve Chybova Bock (in
English);  she lived through many Czech transition periods

The Czech Republic:  Politics   Current Affairs---a noted Czech
scholar and member of the University of Nebraska staff, Dr. Bruce
Garver, a publishing author of many works on the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic: Cultural Heritage  was a great potpourri
including architecture (with an afternoon field trip)presented by
Nebraska State Historical Society architect, David Murphy; music
(unfortunately only one session with a most enthusiastic
associate professor of music, Dr. Jay Gilbert);costumes,
folklore, group baking kolacki; slide presentations (postcards,
pottery) by a local boy made good viz. Dr. Donald Pisar      We
attended a special lecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
by the current ambassador from the Czech Republic, Alexandr

FIELD TRIPS:  Crete SOKOL HALL, local farmsteads, Bohemian
cemetery and nearby Wilber which was having its annual (39th)
Czech Festival with food booths, parade, street entertainment

FOOD:  All buffet style, either in main cafeteria with 300
professional  wood-carvers(who attended their annual get
together)or in Elderhostel private dining room with white table
cloths and white napkins---the chef and his assistants catered to
our every whim (and we loved being spoiled);  food was great
(fresh salads/fruit, meat with great veggies, garlic bread, etc.
etc. etc.) but only 1 Bohemian meal, but plenty of KOLACKIS and
rich desserts and SECONDS AND THIRDS)

ENTERTAINMENT:       Strictly Czech viz. Accordians galore, even
Accordianist Galen Beck's little 10 year old daughter is an
expert accordianist (and quite a hostess); Sing a long with the
Elmers, Sue Underwood and friends; the Wilber Czech Dancers in
beautifully colored costumes; Norm Blaha's Polka Band, and the
Capital City Czech Choraliers directed by Ray Svoboda at our
Graduation Party

A+++++++   always around, conscietiously helpful--TOP NOTCH :
their family members also helped!    Janet also has a hidden
talent --with an accordian , of course.  She can really squeeze
some good polka tunes out of it.

For those of us who came by plane, they provided a great,
reasonably-priced shuttle service from the Lincoln Airport
straight to the dorm door.

OVERALL EVALUATION:   Even if you are not CZECH  (and
unfortunately I'm not Czech), you MUST make plans ahead of time
to attend this one, since it is offered only once a year.
Handicapped elderhostelers are well taken care of despite our
using several buildings.

ANY QUESTIONS????---contact me Leonard Rogus by e mail


Monastery of the Ascension/Jerome, Idaho
Aug 7-13, 2000

This site is located in the midst of potato and sugar beet fields
of southern Idaho. It is separated from those fields by rows of
trees and is beautifully landscaped to add a sense of serenity.
It overlooks the lights of Twin Falls.

It seems as if they had Elderhostels in mind when they designed
the buildings. There is a large entry/reception area, which has a
large classroom partitioned within it. There are two residential
pods connected directly from the reception area. Each pod has a
huge lounge with eight double occupancy rooms surrounding the
lounge, each room with its private bath. A pleasant dining room
is also attached. So, it is all on one level, all connected in
air-conditioned comfort.

What are the shortcomings? There are very limited accommodations
for single Elderhostelers. There are a couple of single rooms in
a trailer type annex, not far from the building. There is also
space for a couple of single males in the monks quarters of the
original monastery, where there are shared baths.

The classroom is very nice, a high ceiling with elaborate
skylights at least twenty-five up. Very nice that is, until the
instructor wants to use slides or a video, then there are no
shades to block the light from the skylights. We frequently found
ourselves dragging our chairs out into a portion of the reception
area that could be darkened enough for a slide presentation.

The food was excellent. Everyone agreed on that.

The courses:

1) The Japanese American experience during World War II. This was
a study of the Japanese Internment Camps: How US citizens were
uprooted with very little notice and moved to camps that fit the
definition of "concentration camps". How many of these loyal
young Americans joined the 442nd Division, which was an infantry
division consisting entirely of Japanese Americans.

We had Japanese Americans attending the course. Some had
experienced the Internment Camps. Others, who had not been living
on the West Coast (Hawaii and Colorado), were spared this
experience. A veteran of the 442nd also spoke to us. We visited
the nearby site where the Minidoka Camp had been.

2) Native Americans, Trappers and Emigrants in Idaho. Some very
entertaining tales of the Indians and their interaction with
traders, and then the settlers.

A large part of the course was about the Oregon Trail
Experiences. We saw some remnants of the trail.

On the last day, we attended a reenactment of a Snake River
crossing at Glenns Ferry. The train that we saw cross the river
consisted of five wagons, two pulled by horses, two by oxen and
one by mules. One of these wagons tipped over in the river. That
added to the realism. The biggest difference was that these
wagons were empty. They were not carrying all of the emigrant's
world possessions.

3) Hagerman Fossil Beds. We visited the National Monument.
Observed some of the fossils as they appear at the site of the
digs. We were shown the meticulous processing that is involved to
recover and reassemble skeletons of animals like the Hagerman

Bob   Grace McAllester


Navigating Wall Street - #32114- Jun 22-27, 2000
American Institute of Banking/South Street Seaport Museum
New York City New York

For planning be aware this elderhostel is from Thursday to
Tuesday. Ratings (10 = highest, 5 = average) Food 5, Housing 10,
Program 7, Extra value 10

Imagine a line across lower Manhattan from the World Trade Center
on the west side to the South Street Seaport on the east side.
Your hotel is on the west side one block from the World Trade
Center, one classroom is close to Wall Street in the middle of
the line and the 2nd classroom and cafeteria is on the east end
of the line. It is about a 15 minute walk from the hotel to the
cafeteria, an easy walk if it is not too hot or cold.

Food: Good meals in a pleasant cafeteria located in an elder
housing high-rise. Very relaxed with an extra benefit of 2 menus
at noon: one American and one Chinese because of the great number
of Chinese residents.

Hotel: Marriott World Financial Center Hotel. Not the deluxe
Marriott at the World trade center but first class with swimming
pool, pleasant staff and excellent rooms

Program: Two programs. One conducted by AIB (American Institute
of Banking) and one by South Seaport. Program was split about 2/3
AIB and 1/3 Seaport. AIB had a variety of speakers and tour
guides while the Seaport had one speaker/guide but he was

Extra value: Location next to bus and subway so that in 20
minutes you can be in Midtown. Saturday afternoon and evening and
Sunday afternoon were free. Many took in one or more matinees and
evening plays on Broadway. Don't think that lower Manhattan is
dead on weekends and evenings. There is lots to do and fewer
tourists than midtown. You will never forget an evening stroll
one block from your hotel along the Hudson River Esplanade (a
narrow park along the Hudson).

Highpoints:  Tour of Brooklyn and a walk across the Brooklyn
bridge, guided visits to the New York Stock exchange, NASD
exchange, Mercantile exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank to see
piles of gold bars. a walking tour of Wall Street, a Ferry ride
to and from Staten Island, a 6 AM tour of the Fulton fish market,
lectures who have worked the Wall Street and a
speaker/historian/Melvile authority who has spent his life
working around boats and in the Fulton market area.

All in all an excellent program in a fascinating part of New York
City. Bring you walking shoes.

For another review with good details about the hotel and the
local scene see the following review in the Jul 1999 edition of
EHnotebook  "South Street Seaport Museum, the Immigrant
Experience" by gsfarm@lcc.net

Hunter Passmore

Intergenerational EH at Pine Mountain KY

Twenty grandparents and grandkids came from all over the U. S. to
enjoy the week of July 30-Aug. 5, 2000,in the hills of Eastern
Kentucky.  This intergenerational EH was located at Pine Mountain
Settlement School, once a boarding school and now an
environmental and conference center.  It gave us a feel for life
yesterday and today in this coal mining area.  Although
accessible by the highways winding through the hills, it is
nevertheless in a pretty secluded area.

This EH was well managed by the coordinators who were also
capable instructors, trail guides, entertainers, and great with
the kids.  We learned about the history of this rural settlement
school (dulcimer musician Jean Ritchie was a boarding school
student) where the children learned practical skills as well as
book learning.  Lessons for our EH participants were about the
geology of coal formation, stream ecology, wool spinning and
dyeing, settler and Indian life, medicinal plants, plus enjoying
folk music/stories. One day our groups spent time orienteering.
We were involved each day in handicrafts such as weaving,
woodcarving, pottery, corn shuck dolls.

The children and some grandparents took a challenging summit hike
one day. Field trips were taken by vans to a strip mine, to a
company coal town and museum, and to several caves.  Working to
finish the handicraft projects every day didn't leave much free
time. But the youngsters got to swim each day and the nine of
them became the best of pals for the week.

Accomodations in this conference-like setting were
adequate...bunk beds in a dorm setting.  Luckily, we didn't
really need the fans we brought because the rooms were cooled
down by rains. Food prepared by the school staff was more than

Glad to recommend this adventure with grandchildren.

Bill   Lee Longman


Adventures Afloat Lake Michigan:
A Nautical Adventure (the first trip)
August 5-12, 2000


After a gloomy morning trip to Chicago we arrived at Navy Pier in
sunshine about noon.  After leaving our bags aboard the ACCL ship
Niagara Prince we went off seeking the Monroe Street Garage as
suggested by the Elderhostel coordinators.  For one unfamiliar
with the city, finding the entrance to this underground garage is
a challenge.  By the time we parked and made our way to the exit
it was pouring rain.  Many parents had intended taking their kids
out for a fun day in the sun.  The entrance lobby of Monroe
Street Garage soon became a multicultural shelter and playroom
beneath the park.  After waiting a while we caught a cab back to
Navy Pier and surged with the damp crowd among the many vendor
booths inside until the skies finally cleared.  About three the
rain stopped so we wandered the outside of Navy Pier for a couple
more hours.  One of the ships permanently moored at Navy Pier is
the dinner vessel, Odyssey.  A pricey dinner I'm sure, but that
evening the ship had been chartered for a wedding.  It was great
fun to sit there and watch the bride; wedding party and guests
arrive at the ship in their fancy formals and expensive hairdo's
while being blown around by Chicago's notorious winds.

We boarded the Niagara Prince about five, had dinner and
introductory information and shoved off into windy Lake Michigan.
  A strong wind was blowing from the Southeast so the Captain
aimed the boat into the wind until we were somewhat sheltered by
the land on the Michigan side of the lake then North through the
night toward Holland, Michigan.  By now the wind had shifted to
the South and we made excellent time up the coast with the waves
on our stern.  The captain takes the size and shallow draft of
the vessel into consideration for the comfort of his passengers
though this small ship does rock one to sleep.  A foggy morning
found us entering Lake Macatawa and cruising up to the Holland
City Pier where a brass band awaited us.  Our city tour guide was
the son of one of our passengers.  He arrived in full Dutch
regalia.  We toured the Dutch tourist attractions plus an
impromptu tour of the "Parade of Pigs" along Main Street.  The
plastic pigs were all decorated with humorous designs and were
given even better humorous names.  There were about 150 pigs
hidden everywhere around town.  I especially liked "Albert

Our next stop was Manistee where we cruised right into the
downtown area.  The Captain somehow managed to turn our 174-foot
boat around in a 175-foot wide river.  This was only the first
extraordinary feat of seamanship he exhibited. After a day of
touring historic buildings in Manistee we proceeded North to
Petosky where we tied up at the Bay Harbor Marina amidst million
dollar yachts and surrounded by houses you couldn't afford even
if you won the lottery.  Our Elderhostel schedule promised a
"million dollar sunset" and by golly they were right!!  We spent
the night in the opulence of Bay Harbor and sailed early in the
morning for Beaver Island.

Beaver Island was once a kingdom within the United States.  At
least that's what their "King" believed.  We got a van tour of
the island but the rattle of the wheel chair lift on the van made
hearing the driver very difficult on the island's gravel roads.

Then off to Mackinaw Island.  Crawling with tourists, called
Fudgies by the locals because of the amounts of Mackinaw Island
fudge they buy.

The longest leg of our voyage was the 16 hours from Mackinaw
Island to Sturgeon Bay, WI.  Sturgeon Bay has a marvelous marine
museum within easy walking distance of the city dock.  It was
great fun watching sailboats and tugs moving barges around the
bay as we awaited dinner.  Evening lectures aboard the Niagara
Prince could not begin until the crew had cleaned up the dining
room.  This tended to produce a sea of nodding heads if the
lecture were of a dry nature.

Next stop was Milwaukee.  No brewery tours because all the
breweries have moved away with the exception of "Old Milwaukee".
We toured this very attractive city on a bus and viewed lovely
old city buildings ending with the truly spectacular St. Josephat
Basilica.  How a working class Polish neighborhood could build
such a magnificent edifice is amazing.

And so, back to Chicago's Navy Pier where we had started the week
before. There was just too much packed into that short week.  The
coordinators had organized this first time Elderhostel quite well
and were seeking out even more interesting places to visit at
each port.


London Theatre Program

I've just returned from the London Theatre Program, and for all
of you who love the theatre as I do, this is a great Elderhostel.
  This was the second time I'd done this program and find that
there are many repeaters.

Elderhostel stays in a lovely old Edwardian hotel not far from
the British museum and close to a tube station.  Most of the day
is spent at the National Theatre on the South Bank, and almost
all the meals are taken there in one of three restaurants in the
theatre complex.

The group returns to the hotel for a break in the afternoon and
then go to performances in the evening.  The speakers are all
from the National Theatre and address many aspects of producing
three plays in repertory.  It's all very interesting.  The group
size is limited to 26.  We attended one candlight concert at St.
Martin in the Fields and there is time to go to other plays.

I'd recommend that you not go in August as I did, as London is so
crowded with tourists.  Spring or Fall would be better.  We did
have good weather, however.

Ruth McCormick


New Zealand   Australia  "Gaudeamus"
Jan 9 through Feb 11, 2000

Just finished completing a Photo Album of the above trip.  There
were 41 people in this group and they were all great and I
enjoyed our time spent together.  I was a single lady traveling
by myself and everyone made me welcome and included.  Our Leader
was Susan Coggan from Newcastle, Australia and she spent the full
4 weeks time in New Zealand and Australia with us.  She saw that
we enjoyed our time in each location and made our change to the
next location and got us on the planes with ease.  She was a
pleasure to know.

We spent 2 weeks in New Zealand. and two weeks in Australia.  All
meals were served buffet style and the food was plentiful.  Lots
of very good fresh fruit, cheeses and breads.  Most of the
breakfast and dinners were served in the motel restaurants with
lots of lunches out in local restaurants.  Our motel in Auckland
was across the street from a Rose Garden, lots of walking trails
and a great view of the beach and within easy access to
transportation and shopping and sight seeing.  Next was Rotorua
where we learned about the Maori Culture and viewed the wonders
of Rotorua (much like Yellowstone).  Stayed in a motel within
walking distance to the beach and town.  Also a Boat ride and
lunch on Lake Rotomahana.

Flew to Queenstown and the condominium which is one of the best I
have seen.  Lovely view of the river and mountains.  Walking
distance to town and harbor   Parks. Boat ride on Lake Wakatipu
to view a sheep ranch and have lunch at the ranch. Visited
several small towns and viewed the Southern Alps of the South

Next was a coach drive to "Te Anau"  an a short walk through the
rain forest. Again the motel was very nice and the food was good
with good assess to town and parks.  Next we boarding large ship
for our cruise in Melford Sound to the Tasman Sea. Lunch was
onboard with live music and great views of the Sound.

Next it was Christchurch for free time at the Arts Center, Museum
and Botanic Gardens.  Again hotel and food were good and right
across from a college campus. Flew out of Christchurch to
Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne is lovely, we took a tour of the city and bay side.
Visited a Shrine of Remembrance to veterans of WW2, Melbourne
Botanic Gardens.  Hotel was very good, food good and location
right in town.  Walking distance to everything.  Learned about
Opal and were given information on what and how to buy.  I bought
a ring for myself and e/rings your my daughters.  Coach trip to
Phillips Island in the evening to see the Penguin Parade (what an
experience).  I could go on forever with all the things we saw
and did.  Australia is totally different from New Zealand.  Even
the animals are totally different, like the Kangaroo, the Kuala,

We flew to Alice Springs and stayed at a resort with swimming
pool and located within four blocks of downtown Alice Springs.
Visited Ayers Rock (daytime and sunset) and the Olgas, learned
about the Aboriginals and their culture, Walks in the desert and
short walk through Simpsons Gap. We had outdoor BBQ and Picnics
on a river. Saw the Southern Cross and stars of the southern

Next was on to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.  Snorkeling and
swimming at the reef.  Motel in the center of town with access to
everything.  Then on to Sydney with motel on Darling Harbor.  We
were given a tram pass and had access to any were we wanted to
go.  To many things to see and talk about in Sydney.  It was a
great ending to an even greater trip down-under.  I would wish
that everyone could visit these great islands.  It is an
experience you will remember forever.

Kayda Carpenter


Biking in Denmark

I've just returned home from Biking in Denmark. We did some
fairly serious biking, lots of it on the edge of the Baltic Sea.
Upon arrival in Copenhagen, we bussed to a rather small town,
hotel, then following day began our biking from there. It was not
unusual to bike along sea for a while then put bikes and all on a
ferry and bike on a different island for a while. Our studies
were of the famous Vikings, Danish royalty, Danish economy, etc.

We ended up in Copenhagen for the last 2 days and were treated to
walking tours of the city, a world war 2 museum, etc. All in all,
we stayed in 8 different hotels. The hotels and meals were
perfect for me. It was a wonderful time. I've given only a tiny
taste here, but would be happy to tell more to anyone who is