>       Elderhostel Notebook #72 Sept 9, 2000
>Welcome to 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
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>programs taken send an e-mail to the editor, Jim
>Olson, at                      EHnotebook@aol.com
>Please keep all correspondence in simple e-mail text format.
>    From the Editor's Notebook
>This issue coming within a week of the last Notebook brings my
>files of reports sent in up to date and the next issue will
>probably come at a more normal monthly interval.
>Interest in attending Elderhostel programs seems to vary just as
>the frequency of these Notebooks does. I don't know if this
>represents any national or international trends but I do sense a
>sort of changing of the guard as a new generation enters the
>scene, and as staff and leadership of the organization also
>I suspect this new generation of third-agers is more affluent
>than the previous one, has higher expectations of accommodation
>levels, is more physically fit, and perhaps other differences as
>well. I'm certainly not going to try to judge what these
>differences mean in any qualitative way.
>It seems strange talking about generational changes at this level
>of age, but the fact is that each year ushers in many new people
>eligible to attend programs and others exit the scene.
>This latter fact was brought home to me in rather dramatic
>fashion as I debated whether to attend a reunion of Korean War
>veterans of my old artillery outfit. I decided  finally not to go
>as the few men who had been particular friends of mine in the
>outfit are either deceased or in some type of long term care
>But Maggie and I plan to continue our pattern of attending about
>three Elderhostel Programs a year- changing only the nature of
>the programs- no more getting up before day-break in an Alabama
>swamp to watch the Red Cockaded woodpecker emerge with the
>sunrise from his nest and laugh at the shivering geezers gazing
>at him before swooping off in that undulating woodpecker flight
>to tell the other forest critters what strange bird watchers he
>had seen, probably marking us off in his life list as "homo
>    Program Reviews
>       Yavapai College -Canyon/to Hopi Mesas
>       Getty Center Elderhostel Woodland Hills, CA
>       Olympic Park Institute (OPI) Port Angeles, Washington
>       The Portsmouth Abbey School, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
>       Belfast Harbor Inn, Belfast ME
>       Intergenerational program  Cadillac, MI
>Yavapai College -Canyon/to Hopi Mesas
>Have just returned from the Yavapai College 'Hualapai/Grand
>Canyon/to Hopi Mesas' program, in August. This was my 6th EH
>program; One that was filled with more negative and demeaning
>experiences, and certainly, unlike any that EH is noted for, that
>is with integrity and professionalism among its coordinators and
>As an educator, I felt, this entire portion of the program,
>especially, the coordinator at Hualapai, who evidently used the
>EH attendees as a captured audience to sell 'wares' (Indian)
>jewelry, at every session. The sessions (supposedly an intro to
>Hualapai culture) were long (repetitive) and tedious- and lasted
>for 2 days- at the same lodge! Both the instrictor and her family
>members were speakers at all sessions, who were unprepared and
>not aware of time scheduling.
>Their 'talks' were often 'memory recall' and often appeared
>oblivious to the audience.. Equally so, for the evening session-
>more sitting). There was certainly, wasted time spent indoor. .
>The new lodge (and only one in town)is the center for all
>activity of tourists for the area, and supported by, I learned, a
>majority of EH programs (and their attendees). Their dining room
>service was minimal- and food, when it was finally served, was
>marginal. Their attention and service were first to the 'walk in'
>customers. Their bagged lunches (on 2 occasions) was either
>inedible- or lacked the necessary utensils, etc... In other
>words, the food service was definitely lacking.
>Our coordinator was not present at a few scheduled events, and
>had her brother substitute. Later, she asked us to 'pass the hat
>around' to pay him "so I won't have to pay him out of my money".
>She asked to 'pass the hat around' at another evening session
>presentation. Special note: There are trains that run alongside
>the Lodge. Prior to leaving for the Canyon and Hopi reservation,
>the Hopi coordinator began his talk with his obviously, noted
>credentials, and Hopi heritage. Very early in the presentation,
>one of our group asked a question (about travel arrangements) and
>was immediately admonished by Donald) On several occasions, a
>member of our group would receive an abrupt response to a
>question, and a totally discourteous manner prevailed toward the
>group - for the remainder of the session.
>The main topic at several meetings was  Hopi religion that became
>tiring when repeated at 2 hour evening sessions. This was an
>active program (starting daily at 6:00 a.m.. for 7 days) and full
>evening sessions could have been shortened.
>On the field trips, the coordinator's manner was open and
>appeared eager to point out sights and share information. In
>summary, I found, if you can overlook their (speakers) constant
>emphasis of the faults of the white man and unfair practices of
>the the early government politics and Bureau of Indian Affairs,
>then, the legends, beauty of the terrain, with many awesome
>sights, and people at the Hopi Mesas, is a must see providing,
>there is a change, and more professional coordinators and
>speakers are provided.
>Dr. B
>Getty Center Elderhostel Woodland Hills, CA
>January 16-21, 2000
>Verna Letson
>We stayed at the remodeled Holiday Inn.  All of our classes were
>held in this facility. The first 1 1/2 days,  we had
>lectures on architecture given by Richard Meier, an architect,
>and Robert Irwin, an artist/designer of waterfalls and gardens.
>Both lecturers were outstanding.   In the afternoons, we were
>bussed to the Getty Center, which is situated on a hilltop with
>breathtaking views of Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Mountains,
>and the Pacific Ocean. The Getty Center is the new home of the J.
>Paul Getty Trust, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research
>Institute for the History of Art and Humanities, the Getty
>Conservation Institute, The Getty Education Institute for the
>Arts, the Getty Information Institute and the Getty Grant
>Program. We took a tram ride  amidst gardens, terraces,
>and dramatic architecture...Italian travertine stone imparts a
>timeless quality to the Getty Center Buildings, while glass and
>curved metal panels lend an open contemporary  aire.   We spent
>an afternoon with a docent and were free to explore on our own
>until 5:30pm.  The next 1   1/2 days  were  lectures on the
>Getty Collections and a video on the Getty family.
>On Thursday afternoon, we went by bus again to the Getty Center
>to see the collections  (for $3.00 an audio tape was available
>that talks about some of the art pieces- this saves a lot of
>reading time). We had dinner at the Getty Center that evening.
>One of the field trips of the program was going to the Los
>Angeles County Museum of Art which is near the Reagan
>Presidential Library and Museum in the Valley.
>In my opinion, this is the way to see the Getty Center, learning
>about it and seeing it first hand. Verna Letson.....Waterloo,
>Olympic Park Institute (OPI) Port Angeles, Washington
>Intergenerational Lake Crescent
>August 12 - August 19, 2000
>The location was great, the weather perfect, the accommodations
>were rustic but adequate, and the food was good. The program
>content and the level of instruction was also so good that it is
>hard not to provide a hearty recommendation. But a couple of
>negatives have to be pointed out and, depending on your situation
>(and your grandchild's), you may want to consider another
>This was very much of a camping experience. Fifty-eight children
>(ages 9-13) and grand parents were housed in five, 4-room cabins
>(3 or 4 to a room with bunk beds). A separate building with
>up-to-date plumbing provided shower and bathroom facilities. (We
>were required to provide our own towels, soap, and wash cloths.)
>The kitchen, dining, and meeting rooms were housed in the 1914
>Rosemary Lodge building, a short walk from the cabins. Breakfast
>and dinners were cooked and served cafeteria style. On most days,
>we made our own bag lunches to take with us on field trips.
>Except for the luncheon meats available to us for sandwiches,
>meals were generally meatless. (Chicken was served at the first
>and last dinners.) While not exactly what everyone might find
>enjoyable, dinners were good and nutritious. (The 2-bean burrito
>dinner served on Tuesday was probably the poorest selection.) The
>program was a study of the natural history of the Olympics,
>through walks in the forests, in the mountains, and activities in
>the ocean bay side. The two major field (bus) trips to Hurricane
>Ridge and to the Salt Creek state park (bay area), were
>educational and enjoyable to both children and grandparents.
>Field hikes and instructional or workshop sessions were well
>planned, and well targeted to interest everyone in this wide age
>group. Instruction and discussions were led by five enthusiastic,
>knowledgeable, and excellent instructors. A scheduling problem
>developed on one evening presentation, and to make up for it, OPI
>provided an extra bus trip to Sol Duc Hot Springs This was a
>delightful added attraction. (Normally, that afternoon was to be
>"free time", and as noted later, there isn't very much to do
>during free times.)
>On the negative side, we felt that the group was too large. We
>had 32 grand parents and 26 children in this program. Although we
>did break up into five instructor groups during lectures, hikes,
>and field trips, there were a couple of occasions in which not
>everyone got to do the all of the activities that were available.
>The dining and meeting rooms were at maximum capacity.
>Another negative was the real lack of recreational activities for
>the children during the free hours. Although OPI is located on
>the beautiful Lake Crescent, the lake is 600 ft. deep and one
>could not swim, fish, or boat in it. There was an adequate amount
>of free time before and after dinner each day and, although the
>grand parents didn't need it, the children needed physical
>activity (and supervision) to occupy themselves during these
>times. Outside activities were limited to a small grassy area.
>There were no basketball hoops, balls, or other such equipment.
>Some of the older boys did get a hold of a football and that
>helped somewhat, but left out others. A third negative occurred
>mid week when a group of about 50 other people came into the OPI
>facilities. The 6 showers, 6 sinks, and 6 or 7 toilets,
>previously shared by the 58 hostelers then had to be shared by
>the (now) 100-plus OPI participants. The dining hall had to go to
>2 seatings. We were limited to specific hours for showers and it
>became difficult to get in and out of the shared facilities.
>Keeping the bathrooms clean became a problem.
>One further note, the information we received before traveling to
>Washington, indicated that we should have day packs (back packs),
>rain gear, and waterproof hiking boots. We spent about $200 to so
>equip the three of us for this program. The waterproof shoes were
>great to have on our day at the ocean bay, where we walked on
>slippery rocks and near tidal pools, but otherwise, it seemed to
>be an unnecessary expense. Others seemed to get by OK with rugged
>shoes or sneakers. (Just be sure to have a second pair.)
>Frank   Bene' Jablonski fjablon@snet.net
>The Portsmouth Abbey School, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
>July 30 to August 5th, 2000 Elderhostel No. 55
>This was a week of water, wonder, and warm hospitality.
>Lay men and women lead this traditional prep school, owned by the
>Benedictine monks of the English Congregation. Its lovely
>500-acre campus, washed by the Narragansett Bay, is based amid
>soft green hills a few miles from the resort town of Newport.
>The impressive buildings were launched with natural wood and
>stone. Be forewarned, however. The attractive cobblestones
>require stout shoes. Strangely, there were not enough W.C.
>facilities, perhaps because this was once a boys' school. When
>informed that the school would become coed, the boys' reaction
>was: "Does this mean we have to shower every day?" A voyage of
>discovery of what is where would be wise.
>There were 88 EH'rs divided into two groups this happy week We
>were steered through a sea of good feelings by our caring
>navigators, Robert and Cliff. There was also a volunteer couple,
>Harold and Lucille, and a proctor in each of our three dorms.
>Each dorm had a full kitchen stocked with juices, coffee, tea and
>fruit. Four computers in each comfortable lounge were free and
>available at all times The cafeteria was excellent, offering many
>healthy choices, and a fresh fruit and salad bar. A favorite was
>the thick soup, which was never watery. I felt as though I was on
>a landed cruise ship without my tuxedo, which I last wore when
>Strom Thurmond was a boy.
>We were as indulged as luxury passengers. Every day something
>special was offered: First a pleasant orientation, and a wine and
>cheese party with a student band providing chamber music Then, a
>gossipy guided bus tour of Newport, and a slide/lecture
>reenactment of the Revolutionary War Battle of Rhode Island. The
>campus was the site of this crucial engagement. We were treated
>to a piano recital by one of the monks A closing candlelight and
>wine dinner with more piano music and a rousing sing a long ended
>this memorable week.
>There were many good suggestions for our free afternoon. Most
>returned to Newport, while I met a former student now colleague
>who was in my class in l961!!
>My group was Group 2-History. One course, Noah and the Flood, was
>with Father Caedmon, a monk who was also a priest. If you thought
>this tale would be dull, you would be wrong!! This talented
>teacher oozed a great deal of thought from us. Learned in Greek
>and Latin, he confided that his most spiritual moment was when he
>learned to read the Jewish Bible in Hebrew. Father Caedmon, whose
>pauses and two word lines would have made Jack Benny envious, was
>not afraid to answer "I don't know" to a flood of questions. He
>was also generous in telling us about the Benedictine life of
>prayer, scholarship, and communal work. These discussions were
>philosophical, and were appreciated by all. Father Caedmon was
>man with a smile that could have melted the iceberg and saved the
>Titanic. He will long be remembered.
>The next course was all about Newport, taught by Jim Garman, a
>retired US Navy Commander, who wrote 5 books on the harbor. Jim
>was never out to sea about anything concerning the Ocean State,
>(RI.) or the state of the ocean. This salt could spin great yarns
>about the layers of the old port of Newport.from the glacial age
>to the Gilded Age, with its many "summer cottages," each squeezed
>into a city block, each with a staircase that challenges heaven.
>He knew all about the role of the US Navy, as well as the tides
>of tourists. Jim is a professional photographer who shared with
>us his fascinating collection of vintage views of the area. Not
>often are EH'ers slow to depart from class and set sail for
>lunch. This was one trip when the soup waited for us, and not
>vice versa.
>I have to confess I did not drop my anchor too long to soak up
>this next class, although many folks did. It was all about saving
>Narragansett Bay, taught by Bob Jessup, a
>biologist/zoologist/ecologist with a passion. As I was steamed
>with a swarm of strange scientific terms, my brain soon reverted
>to a mushy swamp. This should not reflect on Bob, however, but on
>my own weaknesses. I was tempted, and gave in to, the siren calls
>of a good hike with my camera, and the Green Animals topiary
>garden just across the road.
>This indeed was a week of water, wonder, and warm hospitality.
>The weather was very stormy up and down the East Coast. At The
>Portsmouth Abbey School, there was a warm divine mist.
>Belfast Harbor Inn, Belfast ME
>19538-0827-01 Penobscot Marine Museum
>Aug. 27-Sept.2, 2000,
>This Elderhostel our 23rd was a real winner.  The three topics
>were "Forts and Battles and Ships oh My!", "Maine Folklore and
>Song" and "Harvest of the Quiet Eye".  Our instructors were all
>very different but very enthusiastic about their topics.  We had
>a field trip and classroom time every day.  The field trips
>complimented the classroom time and all of the instructors used
>modern teaching methods to get everyone involved.  We also had
>entertainment some evenings.
>Our filed trips included most of the day at the Penobscot Marine
>Museum, and this was an extremely interesting place to visit. Our
>expert on ships accompanied us on the museum trip.  We visited
>Moose Point State Park with our naturalist.  We did a walking
>tour of the town of Belfast and also the town of Bayside with our
>coordinator the first morning, and a boat trip in Belfast harbor
>on Thursday afternoon.  The weather was perfect, pleasant and
>sunny everyday, so the field trips were all a great success.
>The accommodations were very comfortable and there was even a
>swimming pool when the weather turned warm.  Lunch and Supper
>were served in a restaurant attached to the motel.  The meals
>were delicious, well balanced and extremely well prepared.  We
>had a choice of lobster or steak for our final dinner. There was
>a continental breakfast available every morning at the motel and
>we had full breakfast two mornings at the restaurant.
>I would recommend this elderhostel to anyone who is interested in
>learning about Downeast Maine.
>Intergenerational program  Cadillac, MI
>This is an excellent way for two generations to learn new skills,
>like designing a Web page, making a fishing lure and learning
>more about ecology.
>The Aug.6-11 program included 35 grandkids and grandparents from
>Connecticut to California who bonded  well to each other in this
>short time.
>The staff at the 4 H Kettunen Ctr. made the week fun for  the
>kids and adults. Meals were served cafeteria style and were
>plentiful with lots of choices. The rooms were amply furnished
>with two double beds, lavoratory, TV and air conditioning.
>Recomendation:  A
>Mary Bissonette
>August 27 - September 01, 2000 ...
># 68570-0827-01 Adventures For The "Sole"
>August 27 - September 01, 2000 ...
># 68570-0827-02 Nature Walks
>I combined both of these programs because they were held
>concurrently and people could choose segments of the program that
>would suit their abilities.
>The information that I received prior to arriving gave detailed
>explanations of what to bring and how to prepare.  To get the
>full benefit of the program/s, walking and/or hiking prior to the
>program would be vital.  The more fit the body, the more
>rigorously one could participate.
>Steve Marchessault was our coordinator, with able assistance from
>Lucette Voyzelle.  Both were very accessible and sensitive to our
>needs.  Steves background was history and he provided a wealth of
>information on that topic.  Lucette complemented his knowledge
>with her interest in the natural environment.
>Twenty-five participants gathered each morning and could choose
>how vigorously they wanted to match their abilities.
>When we met to explore the Boreal or "northern forest"; Luc, a
>retired biologist, gave an informative talk on that aspect of the
>landscape, then we had the option of going either with Steve on a
>2   hike, mostly uphill, to an observation tower, or with Lucette
>for a 1   mile interpretive walk around a man-made pond.  I chose
>to go with Steve, and the hike was quite strenuous for me, but
>rather easy for those in better shape.  Steve has great endurance
>and can talk as hes climbing at a rather fast pace.  Hiking boots
>and walking sticks were very valuable.
>Our second day exploring the Jacques Cartier Valley, which was
>carved out of the Canadian Shield, again provided different
>physical challenges and scenic overlooks.  I joined Steve and it
>seemed a little more difficult than the first hike, while the
>other group followed Lucette. Both groups alternated their hikes
>to take a canoe ride on the Jacques Cartier River where an
>interpretive guide told us how to enter and paddle the canoes; we
>used two canoes, each carrying eight or nine of us.  Along the
>route, our guide stopped at intervals to tell us how the
>Montagnais tribe survived along the cliffs.
>Prior to going to Old Quebec city on the third day, Steve gave us
>some historical background of the city, which made what we saw
>more meaningful.  We walked past notable sites with Steve
>reinforcing his talk of the morning.  After lunch at an Italian
>restaurant that was included in our trip, we were free to explore
>on our own and be ready to board the bus at 3:45.  A yellow bus
>was used to get to each site, but was more comfortable than a
>regular school bus.
>The fourth day was to visit a bird sanctuary, a stopover for the
>great snow goose, on the shores of the St. Lawrence River.  A
>naturalist told us about the migration and nesting habits of
>these birds as we walked on a boardwalk around a marsh.   After
>the interpretive bird talk we had the options of two hikes.  The
>hike with Steve was described as very challenging.  I chose to go
>with our biologist Luc on a more level 4.5-mile hike through the
>woods.  Even though the distances of the two hikes were
>comparable, the inclines made the difference in difficulty.
>On our last morning together, we could join Steve for a walk
>along Lac du Beauport, or enjoy the surroundings of the inn.
>Evening programs included introductions and overview of the
>program, the very beginnings of the settlement of Canada from its
>earliest history and the fur trade, videos on the boreal forest
>and whales on two different nights; there was one free evening.
>The description of the setting: Comfortable lodging is at the
>historic Manoir St-Castin, situated on the lake with a splendid
>view of the lake and surrounding mountains. was just as
>advertised.  Guest rooms were comfortable as were the meeting
>rooms where lectures were conducted.
>Gourmet food, was beyond everyones expectations.  Breakfasts had
>choices of toast, eggs, crepes, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, and
>cereal in various combinations.  Some lunches were carried on the
>field trips. But dinners were outstanding.  Here are sample
>menus.  The appetizer was crisp of mushrooms with palm tree
>hearts and balsamic flavour (the mushrooms and palm tree hearts
>were wrapped in a filo pouch); cream of carrot soup; for the
>entre there was a choice of fillet of sole stuffed with crab over
>mild pepper sauce, or guinea fowl supreme served with raspberry
>sauce, or vegetarian plate; Caramel cream for dessert. Another
>day: Artichoke hearts salad; vegetables soup; a choice of
>Atlantic salmon served in lemon juice and thin slices of leeks,
>wild rice and garden vegetable, or fillet mignon of veal, with a
>bunch of vegetables glaze of meat and tomatoes grind, or
>vegetarian plate;  wild berries pancake for dessert.
>I would heartily recommend this program to anyone who prefers an
>active and invigorating Elderhostel.  It was stimulating both to
>the mind and body.
>Marcia Zientek,