>       Elderhostel Notebook #75 Oct 23, 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
>EN has a WWW site at
>To subscribe to the e-mail edition  and/or to submit reviews of
>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
>As long as I had some reserve reports and enough new ones to make
>up a complete issue I went ahead with this notebook a little
>ahead of schedule and am now up to date on reports.
>You will notice a new url for the notebook web site in the
>heading. I have moved the notebook to my free space on my Apple
>iDisk utility where I have a  more space. The AOL ftp space was
>down to room for just one or two more issues and the new location
>should be good for another five years at the current pace.
>I will keep the old location active for a while longer but will
>not update it. If you want the most recent issues and the most
>complete archive you will need to go to:
>The same is true for my Korean War page which is now at
>    Program Reviews
>     San Francisco Arts and Humanities (Union Square)
>     Croaker Institute, Newfoundland
>     Center for Studies of the Future: Las Vegas program
>     Theatre Week in Toronto
>     Lakeshore Resort-Free Man House--Branson, Missouri-
>     Discover Ipswich and Cape Ann, MA
>     Dixie College, St Charles, Utah  (golf-geology -theatre)
>San Francisco Arts and Humanities (Union Square)
>October 2000
>Fred Haug as reported to Olsonjam@uwec.edu
>The program was held at the Stratford Hotel on Union Square in
>the center of the city. This was an ideal location for the
>several walking tours of the city and the availability of city
>busses for those who wanted to explore various parts of the city
>on their own during the limited free time.
>Lectures dealt with the history and culture of the city and were
>illustrated with a four hour bus tour of the city, and several
>walking tours where the group was divided into two sections. One
>of these tours also involved a short ride on the city bus system
>to areas in Chinatown.
>Breakfast was a continental breakfast at the hotel and other
>meals were served at a nearby hotel a couple of blocks away, A
>shuttle to the meal site was available the first day but since
>nobody used it (all choosing to walk instead) it was omitted
>after that. Meals were very good.
>The person who was to serve as coordinator had a medical
>emergency a few days before the program began, and this resulted
>in some changes in schedule with other staff members taking over
>for her on a scheduled basis. While it would obviously have been
>better to have the original coordinator with the program, this
>arrangement worked well with a minimum of confusion and
>disruption of the program.
>Lectures were excellent and all in all it was an excellent
>Croaker Institute, Newfoundland
>Port Union, Bonavista,Trinity,etc.
>This program, offered in October 2000, was attended by my
>companion, Dorothy O'Neil and me, of Warren, RI.in September
>1999.  We flew from Boston to Halifax, NS, then on a smaller
>plane to St. John's, Nfld.   We spent a night and the following
>morning at the Cantwell House, a B   B, on the second floor.  A
>3rd floor porch offers a grand view of the harbornd out to sea.
>We had time to enjoy a wonderful meal along the water street,
>down [and up again] a  very steep hill, and also walked a bit,
>seeing the architecture of the main part of the city.  Many
>Victorian houses as the city was destroyed by fire, and rebuilt
>about 1860.
>The 180-mile trip from here to our elderhostel home in Port Union
>was by bus, owned and operated by Murray, a very nice man.  The
>bus was a bit slow, especially against headwinds, but we managed,
>stopping a few times for refreshments, etc.  The scenery was not
>spectacular, low hills coverred with scrubby vegetation, and some
>views of the water.
>We stayed in the Seaport Hotel along the highway in Port Union,
>on the Bonavista Peninsula, a sparsely populated area. Very
>little highway traffic.  Some of our meals were in a union hall,
>a short walk from the hotel.   We had the usual mix of
>activities- historical talks in the morning, and trips and
>outdoor activities. Some people took a morning walk, sometimes
>seeing moose.
>On Monday we walked in Port U., which was started in the 1910s by
>William F. Coaker, who moved  the "Fishermen's Protective Union"
>here and developed the port, appropriately named Port Union.  In
>1921, the town, along Port Union harbor [or harbour], had 532
>residents. We visited "The Bungalow", designed and built by
>Wiliam C.  in 1917: the Port U Historical Museum, located in a
>former RR station; Holy Martys Church [Protestant]; the memorial
>cemetery; and we saw worker's houses and several large buildings,
>built when the fishing industry was thriving, but now vacant.
>Since severe restrictions were placed on fishing some years ago,
>the economy of the province has been depressed.    The next day
>we went to Catalina [pronounced cat-a-line-a], lunching at the
>Calvary United Church, whose women put on the lunch, a wonderful
>meal. The women were raising money for various reasons, for their
>church, for gowns, etc. Most of our meals were prepared by
>various women's groups, and all were different and delicious,
>mostly meat   potatoes, but also seafood. The one in Catalina
>included some moose meat!  We visited the adjacent cemetery and
>went to a nearby sea arch.
>Most of Wednesday was spent in Bonavista, at the end of the cape
>of the same name, and the landfall of John Cabot on 24 June,
>1497.  At the port we visited a replica of the "Matthew", Cabot's
>boat; the Mockbeggar property, the premises of a merchant; and
>had lunch catered by the Methodist church women of Bonavista.
>This lunch was several of which were accompanied by
>entertainment, a man on a guitar, one on the accordian, joined by
>members of our group who came up on stage and played various
>"instruments", including a broom! One of the funniest performers
>was  elderly Mr. Johnst, who was attired in a dress and lip
>sinced to a woman's voice.
>We also visited the "Ryan Premises", originally th headquarters
>of a merchant family, now a museum, where, in addition to seeing
>the wonderful displays, ship models, etc., we met the mayor of
>Bonavista, a robust blone woman who had met and shook hands with
>the Queen of England several years ago, during the anniversary of
>Cabot's discovery. And I shook hands with the mayor.  How
>exciting can you get.  A group of musicians entertained us here.
>Dinner that night was prepared by St.Peter's Anglican church
>choir of Bonavista.
>We reurned to Bonavista, stopping along the rugged, scenic coast
>near the lighthouse, which we visited. We also visited Trinity, a
>village which featured a very good museum and talk in the
>interpretation center, a visit to St. Pauls' Church, a "handsome
>interpretaiton of Gothic Revival style", a design said to be
>"carefully studied, highly sophisticated and graceful"; Church of
>the Most Holy Trinity, 1833, reputedly the oldest standing church
>in Nfld.; and two very nice gift shops, It rained while we here,
>the low clouds adding to the beauty of the land and sea scapes.
>A wonderful dinner here catered by the Anglican church women of
>St. Paul's Church, Trinity.  Our last day took us to "Elliston".
>the "root cellar capital of Newfoundland", said to be unique in
>the number of cellars that it has, these structures, buit into
>the ground, used to store potatoes, turnips, beets, cabbage, and
>neats.  We visited some that were being restored.  Lovely coastal
>scenery here.  Elliston hosts an annual festival.
>As with many other places in Newfoundland, it is a means of
>brings in money from tourists.   We had lunch prepared by th
>Elliston Tourism Association, and supper done by the Bethany
>United Church Women of Catalina.   In all aspects, a wonderful
>experience.  The people of this area are wonderful, entertaining
>and hospitable. The speakers were very informative, and Murray,
>the bus driver, a real "peach".  Our leader was Iva Duffet, a
>native of this area, and a grand person.  Very winning and able
>in handling our needs on a daily basis.  The participants were
>all very nice people, and I even met a woman, Irene, who had
>lived in my hometown, Garfield, NJ, for a few years.    Murray
>took most of us to St. John's airport, the cost for this trip $20
>[for about 180 miles].  Dorothy and I returned home, while others
>went to other destinations, including the west coast of
>Newfoundland and the old Viking settlement.
>Walter Nebiker
>Center for Studies of the Future: Las Vegas program
>"Robert H Stewart" 
>This Elderhostel was held at the Imperial Palace Hotel in Las
>Vegas. Unless you are a hardy Elderhosteler we cannot recommend
>these accomodations. In order to reach anything, your room, the
>classrooms where classes are held, the restaurtants, etc. -
>anything - you must first locate the elevators servicing your
>required floors and then cross the casino....every time! Remember
>Nevada has no nonsmoking laws. It's a lot like breathing the old
>airlines recycled air 24 hours a day. The EH program itself is
>interesting and the speakers we were able to hear before dropping
>out were competent. The coordinator and hotel staff were busy but
>accomodating. It is the crowded elevator trips and long walks to
>and from everything, plus waiting in lines for buffet
>massproduced food that definitely turned us off.
>If you like crowds, 24 hours a day, and don't mind numerous
>elevator trips, go ahead. we regret we attempted this but Las
>Vegas has to be seen to be believed. Someone said the Univ. of
>Nevada at Las Vegas has a good Elderhostel, near or on campus.
>Callie and Bob
>  Theatre Week in Toronto
>  rbranchor@juno.com
>In September (2000) I attended an Elderhostel  theatre week in
>Toronto and I give it  a mixed review. On the plus side -
>excellent lecturers, all from the lively Toronto theatre scene  -
>actors, directors, producers. The down side - really dreadful
>seats - an unforgivable 5th balcony for a production of Twelfth
>Night , faroff  balcony seats for Pinter's intimate drama
>Betrayal. And the worst possible date for a look at a new play by
>a very young playwright - the very first preview.
>The price of this 5-day week was almost double that of the usual
>US and Canada Elderhostels, so one would think the Toronto
>planners didn't have to scrimp and save on tickets - especially
>since the American dollar  is worth $1.50 in Canada. The program
>itself was poorly coordinated :   the bus that was supposed to
>come, didn't, and the lecturer who was supposed to lecture  had
>no idea he was scheduled to lecture.
>Accomodations at a well-located Quality Inn - almost on the
>campus of the University of Toronto - were excellent with super
>hot showers , sensational water pressure. But the food left a lot
>to be desired - no salads at all the first few days and then
>skimpy bits of lettuce now and then   and only after pleading for
>salads by assorted Elderhostelers.   And at breakfast time, no
>orange juice or any other juice, no choice of skim as well as
>regular milk, no fresh fruit .
>O Canada, is this a way to treat a good neighbor ?
>Lakeshore Resort-Free Man House--Branson, Missouri-
>September, 2000
>SITE: Very well maintained gounds on Lake Taneycomo, about 3
>miles from downtown Branson. Individual cottage/motel type units;
>  boat dock and fishing pier, swings, playlots; centralized
>building for social/dining/classroom needs,comfortable walking
>distance from sleeping quarters; outdoor swimming pool; outdoor
>easily accessible ice/pop machine; parking in front of each
>individual unit
>ACCOMMODATIONS:   Several varieties--we had a two room
>housekeeping unit (with refrigerator/freezer/microwave/cable TV)
>ouside deck with table and chairs;  bedroom with two double beds
>and  small bathroom adjacent;  unit had an adjustable
>air-conditioner and space heater (this site can be quite humid in
>the morning because of waterfront and many trees, but when the
>sun shows--it's very pleasant)The unit is immaculately clean and
>you are expected to keep it that way while you are there;  YOU
>change your own towels and linen in the main office as often as
>you need to; maid service, if you request it, is available
>Other units were larger, newly remodeled (some newly built) and
>furnished with good quality  furniture
>FOOD:   Daily breakfast and lunch in the dining room (limited
>menu, but you can request special items you need)  Dinner is also
>limited, but we did eat out several times before evening shows at
>various restaurants (BBQ Smorgy, Lawrence Welk Complex before
>show, Hot smorgy on boat cruise) CLASSROOM:  It was the dining
>room converted into classroom with a very comfortable fireplace
>to take out chill and windows exposing a gorgeous outdoor
>COURSES:  Co-ordinated with the Branson Shows/Music scene viz.
>Spirituality presented by a very interesting combination retired
>entertainer/comedian and presently active preacher ---VERY
>EFFECTIVE DAILY START;  the MC from the Presley Jamboree Show who
>gave excellent historical background of Branson and entertained
>us with a great singing voice; a couple (husband and wife) from
>the Baldknobbers Show- She demonstrated violin repairing and then
>sang beautifully while he accompanied her with guitar and smiling
>face; one of the executives from the Baldknobbers Show (a retired
>performer from the original cast) also gave us a historical
>perspective of Branson and the show business development; the
>KITCHEN BAND with washboard, kitchen utensils, etc. entertained
>us one evening as part of the Baldknobbers influence on Branson;
>country dances lecture by a professor from the U. of Missouri;
>Tony Mend.... a thalidomide victim with no arms (he has a
>headline show of his own on the strip) who plays stringed
>instruments with his toes---he also talked about his very moving
>experience in Los Angeles (in the 80's) when the Pope visited and
>broke the procession rank to kiss and hug Tony (this was viewed
>by millions throughout the world)---Tony's life was forever
>changed by this and now Tony entertains throughout the entire
>world with top stars in the entertainment world
>FIELD TRIPS:   Evening Shows viz. the Presley Country Review; the
>Lawrence Welk Show (Lennon Sisters, Jack Imel,  and JoAnn Castle
>plus a cast of young up and coming entertainers; Henning State
>Park hike featuring Missouri Glades (hillsides); Fish Hatchery
>(which supplies Lake Taneycomo with an endless supply of fish you
>can catch from the dock at the Free Man House;  a Lake Tanneycomo
>afternoon/evening cruise with supper and vocal entertainment
>DIRECTORS: TOP NOTCH ----Andy and his wonderful Wife(the
>chef/cook) as well as daughter and in-laws couldn't do enough to
>meet our every whim/need.  Andy took one of the best group
>pictures I've experienced in 25 Elderhostels.   Andy assisted all
>in booking of shows not included in our program.
>N.B.  A number of us flew into the Springfield, Mo airport.
>Grayline provided a shuttle service ($20.00) directly to your
>unit door.  Instead of having a car, we decided to use the local
>shuttle service Andy recommended;  it was great (except one time)
>to get you to and from the shows without putting up with the
>nightmare driving problems in Branson---and the fee was very
>reasonable (based on distance to/from shows/destinations)
>OVERALL EVALUATION:  This is the way to experience Branson (my
>next visit will be for the Christmas shows--Andy does schedule
>Elderhostel  programs for that time).      Handicapped persons
>might need more than usual assistance at this site since it is
>hilly and a lot of gravel paths. (We did have several people in
>the group who needed help.)  There are a couple of units with
>ramps.  I don't know whether all units were without grab bars in
>the bathroom; ours had none. Many in the group had cars and took
>in extra shows on their own.   We took in 4 extra shows, since we
>came a day early and stayed over an extra night (which was no
>problem for the hosts to arrange). If you have any specific
>concerns/questions about this program/site     contact me your
>Elderhostel Junkie Leonard Rogus   at  e mail
>lmjr34@yahoo.com HAPPY ELDERHOSTELING TO ALL!!!
>Discover Ipswich and Cape Ann
>October 15-20 2000 (Five Night Program)
> From Helen Sternheim (Helen@k12s.phast.umass.edu)
>Explore one of New England's best kept secrets: Ipswich and Cape
>Ann. Founded in 1633, Ipswich was a leader in the Puritan plan to
>settle the New World, and for 100 years was second only to Boston
>in importance. With more 17th century houses than any town in the
>US, Ipswich is a living heritage museum. Through lectures and
>field trips, learn about Cape Ann, its historic coastline, and
>its centuries-old industries of fishing, mills, and shipbuilding.
>Meet local people who will share their maritime history and art.
>Discover the hidden beauty of this area. Study the ecosystems of
>the coastal salt marshes, the Ipswich River, and the barrier
>beaches. Learn how conservationists are fighting to preserve this
>beautiful but fragile environment.
>My husband and I just returned from this Elderhostel, our 24th.
>The program was great and just as promised if not more than the
>brief description about suggests.
>Our group of 42 participants stayed at the Atlantis Motor Inn in
>Gloucester MA.  The rooms were very large and each had two double
>beds.  Every room had a balcony that overlooked the rocks and the
>ocean.  Breakfast was served each morning at the motel and you
>had juice, coffee a muffin and a choice of Oatmeal or a cold
>cereal. Our coordinator provided grapes and bananas at our
>morning coffee break to supplement the breakfast menu.
>We then met in the parking lot for an outing each day.  On Monday
>we toured Ipswich and visited a graveyard, modern church, the
>historical society and an historic house.  At each location a
>docent told us about the facility. We had a delicious box lunch
>at the church.  On Tuesday we visited Gloucester and the Cape Ann
>Historical Museum, The Gloucester Fish Auction and the Schooner
>Adventure.  Lunch was at a restaurant adjacent to the Fish
>Auction.  On Wednesday we visited the Essex Shipbuilding museum.
>There was an interactive discussion, museum tour and hands on
>activities.  We had a box lunch here and then took off for our
>free afternoon.  On Thursday we visited Crane Beach in Ipswich
>and some interesting houses.  We had a lunch of clam chowder and
>crab cakes at the Ipswich Shellfish Company and then had a tour
>of the facility.   Between the fish auction on Tuesday and the
>shellfish company on Thursday we learned how fresh and frozen
>fish makes it to our local markets and restaurants.  On Friday we
>visited Fort Hill Park in Gloucester and returned to the Cape Ann
>Historical museum to tour and learn about the parts we missed on
>Tuesday.  Everyday was busy and very educational.
>We had dinner at two restaurants in Gloucester and Rockport and
>had a choice of fish or other entrees every night.  Our final
>dinner was a choice of Lobster or Steak or chicken.  The portions
>were very generous and the meals were very good.
>On Monday evening we had a talk about Gloucester to prepare us
>for our Tuesday outing.  On Tuesday evening we had a discussion
>about the book and movie "The Perfect Storm".  On Wednesday
>evening one of our three excellent coordinators treated us to an
>evening of folk songs.  Our program ended by 8:45 PM each evening
>and we all returned to our rooms tired but satisfied.
>We had three excellent coordinators who shared the job of taking
>us to the various locations and keeping us informed on the way.
>They all were very caring and we all enjoyed knowing them.  I
>would heartily recommend this program.
>Dixie College, St Charles, Utah  (golf-geology -theatre)
>We spent the last week of September in St Charles, Utah, at an
>Elderhostel sponsored by Dixie College.The subjects were golf,
>geology and theater. There were two groups at this Elderhostel.
>The other group was doing golf, geology and hiking. The two
>groups were basically combined except when we had discussions
>about theater and they had extra hikes.
>Each morning we had two hours of golf instruction at the Entrada
>Golf Academy. The group instruction was very well done, so each
>individual received attention and help. We also had time to play
>on our own at least one afternoon. On Thursday we had a scramble
>and all played nine holes. There was time to play more if you
>wanted to. I was especially impressed with the golf instruction
>and the help we received. On Monday afternoon we had a basic
>class in the geology of the area and then went on a hike through
>a couple of the canyons that surround the St. George area. It is
>really a spectacular area and worth seeing. In the geology area,
>we all took a bus to Zion National Park on Friday and had a
>couple of guided hikes through this great park.
>Our group had a class on the play "Driving Miss Daisy" and some
>of the technical aspects of the play as compared to the movie.
>The next day we went to Cedar City to see the play as presented
>by the group from the Utah Shakespeare Festival. It was very well
>done and was an enjoyable experience. One night we took the bus
>to a casino just over the Nevada State line for dinner and some
>gambling. We were also taken to see some petroglyphs and to see a
>recent dig where some dinosaur prints have been found and have
>received major publicity. In spite of all these activities we had
>time to do some exploring in St. George on our own.
>The accommodations were in the Dixie College Elderhostel Center,
>which is an older girls dorm that had been converted to a small
>conference center. The rooms were clean, had private baths with
>showers, and were very adequate. Breakfast was continental style
>in the conference center. Lunch was either at the Dixie College
>cafeteria or was a box lunch when we went on excursions. When we
>went to the theater we were taken to a very nice restaurant.
>Dinners were served in the cafeteria and were average. As the
>coordinator said, we found many ways to serve chicken. The staff
>was outstanding. The coordinators were always there and
>participating in the activities and are to be commended for
>keeping everything moving as it was planned. All in all, this was
>a very busy week and most enjoyable. I would advise anybody that
>is interested in golf that this is an excellent way to improve
>your skills or to learn the game-if you are new at the game.
>Bud Hall