>       Elderhostel Notebook #78, Dec. 3,  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
>It was moving time this week-end as Elderhostel moved a few
>blocks to its new headquarters at
>11 Avenue de Lafayette
>Boston, MA 02111-1746
>Congratulations on your new digs- hope their move isn't as
>confusing and hectic as most of ours are.
>Our  mystery writer, Peter Arbesch, tells us his latest
>Elderhostel Jim Dandy mystery,  Tip A Canoe, will be available in
>January in the book stores and we can preview it at
>One of our participants at our last program (see the Miami Book
>Fair review) has a suggestion regarding the publications of
>Elderhostel catalogs like the new Spring 2001 catalog just out.
>She would like the catalog to include a calendar covering the
>time period covered by the catalog to assist some of us in our
>scheduling especially when we haven't set up our 2001 personal
>calendar yet.
>Through procastination or just the 1930's lingering mind set to
>wait until something is on sale or discounted, we  haven't bought
>and set  ours up yet either. Maybe it's the old saw about not
>buying green bananas past a certain age. I hope not.
>    Dialogue
>From: BAHamm@webtv.net (Billie A. Hamm)
>Subject:Galveston weather
>hi--just getting around to reading ED --we were in Galvaeston
>last January-mid month was windy and cool. Needed coat, gloves
>etc. would take layers if i were you. very windy--made wind chill
>factor down even tho temp. was maybe in the 50s. hope this helps.
>Subj:   Greece Adventures Afloat
>From:   RLivsey@brobeck.com
>We are interested in going on an adventures afloat trip to Greece
>in the Spring. Would appreciate any information on any of the
>trips offered. Thanks.
>Bob Livsey
>From:   larrya19@hotmail.com
>I am contemplating registration in one of two EH programs in the
>spring of 2001--
>One at Lincoln Memorial University/Cumberland Gap, TN and the
>other at Emporia State University, Emporia, KS. Does anyone have
>any other informatin that you can share with me about these two
>EH sites and programs?
>From: JoyceHH@aol.com
>Has anyone gone to China and Tibet with Elderhostel? My husband
>and I are thinking of going in April. Any information would be
>Would appreciate perspectives (personal or second-hand) on  the
>Program in Germany: "From Bavarian to Bauhaus".with stays in
>Munich, Bamberg,Weimar and Berlin.
>Ron Olsen
>I would appreciate any feedback on the Elderhostel trips to
>Northern and Southern India. Were the well run? What is the best
>time of year? How were the accomodations? Thanks.
>Martin Litke
>    Program Reviews
>       Georgia Southwestern -  Barrier Islands- Okefenokee
>       Arts of the Veneto: Padua and Venice
>       Great Camp Sagamore,  New York State
>       Central Arizona College - King's Ranch, Apache Junction
>       Barry University Miami International Book Fair- 2000
>Georgia Southwestern -  Barrier Islands- Okefenokee
>St. Marys, Georgia, Georgia Barrier Islands, Amelia Island,
>King's Bay Naval Base
>November 11 - 17, 2000
>This year we thought we would give Elderhostel a try - our first.
>  Since this course was within driving distance, it seemed
>logical.  Plus, neither of us had ever been to any of the locales
>covered. Our destination was St. Marys, Georgia with excursions
>to the Georgia and Florida Barrier Islands, the Okefenokee Swamp
>and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. This Elderhostel program was
>given by Georgia Southwestern State University, and our Course
>Director and Leader, Tom Murray, did a fabulous job.
>St. Marys claims to be the second oldest U.S. town and has been
>voted as the nicest small town in our nation  by Money Magazine.
>And so it is.  Tree lined streets, old houses of varied
>architecture, some of them now converted into B  it is crammed
>with history.  Just a stone's throw north from the Florida border.
>After our Orientation meeting and first dinner together in a
>conference room (catered by Ulysses who made sure we sampled
>every bit of Southern cooking) we were entertained by Roland
>Loveless of St. Augustine who put on a one-man-show as "Henry
>Flagler". He did a superb job, told us all about his life and
>accomplishments, such as building fancy hotels and a railroad all
>the way to Key West. I think he is a frustrated actor. Another
>evening featured a lady from St. Augustine who brought several
>rare and interesting musical instruments which she all played and
>sang to beautifully.  Among others a dulcimer and a plain wood
>saw.  She caused quite a stir going to a hardware store and
>testing the sounds of their saws.
>After we had a thorough overview of the local history, our first
>outing was to Cumberland Island, one of the barrier islands which
>adorn Georgia offshore like a necklace. A ferry boat ride of 45
>minutes got us there and much hiking was involved..
>The entire area around St. Marys and the Barrier Islands is "Low
>Country", meaning there are marshes everywhere.  These islands
>are also known as "The Golden Isles" because the setting sun on
>these marshes makes them appear like molten gold For thousands of
>years people have lived on all of the islands..  The southern
>part of the 17 mile long island is in care of the National Park
>Service.  The northern part has homes, a hotel and a tiny church
>built by slaves in which JFK Jr. was married.
>On our second day we boarded a bus and drove to Amelia Island
>which is a barrier island on the most northern tip of Eastern
>Florida.  The town on Amelia Island is Fernandina Beach.  On the
>way we were able to get a good look at the Aircraft Carrier John
>F. Kennedy. We had a guided tour of a church and several B 
>which we were allowed to visit. All beautiful old Victorian
>homes, lovingly restored, air-conditioned, and decorated with
>great care.  Some of the bedrooms were stunning.  But I saw beds
>so high, I would imagine you need a stepstool or a small ladder
>to get into one of them!  Or else you need to take the
>opportunity when your mate is kneeling in prayer to climb over
>him/her to get into bed!
>We visited St. Simons, Jekyll and Sea Island as well.  These
>three islands are, from what we could ascertain, vacation spots
>for the wealthy but also affordable for the middle class. There
>are gorgeous homes, fancy hotels, great golf courses, beautiful
>beaches and generally would attract the monied crowd - much like
>Newport, R.I. The Cloisters on Sea Island is the pearl of all of
>the hotels.
>Thursday dawned and we were headed for the Okefenokee Swamp. We
>did not know what to expect.
>Our bus dropped us at a Swamp Marina at the Eastern Entrance to
>the National Park. There were several boats tied up.  One I
>thought was particularly humorous, it had card table chars on it.
>Others had fixed swivel-chairs on a fairly flat boat......seating
>about 12. And off we went into a most breathtaking
>experience.......one I shall never forget.
>The boat's motor was rather quiet.....and since you are in total
>wilderness, this was important......not like those airboat rides
>in the Everglades where they hand out ear plugs. We saw egrets,
>white ibis, turkey vultures, sand cranes, herons, beautiful
>flowers, and I understand in the spring time you even see orchids
>growing. There are deer, bobcats, bears, snakes and many,  many
>alligators - we saw about 20 of them - all sizes. The whole group
>was enchanted by this experience.  After our boat ride we walked
>a trail and saw other animals, trees, and nature at its very
>purest. There were a few settlers who lived in the swamp (on an
>island) - aside from refugees from the law and escaped slaves who
>hid in the swamp.
>It was a real thrill to see firsthand where Pogo called
>home.......it is a beautiful piece of the United States and well
>worth a visit.  We understand that the Western part of the swamp
>is different in character, more mysterious with more dense
>vegetation.  This one day excursion alone made the whole trip
>We had all our dinners at the motel conference room - a catered
>affair by Ulysses - and I had my first taste of collard greens.
>A variation on spinach, in my opinion.  After dinner there always
>was entertainment.
>All in all, it was a wonderful week even though Bill was not able
>to go along the more lengthy hikes.  Walking seems to be the
>thing when you join an Elderhostel program. I know one day I
>walked 7 miles plus.  And it felt great!  We came away knowing so
>much more about the South-East corner of Georgia and we did learn
>a lot.
>         Arts of the Veneto: Padua and Venice
>         Sunday, November 26, 2000 9:15:58 AM
>         fdben@bellatlantic.net
>We attended this program (60450) in Oct/Nov 2000. It was a
>delight. Very well organized in the manner expected of a Trinity
>College program. Tour leader (Bianca)and assistant (Sebastian)
>were outstanding. Lots of extras, like two special concerts for
>us in Venice and free passes on the vaporettos. Excellent
>lectures and fine guides on field trips. For lovers of
>Renaissance art and architecture this was a treasure.
>We thought there would be too much emphasis on Padua, which we
>really enjoyed but didn't think, in advance, woudl be deserving
>of a full week. However this did not turn out to be a probllem.
>We had two days away from Padua (in Ravenna - wonderful! - and
>out in the countryside viewing a Palladian Villa) and, in
>addition, all the excellent lectures for the Venice portion were
>given in Padua due to the lack of a lecture room at the hotel in
>Venice. This meant that we were able to have a full program of
>guided activities in Venice while at the same time we still had
>plenty of free time there. This is especially desirable in this
>wonderful city.
>We completely concur with the comments in EH Notebook #55 last
>year, except in our case we found the hotel rooms quite adequate
>in size. In Venice there are only a few rooms in the hotel proper
>and the rest are in an annex. Our room was in the hotel and was
>excellent, as were at least some in the annex, but I believe some
>people in the annex were less satisfied. Also some, but not we,
>had problems with mosquitoes in room. Suggest you bring
>repellent. Overall food was good, but not great. We thought it
>standard for EH. This ranks with one of the best EH programs we
>have attended, right up there with Sicily and southern Spain.
>Frank D. Benedict
>Great Camp Sagamore,  New York State
>  - Program 32839
>A Touch of Frost, Adironack Heritage, Woods Wisdom
>My husband Rich and I spent the first week in October at Great
>Camp Sagamore in the Adirondack Mountains located in the
>west-central region of the Adirondack State Park. Dating from
>1897, the camp was used by the Alfred G. Vanderbilt family for
>over 50 years.  Although there were three courses led by 4 staff
>from the conference/retreat center, the real subject was the
>great camps, the people who used them, and the environment of the
>area.  The instructors took advantage of all of the history,
>architecture and surrounding wilderness and lake to construct a
>wonderful week for 23 Elderhostelers.
>When was the last time you took a hike and stopped at appropriate
>places to hear recitations of the poetry of Robert Frost?  Or had
>a chance to paddle a war canoe?  Or sat in the same dining room
>formerly occupied by Margaret Emerson Vanderbilt and 70 of her
>closest friends?  Or bowled in an outdoor covered bowling alley
>made of local wood?  The week was chock full of interesting
>things to do and see.  You can be very active if you like -
>taking a hike around Lake Sagamore, canoeing every day,  taking
>tree-identification and  orienteering classes, playing croquet on
>the front lawn, etc.  Or you can relax, as some visitors did, on
>the Adirondack chairs or in the gaming lounges.  We also spent an
>afternoon at the fascinating Adirondack Museum, and some folks
>left a hike early so they could take a cruise on nearby Raquette
>The food was the best we've had on an Elderhostel program.
>Excellent chefs who were well-appreciated.  The accomodations
>varied.  We had a reasonable room with 2 beds in one of the
>lodges.  Those who stayed in the Great Lodge - a cross between a
>log cabin and a Swiss Chalet (covered with birch bark and
>decorated with huge spruce logs) had a variety of rooms from
>small to extra large (the former nursery).  Most of us shared
>bathrooms, which was not as bad as I had expected.  It was worth
>it to have the opportunity to experience this historic site with
>27-buildings that have been lovingly restored by friends of the
>great camps.
>Thanks to Jamie, the coordinator and an official wilderness
>guide, and Jeff Flagg, a poet and environmentalist, for being so
>genuinely interested in making the 5 days interesting for all of
>us.  There were several evening programs as well, including a
>film about the great camps and a song and  story night from a
>local folk singer and storyteller. We also picked the best week -
>the trees were at their peak of fall color.   We highly recommend
>Sagamore as an excellent site for Elderhostel programs.  Check
>out Sagamore's Web site at http://www.sagamore.org/ .
>-Hannah Kaufman
>  Lawrenceville, NJ
>  hannahk@princeton.edu
>Central Arizona College - King's Ranch, Apache Junction
>  - Sonoran Desert Field Studies
>  Feb 27-March 3, 2000
>This was our 16th EH and I would give it a 4 out of a possible
>10.  The location was the best part, very near the Superstition
>Mountains.  We took a shuttle bus from the Phoenix airport ($30
>for 2 persons).  We were housed in small cabins or "casitas",
>with a short walk to the dining room and classrooms.  Breakfast
>was continental style.  Lunch and dinner were served buffet but
>no choice.  Fresh fruit, lemonade and iced tea were available all
>The coordinators, a mother and daughter, were rarely around and
>not well organized - no get-acquainted session, no biographies or
>introductions of speakers, no suggestions of what to do on our
>afternoon and evening off, and no cameraderie with older adults.
>There was one field trip, on a bus so old we weren't sure we'd
>get to the Boyce Thompson Southwest Arboretum.  Since the desert
>flora and fauna was what we studied all week, it would have been
>nice to have a change of pace on a side trip instead of more of
>the same.  We also had classes on cowboys, but only one session
>actually dealt with cowboys,  the other two covering the history
>of the horse and the Spanish conquest of Arizona.
>Two evenings David Morris, a half-Choctaw with a great sense of
>humor, talked to us about Native Americans in Arizona.   Another
>evening an honorary member of several Indian tribes sang and
>played the drums.
>Two classes were scheduled on Arizona and Art, but the teacher
>was there only once.  Her slides  were out of focus and she did
>not show up for the second session.
>But the setting and Elderhostelers were wonderful.
>Barry University Miami International Book Fair- 2000
>November, 2000
>The Miami International Book Fair is held annualy in Miami. This
>was the 17th annual fair and the second consectuitive one that
>Barry University has used as a basis for an elderhostel program.
>The Fair drew some 250 authors and 300 exhibitors to Miami Dade
>Community college and the surrounding area in downtown Miami
>attracting some several hundred thousand visitors during this
>week-long affair with most visitors and the 50+ Elderhostel
>program participants concentrated in the Thursday--Sunday portion
>of the fair.
>There were a series of day-long panel discussions, readings, and
>other activities using the facilites of the comminuty college in
>its three large campus buildings in the area.
>                     Miami Book Fair Elderhostel
>               White topped
>               Bookworms gather
>               To feed on leaves of thought;
>               Choosing, tasting, gnawing, they feast
>               And grow.
>The Barry University program ran from Wednesday evening through
>Monday morning with one day of classses at Barry University
>Campus on the out skirts of Miami.  Other classes and
>accomodations were at at the Bayside Best Western Motel adjacent
>to the Miami Dade Community College campus and the downtown
>streets used in the fair and across Biscayne Blvd from Biscayne
>Bay, an ideal location for experiencing the fair and the
>"Chamber of Commerce " weather of sunshine and 70-80 degrees
>during the fair.
>                  Girl at Biscayne Bay
>              Red sweatered,
>              Dangling bare feet,
>              She sits on the warm dock
>              Watching the wet Pelican stretch
>              And preen.
>Besides the classes on reading literature and some limited
>disucssion Monday at the hotel, the program included a bus tour
>of the city and a boat tour of the bay. Most of the program
>consisted on participants independently attending the fair during
>the day and as a group for several evening presentations.
>All breakfasts were at the hotel breakfast buffet, offering a
>wide choice of dishes.  Several evening meals and lunches were
>also at the motel served buffet style. One meal was across the
>street at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, a hoaky tourist oriented
>establishement on the bay.  A unique feature for several other
>meals was a cash allowance to allow participants to schedule
>their meals around fair events. All accomodations and meals were
>well organized and everything went smoothly.
>The instruction from Barry university staff was excellent, the
>coordinators friendly, available, and effective. Perhaps the one
>thing that was missing that most hostelers look forward to was
>more opportunity to meet with and exchange views with other
>participants, but it is hard to see how this could be more
>widespread, given the nature of the program.
>I understand that the program will be repeated next year with an
>optional early session on Florida Mystery Writers conducted in
>the more traditional Elderhostel program style.
>About 12 of the participants were repeats from last year and
>several expressed their intent of making this an annual event for
>them. They were concerned that some elements of the Barry U
>program were repetitive from last year although they noted
>changes from last year in response to some of their concerns
>about that program.  I suspect their concerns were heard and
>modifications  will be made for next year, as it was very evident
>that the coordinator was determined to make this and other Barry
>University Elderhostel programs as successful and responsive to
>participants needs and concerns as possible.