Elderhostel Notebook #86 May 4,  2001

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

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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

I am a little behind again and have built up a reserve file so
the next issue will probably come out fairly soon, probably late
next week.

    Comments and Queries

From: 	SUZIKUKAR@aol.com

Would like information on recent experiences with programs in
Sicily or Venice area.


From: "Bill K. Power" billpower7@home.com

I would appreciate information on any Elderhostel program or
similar one on editing digital camcorder movies on a personal


Subj: 	Elderhostel trip to northern india

From: 	managed@yahoo.com

has anyone recently gone on the Elderhostel trip to Northern
India- Crossroads and their comments? thank you.


From: 	VMacEwen@worldnet.att.net

We are planning to take the "Trinidad and Tobago Birding" trip in
January.  Would love to hear from someone who has taken that

Virginia MacEwen vmacewen@att.net

Subj: 	Kenya

From: 	bethb@juneau.lib.ak.us

Has anyone out there has a recent report on the EH to Kenya? Or
OAS to Kenya/Tanzania? Would appreciate any comments. Willing to
share info on the EH's I've attended in France, China, Galapagos,
Antarctica if anyone interested. (Also Turkey with SAGA). Thanks
for any input.

Subj: 	Le Moyne, NY Elderhostel

From: 	martlit@earthlink.net

Has anyone experienced the EH at LeMoyne New York?
Would appreciate any input.

Martin Litke


From: SawtellCarolee@aol.com

We would like information regarding the weather in Sorrento and
the Amalfi Coast in mid-December. We have signed up for an EH
trip at that time. Because of unwillingness to take too much
luggage I'd like to know what to bring. Saw a segment of a
program on the Travel Channel taken in October and everyone was
wearing heavy jackets. Guidebooks refer to the area as
"semi-tropical". Any information will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

  Carol Sawtell

From: SundDayRes@aol.com

Our EH site, Colorado State University, is offering a short
course that takes advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,
an exhibit on "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough
Riders" at the Colorado State Historical Society Museum in
Denver. This presentation was assembled by the Royal Armouries
Museum in Leeds, England, and displays many items never before
shown to the general public.  We are combining the exhibit with
a trip to the Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum on Lookout Mountain
west of Denver.

The other days will be filled with trips to the gold and silver
mining towns of Central City, Idaho Springs, and Georgetown,

The course titled "Trains, Mines, and Buffalo Bill's Wild West"
is listed on Elderhostel's website by the course number
06157-0524-01, and runs May 24-27 out of the Comfort Suites DIA
near the Denver airport.

Inquiries may be E-mailed to Wayne C. Sundberg, program
coordinator, at sunddayres@aol.com.

Subj: 	South India: History and Culture

From: 	swhutman@earthlink.net

Has anyone taken this trip? I'd love some feedback, particularly:

a.. ratio of classroom lectures to excursions. Having been to
Rajastan, I know how much there is to see in India and don't want
to spend more time in the classroom than on site visits.

b.. quality of accomodations and food

c.. weather, if you were there late November/first two weeks of

d.. any other comments you have.

Thank you very much. Sheila Hutman

From: 	JPP1939@aol.com

We are new Elderhostelers and have attended only one (Museums of
Balboa Park/San Diego State U.) which was excellent. Everything
you would expect from a museum complex from art and airplanes to
the zoo and zeppelins. Beautiful gardens and architecture.
Knowledgeable and fun presenters, hosts and leader. Hotel in Old
Town was fine, food was adequate. Lots of good restaurants w/in
walking distance in Old Town. If attending in the winter months
(we were there in January) a couple of additional days for a
whale watching cruise and a visit to Cabrillo National Monument
are highly recommended.


    Program Reviews

       Historic Yellow Springs, PA
       University of Arizona, Nogales, Birdwatching
       Native American Heritage In Oklahoma
       Impressionists of Normandy, the Seine and Paris
       Mammoth Cave KY
       New Orleans Signature City Elderhostel

Historic Yellow Springs
April 22-27, 2001

I attended an Elderhostel run by Historic Yellow Springs in
Chester Springs, PA.  The 3  courses were:

1- Art   Gardens of Brandywine Valley

2- Mansions along the Delaware and the Quaker Experience

3- Yellow Springs: A Living Colonial Village and Spa.

This was an informative and well run Elderhostel.  Field trips
included Historic Yellow Springs, Brandywine Museum, Longwood
Gardens, William Penn's restored manor, and Margaret Grundy home.
 The presenters of the classroom sessions were excellent.

Accommodations were at the Best Western Hotel and Conference
Center in Exton, PA, a top notch place.  Very good buffet meals
were at the Best Western except 3 lunches and one very special
dinner at the Inn at Yellow Springs, which included professional
entertainment.  Friday mornings Special Program was entitled
"Mistic, Magic, and Malarkey."  It was very enjoyable.  this was
my 27th Elderhostel and one of the best.  I highly recommend it.

Bob Royle (bobroyle@aol.com)


The Pacific Flyway: Birding and  Natural History
  University of Arizona, Nogales
April 1-7, 2001

Wanda Tucker and her staff at Nogales have been running
elderhostels at Nogales for a long time.  We first attended a
program there nine years ago.  They were very good then and they
haven't lost their touch.  This was a first rate program I would
recommend to anyone interested in natural history.

Breakfasts and dinners were served buffet style at the Days Inn
motel where we were lodged.  The motel was comfortable but not as
luxurious as the one where programs were held some years ago.
The meals were good.  I give both lodging and food a grade of B.

On Monday we had classes at the motel.  The rest of the week was
devoted to field trips, mainly in the vicinity of the Nature
Conservancy Sanctuary near Patagonia, AZ.  This is an outstanding
area for birding, and we were able to observe many species new to
us.  Our instructor and guide, Matt Brown, was outstanding.  This
part of the program warrants an A+.

As a bonus, we had classes on making salsa, cowboy music, and an
afternoon having lunch and shopping in Nogales, Sonora.

The Elderhostel staff and the Days Inn personnel went out of
their way to be hospitable.  It is true that Nogales is a bit out
of the way for most elderhostelers, but the journey is worth it.

Lew Ward,  email: lward@darkwing.uoregon.edu


University of Oklahoma:
Native American Heritage In Oklahoma
A Traveling Program:

This program is a MUST for anyone who has any interest in Native
American history and culture.  We spent the week on the go.  Only
once, did we return to the same hotel as the night before.  We
stayed in four different hotels during the week, two of them in
Oklahoma State Parks.  All were very comfortable.  The week's
program was very well organized and went off without a hitch.  It
also included some lectures and videos on the bus while we were

Sunday:  We met in Norman at the Sooner Hotel on the university
campus.  We had the usual welcome dinner and orientation.

Monday: Campus tour, then on to Anadarko where we visited the
National Native American Hall of Fame - a collection of busts of
people who are important to the history of Oklahoma Indians;
Indian City - an excellent guided tour through a collection of
Indian Villages that show the variety domiciles used by the
Indians before the arrival of the Europeans.  Lunch in a unique,
old fashioned Soda Fountain where we could order from an
extensive menu.  That evening we were at Roman Nose State Lodge
for dinner and a discussion of "Cheyenne Life" by Quentin Roman

Tuesday:  A presentation of the "Battle of Washita".  Then we
left Roman Nose Lodge and went on to Guthrie where we had another
great lunch at a unique restaurant, toured the city and visited
the Territorial Museum.  That evening we stayed in Ponca City at
the Rose Stone Inn, a very interesting hotel that had been
converted from an old bank.  After dinner, the hotel proprietor
told us the story of the Ponca Indians who were moved to the area
from the Niobrara River valley in Nebraska, particularly the
story of Standing Bull, who returned to the Niobrara and sued the
US Army and won the right to stay in his home river valley.

Wednesday:  After breakfast we visited the Standing Bear Statue
and park then traveled on to Pawhuska where we visited the Osage
Tribal Museum.  The Osage Tribe became rich from oil on their
reservation.  Next we went to Hominy where we toured the many
murals that have been painted by our tour master, Cha' Tullis, an
Indian artist who is as interesting as his art.  Another huge
lunch at a remote and interesting restaurant and then some time
at the Cha' Tullis art store.  Then we went on to Tulsa and had a
docent tour of part of the huge Gilcrease Museum.  Next stop,
Western Hills Guest Ranch, a state resort lodge on a large
reservoir near Wagoner for dinner and the nights lodging.  We had
some free time after dinner.  It was a very nice place to
explore, but most of us retreated to our rooms.

Thursday:  After breakfast we learned about removal of the "five
civilized tribes" from their homelands and particularly the
"trail of tears" of the Cherokees.  Then we went to Tahlequah to
visit the Cherokee Heritage Center, a model village.  We got very
involved in demonstrations of how arrow heads were chipped out of
stone, creation of blow guns and the darts that they shot and
some Indian games, so we were a little late for another huge
lunch at the Restaurant of the Cherokees, but we enjoyed it
anyway.  Next stop: Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee.
Then to Bacone College and its Ataloa Lodge, a little unknown
museum that has some really rare and interesting displays.  Then
we ate dinner at the college dining hall.  The college was
originally established to serve the American Indians but we saw a
dining hall bustling with more African Americans and Hispanics
than Indians.  It was very interesting and the food looked good
but we were all so full that most us could only muster our way to
the salad bar.  This was the one night that we returned to the
same rooms we had had the night before.

Friday:  Visited the Creek Council House in Okmulgee and then
returned to Oklahoma City, stopping at a Luby's Cafeteria along
the way for lunch.  We visited the Cowboy Hall of Fame and then
returned to the Sooner Hotel where we had started in Norman.
That evening we had our farewell banquet at the Commons
Restaurant and the next morning we headed for home.

Comment:  We enjoyed this Elderhostel as much as any of the 40
programs that we have attended.  We visited nooks and crannies of
the state that most Oklahomans couldn't find.  Next time you are
scanning the Catalog, don't be so quick to pass over Oklahoma.
This program is a real treasure and there might be some other
treasures there.

Grace and Bob McAllester


Impressionists of Normandy, the Seine and Paris

Three friends and I just finished a two week stay in France and 
thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  This was my 14th Elderhostel and 
my third outside the U.S.

We stayed in two wonderful French hotels and on a barge on the Seine. 
Because of the flooding France has experienced, we didn't actually 
cruise much, but we stayed on the barge for 7 nights and found it to 
be wonderful. Instead of going places on the barge we went by bus. 
The food and wine, especially on the barge, was exceptional.  The 
chefs on the barge produced meals that pleased the eye as well as the 

The hotels were wonderfully located in Rouen and in Paris.  In Rouen 
we were about a half a block from the big cathedral that Monet 
painted 28 times.  In Paris we were a block and a half from the 
Louve.  We visited Monet's home and gardens, Millet's home, and where 
Van Gogh lived with other poor artists.  We visited Honfleur, the 
coastal village where Monet and others painted, and toured Beaux Arts 
Museum, the Museum of Antiquities, Orsay Museum, Marmottan, Picasso 
Museum, and Montmartre.  We also visited Barbizon, Fontainebleau, and 
had guided tours of Rouen and Paris.  On our own we toured part of 
the Louve.

Our guides, Valerie in Roeun, and Eleanore Brisbois and Fanny Poirier 
were great.  They took care of us and made it fun.

We were also impressed with the Paris police.  My friend had her ATM 
card stolen and it was returned to her about half an hour later.  The 
police had staked out this particular ATM because so many tourists 
use it, so they had seen the man steal it and had followed him and 
arrested him and gotten the card back.  This got us rides in the 
police paddy wagon to go to the station to make a report.  The police 
were wonderful and even took our pictures in front of the paddy 
wagon!  We'll probably talk about this more than all the beautiful 
art we'd seen.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in France.  I 
didn't know much about art or impressionists but came home with an 
interest in France and its painters.

Ethel Quant

Mammoth Cave KY (active)
If you are not claustrophobic, like active programs and don't
fear heights, this program is great. Our group of 25 liked doing
things out of the ordinary and was kept on the go from morning to
night. Rooms at the Mammoth Cave Hotel overlooked the wooded park
and a well-maintained trail that was always open for walkers of
all abilities. Breakfast   lunch was buffet style - evening
served by staff. A dinner off-site at the 'Bookstore', ended with
a reading of park poetry by the local author.

Caves, cave lore, sink holes, became familiar phrases as we
explored various places above and below ground. Understanding of
how caves evolve and die was explained.. Half of our group
decided to try spelunking for an afternoon.(hard hats  
headlamps) It was strenuous, challenging and one did get dirty. I
found I liked sun and heat better than cool and dark. I'm glad I
did the 'Cave' bit and many thought it was the highlight. We had
options to hike, bike, take a boat trip or visit caves and sites
out of the National Park. I lost track of how many caves we
toured. Each day became a highlight.

Program coordinator, Sharon Woodward, made sure all went better
than we thought possible. She and park ranger, George,
entertained us with humor and insight into local events - past
and present. I suspect many of us felt our leaders created a
special feeling about area, people, and this course. If you are
interested in an unordianary active experience, I recommend this
EH course.

Jean Crowley


  Culinary and Wine Experience In Bayfield (Ontario Canada)
  Program # 66413 - 0311-01
  March 11-16,  2001


Living the Food and Wine Experience


Our day began at 8:00 am with a generous buffet breakfast
consisting if a choice of cereals, fresh and dried fruit, toast
from home made bread and home made jams and marmalade. Also
included were a several fruit juices and coffee and tea.

Following our breakfast our work began in preparing the remaining
two meals for the day.  The fifteen of us were divided into two
teams.   Our host and Elderhostel coordinator Richard Fitoussi
wisely arrange the teams by assigning one spouse or partner to
each team.

With instruction and supervision from Executive Chef Jean Jacques
Chappuis and Elizabeth Hess, Executive Sous Chef, we sat down
with our aprons, hair nets and latex gloves with our  individual
cutting boards, large chopping knives, peeler and paring knife to
prepared no less than nine different soups including Tomato  
Basil, Carrot   Ginger, Potato   Watercress, Lentil, Black Bean
Butternut Squash, Double Chicken Consomm, Game Hen Consomm and,
Clam Chowder.

We also prepared the main courses including such mouth watering
dishes as Braised Veal Roulade with Mushroom Sausage, Herb
Crusted Chicken, Sauted Medallion of Pork, Roosted Monkfish
Nicoise, Grilled Flank Steak, Duck Leg Comfit and Broiled Red
Perch with Lime and Tequila.

Every meal was accompanied with three or four servings of a wide
variety of wines.

My favorite dessert was the Chocolate Coffee Cup Cake.  It
consisted of a layer of white cake soaked in orange syrup,
espresso cake brushed with coffee rum syrup and chocolate cake
brushed with Godiava syrup. If that were not enough we then cut
the cake into disks, stacked them with a filling in between. We
then rapped them with a layer of chocolate to resemble a small
espresso cup. It was the topped with whipped cream. We made
demitasse spoons from chocolate, flour, sugar egg white mixture
that accompanied the "cup cake". That creation began the week and
every dessert, which followed, was as delicious and fun to make.

Our mornings would be spent in prepping the various fruits,
vegetables, meats, fish, and desserts. The fifteen of us
consisted of six from Canada and the other nine from the USA.
This setting provided an excellent opportunity for good
conversation with the other hostlers. The topics ranged from a
comparison of the Canadian and American health care systems, to
the educational system of each country to a discussion of the
Elderhostel policy to include tipping and gratuities in the
registration fee and the usual conversation one has with fellow

Even though I have traveled in Canada a lot I felt that I came to
a much better understanding of Canada, it's politics and it's
people from these informal discussion which spontaneously
occurred as we were prepping the meals for the day.  It was
serendipitous that Richard, our host had separated the couples
into different teams. Each spouse could tell his or her story
without editorial comment and amendment from the other.

At our midmorning coffee and tea was provided and we would gather
by the warm and cozy fire place and continue our conversations
for an extended break from our preparation chores.

By 11:00 our efforts would disappear into the kitchen and we were
whisked out while the kitchen staff salvaged and rectified our
preparation mistakes.

At 12:30 these wonderful dishes would appear at our table set
with fresh flowers, tablecloth and cloth napkins.  The wait staff
was very friendly and most professional. We would complement one
another on the wonderful job they had done on the pealing,
paring, dicing, slicing etc. but it was really the kitchen staff
that performed the magic in converting our efforts into truly
gourmet meals.

Lunch would end about 2:00 and Richard would organize a "walk".
Actually these would be more of a vigorous hike!  Bring good
hiking gear and press Richard for details on the length and
difficulty of the hike. He tends to understate the challenge.

The "walk" would end about 4:00 and we would gather in the pub in
the Inn or by the fireplace in the Inn's library for a pint of
Upper Canada Lager. Good beer don't miss it.

Dinner would begin at 7:00 with a four-course meal consisting of
soup, salad, main dish and dessert. Each one could be on the
cover of Grommet Magazine.  Several choices of wine were

Dinner would last until 8:30 or 9:00 with a program about the
local area to follow until 10:00 PM.

Even with this busy schedule Richard presented seminars on wine
and wine regions of France and we visited his well-stocked wine


The accommodations are every bit as elegant as the meals.  The
Inn staff went out of its way to be helpful and accommodating. It
is a warm and friendly inn.

It was a wonderful Elderhostel.  If you don't include this
Elderhostel on your itinerary during the coming year you will be
missing out on one of the best Elderhostels that I have had the
pleasure to experience!


We would be happy to correspond with you about this Elderhostel.

Richard C. Youngs e mail me at: rcyoungs@ilstu.edu

Marlene   Keith Stearns e mail at: DDSTEARNS@aol.com


New Orleans Signature City Elderhostel
April  200l

Program is sponsored by the People Program, and was very well
organized, with outstanding instructors and presentations.
Classes were held part of the mornings and afternoons.

Classes included:  Information on architecture of the houses in
the French Quarters, and who lived in them; the uniqueness of the
French Quarters (it is quite unique), and New Orleans Music and
All that Jazz, in which a Jazz Musician played jazz on the piano
for us and an author of several books on Jazz presented us with
the History of Jazz in the French Quarter.  A

n interesting topic on The Evolution of Free People of Color,
Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery in Virginia and Louisiana was
well presented. Field trips included: A tour by Motorcoach
through the French Quarter and beyond which gave us a overview of
New Orleans, its history, architecture, and its unique cemeteries
(which we visited). On foot we toured the Courtyards and  Patios
in the French Quarters while learning about the Stories behind
the French Quarter Walls.

We did have free time to explore other parts of the French
Quarter.  We were provided with a list of things to see and do
and were given passes to several Museums and Jazz Clubs. We
stayed at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street, which is a
four-star hotel, and you couldnt get a better location.
Everything in the French Quarter is within walking distance of
the hotel, including all the restaurants we visited. We were
provided a continental breakfast, two lunches were planned, or
you could do all your lunches on your own.  Dinners were at top
rated restaurants consisting of four to five courses; all were
excellent.  I dont think we ever ate so much.

Things you must see and do  Jackson Square with the artists,
musicians, and entertainers.  Eat Beignets (ben yea) (a pastry)
at Caf  du Monde Outdoor Caf  with a cup of caf  au lait.  For
lunch, you must have a Po Boy Sandwich (deep fried oysters or
catfish  were our favorites).    Visit the D-Day Museum,
something you wont want to miss. This elderhostel is one of the
best we have attended so far, and we highly recommend it.

Jim   Ruth Macinko federal1@mindspring.com