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Iowa State University Elderhostel

This site was created for participants of Iowa State University’s Elderhostel programs.  Because photos are easier than describing an experience, you are welcome to share this site with family and friends.  You may save any photo to your own computer or print it by simply right-clicking on a photo of your choice.  For information about other ISU Elderhostel programs, go to  http://www.extension.iastate.edu/communities/elderhostel/   If you enjoyed your experience, please tell others about it!  Contact Diane Van Wyngarden, Director of Iowa State Elderhostel, for more information about any program at dvw@iastate.edu
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Amish Peanut Butter Pie

The Amish wedding preparations included many pies, including a local favorite — peanut butter pie.  The Amish women graciously stopped their baking to share their recipe:
Make peanut butter crumbs:
1/3 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Sprinkle some of the crumbs on bottom of baked pie shell.
Fill with vanilla pudding
Cover with Cool Whip
Crumble remaining peanut butter crumbs over top of pie.
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American Gothic

Our Elderhostel group stopped in Eldon, Iowa to see the house which inspired Grant Wood’s famous painting, "American Gothic". The new visitor center offered displays and props; and the weather was perfect to create our own paradies.
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Our entire Tuesday was spent exploring Nauvoo, Illinois. We learned about the early settlers of this area, including the LDS (Mormons) and the Icarians in the 1840’s.  Our horse-drawn wagon led us through the "flats" section of the city, which is being restored by LDS members to simulate how it may have looked in the 1840’s.  Our stop at the LDS visitor center gave opportunity to view the exhibits and adjoining garden.  Our day also included a visit to the oldest winery in Illinois, which was started by a member of the Icarian commune, and is still operated today by descendents of this same Baxter family.  After lunch we heard from a local resident about life in Nauvoo.  Free time permitted rest or exploration of the various Nauvoo attractions.  Dinner included an extensive buffet and lively conversations.  Our evening concluded with a musical performance by senior LDS missionaries from their view of old Nauvoo.
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Vedic City, Iowa – see the Maharishi photos!

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s city of enlightenment, otherwise known as Vedic City, Iowa, was the location of our Wednesday study.  We heard from students of the Maharishi K-12 school system and administration.  Our lectures and instructors introduced us to transcendental meditation (TM) and the principles of the TM lifestyle.  We visited a private home built according to Ayurvedic architecture; sampled "life-extending" organic vegetarian cuisine at the Raj Natural Healing Center; examined Vedic City’s currency, the Raam; and had the very unique opportunity to watch yogic flying inside the golden dome.  We ended our day with dinner along the Iowa River in Iowa City and evening discussion in our Coralville hotel.
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The Amana Colonies – see the Amana photo album!

As soon as our bus rolled into the Amana Colonies, or the Community of True Inspiration, we could see that these villages have been here for quite some time.  We learned how this was one of the longest-lasting communes in America and defined the distinction between the Amana Colonies and the Amish we had studied earlier.  Our stop in West Amana yielded a demonstration in basket making, trying out hand-crafted toys and climbs into the giant rocker.  Our themed noon meal "dinner" included German specialites, peppered with the dry wit of our communal-period instructor, Barbara Hoehnle. Free time in the afternoon provided independent exploration and optional historical walking tour of Amana. Our evening meal, again served family-style, preceeded a delightful session with Dr. Peter and Elly Hoehnle.  Diane didn’t get her grandfather clock on this visit, but she did enjoy corncob syrup!
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Pella Dutch – see the Pella photo album!

Our Elderhostel day in Pella coincided with Pella’s annual tulip festival — "Tulip Time"! Following a history of Pella during our coach ride to Pella, our festival tickets provided entry into the Scholte House Museum, home of the city’s founder; the Historical Village and tallest operating windmill in the United States; and reserved seating for afternoon programs and the parade.  Threats of thunderstorms blew away with sunshine and warm breezes.  Our return trip to Des Moines provided reflection and our final dinner as a group before our final farewell.  "Spoedig teruggekomen" — come back soon!
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Elderhostel 2009: Narrative coming soon.

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