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Exploring Unusual Cities: A Touch of History, a Taste of Utopia

Program Number: 13032RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/27/2014 - 5/3/2014; 5/3/2015 - 5/9/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Price starting at: $1,375.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture; On the Road; Philosophy & Religion Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    

Attracted to endless sunsets and a better way of life, many unusual societies settled in the heartland. Broaden your understanding of Old Order Amish, New Age Maharishi, German Amana Colonies, Pella's Dutch, Nauvoo's Mormons and French Icarians as you meet their residents, learn their histories, compare their lifestyles and laugh with storytellers.




Highlights

• We’ve reserved the best seats for you at Pella's Tulip Festival, where you’ll delight in colorful Dutch dancing, tulips, parades and ethnic foods.
• Enjoy a truly rare experience — entering an Old Order Amish (most conservative) home to learn about their practices and beliefs.
• Step inside the unique world of Vedic City, Iowa to learn about their unusual lifestyle of meditation, diet, special currency, architecture and yogic flying.



Activity Particulars

Walking four blocks, some uneven terrain, stairs. Festival events viewed from outdoor bleacher seating.




Date Specific Information

4-27-2014, 5-3-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Des Moines, Iowa, 1 night; coach to Nauvoo, Ill., 2 nights; coach to Iowa City, Iowa, 1 night; coach to Amana Colonies, 1 night; coach to Des Moines, 1 night; departure.



Coordinated by Iowa State University Extension.




Des Moines

Des Moines is Iowa’s capital and most populous city. Located in America’s heartland, its roots go back to 1843, when the U.S. Army constructed a fort on the site where the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers merge. Today Des Moines is a major center for the insurance industry. It is an important city in presidential politics thanks to the Iowa Caucuses.



Drakesville Amish

Drakesville is a small town located in southeast Iowa’s scenic hill country. It takes its name from the family of Francis M. Drake, the governor of Iowa at the end of the 19th century. The Drakesville area is home to a growing Amish community that operates many businesses including woodworking, furniture, quilt and harness shops.



Nauvoo

Situated in a remote corner of Illinois among rolling hills and rich farmland, Nauvoo is best known for its religious significance to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today, Nauvoo is renowned for being the “The Williamsburg of the Midwest” and features more than 60 restored historic sites and cultural museums.



Iowa City

Iowa City is Iowa’s sixth-largest city and the home of the University of Iowa, a public research university that in turn is home to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, which has produced 13 Pulitzer Prize winners. The Iowa Old Capital Building is a National Historic Building and a remnant of Iowa City’s stint as state capital from 1841 to 1857.



Vedic City

Incorporated in 2001, Maharishi Vedic City was the first city to incorporate in Iowa since 1982. About one square mile in area, the city is designed to reflect the principles of an ancient system of architecture revived by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation. The city’s goals are to "protect, nourish and satisfy everyone.”



Amana Colonies

The Amana Colonies are villages home to German Pietists, a Lutheran sect that emphasizes vigorous individual piety. In 1855, the Amanas moved from New York to the relative isolation of Iowa, where they founded this self-sufficient community that relies on expert craftsmanship and farming techniques handed down through the generations.



Pella

Settled by Dutch immigrants in the mid-19th century, the area preserves its heritage in the still-operational 1850s Vermeer Windmill, one of the tallest in the United States. The adjoining canal flows through the city center, which features Dutch-influenced architecture, tulip gardens and European-style carillon bells.



Accommodations
Conveniently located hotels and dining with ethnic specialties.
Meals and Lodgings
   Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Des Moines Airport
  Des Moines, Iowa 1 night
   Nauvoo Family Inn and Suites
  Nauvoo, IL 2 nights
   Amana Colonies Lodging
  Amana Colonies, IA 2 nights
   Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Des Moines Airport
  Des Moines, Iowa 1 night
 Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Des Moines Airport
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Recently renovated with all new bedding and guest room redecorating. Hotel features the popular local restaurant "Johnny's Italian Steakhouse", which is the location of our first and final meals.
  Contact info: 6800 Fleur Drive
Des Moines, IA 50321 USA
phone: 515-285-7777
web: http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/iowa/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-des-moines-airport-DSMFDDT/index.html
  Room amenities: Newly decorated with all new bedding, carpeting and art in a contemporary design, complimentary newspaper, 24-hour room service, cable TV with pay-per-view movies, complimentary high speed Internet access, coffee maker in room, laundry/valet services, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, wake-up service.
  Facility amenities: Heated indoor pool and hot tub, Johnny's Italian restaurant, bar/lounge, elevator, 24-hr business center with computer and Internet service, copier, small fitness center, free parking, recreational vehicle parking, located only 1/2 mile from the airport with free shuttle.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Rates vary by date Contact the hotel directly to book additional nights. Our very special group rate is $99 + tax, which includes the hot buffet breakfast. Explain you are with the "Iowa State University Road Scholar" group to receive this special rate.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Rates vary by date Contact the hotel directly to book additional nights. Our very special group rate is $99 + tax, which includes the hot buffet breakfast. Explain you are with the "Iowa State University Road Scholar" group to receive this special rate.
  Check out time: 11:30 AM

 Nauvoo Family Inn and Suites
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located within walking distance to downtown Nauvoo and many historic sites. Rooms and hallways are decorated in a homey atmosphere, with paintings of Mormon Nauvoo history.
  Contact info: 1875 Mulholland St
Nauvoo, IL 62354 USA
phone: 800-416-4470
web: www.nauvoofamilyinn.com
  Room amenities: All rooms feature phone, cable TV, ESPN, HBO. Many rooms offer a refrigerator and/or microwave.
  Facility amenities: Indoor pool and whirlpool, laundry facilities, complimentary business room with Internet. Restaurant and a gift shop are located inside the facility, and complimentary coffee is available in the lobby. A convenience store is one block from the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Amana Colonies Lodging
Type: Inn
  Description: Relive history as we overnight inside the original Amana Colonies, in the tiny quaint village of Homestead. Our rooms are in two listings on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally used as the village’s communal kitchen and circa 1850’s stagecoach hotel, our modernized rooms are in two small inns located 1 block apart. Zuber’s Homestead Hotel and Die Heimat Inn are not chain hotels, nor do they feature cookie-cutter rooms. Each room is uniquely different. Both inns have guest rooms on two stories. Handicap rooms and elevators are not available, but group leaders will portage luggage.
  Contact info: 4434 V Street
Homestead, IA 52236 USA
phone: 319-622-3911
web: www.zubershomesteadhotel.com
  Room amenities: Each room shows a love of local landmarks and Amana’s simple style of living. Each room is uniquely decorated with authentic Amana artifacts or Iowa themes. Most rooms have one queen bed; however, roommates with different mailing addresses will have two beds. All rooms are nonsmoking and have a private bath with shower. Some rooms feature handmade quilts, antiques or items from signature Amana collections in an otherwise simple style. All rooms offer cable television, individual air conditioning units, free wireless Internet, and a hot home-cooked breakfast buffet.
  Facility amenities: Experience the simple authentic charm of the Amana Colonies with an overnight stay in an original communal building. Both inns are National Register listings and are modern guest rooms in hand-hewn circa 1850's two-story buildings. Each inn features a main level gathering room reserved for our group, where you may visit with other participants over coffee, play cards or read in a quiet and relaxed setting.
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check in after 3:00 pm. Sunday. Our program begins at 5:00 pm. inside the hotel. You will be staying at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Des Moines Airport that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends Saturday morning. No sessions are scheduled on this morning and early departures may be scheduled. You will be staying at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Des Moines Airport the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking is provided at the hotel throughout the entire program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Des Moines, Iowa
  Nearest airport:  Des Moines International
  From End of Program
  Location: Des Moines, Iowa
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Des Moines

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Doubletree Hotel
phone: 515-285-7777

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Free
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

1/2 mile

   

The hotel offers a complimentary round trip shuttle. Call the hotel (515-285-7777) from the airport to request a shuttle.

 

Des Moines

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Doubletree Hotel

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Free
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

1/2 mile

   

Schedule departure shuttle at hotel's front desk the night prior to departure.

 
Driving Directions
  From the East (Chicago) Interstate 80 west to Exit 141 (US-65 South). US 65 South to Exit 97 (Airport exit on Fleur Drive). Turn Right. Doubletree Hotel is 1/2 mile on the left (west) side of Fleur Drive.
  From the North (Minneapolis) Interstate 35 south to Exit 7 (Keo Way/19th St) Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Airport/ merge onto Day St. Turn Left onto Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy. Continue onto Fleur Drive. Continue 3.7 miles (past airport) to Doubletree Hotel. The hotel is on the right (west) side of Fleur Drive.
  From the South (Kansas City) Interstate 35 north to Exit 68 (IA-5 S toward West Des Moines) Exit 97 (Airport exit on Fleur Drive). Turn Left. Doubletree Hotel is 1/2 mile on the left (west) side of Fleur Drive.
  From the West (Omaha) Interstate 80 east to Exit 123B toward I-80 E (Chicago/Minneapolis/Kansas City). Keep right at the fork, merge onto 1-35 South (Kansas City). Exit 68 to merge onto IA-5 South (toward West Des Moines) Exit 97 (Airport exit on Fleur Drive. Turn Left. Doubletree Hotel is 1/2 mile on the left (west) side of Fleur Drive.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: A special evening of group introductions and presentation about the people we will visit tomorrow.
(Sunday, April 27)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel check in. Complimentary hotel shuttle available from the Des Moines airport. Program begins with important program announcements at 5:00 p.m. in the hotel's restaurant.
 Dinner: Dinner and discussion.
 Evening: Short presentation with discussion: Introduction to the Old Order Amish.
   
Accommodations: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Des Moines Airport
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: A Road Scholar exclusive and very rare experience! We go into the private home of Old Order Amish and visit personally about their beliefs and lifestyle. We are the only non-Amish group invited inside.
(Monday, April 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: We travel to Drakesville, Iowa, home of many Old Order Amish families. Our day's activities include a personal visit with an Amish family, learning about their beliefs, their businesses, and their lifestyle.
 Lunch: Lunch provided.
 Afternoon: Continuation of Amish activities listed above; then a photo stop at the American Gothic House, Grant Wood's setting for his classic American Gothic. We continue to Nauvoo, Illinois, stopping for dinner along the route.
 Dinner: Dinner provided at local restaurant enroute to Nauvoo.
 Evening: Our coach crosses the Mississippi River to Nauvoo, Illinois for hotel check in. Evening free to relax at the hotel or take an evening stroll through restored Nauvoo.
   
Accommodations: Nauvoo Family Inn and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Narrated horse-drawn wagon tour through restored historic Nauvoo; sip Icarian wine at Illinois' oldest winery; musical evening performance.
(Tuesday, April 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: We enjoy the entire day in charming Nauvoo, learning about the Mormons and what lead to the murder of Joseph Smith; and about the Icarian settlement of Nauvoo. Our coach stops briefly at Ilinois's oldest winery, which started with the Icarian commune in 1857, and is still operated by Icarian descendents today. Our morning continues with a horse-drawn wagon tour of the restored Nauvoo settlement.
 Lunch: Lunch provided
 Afternoon: Free time will permit independent exploration of Nauvoo's historic district with guides in period costumes. Also available are 19th century demonstrations of period skills such as brick making, printing press, tinsmithing.
 Dinner: Buffet dinner in local restaurant.
 Evening: LDS senior missionaries present a light-hearted musical drama of the history of Nauvoo.
   
Accommodations: Nauvoo Family Inn and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Another Road Scholar exclusive! We go inside the unique town of Maharishi Transcendental Meditation practitioners. Oprah Winfrey visited this place in 2012, calling it "America's Most Unusual Town".
(Wednesday, April 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: We travel to Fairfield, world headquarters of Maharishi; and to the newly developed area known as Vedic City, capital of the "Global Community of World Peace". Conditions permitting, our day's activities include a visit to the Golden Dome, where meditation and yogic flying are practiced twice each day; the elementary school, where students are taught Sanskrit; the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center to learn about pulse diagnosis and treatments; and Vedic City, which uses its own unusual currency. We'll learn about the purpose of the unique architecture and lifestyle.
 Lunch: Organic vegetarian lunch at the Raj Resort in the Ayurveda Health Center, Vedic City.
 Afternoon: Our activities continue from above; then we travel to our next lodging in the Amana Colonies.
 Dinner: Catered dinner from local restaurant.
 Evening: Hotel check in with optional evening discussion and social time together.
   
Accommodations: Amana Colonies Lodging
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: The Amana Colonies (not Amish) were one of the longest-lasting communes in America. We explore the seven charming villages to learn their fascinating history, sample authentic German foods, and laugh with the stories told by a popular local author.
(Thursday, May 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: We visit the "Community of True Inspiration", settled by Germans in the 1800's as and continuing as one of the longest lasting communal societies in the world, known today as "the Amana Colonies". Our day's activities include visits inside restored buildings, which today house museums and handcraft businesses.
 Lunch: Lunch will be served in one of the original communal kitchens, converted into a charming restaurant today.
 Afternoon: Activities continue from above, plus free time to explore the many quaint shops and wineries of Amana on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at one of the delightful historic Amana restaurants.
 Evening: We meet with popular author and Amana Colony resident, Dr. Peter Hoehnle, for a delightful discussion about the history and unusual practices of the the Amana Colonies.
   
Accommodations: Amana Colonies Lodging
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: What a fun day! We visit Pella's famous tulip festival and have the best seats for the colorful parade, costumed dancing and unique Dutch foods. Free time permits paid entry into the most popular attractions, including America's tallest working windmill.
(Friday, May 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast provided.
 Morning: Festival Day! We travel to the charming Dutch town of Pella and enjoy a day filled with activities at Pella's annual Tulip Time festival. Your ticket into all of the major attractions includes stadium seating along the parade route.
 Lunch: Choose from the many ethnic food stands and home-cooked meals for lunch on your own during the festival. Favorite treats include Dutch letter pastries and poffertjes.
 Afternoon: Afternoon activities include your choice of many festival activities. Watch costumed Dutch dancing, street scrubbing, narrated activities and parade. Take an elevator to the top of the tallest working windmill in the U.S. and explore the historical Dutch village with demonstrations by craftsmen.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner provided.
 Evening: We share experiences and our program highlights during our final evening together.
   
Accommodations: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Des Moines Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Departures. No sessions are scheduled this morning, permitting early departure.
(Saturday, May 3)
   
 Depart From: Complimentary airport shuttles (1/2 mile or 5 minutes from the airport) are provided by our hotel 5:00 a.m - 11:00 p.m.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Amana People, The History of a Religious Community


Author: Peter Hoehnle


Description: The Amana Colonies are not Amish, but were an offshoot of the early Lutheran church. Gain keen insight about this fascinating group from our program's Amana Colonies instructor. You will meet author Dr. Peter Hoehnle, who is a historian and lifelong resident of the Amana Colonies.This book provides a preview of the interesting history of the charming villages, known as "The Amanas".



Inaugurating Maharishi Vedic University


Author: His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Description: When Oprah Winfrey visited Iowa's Vedic City in 2012, she labeled it "America's Most Unusual Town." During your day in Vedic City, you may be introduced to new sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Started by Maharishi (Ma HAR shi) Mehesh Yogi as the personal guru to the Beatles in the 1960's, Maharshi Vedic City is a unique experience.



A Peculiar People: Iowa's Old Order Amish


Author: Elmer and Dorothy Schwieder


Description: This is the most accurate account published in book form about the lifestyle and beliefs of the particular Amish settlement we will be visiting.



Utopia


Author: Sir Thomas More, translated by Paul Turner, 1917


Description: Try this book (in the English translation) only if you are a very tenacious reader! Then think about how this book inspired Etienne Cabet to lead many French people away from their homeland in an attempt to create Utopia in America. Would you be a follower as well?



Somewhere to Belong


Author: Judith Miller


Description: This novel is the first book of the "Daughters of Amana" series. Although fiction, the stories are set in the Amana Colonies and will give you a sense of this interesting communal society. You can picture the characters of this series as we dine and sleep in the very buildings these stories describe.



Kingdom on the Mississippi Revisited: Nauvoo in Mormon History


Author: launius and Hallwas, Editors


Description: The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also called LDS or Mormons) has many publications about their history and beliefs. We will concentrate upon the time that church was led by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois.



Iowa Letters: Dutch Immigrants On the American Frontier


Author: Stellingwerff, Sweirenga


Description: Pella means "city of refuge", named by the Dutch settlers seeking freedom in the early 1800's. The Iowa city has retained its Dutch heritage, evidenced through its downtown Dutch architecture and annual Tulip Festival, which is part of our program.





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