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Coastal History, Heritage, Culture and Nature, Plus a Schooner Sail on Mobile Bay

Program Number: 9237RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/22/2015 - 3/27/2015; 4/19/2015 - 4/24/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/11/2015 - 10/16/2015; 11/8/2015 - 11/13/2015; 12/6/2015 - 12/11/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Fairhope, Alabama
Price starting at: $648.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Enjoy a week at a beautiful bayside retreat and discover a region with a history shaped by Spanish, French, British and Native American people. Examine the various architectural periods and styles that grace historic Mobile and experience the ambience of lovely Fairhope, a haven for artists and writers. Encounter natural wonders, enjoy the sounds of music, savor Southern hospitality and go for an afternoon sail aboard a 72-foot schooner in Mobile Bay.




Highlights

• On an architectural field trip, visit historic homes including the Richards DAR House, famed for its Antebellum “iron lace.”
• Take an expert-led journey aboard an eco-explorer boat into the Mobile Delta, a vital ecosystem with diverse flora and fauna, and look for dolphins and birds during a schooner sail.
• Study the origins of American fiddlin’ as you trace the development of beautiful ethnic and folk music, and hear a private performance by a virtuoso fiddler.



Activity Particulars

Walking less than a mile a day.




Date Specific Information

3-22-2015, 4-19-2015, 9-27-2015, 10-11-2015, 11-8-2015, 12-6-2015

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



Coordinated by University of South Alabama.




Fairhope

Founded in 1894 by adventurous people seeking a personal utopia, lovely Fairhope sits high on bluffs overlooking Mobile Bay. This charming Southern city is known for its beautiful parks, moss-draped live oaks and picturesque downtown that attracts artists, writers and visitors alike.



Accommodations
Comfortable, 82-acre conference center amid ancient oaks and pines on the shores of Weeks Bay.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Devereaux Bemis

Devereaux is an architectural historian and director of the Mobile Historic Development Commission. He serves on the boards of the Mobile Revolving Fund for Historic Properties, the Maritime Advisory Council and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. He received a bachelor’s in art history and Russian language and an MBA from the University of South Alabama. He has done graduate work in art history at Tulane University and lives in an 1839 house in downtown Mobile that is being renovated.
 
Thomas Morley

As a classical, Celtic, and folk musician and educator, Tom Morley is one of the most visible violinists on the Gulf Coast. Classically trained with a degree in music education, Tom has earned a living with his violin in every musical direction. He has played professionally in Celtic, Cajun, folk, bluegrass, classical, swing, jazz, and country styles. Tom has released several CDs with numerous bands, and performed at venues including the Jazz & Heritage Fest and the French Quarter Festival.
 
Carol Bramlett

Through vision and persistence, Captain Carol Bramblett led the way for the building and completion of the 72 foot sailing vessel — and Official Tall Ship for the City of Mobile, Alabama — the “Joshua.” Patterned after the coastal schooners that sailed the bay in the late 1800s and 1900s, the wooden vessel carries up to 49 passengers for sails on Mobile Bay. Captain Carol also operates two additional vessels and enjoys leading inshore saltwater fishing trips.
 
Dean Mosher

Dean Mosher is a nationally respected artist and historian. His epic historical paintings can be found in museums, National Park visitor centers and the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. For five years he held the office of Historian General of the Naval Order of the United States, and he was awarded the Commander General’s medal in 2006 for saving the Order’s archives. Dean lives with this wife and their two children in their two storybook castles, which have been featured on HGTV.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Beckwith Episcopal Camp & Conference Center
  Fairhope 5 nights
 Beckwith Episcopal Camp & Conference Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Beckwith welcomes you to your personal waterside retreat area, complete with pier, sunrises, and nature trails. The Center is situated on beautiful Week’s Bay, about a fifteen minute drive outside of downtown Fairhope, and offers simple accommodations in a lovely natural setting. Head out on the water in a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard, or relax in overstuffed chairs while enjoying coffee, tea or hot chocolate with your new friends.
  Contact info: 10400 Beckwith Lane
Fairhope, AL 36532 USA
phone: 251-928-7844
web: www.beckwithccc.org
  Room amenities: All rooms are climate controlled and have private bath. Expect basic, clean accommodations. No TV in room. Please bring shampoo and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Free parking, wonderful pool (open seasonally), beach and boat access for fishing, boating, and swimming. Common room with free coffee, TV, and refrigerator and microwave oven. The rec hall, gazebo, and chapel are all available for use. Wi-Fi is available in common areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior:  Local hotels include: Hampton Inn 251-626-2220 or 1-800-426-7866 or Marriott's Grand Hotel 251-928-9201 or 1-800-228-9290
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after:  Local hotels include: Hampton Inn 251-626-2220 or 1-800-426-7866 or Marriott's Grand Hotel 251-928-9201 or 1-800-228-9290
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registrations begins at 4:00 PM, Conference Center Check in begins at 4:00 PM You will be staying at Beckwith Episcopal Camp & Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends by 12:00 Noon, Check out of Conference rooms at 10:00 AM You will be staying at Beckwith Episcopal Camp & Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Road Scholar Health Forms required for all programs. A boat waiver will also be used for this program.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free and is adjacent to your lodging building.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Fairhope
  Nearest city or town:  Fairhope, Alabama
  Nearest highway: Alabama Highway 181.
  Nearest airport:  Mobile Regional Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Fairhope
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Mobile to Beckwith Camp and Conference Center

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Mobile Bay Transportation
phone: 251-476-7711
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$75 for 1-3 people, or $25 per person for 4 people or more
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour and 15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

48 miles

   

You must register at least 24 hours in advance.Yellow Cab will answer, you must ask for Mobile Bay Transportation & tell then you are a Road Scholar.They will transfer you to Mobile Bay Transportation. You can register on line by e-mailing dispatch@mobilebaytransportation.com or you can call 251-476-7711.Confirm your reservation before your flight lands to ensure pick up.Prices subject to change.Road Scholar has a special price, you must tell them you are a Road Scholar to get the pricing.

 
Driving Directions
  From Mobile Regional Airport to Beckwith Travel east on Airport Blvd. for 8 miles to I-65. Take I-65 South to I-10 East. Travel approximately 15.5 miles and you will take Exit 35 onto Hwy 98 South to Daphne & Fairhope. Stay on the four lane highway (do not exit onto Scenic Hwy 98). The four lane highway will narrow to two lanes. In approximately 3 miles Hwy 98 will intersect with Scenic Hwy 98 at a 4-way stop. Take a left onto Scenic Hwy 98. In approximately 2 miles you will see a Camp Beckwith sign where you will then turn right onto Mary Ann Beach Rd (CR 27 South). Continue on for approximately 2 miles, you will see a sign marking the entrance to Beckwith Camp and Conference Center to your left. Turn left into Beckwith and continue until you see Alves Hall. You will register here.
  From Pensacola Airport Take Airport Blvd. to Ninth Ave. then take Ninth Ave. South to Fairfield Ave. Take Fairfield Ave. West to Hwy 98, Take Hwy 98 West. Go through Elberta, Foley, and Magnolia Springs Cross the Louie Brannon Bridge (Fish River) Approximately 2 miles past the bridge you will see a Camp Beckwith sign. Turn left onto CR 27 South (Mary Ann Beach Rd.) Continue on for approximately 2 miles you will see a sign marking the entrance to Beckwith Camp and Conference Center on your left. Turn left into Beckwith and continue until you see Alves Hall. You will register here.
  Interstate 10: East or West Traveling from the east or west on I-10, take exit 35 onto Hwy. 98 South to Daphne & Fairhope. Stay on four lane highway (do not exit onto Scenic Hwy. 98), four lane highway will narrow to two lanes. In approximately 3 miles Hwy. 98 will intersect with Scenic Hwy 98. Turn left onto Scenic Hwy 98. In approximately 2 miles you will see a Camp Beckwith sign. Turn right onto CR 27 South (Mary Ann Beach Rd.) Continue on for Approximately 2 miles, you will see a sign marking the entrance to Beckwith Camp and Conference Center on your left. Turn left into Beckwith and continue until you see Alves Hall. You will register here.
  Interstate 65 From I-65, take exit 37 South, the Bay Minette/Gulf Shores Parkway exit. Take State Highway 287 south to State Highway 59 south, Gulf Shores Parkway. Take I-10 westbound at Loxley, Alabama (exit 44). Travel seven miles to exit 35. Take Exit 35 onto Hwy. 98 South to Daphne & Fairhope. Stay on four lane highway (do not exit onto Scenic Hwy. 98), four lane highway will narrow to two lanes. In approximately 3 miles Hwy. 98 will intersect with Scenic Hwy 98. Turn left onto Scenic Hwy 98. In approximately 2 miles you will see a Camp Beckwith sign. Turn right onto CR 27 South (Mary Ann Beach Rd.) Continue on for Approximately 2 miles, you will see a sign marking the entrance to Beckwith Camp and Conference Center on your left. Turn left into Beckwith and continue until you see Alves Hall. You will register here.
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: Arrival and Check-in / Program Registration / Orientation/ Welcome Dinner
(Sunday, September 27)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 4:00 p.m.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.
 Dinner: In the conference center dining room, the dinner buffet offers an extensive salad bar in addition to some favorite local dishes and dessert, plus beverage choices including hot chocolate, coffee, tea (hot/cold), and water.
 Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.

Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.

Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
   
Accommodations: Beckwith Episcopal Camp & Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: American Fiddlin’ / Mobile Bay History and Lore / More American Fiddlin’ / Meet the Captain of the “Joshua”
(Monday, September 28)
   
 Breakfast: In the conference center dining room, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold food choices as well as hot chocolate, coffee, tea (hot/cold), water.
 Morning: We’ll begin our educational adventure with a focus on American Fiddlin' — a different way of playing the violin. Learn from a trained professional musician who is also an exceptional educator how this versatile instrument has produced beautiful ethnic and folk music from the 1600's to the present day.

Next, with an expert local historian, we’ll learn about the history and lore of Mobile Bay. When European explorers arrived, they found the area inhabited by members of the “Maubila” (Mobile) tribe. We’ll trace explorations by the Spanish, French, and British up to and through entry into the United States, the War of 1812 that prompted the establishment of Fort Morgan, and its role in the Battle of Mobile Bay (“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”) and on through World Wars I and II.
 Lunch: In the conference center dining room, the lunch buffet offers an extensive salad bar in addition to some favorite local dishes and dessert, plus beverage choices including hot chocolate, coffee, tea (hot/cold), and water.
 Afternoon: We continue our focus on fiddlin' to learn how this simple four-stringed wooden instrument has enriched cultures in the United States and Canada through styles such as Cajun, Bluegrass, Western, and others. Enjoy the instructor's demonstrations and performance of moving melodies.
 Dinner: In the conference center dining room.
 Evening: The 72' wooden schooner “Joshua” is the official Tall Ship of the City of Mobile and the State of Alabama. Built from 1993 to 2002, it sails under the command of Captain Carol Bramblett, who will join us at the hotel this evening. Captain Bramblett will let you know how she decided to become a sailor, how she and her associates designed and supervised the building of the “Joshua,” and tales of her adventures.
   
Accommodations: Beckwith Episcopal Camp & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Architectural History / Richards DAR House Museum Field Trip / Gulf Coast Seafood / Condé-Charlotte Museum House Field Trip / More American Fiddlin’
(Tuesday, September 29)
   
 Breakfast: In the conference center dining room.
 Morning: An architectural historian leads this class on Mobile’s architecture from houses to churches and commercial structures. In particular, we’ll learn about 18th and 19th century styles such as bungalow, Creole, Antebellum, Victorian, and Italianate that varied with tastes and trends of the time.

We’ll then transfer to the Richards DAR House for a field trip. Built in 1860, this handsome town house, with its lavish “iron lace” exterior decoration, is an exceptional example of Italianate style. The superb architectural details inside the house recall fashionable life during Mobile’s affluent ante-bellum days. It is operated, furnished, and maintained by the city’s DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) chapters, with period antiques and artifacts dating back to 1870. After a docent-led presentation, we’ll also enjoy a taste of Southern hospitality with tea and cookies.
 Lunch: Today we’ll have lunch at a local landmark, a favorite seafood restaurant that has been attracting patrons since 1938. Wintzell's Oyster House is known far and wide for its motto, "Oysters — fried, stewed or nude” but if you’re not a fan of these tasty little mollusks, there’s more to choose from as we order from a select menu. Beverage choices include soft drinks, coffee, tea; other beverages available for purchase.
 Afternoon: Our next field trip is to another historic museum house. Adjacent to the reconstruction of historic Fort Condé — renamed Fort Charlotte by the English during their occupation — what we see now as the Condé-Charlotte Museum House began life as Mobile’s first courthouse and jail. It was purchased in 1849 by Jonathan Kirkbride of New Jersey, who incorporated sections of the original building into his new home built on the site. Restoration was begun by the Historic Mobile Preservation Society in 1940 and eventually completed by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, who now own and operate it as a museum of Mobile’s history under five flags. A museum docent will introduce the period rooms displaying French, British, Spanish, Confederate, and American furnishings and décor.
 Dinner: In the conference center dining room.
 Evening: More American fiddlin’.
   
Accommodations: Beckwith Episcopal Camp & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Discovering Fairhope Presentation and Field Trip / Mobile Bay Sailing Field Trip / Evening Program
(Wednesday, September 30)

Note: Note: Walk the gangway; Rubber soled shoes recommended.



   
 Breakfast: In the conference center dining room.
 Morning: A local expert will lead our field trip to the charming community of Fairhope — supposedly named for an expression by its founders who thought they would have “a fair hope of success” as a sort of Utopian, “single tax” colony. They were followers of social reformer Henry George, who wrote a book in 1879 called “Progress and Poverty” that laid out his economic theories intended to help close the gap between rich and poor. Since then, Fairhope has become one of the prettiest places in Alabama and a jewel of the Gulf Coast, situated on a bluff overlooking Mobile Bay. It became a resort community, with vacationers and visitors, artists and writers, who fell in love with its salubrious climate, natural beauty, and peaceful atmosphere. Like many small cities in the 20th century, though, it eventually began to feel modern problems. Thanks to imaginative, forward-thinking residents and officials, Fairhope transformed itself into an open and inviting European-style village, filled with art galleries, bookstores, boutiques, cafés and restaurants, and perhaps most of all a celebration of individuality.

We’ll then take a field trip transfer to Fairhope and experience its lovely parks, moss-draped live oaks, panoramic views of Mobile Bay, and floral exhibits on downtown street corners. Gain an understanding and appreciation of how and why artists and artisans, writers and other creative minds have made this their inspirational haven. We’ll return to the hotel after the field trip with time to freshen up before lunch.
 Lunch: In the conference center dining room.
 Afternoon: As a very special highlight, we’ll cast off for a sailing field trip exclusively for our group aboard the 72' wooden schooner “Joshua.” Under expert guidance, you can hoist the sail, take the wheel, trim the sheets, or simply observe as we sail along this bay claimed by Spanish, French, and English explorers before it became part of the U.S. Watch for dolphins, sea and shore birds as the captain provides commentary.
 Dinner: In the conference center dining room.
 Evening: We’ll have a presentation with a special guest that illuminates some significant aspect of local history and culture. Come and be alternately entertained, delighted, or surprised.
   
Accommodations: Beckwith Episcopal Camp & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Mobile-Tensaw River Delta Field Trip / Free Afternoon / History of Beckwith
(Thursday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: In the conference center dining room.
 Morning: We’ll board the “Delta Explorer” pontoon boat for a field trip into America’s second-largest delta led by an expert naturalist. The 45-mile long Mobile-Tensaw River Delta is one of the most ecologically important features in the state. Its diverse wetland habitats support an extraordinary range of wildlife including hundreds of species of birds and fishes as well as mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Learn about the flora, fauna, and human history of this ecosystem that is vital to the coastal environment.
 Lunch: In the Conference Center dining room.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You might like to visit a nearby beach, return to Fairhope, go in search of more delicious seafood, visit the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, or simply relax.
 Dinner: In the conference center dining room.
 Evening: You’re already familiar with the facilities of Beckwith Conference Center, amid 82 acres of woods and open spaces along Week’s Bay. Now learn about its history: how it was developed, bequeathed to the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, burned to the ground and was rebuilt, survived hurricanes and more to offer a place of respite, learning, and renewal.
   
Accommodations: Beckwith Episcopal Camp & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Fairhope Artists and Writers / Program Concludes
(Friday, October 2)

Note: Note: Hotel check-out is by 10:00 a.m.



   
 Breakfast: In the conference center dining room.
 Morning: With one of Fairhope’s foremost published authors, our final class focuses on the local creative community of artists, writers, and entrepreneurs.
 Lunch: Box lunches will be available to take away with you. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Fairhope Eastern Shore Art Center
Built around the site of wood burning Pinewood Kiln, an Alabama Historical Landmark. Monthly exhibits feature oils, watercolors, mixed media, photography, sculpture and ceramics. Concerts, lectures and workshops also featured. For additional information, visit www.esartcenter.com
  Historic Blakeley Park
Blakeley is the site for the last major battle of the Civil War. Excellently preserved battlefield and breastwork for you to come and explore. For additional information, visit www.blakeleypark.com
  Marietta Johnson Museum
Housed in one of the 1907 classrooms of the Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education. The museum contains books, literature, artifacts, photos and videotapes pertaining to the progressive philosophy of Marietta Johnson. For additional information, visit www.mariettajohnson.org
  The Fairhope Museum
For and exciting view into Fairhope's past, please visit the Fairhope Historical Museum. The museum is full of artifacts from old Fairhope. You can see displays on Clay City, the Single Tax Association and the Civil War. You can also see personal belongings from some of Fairhope's first families.
  U.S. Sports Academy, Sport Art Museum
It is considered to have one of the largest collections of sport art in the world. Additionally, it houses archives which document the history of science of sport. Tours are available and it is free to the public. For additional information, visit www.asama.org
  Weeks Bay Reserve
The Weeks Bay Reserve provides a living laboratory for education and research groups to learn about estuaries, those coastal area where rivers meet the sea. The Reserve is manage by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and is also a part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. For additional information, visit www.weeksbay.org
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


Beachcomber's Guide to Gulf Coast Marine Life, 3rd Edition


Author: Susan Rothchild


Description: ISBN: 1-58979-061-8



Historic Photo's of Mobile


Author: Carol Ellis and Scotty Kirkland




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