Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3 p.m. Program Registration: 3:00-5:00p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the main lobby to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive later than 5 p.m., please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.
Dinner: Buffet dinner served at the hotel this evening.
Evening: Following dinner we will have our orientation, during which the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will also 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 and schedules 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. Scheduled free time is set aside 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.
Activity note: Some walking on uneven ground, some standing, boarding motorcoaches, boarding train, boarding river boat.
Breakfast: At the hotel, a buffet that includes entrées, fruit, cereal, juice and coffee.
Morning: FIELD TRIP: Enjoy a morning on the Essex Steam train and Riverboat. Essex Steam Train & Riverboat's 2½-hour journey begins at the historic 1892 Essex Station for a 12-mile, narrated round-trip into the heart of the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley - designated "one of the last great places on earth" by the Nature Conservancy. The steam locomotive pulls vintage coaches at 20 mph through the quintessential New England towns of Deep River and Chester. The picturesque countryside includes pristine meadows, a quaint farm, a millpond with waterfall, and trestles and bridges over rivers and creeks. A natural highlight is the undeveloped Selden Neck State Park, accessible only by boat. At Deep River Landing, passengers are escorted onto the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a cruise along the Connecticut River. The visual serenity of the river valley is on full display from Becky's multiple decks. The deep water, coves, inlets, marshes, wildlife, and rocky shoreline are all at once, simply breathtaking! Just as impressive are the historic sights including Gillette Castle, Goodspeed Opera House, and the Haddam Swing Bridge. Upon Becky's return to Deep River Landing, the steam train welcomes passengers for the return trip back to Essex Station.
Lunch: A box lunch will be served on the boat portion of our excursion.
Afternoon: After lunch we will have a private presentation at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor. This museum contains a variety of trolley cars as well as exhibits on the societal impact of the “Trolley Era.” We will then take a ride on one of the trolley cars that has been returned to service.
Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Evening: This evening we will be joined at the hotel by a member of the Connecticut Historical Society.
Activity note: Travel by motorcoach from CT to New Hampshire. Getting on and off coach on a few occasions.
Breakfast: At the hotel
Morning: Check-out of hotel and board our motor coach for our trip up the Connecticut River Valley to the Green Mountain Railroad Station in Bellows Falls, Vermont. Here we will meet with a local historian who will lead us on a private exploration of some of the stock cars in the yard. Afterwards we will continue north via coach to White River Junction.
Lunch: Lunch is served at the historic Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction, Vermont, where we will also have a private historical presentation by the hotel’s owner. The hotel building previously resided in Enfield, NH, and was moved to White River Junction in 1849 in response to the need for lodging nearby the newly opened railroad. It was renamed in 1924 after Colonel John Calvin Coolidge, a frequent guest, close friend of the owner, and President Coolidge’s father.
Afternoon: Travel to Lincoln, New Hampshire via motor coach to visit with The Flying Yankee Restoration Group and see a presentation on the history of the train and their ongoing restoration project. The Flying Yankee is a magnificent Depression-era diesel-electric streamliner built to service the Boston-Maine rail lines, and is one of only three of its kind. The Restoration Group has already completed structural restoration as well as some interior and exterior cosmetic work. AT THIS TIME OUR PRESENTATION IS TENTATIVE AS THEY MAY BE MOVING THE TRAINS LOCATION. A DIFFERENT PRESENTATION WILL BE PROVIDED IF NEEDED. After the presentation we will head to the hotel to check in.
Dinner: Dinner is served aboard the Café Lafayette Dinner Train, where we will have an exceptional dining experience. Dine on a four-course gourmet meal while watching the ever changing scenery of the Pemigewasset River and surrounding area. The view continues on into the night as halogen lights illuminate our course.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Today we will visit the summit of Mount Washington, which has an elevation of about 6,300 ft. The summit has quite extreme and rapidly changing weather conditions throughout the year, so please plan and dress accordingly. We will travel by motorcoach to each destination.
Breakfast: At the hotel, a deluxe Continental breakfast buffet that includes eggs, waffles, fruit, yogurt, pastries, cereal, juice and coffee.
Morning: Travel over the Kancamagus highway to North Conway, where we will board the Conway Scenic Railroad to take a ride through Crawford Notch. Historian Ben English joins us on our trip and presents a lecture and private narrative of our journey.
Lunch: A box lunch is served on the train to Crawford Notch which includes a choice of sandwich, pasta salad, a cookie and a drink.
Afternoon: Travel via coach to the base of Mount Washington, the tallest mountain in New England, where we will take an exciting ride aboard the Mount Washington Cog Railway up to the summit. We will visit the Marshfield Base Station as well as the weather observatory.
Dinner: A Buffet Dinner will be served at the hotel this evening.
Evening: Lecture on the history of railroads in New England by a local railroad historian.
Activity note: Today we travel by deluxe motorcoach from New Hampshire to Cape Cod.
Breakfast: At the hotel
Morning: Following check-out, we travel to Meredith, NH for a morning program at the Lake Winnipesaukee Railroad and to meet with their historian. Following the presentation we will take a scenic ride along the beautiful shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. This unique railroad line was built in 1849 before there was any development on the lake, so we will be travelling through the front yards of many resort homes during our journey.
Lunch: A box lunch is served on the train during our lakeside journey
Afternoon: Travel via coach to South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. We will stop in historic Plymouth, MA at Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II.
Dinner: A Buffet Dinner is served at the hotel this evening.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Little walking today, boarding motorcoaches, boarding train. Some standing during talks.
Breakfast: At the hotel, and includes entrees, juice, coffee, cereal, and fruit.
Morning: We start the day with a lecture by engaging local author Jim Coogan, then travel via coach to Hyannis to take a ride on the Cape Cod Central Railroad. Jim will ride along with us and bring the commonplace view to life with his captivating historical narrative.
Lunch: A box lunch is served on the train.
Afternoon: We disembark the train at the West Barnstable Railroad Station, the site of the Cape Cod Central Railroad Historical Association. Here we will meet with local railroad historians, then continue with Jim as he further expands on the history of the Cape. We conclude our day with some free time in Hyannis where you have an opportunity to visit various local sites, including the Kennedy Museum, the Saint Francis Xavier Church and the Cape Cod Baseball Museum.
Dinner: A delicious farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Enjoy salad, choice of entrée, and dessert as you reminisce about the week with your new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Travel by motorcoach to Bradley Airport by 11:30 AM, hotel at 12:00 PM
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Travel provided to Bradley International Airport as well as our original hotel in Windsor Locks. We will arrive at the airport between 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., and to the hotel between 12:00 and 12:30 p.m. PLEASE DO NOT BOOK ANY FLIGHTS PRIOR TO 2:00 PM.