ILR 55+ at FCC

International Travel to Panama

Discover Panama: The Land Between the Seas
January 18-26, 2018 (9 days, 8 nights) 


Highlights:
 
Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Panama Canal Cruise, Panama City, Emberá Indigenous Village, Miraflores Locks, Anton Valley, Chitré, Rum Bodega and Playa Bonita

Day 1:
Gamboa, Panama – Tour Begins Welcome to Panama, a country of lush rainforests, rich history, diverse wildlife and spectacular coastlines. Your tour opens at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort where you’ll enjoy your private balcony and hammock overlooking the beautiful surroundings. During your leisure time, feel free to use the complimentary bikes or kayaks to explore.

Day 2:
Panama Canal Cruise – Panama City – Meet your fellow travelers during a welcome breakfast which is followed by an incredible highlight. Board the Pacific Queen for a partial transit cruise through the Panama Canal. Enjoy lunch onboard and pass through two locks as you revel in a once-in-a­ lifetime chance to see this incredible engineering feat firsthand. Learn all about its construction and operation from your onboard guides. Disembark at Flamenco Marina in Panama City. Visit the Mercado de Mariscos, a seafood market, and try fresh Panamanian ceviche. Continue to Casco Viejo, the Old Quarter. It’s your choice on how you will visit this UNESCO World Heritage site, which was settled in 1673. Perhaps you’ll follow your guide for a short walking tour down its cobblestone streets showcasing the Plaza de la Independencia, the Presidential Palace, the National Theater, plus restored colonial churches and monuments. For a more immersive experience you may journey through this same neighborhood with a local resident …hear the story of the Casco Viejo’s comeback from a member of the community who will take you through the place he calls home, highlighting the incredible revitalization of this historic area and its people. (B, L, D)

Day 3:
Embera Village – This morning, your guide leads you on a nature walk through the resort’s jungle forest and gardens for a chance to spot unique birds as well as various flora and fauna. Set off on an excursion to an Embera indigenous village. Board dugout canoes for a scenic ride up the Chagres River to a settlement of Embera, the “Keepers of the Rainforest.” The Embera strive to preserve their heritage and love to share their traditional techniques of home building and handicrafts – such as basket weaving and tagua nut carving -with visitors. Join in their dances and partake in a simple lunch cooked traditionally. The remainder of your day is free to enjoy Gamboa Rainforest Resort. (B, L)

Day 4:
Anton Valley – Arrive at Miraflores Locks Visitor Center to view the Panama Canal and learn about its rich past, present and future as you watch ships traverse the lock system. Drive a short distance on the famed Pan-American Highway before heading up the mountains to Anton Valley, a community nestled inside the second largest volcanic crater in the world. Meet the locals at the handicraft market and try your hand at negotiations, a local pastime of marketgoers. You’ll get to peruse artisan souvenirs made by indigenous peoples, including the “mola” embroidery of the Kuna Yala. Afterwards, check in to your hotel at the base of the mountains that make up the crater. (B, D)

Day 5:
Anton Valley – Begin the day with a visit to the Museum El Valle which houses a small collection ranging from geological wonders to pre-Columbian art. Your next stop is a nonprofit orchid nursery that dedicates itself to cultivating and conserving local and regional orchids. It houses over 100 different types. Continue to the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center, working to protect critically endangered species including the emblematic Panamanian Golden Frog, said to bring good luck to anyone who sees it. Your afternoon is free to continue exploring this charming mountain community. (B)

Day 6:
Chitre – This morning, step into the heartland of Panama and become immersed in the culture as you visit a village of artists. Interact with makers of the famous Panama hat and see firsthand how these wearable works of art are created. Continue on to meet the famous cigar rollers of Panama, whose craft has become legendary within the cigar community. Next, visit an orange grove, one of the region’s main crops, and savor the taste of an orange fresh from the tree. Head north to Chitre, one of the first Spanish settlements in Panama, established in 1558. Get to know a traditional way of cooking at a clay oven bakery and sample these delectable sweets. After visiting a local pottery artist, it’s on to a sugarcane mill for a taste of sugarcane juice called “guarapa.” Next, pause to experience the region’s pre­Columbian and colonial times at the local museum. Tonight, get acquainted with the local culture at dinner featuring a folklore and dance show. (B, D)

Day 7:
Chitre – Spend the day meeting the locals in Chitre, the “folklore capital” of Panama. Meet Panamanian women who have dedicated their lives to making the handwoven pollera dress. Then it’s off to spend time with a famous local artist whose whimsical masks are used in traditional Panamanian parades. Your day continues with a visit to one of Panama’s famous rum producers. Visit the historic hacienda to discover the life of the founder, a Spanish immigrant who brought jobs and prestige to the region with the development of the distillery. Learn the art of making rum, as well as the local drink “seco,” also distilled from sugarcane. If you like, you may take an oxcart ride through the sugarcane fields. Enjoy a typical lunch, then finally sample the product for yourself during a tasting session and discussion in the bodega. The rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy at your hotel. Tonight, you have the option of experiencing an authentic home­hosted meal in a local family’s house; take this opportunity to learn about their lives, culture and food. (B, L)

Day 8:
Playa Bonita – Journey to Playa Bonita, just outside of Panama City. Arrive midday to soak up the sun and ocean views from your beachfront property. You can also meander through the hotel’s shops or use their complimentary kayaks. After enjoying some fun and relaxation at your resort, bid farewell to Panama at a special dinner. (B, D)

Day 9:
Playa Bonita – Your tour comes to a close today. (B)

$3299 per person – double occupancy
$3999 per person- single occupancy (limited availability)
$3269 per person, triple occupancy
(Price includes bus transportation to and from FCC, round-trip air from Washington D.C., air taxes and fees/surcharges, lodging, hotel transfers, and 15 meals – 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 4 dinners)

Click here for a downloadable PDF brochure and booking forms.

Register by July 8th – Seats are Limited
A FREE information session will be offered to learn more about the trip on May 23rd, from 10:00 – 11:30 am in the E Building (Conference Center)
For more information please contact Collette at 1-800-581-8942. Refer to booking #816667

Come Travel with ILR

Save the Dates! We have some great trips lined up for you!

Local Travel this Fall-Registration Begins May 1st
1634 Founding of Maryland: Weekend Coach Tour
Explore the history of Southern Maryland with a weekend trip to Calvert and St. Mary’s counties
October 6-8, 2017 (3 days, 2 nights) 
$499 per person – double occupancy
$549 – single occupancy
(Price includes transportation, entry fees, hotel, breakfast, and lunches)
For more information click here.
Please call Heritage Adventures at 1-540-233-0543 to register. 
Register by August 31st 

International Travel is BACK at ILR!
Discover Panama: The Land Between the Seas
Highlights: 
Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Panama Canal Cruise, Panama City, Emberá Indigenous Village, Miraflores Locks, Anton Valley, Chitré, Rum Bodega and Playa Bonita
January 18-26, 2018 (9 days, 8 nights) 
$3299 per person – double occupancy
$3999 per person- single occupancy (limited availability)
$3269 per person, triple occupancy
(Price includes bus transportation to and from FCC, round-trip air from Washington D.C., air taxes and fees/surcharges, lodging, hotel transfers, and 15 meals – 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 4 dinners)
Click here for detailed information.
Register by July 8th – Seats are Limited
A FREE information session will be offered to learn more about the trip on May 23rd, from 10:00 – 11:30 am in the E Building (Conference Center)
For more information please contact Collette at 1-800-581-8942. Refer to booking #816667

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1634 Founding of Maryland: Weekend Coach Tour

Explore the history of Southern Maryland with a weekend trip to Calvert and St. Mary’s counties:

Begin your trip at FCC in the morning and travel to St Clements Island Museum at Colton’s Point. This is where English Catholics seeking religious freedom first landed in 1634. The museum focuses on the local ecology and the history of the island. After a picnic lunch, we will board a boat for St. Clements where we will visit Blackistone Lighthouse constructed in 1848 and a commemorative cross erected in honor of the first landing. Our next stop will be at the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum where we will visit the keeper’s house and the museum where a variety of restored local watercraft are displayed. There is also a torpedo factory and information on a German U-boat sunk nearby. A short drive will take us to the Island Inn & Suites on St George’s Island where every room has a water view. Dinner is on your own at the Ruddy Duck. Day two starts with breakfast in Lexington Park and then a guided tour of St. Mary’s City, Maryland’s first capital founded in 1634. We will visit the museum, the first capitol building, the Catholic Chapel, and a replica of the Dove, one of the two ships that brought the first settlers. After lunch nearby, we head to Solomon where we visit the Calvert Marine Museum which is devoted to both the history and ecology of the peninsula and bay. We will also enjoy a one hour cruise on the Patuxent River. Participants will be free to choose one of the local restaurants for dinner, several which serve seafood. Our final day starts with breakfast in Lexington Park followed by a visit to the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. The museum focuses on PAX Naval Air Station which is our country’s primary fighter test facility. The museum has historical displays, flight simulators, and nearly two dozen modern warplanes parked on an accessible flight line. We conclude our tour with a visit to Sotterley Plantation, the last publicly accessible plantation in eastern MD. Established in the late 1600’s and expanded by successive owners, Sotterley provides a view into the lives of the colonial elites and the slaves who toiled for them. We will have a late lunch at the plantation before heading home.

Instructor: Doug Estepp started Coal Country Tours in 2010 not as a money making venture but rather to pursue a passion. That passion was history and historic preservation. Having immersed himself in the history of the West Virginia Mine Wars since 1978, he started Coal Country Tours to share the history of southern West Virginia coal mining, to tell the story of coal miners, their families, the mine wars, and the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain, and to hopefully assist in the preservation of the Blair Mountain Battlefield, an effort that continues to this day. As a result, it didn’t take long before he started offering tours to other destinations including the mid-Atlantic, southern Maryland, Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes. And so he created Heritage Adventures. What he has discovered along the way is that there is an advantage to coming to the travel industry from the outside and from a viewpoint not based on business rules and maximizing profits. What he seeks to offer is what he looks for when he travels – history, culture, new perspectives, good food, good company, comfort, new destinations, knowledge. Thus, his philosophy for success is to offer a better experience and to share the joy of travel. Whether three days or ten, at the end of every tour it does not feel like work to him, it feels like a trip with friends. That makes him a lucky guy.

1634 Founding of Maryland: Weekend Coach Tour
Friday, 8:00 a.m. – Sunday 6:00 p.m., October 6-8
Location: Bus will depart from the FCC Conference Center (E Building) lobby
ILR273-4080: Double Occupancy: $499
ILR274-4081-: Single Occupancy: $549
(Price includes transportation, entry fees, hotel, breakfast, and lunches)

Please Note: Please call Heritage Adventures at 1-540-233-0543 to register. 

You must cancel by Aug 31, 2017 for a full refund. No refund after Aug 31, 2017 for any reason. We recommend you purchase your own travel insurance.

BACK TO ILR COURSE LIST

Summer is Coming…Registration Has Begun!

Summer will be here before we know it. This summer ILR is offering about 30 classes and 2 day trips. So, when can you register? Registration begins on May 1st. Click here to view all of our offerings.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When will I receive my schedule?
You should receive your schedule prior to registration opening on May 1st. You can find a digital copy here.

Where do I register?
You can register online here.

I’m not on your mailing list…how can I be added?
Click here to fill out a request.

ILR is Taking Classes Out into the Community

New! ILR Spring Classes in the Community

Join us for engaging classes focused on history, literature, creative arts, and health and wellness in convenient locations across Frederick County.

These classes are presented at no charge courtesy of partnerships with the Frederick County Public Library and the Frederick Senior Center in conjunction with Frederick Community College’s Institute for Learning in Retirement. These classes have been funded by the Shirley Cruickshank Wolfe Fund which provides program support to the ILR Program at FCC.

Registration:  To register, please contact the individual locations where you would like to attend a class. The staff at your chosen location will provide details and confirm your participation.

Click on the class title for more information:

R U Medically Curious with Dr. Larry Romane

Intro to Zentangles with Barbara Allensworth

Early Greek Democracy with Dr. Karen Gray

World History: The Big Picture with Ernest O’Roark

Creative Writing with Kay Bosgraff

History: Frederick Town in the 1700’s with Chris Haugh

Worried About Weather?

Inclement weather can happen at anytime.  The following information from the FCC Inclement Weather/College Closing Policy policy has been modified for ILR:
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The History of Aviation – Behind the Scenes

The History of Aviation: The Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Aircraft Museum and Behind-the-Scenes Restoration Facility Tour – with Gerry Blake and Ernie O’Rourke

Astounding leaps in aviation technology are on display at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy center located at Dulles Airport. Ranging from Langley’s 1903 Aerodrome to the 2,000 mph SR-71 Blackbird and the Space Shuttle Discovery, it’s difficult to imagine that these machines share the same century.

Instructor Jerry Blake’s considerable technical and historical knowledge will provide participants with an insight into this rapid evolution of manned flight. As part of the tour, Jerry will lead a behind-the-scenes look at the restoration hanger where history aircraft are prepared for display.
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Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology

Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology:
The National Geographic Museum Special Exhibit – with Peg Mauzy

Special 2 Hour Class, Plus One Day Trip…
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Fall Concert Series at FCC

The FCC Music Department invites ILR participants to enjoy these fall concerts…

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Want to Play a Musical Instrument?

A special invitation to ILR students…

Have you always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument? Now’s your chance to learn in a no-pressure environment with FCC’s extraordinary music teachers. Whether you played as a youth or are starting fresh, these individual lessons are tailored to your goals. No tests, no grades – just a way to enhance your life with the joy of music!

Choose half-hour, 45-minute, or hour-long sessions. The 13 week fall session begins the week of August 31st, with the following instruments available:
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