Standing atop Sugar Loaf looking across Guanabara Bay as    the last rays of the setting sun break upon the statue of                     Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado 

PREVIOUS TRAVEL

Note:  These trips were taken for CCC Humanities credit or just as travel opportunities. Travelers did not have to be enrolled as students at CCC to go on the trips.

Ireland 2009:  How many people have ever thought, “O, to be in Ireland on St. Paddy’s Day?”  Well, if ever such a whimsical notion has crossed your mind, then here was a simply splendid opportunity to bring it into reality.  So, we got out the Lucky Charms, took a shower with Irish Spring soap and dug out our passports to search for that pot of gold in the magical green land of the shamrock.

  Clinton Community College, in co-operation with Gateway Travel and Cruise, put together a Taste of Ireland tour for Spring Break 2009.  After a departure from Chicago on a direct flight via Aer Lingus (could there be any other choice?), we were whisked away to Dublin and beyond from March 13 – 20, 2009.  Visits included Dublin Castle, Trinity College and other stops on the wee city tour, which were capped by an evening of Irish song and step dancing ala Riverdance at the Merry Ploughboy Pub, where the Guinness  flowed like ambrosia one creamy pint at a time.  But that bit of merriment was only the curtain riser to more delightful adventures at Blarney Castle, the Rock of Cashel, and Blarney Woolen Mills before we headed for Killarney to explore one of its famed singing pubs (where a few draughts of Harp can loosen anyone’s tongue enough to join in the festivities).   Toss in the glory of the Ring of Kerry (a photographer’s delight),  and the breathtaking sights of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, then we crossed to Valencia Island by bridge, and strolled around Sneem and other villages on the way to Moll’s Gap for a full day of Irish magic.  We also got to witness the spectacular Cliffs of Moher after a ferry ride, and then it was off to Bunratty Castle and an evening capped by a medieval dinner with fine Irish wine, along with serenading by the castle’s lords and ladies!   In Limerick, we got to try our hand at composing those scandalous five-liners before visiting Kildare’s Irish National Stud horse farm, followed by a tour of the stunning Japanese gardens before heading back for another day in Dublin.   Our return flight was filled with nostalgia for this shamrock dream of a vacation!

  The trip included airfare to/from Dublin, transfers from both O’Hare and Dublin airports, hotels, full daily Irish breakfasts,  a professional Irish guide (who was blessed with the gift of gab), many hearty dinners, admissions to castles and other stops, souvenir flight bag, taxes and much more.  Remember, March 17 (St. Patrick's) is the day we all become Irish anyway, so why not have spent it in the Emerald Isle? Cost was $2300 per person based on double occupancy, and that even included trip insurance.  Could life be any more “magically delicious”?

 Ireland 2009

There better be a truckload of green ice cream when this is over!

 Doors in Dublin are

definitely distinctive.

Statue of Chaplin

 at Waterville

on the Ring of Kerry

We were royally entertained in

Bunratty Castle

A Monkey Puzzle tree

near Bunratty Castle

The Merry Ploughboys "plough" through

another set

Looking down from Blarney Castle

--with eloquence

A memorial to poet W.B. Yeats in St. Stephen's Green

Kathy and Karen

 in St.Stephen's Green--Dublin

Trinity (College) is

still it's name-- Dublin

"Queer with the Leer"

Oscar Wilde--Dublin

Jonathan Swift's grave inside St. Patrick's
Cathedral--Dublin

No Shirt, No Shoes,

 No Shamrocks,

No Service--HRC

Another night of

 theatre in Dublin

"Look, Daddy--Crazy American tourists!"

Inside the Guinness Storehouse gift shop

Contemplating another

kind of Guinness

Deb and MJ after Sunday services in Stillorgan

Overlooking the Cliffs of Moher--watch that first
step, it's a doozy!

Irish lad Dermot and

Irish lassie Kerry

Almost Monet-like shot

in a Japanese garden
near Kildare

The gathering of the (Mullen) clan in
Killarney

The Stiletto in the Ghetto

on O'Connell Street

If only Dirty Nelly

were alive today...

Charles kisses the

Blarney Stone and is

gifted with even more gab

One of the more than 500

Black Madonna's in Europe

Wonder who built the

castle so close to the road?--Bunratty Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London 2009: When January rolls around, the students, staff and faculty at CCC begin to think, "It must be time to go back to London again."  At least that is how it has been for the last twenty successive years.  However, with retirement just around the corner for the esteemed faculty guide for those trips, it is apparent that all good things must soon come to an end.  So this year's 21st such excursion was probably the final such opportunity to visit England under the auspices of CCC and Gateway Travel and Cruise.  Therefore, anyone who had been sitting back and saying, "There's always next year," had to dig out the old passport and actually make a commitment to take full advantage of this occasion.  London in January still has its many charms and attractions, such as the best theatre in the world, the after-Christmas sales bargains, reasonably good weather, great art museums, the occasional film premiere, pub lunches, the Chunnel train to Paris, and so much more.  The big-draw musicals like Phantom, Les Miz, The Lion King, Wicked and Chicago are still going strong.  But added in were Shakespeare's Twelfth Night with Sir Derek Jacobi as "Malvolio" and a new production of Oliver with the delightful Rowan Atkinson (of "Mr. Bean" fame) assaying "Fagin," and about forty other such theatrical hits, and that sense of superlatives is not at all being overstated. 

  In addition, Harrod's and Selfridge's lead the way of every store in London having bargains galore. The National Gallery, the Tate Modern, the Tate Britain, the Courtauld Institute Gallery, the V&A, the British Museum and dozens more prove that London is an art and history buff's paradise.  Film premieres like last year's Sweeney Todd are usually happening in January as the year-end blockbusters up for Oscars make their way across the pond.  Pub grub is the best way to take in a hearty lunch, with hundreds of these establishments ready to serve up anything from the standard fish and chips up to shepherd's pie.

  Dates for 2009's adventure were January 5-13 and the cost was lowered from the previously announced price down to $1879.00 per person, based on double occupancy.  Included are the transfers to and from Chicago O'Hare, to and from London Heathrow, round-trip flights on United Airlines (nonstop), seven nights at the Royal National Hotel in the heart of the lively Bloomsbury district, several guided walking tours, continental breakfasts daily, and much more.  As always, this trip may be taken for CCC Humanities or literature credits, but students and community personnel may also go along just for the sheer fun of visiting one of the most exciting cities in the world.  So I say brilliant to those who climbed aboard this time--as the time for "London in January" may have just expired.

 London 2009

17 eyes overlooking

 the Thames

Now entering

the City of London

City of London Guildhall

survived the Great Fire of

1666 and the Blitzkrieg

Wesley's Chapel

and Leysian Mission

Charles' first-ever show at

the Jermyn Street Theatre

I, Charles

stands beside

 I, Claudius.

The tomb of author

 John Bunyan

 ...no relation to Paul

The final resting place of

Daniel De-Foe

Somewhere near by

lie William Blake

and his wife Catherine

Betty, Sami, Annie

and Johnny do the

Beatles' walk

"Big Stuff"and piercings

all in one place - Camden

The Changing of

the Guard procession

Annie wanted in, but the nuke in her shoulder bag

was clearly a violation...

Which earned her a trip to The Clink...

But at least she didn't

 end up as part of the "stock photo"

Church of the

 Knights Templar

The gang stands before the

original Hard Rock Café

Piccadilly Circus

2009

One of the many great pubs in London

The Old Blue Last

Glass Gherkin -- downriver from Pickle-dill-y Circus

The Hercule(s) of

detectives --

David Suchet

For examples of the celebrities that one can see perform (or even meet)

on a trip to London see Celebrity Gallery

For a suggested itinerary click on London 2009 Itinerary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sicily 2008:  Oh, to be on an island in the Mediterranean for spring break!  And that is just what the CCC travelers managed to accomplish from March 15-22, 2008.  Using Austrian Airlines as the principal carrier allowed for short layovers in wunderbar Vienna and lovely Napoli on the way into the capital city of Palermo.  The approach to this city from the air was just plain breathtaking. That eye opener set the table for a Sicilian feast for the camera bugs in the group, with a city tour that featured stops at the Cathedral of Palermo, the Benedictine Abbey of Monreale, and a spiritual pilgrimage atop Monte Pellegrino to the Santa Rosalia sanctuary of the town's patron saint.  A lunchtime sojourn along the beaches of Mondello brought seafood delights and gelato to the palates.  After a two-day stay in the capital, it was off in a westerly direction to Segesta with its Greek Doric Temple, Marsala for a de rigeur wine tasting and then south to Agrigento.  The next day brought our attention to the Valley of the Temples, some of the greatest Greek ruins in the world.  But Sicily's history also has Roman touches, as our visit to Piazza Armerina with the ruins of its Roman Villa del Casale showed us.  We ended our days' bus journey swinging north to exotic Taormina with the Hotel Diodoro overlooking the Mediterranean as our final island home.  After a feast of Sicilian cuisine featuring a pasta loaded with tomatoes and zucchini, a tasty grilled beef escalope and a scrumptious cannolo alla Siciliana, we were able to walk off the caloric intake with a nighttime stroll through the town.  But what awaited us next was a day atop the recently active Mount Etna, truly a windy and stunning volcano-blackened landscape as the photos below will attest.  Our final day took us to my favorite site--the Greek ruins of Neapolis Park in Syracuse with stunning strolls through  the ancient (and still viable) theatre, the Latomie stone quarries and the famous Ear of Dionysus.  A final Sicilian dinner on Good Friday evening helped us to bid ciao to this wonderful spring break island tour by way of Vienna and then home.  Next year is Ireland!   

Sicily 2008

Charles poses before

 an ancient temple -

Agrigento

Altar within the 

Monreale Cathedral

"Angelic" bronze

 sculpture discovered

in Villa Comunale

 Over 2000 years of

theatre and still

 going strong - Siracusa

Get your three legged

Gorgon tchochkes heeere!!!

Windmill-powered salt extraction ponds - Trapani Salt Marshes

Pasta served for lunch

in Marsala? I bet

no one saw that coming.

Ai Cavalieri

Hotel - Palermo

A small hilltop

town in Sicily

In the garden,

Giardino Trevelyan -Taormina

Wonder just how much "Veritas" one of these holds

The view made famous by the Godfather movies Giardini-Naxos

"Etna, I'm glad I met ya."

crater of Mt. Etna -

Sicily

Ear of Dionysus -

Siracusa

Ancient ruins at

 the Piazza Armerina -

Sicily

The Merry Wheel

amusement park -

Mondello

Santa Rosalia Grotto -

Monte Pellegrino

Mmmm gelato!

Gilda Gelateria -

Mondello

The triskelion of legs,

Gorgon's head and wheat

make up Sicily's symbol.

Interior art detail of the

Palermo Cathedral

Our hotel

in Taormina -

The Villa Diodoro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London 2008:  To quote Sir Paul McCartney and his cohorts, “It was 20 years ago today….” Well, maybe not exactly, but after so many successive, and successful, trips to London in January, it has now come to pass that CCC and Gateway Travel had the pleasure of offering the 20th such excursion. For such an auspicious occasion, one may well ask, “So what’s new?” Well from January 7-16, 2008, it was possible to find out just exactly why this annual affair has had such a long-standing run of popularity. In the midst of a sometimes bitter Midwest winter, why not take a break and join the group for what may well be the swan song of such trips? Here was a chance to experience a major European capital (or two) with weather like last year’s where each day topped 50 degrees! Add to that the fact that one could meet friends with names like Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir and Cezanne at the famed National Gallery—just one of over forty great art museums to be found in London. Also, one could visit a spot like Kenwood House on the Hampstead Heath, site of such film locations as Notting Hill. There are always film premieres going on at that time of year with a chance to see major Hollywood stars stroll on the red carpet, such as last year’s premiere of Rocky Balboa which brought Sly Stallone to town and this year’s chance to see the stars of both Charlie Wilson’s War and Sweeney Todd. And of course London’s West End is the home of the world’s greatest theatre with such standards as Phantom, Les Miz, The Lion King and Wicked still going strong and now joined by such new modern musicals as Hairspray and the over three-hour Lord of the Rings.
The Russell Hotel in the Bloomsbury district was a great accommodation in the heart of central London with easy access to the British Museum housing the Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, The Elgin Marbles and a new display called “The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army”. We ate lunch in pubs, rode the giant London Eye, shopped for bargains during the famous post-Christmas sales, cruised the Thames River, hopped a train over to Windsor Castle, saw the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, visited the Tower of London, and took the Chunnel over to Paris for the day as a topper.
Cost for this year was $1,650 per person based on double occupancy—a true bargain in this era of constantly rising gas prices. So the group had the time of its life in both London and Paris. Again, to quote another song, “It may be the last time, I don’t know….” We did not miss out on this excellent adventure.

 London 2008

What if "Eiffel"

off the carousel -

Paris

A surprise upon

exiting the underground

Now taking name

suggestions for

the new Bond girl

The other "Fab" Four

on the steps of

Abbey Road Studio

It must take a lot of

"Gaulle" just to stand there

A London Eye

view

of things

Finding bargains

is pretty

much a "Lock"

Hey,Vincent! Can you

hear me now? Good.

No that isn't a

three-legged

ferris wheel

Let them eat

Spam... a lot -

Palace Theatre

Don't forget to add the freshly ground Piccadilly

CCC stands before

Sir Paul McCartney's new gate

For examples of the celebrities that one can see perform (or even meet)

on a trip to London see Celebrity Gallery

For a suggested itinerary click on London 2009 Itinerary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London 2007:  People who know me often ask, "Why do you keep going back to London? You've been there over 40 times already. What could you possibly see that makes the journey so worthwhile?" Well, one answer is that London is one of the world's most vibrant cities. As such, it is constantly changing. There are always major new art displays in museums like the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academy of Art, the Tate Modern Museum and the Courtauld Institute Gallery. Anyone who loves great art will be fascinated by what turns up at these and dozens of other great venues. For someone interested in film like I am, every week seems to bring on a new film premiere where one can meet the stars and directors on the red carpet in front of theatres like the Vue or the Empire or the Odeon on Leicester Square. The classical music concerts at St. Martin's-in-the-Field Church are ever changing and always stimulating to someone who enjoys great music. And of course the West End is the absolute center for great live theatre where one gets to see famous stars of both stage and screen perform live and can then go backstage and meet such luminaries as Peter O'Toole, Vanessa Redgrave, Derek Jacobi, Ralph Fiennes, Ian McKellan, Mark Rylance, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith or Bob Hoskins. A recent phenomenon is the appearance of the well-recognized American film and TV stars like Matthew Perry, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Cattrall, Holly Hunter, John Hurt, Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas or Brooke Shields. Add to that the opportunity to take the Chunnel over to Paris in just a little over two hours, to shop for bargains during the post-Christmas sales, to take in the ambience of a pub, to visit historic sites like Windsor Castle, the Tower of London or the Houses of Parliament, see magnificent churches like Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's Cathedral, tour the Globe Theatre site, and take a leisurely and entertaining cruise down the Thames River and London is alive with possibilities. This year's dates were January 8-17. The musical Wicked opened in September and Monty Python's Spamalot in October. They joined lots of other newly mounted shows and old favorites like Les Miz and Phantom of the Opera. Thanks to all who came along on this our 19th annual trip across the pond. The price for this London getaway was $1,597.00 per person based on double occupancy.

 London 2007

Patrick Stewart

"makes it so" for a fan.

Love Song at the

New Ambassadors

Skylar spends tuppence

to feed the pigeons

The original Hard Rock Café a CCC favorite

A partially restored

Notre Dame at night

Westminster Abbey

in all its glory

Horse Guards

parade on the Mall

All hail Caesar Marcus Ulpius Trajanus Augustus!

Buckingham Palace

from St. James' Park

Off to the Tower -

London England

Rhythm on guitar

Hard Rock Café - London

Who's your

Mummy?

Shannon "gives way"

for Argus Filch

"UK phone home!" A trademark red phone booth

At the Arc 07 -

Paris, France

A perennial favorite

the Hotel Russell

Bronze of Mahatma Ghandi

 Tavistock Square - London

Love the Beatles

 and coffee? Just yell!

 For examples of the celebrities that one can see perform (or even meet)

on a trip to London see Celebrity Gallery

For a suggested itinerary click on London 2009 Itinerary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rome 2006:  Viva Italia! in March. Anyone with a desire to travel to one of the most romantic countries for Spring Break had this golden opportunity made available. Just imagine, "the glory that was Greece" in 2005 turned into "the grandeur that was Rome" from March 18 - 25 in 2006. Our hotel was two blocks from the Colosseum, and within walking distance of the Roman Forum, the Piazza Venezia with its tomb of the Unknown Soldier, St, Peter in Chains Church with Michelangelo's massive statue of Moses, the Piazza Navona with Bernini's Fountain, and the Trevi Fountain. Travelers  got to see the Spanish Steps, visit the Vatican and sample the best pizza, pasta and gelato in the world. Not only that, but side trips to Florence, Pisa, Tuscany, Naples and the ancient ruins of Pompeii were available. Prices for these optional tours were as follows Florence and Pisa:  $220.00; Tuscany: $163.00; and Naples and Pompeii: $148.00. Those prices did include lunch and all entrance fees. Also included in the cost for this trip was a city tour and a papal audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The price for this grand Italian adventure was $1,923.00 per person. Buon Viaggio!  

Rome 2006

 Triple arch - Ruins

of the

Roman Forum

The Leaning Tower

is open again - Pisa

CCC conquers

the Roman

Colosseum

A front-row

blessing by

Pope Benedict XVI

Cellini's Perseus in an

outdoor "Museum"

Santa Croce

restored to its

former glory

The Campidoglio

designed by

Michaelangelo

The Chains of

St. Peter

Beware of the dogs!

Who let them out?

who? who? who?

Yep, that pretty

 much says it all

Bernini's Elephant - an

unusual obelisk

Group photo

op in front of

"The Wedding Cake"

The traditional

hitting the

Hard Rock Café

Ghiberti's Gates of

Paradise - Firenze

Eat your

heart out,

 Kilroy!!

Charles faces

the Mouth of Truth

Ouch!

Hotel Mercure

Delta - Roma

It's always better

to be on this side of

a locked gate.

Ashley, Carol,

Mary Jo and Jeanne

in a Tuscan winery

The world famous

Trevi Fountain

The young ladies

with "Max" at

the Bay of Naples

Yet again we

lay siege to the

Spanish Steps

Kelsey stands amidst

the ruins - Pompeii

Miraculously not

decomposing -

Pope John XXIII

For a suggested itinerary click on Rome 2006 Itinerary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London 2006:  London in January is still HOT! HOT! HOT!  You may well ask,  "How can any place north of the Equator be hot in January?"  Well, how about hot theatre!  Hot museums!  Hot after-Christmas bargains!  Hot pubs!  Hot flea markets!  Hot night-clubs!  Hot trips to Paris!  Hot hotel!  Hot movie stars!  Hot Half-Price tickets!  Hot castles!  The list goes on. After what is now 18 years straight going to London in January, I think that I can speak from ample experience.  Dates this year were January 9--January 16! For some evidence of how HOT it was, check out my Celebrity Gallery (link below) for pictures of some of the hot movie stars that were seen performing in London.  If you missed out and found yourself staying behind in the COLD Midwest, you should make it a priority to join us next year for a HOT time in England's swinging capital. Price for this London getaway was only $1,449.00 per person. Start planning now and stay tuned to this site for updates and pricing info. England is a fun, safe and easy place to navigate in and since there are no foreign language skills required, those first-time travelers thinking of joining us need not worry.

 

 London 2006

St. Basil's Ice

Sculpture for the

Russian Winter Festival

Big Ben stands tall...

and tells time

British Air's

famous London Eye

open in January???

Mary Stewart

now playing

at the Apollo

Doorway to Narnia, or an

interactive bus stop?

The Royal Haymarket's production of

A Man for all Seasons

Joseph Fiennes

stars in Epitaph

 for George Dillon

Old comedy

and new sod

Wow, who

knew they were

 nocturnal?

Leisure cruise on

the tranquil waters

of Camden Lock

CCC going Eiffel -

Paris 2006

I bet Burger King

isn't "lovin it."

Piccadilly Circus 2006

Memoirs of a

Geisha premieres

in London

Notre Dame

restoration complete

"Nice restore work but

it's nothing to lose your

 head over."- St. Denis

"Chunnel Dweller"

London to Paris in

two hours anyone?

"Monsieur, ou-est

les autos?"

Stand here and you'll

someday return -

Kilometer Zero

 For examples of the celebrities that one can see perform (or even meet)

on a trip to London see Celebrity Gallery

For a suggested itinerary click on London 2009 Itinerary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greece 2005: Having been to Greece in 2001, I can personally say that it is one of the most visually stunning destinations one could ever hope to visit. Now in 2005 it was even more spectacular. For those of you who were not aware, there were crews of builders and stone masons that had been working nearly non-stop for several years to resurface and restore the monuments to their original glory, so they would be ready in time for the 2004 Olympics. One year later was a perfect time to visit after all the initial press had died down and tourism had returned to a somewhat more normal level. It was worth bringing plenty of extra film or an extra large memory stick (for those like me who have gone digital with their images) for this one. Oh yes, and a good set of walking/hiking shoes is necessary as Greece is mostly mountainous but was definitely well worth the climb as the group saw views (like those in the gallery below) that will stay with them for a lifetime. The dates were March 19th - 26th.

Greece 2005

Greek Goddess Giota Plan your tour,

 she will

Bust of Sophocles - National Garden

Theatre of Dionysus

 at the base of the Acropolis

The Mask of Agamemnon

The Massive

Corinth Canal

"Made it, Ma!

 Top of the world!"

 

This year's "catch" of Greek Fishermen

Aphrodite and Cupid deny Pan

Charles finds his "haunted" villa -

Hydra

Fresco from

Knossos - Bull Vaulting

The Judgment of Paris (minus the apple)

Evzones in step for Changing of the Guard

The Magic

 of Sounion

   Enough said...

 (Bush)

Temple of

Olympian Zeus

Karissa and her adopted "Grandmas"

Lion Gate at

 Mycenae

Three beers and

a cup of joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London 2005: This journey was the seventeenth annual January trip to London for CCC and Charles' 64th  venture to Europe. Always a favorite destination, London has more to see and do than can possibly be covered in any one vacation, which is why several people (myself included) from the college and community have gone more than once. Big draws this time of year included Stonehenge, the Tower of London, Wimbledon (for fans of tennis) and Liverpool (the home of the Beatles). Of course you can always shop until you drop at the after-Christmas sales going on at places like Harrods, Virgin Megastore, Portobello Road and Camden Town. Want more? How about the Jack the Ripper Walk, or the Earls Court Boat Show (one of the largest in the world). Of course there's always some of the world's best theatre going on and all the celebrities that one can see perform, meet, get autographs from and even pictures taken with, like the ones in our Celebrity Gallery (link below). Having run from January 10th  - 20th , it was definitely the place to be and you couldn't have asked for a better or a more experienced guide to show you all the best that London has to offer. The price this year was $1487.00 for 11 days.

 

 London 2005

Sometimes in London

you get a little

 carried away.

On tap at the

Half-Price booth.

Did everyone

remember to bring

Blue Suede Shoes?

 

It's Supercalifragalistic-

expialidocious.

Chicago in London?

Well the musical anyway.

I wonder if he eats

 Coco Puffs.

Attempting "The Walk"

 - Abbey Road, London

The gate to Sir Paul McCartney's house opens.

CCC rocks the

Arc de Triomphe -

Paris

Kim Cattrall stops to

 sign autographs.

Say it in your best Ozzy voice... SHAARRONN!!!

Famous for her "Rizzo"

 in the movie Grease, Stockard Channing

Stopping for lunch

 at a pub.

Off in the distance Big Ben keeps watch... and the time.

Pub lunch part deux.

 

 For examples of the celebrities that one can see perform (or even meet)

on a trip to London see Celebrity Gallery

For a suggested itinerary click on London 2009 Itinerary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rio de Janeiro 2004: This trip was our first excursion into beautiful South America and for those who wanted something a little more exotic, this was a great opportunity. For only $1414.00 per person (based on double occupancy), Rio had much to offer. From sandy beaches with warm water, to stunning views, to art, culture and nightlife, all with a decidedly Latin flavor, Rio was truly the hot spot for Spring Break in 2004. Things to see and do included shopping at Barras (the largest mall in Rio) or either of Rio's constant fairs: the Feira de Hippie and the Feira de Sao Cristَvao; touring the Modern Art Museum; or relaxing and having a cold fruit juice in a boteco like Mr. Suco (Brazilian version of a juice bar). We also took a Jeep trek through the Floresta da Tijuca where some of us learned to Samba in front of a waterfall, and others took a stroll through the Jardim Botânico, Rio's two green spots. Included in this package were two half-day visits to famous Corcovado and Sugar Loaf (the above picture is a view of Corcovado and Guanabara Bay from the top of Sugar Loaf).  There were also the beaches at Ipanema (made famous by the song "Girl from Ipanema"), Leblon and Copacabana, which offered us hang gliding (which Christopher, Paul and Angie decided to experience), paragliding (which Lynn chose to brave), or the chance just to relax and work on our tans. The majority of us also chose the optional trips to Petropolis, during which we got to tour the Emperor Dom Pedro the II's summer home where they put us to work polishing the beautiful hardwood floors by wearing carpeting strapped to our feet; Tijuca where we went barreling through the forest (the world's largest national park within an urban setting) in Jeeps; and the tropical islands cruise where we all piled aboard a schooner and headed out to one of the many beautiful islands for a relaxing day of swimming and fun on the water and several people learned to beware sneak attacks from the dreaded Ruby Gassmanus Carcharodon (red-skinned Paulshark). All told it was a fun, exotic and thoroughly enjoyable vacation so thanks to the twenty eight who joined us in "crossing the line" (the Equator) to the Southern Hemisphere and living as Cariocas for a week in paradise.

 Rio de Janeiro 2004

Sunrise over

Copacabana beach

Chris and Christ at

Corcovado

One of the many tropical islands in our cruise

Angie soars over

the Atlantic

The Marianos with

Leticia -Tijuca Forest

CCC meets a group of young Cariocas

Hard Rock Café -

Rio de Janeiro

The Church and

the Christ

Judy, Sara, Alexis and "New York, New York"

The dreaded Red-skinned Paulshark seeks prey

Rio: A history

through dance

Elpidio, Charles, Eco and all the meat they could eat

Eco marks the occasion  of our coming to Rio

"The Last Supper"

done in stained glass

I wonder if she knows I'm giving her bunny ears

CCC "roots" for Rio

in the Jardim Botanico

Paul and Susan by a Cristo Redentor replica

CCC in the shadow

of Sugar Loaf - Rio

Angie, Judy and

"Uncle Buck" stock up

Pedro De Paula,

our illustrious guide

Angie, Chris and Eco stand before Corcovado

Christopher Robin

takes flight

 

"OK, blink on the count of three -- one... two..."

Shake it like a

Polaroid picture

Seven pics merged into one panoramic of the Atlantic from Copacabana 

Click on any of the the small thumbnails above to see a larger picture.

For more pictures you can still check out the  Rio Gallery

or for a basic timeline of our trip click on  Rio 2004 Itinerary

NOTE: This vacation required purchasing a Visa from the Brazilian government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London 2004: This January trip was the sixteenth annual consecutive visit to London. It afforded students and community people the opportunity to visit numerous museums, among which were the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Saatchi Gallery, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, British Museum and the Courtauld Institute Gallery. Participants also went the extra mile and visited such spots as Leeds Castle, Windsor Castle, Bath, Stonehenge, Stratford, Dulwich, Greenwich, the Tower of London and even East Croyden. Several people took advantage of the weather (mid-50's) and did London Walks around Bloomsbury, Chelsea and the ever-popular Jack the Ripper Walk. Among the theatre options available were such standbys as Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Chicago. New plays that we saw included the wonderful Oscar Wilde comedy A Woman of No Importance with Prunella Scales and Samantha Bond, the Cole Porter standard Anything GoesSweet Panic with Jane Horrocks from AbFab, the Rod Stewart musical Tonight's the Night, and of course Jerry Springer: the Opera, as well as Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Harold Pinter's Betrayal, and the new comedy See U Next Tuesday with film star Patsy Kensit. Click the Celebrity Gallery link below for some pictures of celebrities we've met while in London. We stayed at the 4-star Victorian Russell Hotel, which has become our favorite living quarters in London, from January 5th to 15th. This year's price was only $1375.00 for eleven days. London was fab, as George Harrison would say.      

 

London 2004

CCC hits the

Hard Rock Café

The grass is always greener on the other...

A controversial

new musical

The Millennium Bridge crossing to St. Paul's

The Globe Theatre

 from the Thames

Charles at the site of the original Globe Theatre

Abbey Road Studios--Home of the Beatles

A "bleeping"

department store

The 2004 Piccadilly Circus Billboard

 For examples of the celebrities that one can see perform (or even meet)

on a trip to London see Celebrity Gallery

For a suggested itinerary click on London 2009 Itinerary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French Riviera 2003:  This was our eighth consecutive annual Spring Break trip and one of the boldest ever.  We were on the fabulous Riviera, playground of the rich and famous.  A true Spring Break trip involves some time at the beach, and where better to spend that beach time than in Nice.  During April, the tourists have not yet arrived in droves but the weather was just perfect for lying on the sand (or pebbles) along the blue Mediterranean. However, the trip also had educational value as we visited such other sites as Monte Carlo for its glamour, Grasse for its role in the perfume industry, Eze as a beautiful garden balanced on a precipice above the sea, Gourdon as an enchanting medieval village up in the mountains and even ventured into Italy at San Remo on side trips.  This world of great culture, beauty, history and art was a playground for us as well as the wealthy residents—a perfect Spring Break getaway from Iowa.  The dates for this trip were April 16th - 23rd and the cost was $1575 per person based on double occupancy.  We discovered why the French Riviera is everything that has attracted artists and movie stars for hundreds of years. 

French Riviera 2003

The Grand Casino in Monte Carlo

Eco & Andreas in

 Monaco

Harbor at

Monaco

 

The Whole Group Photo

Mt. Boron - Nice

Hotel Negresco -

Nice

Nice at night is

very nice

Jami, Eco, and Christopher at the base of Gourdon

Princess Grace's

Tomb - Monaco

Christopher's new

Azure Bentley only cost him $500,000

Eco & Jami invade the Film Festival Palace

Cannes

The Library-Nice

"it's all in his head"

 Fountains and Flags

 at sunset

Place Messena - Nice

Alma amidst flowers

 near the entrance of the Exotic Gardens - Eze 

Paul & Susan at the Royal Palace -Monaco

Don't want to carry your bags? The Chateau Eze has its own porters

Melvin, Helma, Christopher, Julius, Mary, Carol, Lonnie, & Lucy overlooking Nice

Carol gets Salad Nicoise at our favorite restaurant

Just turned 21

with a different flavored scoop of ice cream for each year

           Photo of Hotel Negresco courtesy of Kathy Mohr:

Kathy Bell-Mohr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London 2003:  This was our 15th annual consecutive visit to England in January and it was our biggest and most ambitious adventure yet.  This 11-day journey cost only $1,335—and no, that was not a misprint. Optional day trips to Paris and Liverpool (home of the Beatles) were also available.  Compare that price with some 5-day theatre trips to New York for the same price.  We stayed at the wonderful Victorian Hotel Russell, only a three-minute walk away from the fabulous British Museum.  We visited Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Abbey Road, Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and even took the high-speed Chunnel to Paris for the day.

   

 We saw great art at the National Gallery, the Courtauld Institute, the Tate Modern and many of dozens more museums in the English capital.  We bought Hard Rock Café t-shirts at the very first such establishment in the world.  We shopped for bargains at the famous after-Christmas sales at Harrods and Selfridges and Tower Records.

     After a dazzling day in this glittering international capital, it was time to go to a pub for dinner and then it was off to the theatre, the best in the world.  This year’s offerings included the following:

     Macbeth starring Sean Bean

     Mrs. Warren’s Profession with Brenda Blethyn and Rebecca Hall

     H.M.S. Pinafore—Gilbert and Sullivan at the Savoy Theatre

     Saltimbanco—with Cirque du Soleil

     The Breath of Life  with Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith

 

      Also available were such famous shows as Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Blood Brothers, The Lion King, and Bombay Dreams (the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical). Other productions starred such great actors of stage and screen as Ralph Fiennes, Samantha Bond (best known as Moneypenny in the James Bond movies), Francesca Annis and Gillian Anderson.

 

London 2003

Dame Judi Dench

Dame Maggie Smith

Gillian Anderson

 

Connie & Courtney sipping hot cider

The world famous

London Eye

In front of

Paul McCartney's house

Group at the Original Hard Rock Café

Brenda Blethyn &

Charles Krumbein

Group visits the

Arc de Triomphe - Paris

Snowfall with Big Ben in the distance

Rebecca Hall plays in

Mrs.Warren's Profession

Sign detail for the Royal Shakespeare Company

 For examples of the celebrities that one can see perform (or even meet)

on a trip to London see Celebrity Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spain 2002: One of our more exotic travel-for-education destinations, where we had an opportunity to visit cities with an historic Moorish past. Our hotel was in Torremolinos, right on the beach of the Mediterranean Spanish Riviera. We even visited a small Spanish village called Frailes, the subject of a new book to be published in May of 2003 by Charles' friend Michael Jacobs. The Rock of Gibraltar, the Alhambra and even Morocco were visited. Food was indeed a highlight here with a special lunch prepared by a chef in Frailes.

 

Spain 2002

        spain paul & dad.jpg (70885 bytes)          Paul and Charles on the Mediterranean

        ape with flag.jpg (64389 bytes)         Barbary Ape on Rock of Gibraltar

          mezquita.jpg (57978 bytes)          La Mezquita (Mosque) - Cordoba 

      spain seville.jpg (63622 bytes)      Neptune's Fountain   in Seville 

  charles and michael in frailes.jpg (59813 bytes)    Charles and Michael   in Frailes

      gibraltar.jpg (65331 bytes)      The Rock of Gibraltar

Lions Court Fountain

(each lion squirts once every 12 hours to form a clock)

Christopher Robin

meets R&B Diva

Alicia Keyes

High Speed Hydrofoil to Morocco - Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    

London 2002: This trip was our 14th annual January excursion to England and its capital city. We had a chance to visit museums, go to the theatre, meet famous stars and enjoy lunches in pubs while shopping during the after-Christmas sales. London is clearly a favorite destination and a wonderful place to visit in order to add to one's education. It is also home to the original Hard Rock Café.

London 2002

Gwyneth

Paltrow

Baker Street

underground

Matt Damon &

Charles Krumbein

Half-Price booth

Piccadilly Circus

 

London Skyline

  For examples of the celebrities that one can see perform (or even meet)

on a trip to London see Celebrity Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Greece 2001: A venture back to the land of an ancient civilization, with our hotel only two blocks away from the famous Acropolis, which we looked at every night from our rooftop vantage point. Students got to climb up to that ancient site, as well as visit several Greek islands, watch the sunset at Sounion, see an ancient theatre at Epidaurus and even tour the home of the famous oracle at Delphi. A study of the art and architecture of ancient Greece was a must. Moussaka, dolmares, retsina and Greek salads topped the menu.

 

Greece 2001

Theatre at Delphi

Dannika at Delphi

Sunset at Sounion

Chris at Sounion

Island of Hydra

Hard Rock Café

Cafe in Athens

Group at Acropolis

Eco and Evzone at Syntagma Square

Christine, Alma, & Eco, pose in front of a church

New Olympic event

the 100 Meter Dannika Toss

Mount Parnassus

Home to Apollo and the nine Muses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amsterdam 2000: Definitely a young person's town, with its Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank's House for educational purposes. This city of canals and a brand new Hard Rock Café delighted young students and faculty alike. The openness of this European capital took many of the visitors by surprise, but with a chance to walk the town and to use the canals and trolleys, we soon felt comfortable without getting "in Dutch". Van Gogh's art was our central subject of study.

 

Amsterdam 2000

Arch reads "Man Should Not Piss into the Wind" 

Oudekirk

Hard Rock Café on the canal

Canal by Prinsengraacht

Vincent's Sunflowers in Diamonds 

Van Gogh Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bangkok 1999: Wow! Talk about exotic, this trip was our most ambitious adventure abroad yet. Here the students studied the differences between Buddhism and Christianity and got a taste of the Far East to boot. The plane flight was exhausting, the wats (temples) were glorious, the food was wonderful and shopping for silk, jewelry and other treasures was a true education. Just riding around in the tuk-tuks was hair-raising at times. Another Hard Rock Café gave a small taste of home to us all.

 

Bangkok 1999

Elephant Ride

Dannika and John at Royal Wat

Hard Rock Café - Thailand

Temple Guardians

Reclining Buddha

Tuk-Tuk Taxi Service


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paris 1998: As Spring approaches, a person often turns to thoughts of oo-lah-lah! What better place to experience the thrills of European glamour than in the City of Light itself? The lively capital of France welcomed us to the delights of spectacular museums such as the Louvre and D'Orsay, strolls down spacious boulevards like the Champs-Elysees and the Rue Pigalle, visits to world-famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, and the opportunity to sample world-class cuisine. We arrived shortly after the tragic accident that claimed the life of Princess Di and so paid our respects at the makeshift people's memorial put up in her honor. A pleasant day was spent in the Parisian suburb of Auvers-sur-Oise, the final home and resting place of Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. Of course a mandatory trek to the Hard Rock Café was in keeping with tradition and the purchase of fine perfumes and colognes at the Parfumerie Fragonard is quickly becoming a new favorite pastime. Be certain to stop at Notre Dame Cathedral, glimpse the gargoyles, and dance on the Kilometer Zero marker to promise yourself a lifetime of return visits. The final evening took us up to Montmarte, home of Sacre Coeur Basilica and the Place du Terte where one can commission a portrait or purchase original art works from the many talented international artists who set up their easels adjacent to all the quaint cafes. Paris can easily be reached by Chunnel from London on any of our annual ventures in January, but Paris can be enjoyed even more once the buds of Spring begin to bloom.

 

Paris 1998

Notre Dame Cathedral

(of Hunchback fame) partially cleaned

Eiffel Tower

 counting down to

 the new Millennium

Charles at Auvers-sur- Oise next to the Van Gogh print of same

Christopher and Charles take sides at Sacre Coeur

The world famous

Louvre Gallery - Paris

The Arc de Triomphe

(we later went to the top)

Christopher, Joy, John & Dennis at Fragonard

The people's

Memorial to Princess Di

A visit to the

Hard Rock Café - Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rome 1997: Rome was neither built in a day, nor can it be enjoyed in one. No other city brings together such sights and experiences so intimately. Even our week-long excursion was hardly sufficient to experience all the historical, cultural, architectural and culinary offerings the city has to offer. The Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica and the Roman Forum were just a few of the sights we covered. There was also the Pantheon, the magnificent Trevi Fountain and Rome's best-known monument the Coliseum, which I had a perfect view of out the window of my hotel room, daily.  Additionally there were side trips going to Florence and Pompeii, the city buried in ashes when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. Oh, and then there was the food! If you think you know Italian cuisine but haven't eaten in Italy, you don't know what you are missing. Seriously, I've eaten the American version of several Italian dishes at some of the best restaurants in the states, and it's just not the same. Then there are desserts, and don't even get me started on gelato (the Italian version of ice cream)-- so many flavors, so little time. So make sure and sign up in advance and don't miss our next Roman holiday.

 

Rome 1997

Christ with Cross - St. Maria over Minerva, Rome

The Statue of Moses -

St. Peter in Chains, Rome

Michaelangelo's Pietà -

St. Peter's Basilica,Vatican

Ancient Ruins of

The Circus Maximus -

Rome

Christopher captures "The Creation of Man" using his flash

Lanel and Nichole decide they shall call him

 "Mini David"

Non-CCC students inside

the Coliseum - Rome

Nichole astride a

marble statue -Vatican

CCC invades the

Spanish Steps - Rome

The Roman Forum in Panoramic

Panoramic Courtesy of Romanhomes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles K: The Early Years: Most of this website’s contents are a graphic record of the last ten years or so of what has been a very unusual career in education.  For the mildly curious who wish to pursue information on its origins, this section offers a brief glimpse into the genesis of that career.  Charles received his BA in English at the University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh in 1964, with a minor in history.  He then moved out to San Francisco in the fall of that year and attended San Francisco State University for the next two years (earning a 3.44 GPA) before being drafted into the US Army in September of 1966.  That military interruption prevented the actual awarding of his MA degree in English until 1973.  In the military, Charles was trained at Fort Ord in Monterrey, California, and then at Fort Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, by the U.S. Army Security Agency.  In June of 1967, he was shipped to Kagnew Station on the Horn of Africa in Asmara, Ethiopia (presently Eritrea).  His position there is still classified under military intelligence strictures.

            Taking full advantage of the situation, Charles began his college-level teaching at the University of Asmara in 1967 where he taught classes in Shakespeare and modern drama before applying to teach with the University of Maryland—Overseas Division in 1968.  He began a seven-year stint with that institution which carried him beyond his four-year obligation with the military which ended in September of 1970 while he was still in Africa.  In those years, working for the University of Maryland was a real adventure, as any instructor or professor who did so could tell.  It involved teaching on three different continents, often in the same academic year.  Charles counts among his many exotic outposts such wondrous spots as Adana, Turkey (the home of Incirlik AFB), Karamursel, Turkey (on the Sea of Marmara directly across from Istanbul), Pirmasens, Germany (on the border with France), Stuttgart, Germany (home of Mercedes-Benz), Friedberg, Germany (where Elvis was stationed in the 1950’s), and Wiesbaden, Germany (where he taught a full Comp. I course in just three weeks!!). 

All of these outposts afforded opportunities to travel widely:  from Asmara, Charles was able to visit Khartoum, Sudan (where he stood at the conflux of the Blue Nile and White Nile Rivers), Yemen (still one of the most restricted travel destinations in the world), Djibouti (home of the French Foreign Legion and site of his involvement with transporting the last legal cheetah out of Africa), and even up to Israel (at a time when travel there up the Red Sea meant flying El Al with all lights off and no talking allowed).  In-country travel in Ethiopia occasioned trips to such exotic destinations as ancient Axum (famed for its obelisks), Lalibela (home of the many Christian churches carved out of the living rock), Bahar Dar (site of the Tis Issat or Blue Nile Falls), Gondar (ancient Portuguese capital with its medieval castles), Massawa (steamy hot port where he did some deep-sea fishing on the Red Sea), and the capital Addis Ababa.

While in Turkey, Charles had opportunities to visit as well.  From Incirlik Air Force Base, he went down to Tarsus on the Mediterranean (birthplace of St. Paul), ancient Antioch (site of one of the first Christian churches in the world), Goreme (with its wind-carved landscape which resembles something like that of the moon), Alanya and Antalya on the southern Mediterranean coast, and Side (with its ancient Roman theatre).  From Karamursel, Charles went south to such off-the-beaten-path destination as Bursa (former capital of the Ottoman Empire), Eskisehir (famous for its mines of material used to make meerschaum pipes), Ephesus (site of the ancient classical Greek and Roman ruins), Istanbul (home of the fantastic Blue Mosque, the Kapalicarsi or Covered Bazaar and Topkapi, as well as allowing one to cross a bridge in the city from Asia to Europe and back).  This base also provided ready access to travel to Greece (about which more later).  Such adventures added greatly to his education and love of history and travel.

While stationed on and off in Germany (as was the life of a Maryland instructor in the 1970’s), Charles was able to travel all over Europe.  France was right next door and many a weekend was spent in a French café with pate, wine, baguettes, pastries, glaces and a croque-monsieur or three as companions.  From Germany, it was also easy to travel up to Scandinavia where Denmark was a favorite destination.  Other regular visitations were made to Amsterdam and the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy, where the Italian language course from Ethiopia came very much in handy.  As a firm believer in travel as an intense source of education, he has built on that philosophy and made it a central fixture in his present teaching career as well.  Evidence is available all throughout this website in the numerous photographs taken of the many students who have accompanied Charles on trips to Europe, Asia and South America, as well as locally to theatre and art destinations in Chicago, Madison and Spring Green, Wisconsin, and also throughout Iowa.

There are actually two travel destinations that make the top of Charles’ list of favorites:  Athens and London.  Greece has been a life-long passion because of its being the birthplace of theatre and drama.  Charles made his first trip outside of North America to Greece in 1967, as a layover stop on his way to Ethiopia.  That one magical day has inspired over a dozen follow-up visits in subsequent years.  Back in the 1960’s, it was still possible to go inside the Acropolis and actually touch the columns of that magnificent architectural wonder.  On the same grounds is the Theatre of Dionysus where again it was then possible to walk across the orchestra and even to sit in the ancient judges’ chairs.  Now neither of those opportunities is available, but that has not dampened his enthusiasm for all things Greek.  Charles also spent three months from November of 1970 to January of 1971 living in a haunted villa on the Saronic Greek island of Hydra in the beautiful Aegean Sea.  That time was used in preparing to take the exam to finalize his MA degree which had been interrupted by his military service back in 1966.  Using the ferry boat out of Piraeus, which at the time took three and a half hours but cost only 30 drachmas ($1.00 in US currency!), he was able to make frequent trips back into Athens and to visit mainland Greece’s many wondrous sites such as Delphi, Epidaurus, Corinth and Sounion.

With that love of the theatre engendered by Greece, the other natural hot spot to pilgrimage to is London.  Charles has made almost fifty (!) trips to London and England.  The world of theatre is in constant flux and there are always new productions to witness and famous celebrities to watch perform and to meet.  Again, ample evidence is available on this website of such encounters.  London has almost become a second home, and with the modern version of the Globe Theatre on the Bankside across from St. Paul’s, those visits in the late spring have become regular ones.  But the whole West End is a world alive with the excitement of theatrical performances at any time of year.  For the last twenty years, Charles has taken groups to London in January for theatre and art, using those trips to enhance some of the classes that he teaches.  England itself is also a living history museum, so that visits to places like Stonehenge (where again in the late 1960’s one could walk right up to and touch the giant sarsen stones), Bath, Brighton, the Isle of Wight, Canterbury, Oxford and Liverpool bring to life a world that constantly rewards the fortunate traveler.  Of course, one cannot leave out Stratford-upon-Avon, home of Shakespeare and certainly sacred ground for any lover of theatre.  Add in castles such as Leeds, Warwick and the Tower of London, mix in the great art museums such as the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Courtauld Institute Gallery, the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, and one has more than ample reasons to make regular pilgrimages “across the pond”.

In 1975, Charles wrapped up his career as a Maryland instructor in order to return to the USA to pursue a further graduate degree.  He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin—Madison in the Ph.D. program in English, with an emphasis on drama.  Here his major professors included such heavyweights as Mark Eccles, one of the foremost authorities on Shakespeare in the world, Standish Henning, who specialized in Renaissance drama, Eric Rothstein, whose expertise in Restoration and 18th Century literature is widely renowned, and Esther Merle Jackson, one of the foremost authorities on Tennessee Williams.  His GPA came in at 3.74 for over 100 hours of course work in that field.  However, in order to support his family, Charles needed to seek steady employment and did so by teaching at the University of Wisconsin—Platteville for four full years (1978-82) and then at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater for two successive fall terms.  Just working for four months out of the year was not sufficient to cover family expenses and so he sent out resumes to various schools, one of which was EICCD in Clinton, where he was hired in 1984 and has now been an instructor in English, literature, film and humanities ever since.  The humanities part of the program involves those course in which, as presently set up, travel to other countries is part of the requirement for students who participate.  However, other students and community personnel who do not wish to take the classes may still travel along with those earning credits in the courses.  That has been the basis for much of the foreign travel of late.

            Overall, Charles has made approximately seventy trips to Europe, over fifteen to Asia, and over a dozen to Africa.  He has visited over forty countries and has sponsored almost forty such trips out of Clinton Community College which have provided hundreds of students and community personnel with their first foreign travel experiences.  One can learn more in a week on the ground in a foreign country than can ever be learned from spending months with textbooks getting the experiences second-hand.  His travel courses have also been open to students from the other two district schools of Muscatine and Scott Community Colleges.  Charles does hope that when he retires in just a year or so that someone else will take up the challenge of continuing these programs which have enhanced the educational opportunities of students in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

            Finally, here is a word or two on the black-and-white photographs which accompany this section.  There are two taken at the University of Asmara in present-day Eritrea in what obviously was a very well-lit classroom.  They are the ones with “Shakespeare” written on the blackboard.  One shows Charles with his very first class of college-level students.  That is significant because those photos are all that tangibly remain of those first experiences (except for a few souvenirs and programs).  Also, because the University of Asmara was one of only two such institutions in Ethiopia at the time (the other was in the capital of Addis Ababa), that meant that the Emperor Haile Selassie would come to the commencement ceremony and personally hand out the diplomas and shake the hands of each student and instructor.  It is not often that one gets a chance to meet an emperor.  The other two photos with the list on the blackboard of literary devices are from his days with the University of Maryland Sub-Saharan outpost in Asmara at Kagnew Station.  The students are all military personnel who were stationed there as well.  The photos are dated from 3 July 1969.  So here he is dressed in the style of the ‘60’s, along with military-issue eyeglasses and GI haircut.  Obviously, “the times they are a-changin’”. 

            If this extensive picture in words at all fills in a few gaps and answers some questions that a visitor to the website may have, then it will have done its job.

 

Eritrea 1968-69

Charles' first class at

University of Asmara

Charles teaches English

at Kagnew Station

Charles' future was

so bright...

Charles teaches Lit for

University of Maryland