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Leisure Time Well Spent - Daytrips at the Center

November 10, 2017

In 2001, Vivian Mitchel’s journey began when she saw a job advertisement for someone to run daytrips at North Shore Senior Center. When she read the advertisement Vivian said, “It sounded like me. Here I am 15 years later and loving every day!” As program manager for travel and entertainment in Lifelong Learning, Vivian’s skills, training, and longtime event planning experience are invaluable.

Vivian organizes two dozen trips each year to seniors ranging in level of exertion from “one shoe” to “three shoes” (little to lots of walking). The trips are an eclectic sampling of architecture, sports, music, flora, art, culture, history and theater.

“I try to find interesting and unusual places, and when I do,” said Vivian, “I go for it!” Maureen Stoskopf agreed, commenting, “Vivian finds these jewels, and she is always open to new ideas.” But even a familiar venue can be appreciated in a new way. For example, a friend asked Marilyn Upchurch why she wanted to go to the Shedd Aquarium, yet again. “Now that I’m retired,” she said, “I’m going so I can really see it. I won’t have to worry about anybody but me. No chasing after kids or rounding up others.”

Vivian makes each trip a seamless experience for participants. She takes care of all the arrangements—comfortable transportation, luscious food and fascinating adventures. Travelers simply register online, show up at the Center on the appointed day and time, climb aboard the deluxe bus, enjoy the day, and relax as they are driven back to the Center. No driving to the destination. No jostling for a parking spot. No tiring return drive.

As participants attest, daytrips can be habit-forming! A couple of Vivian’s fellow travelers have been going on trips with her for 15 years, and Maureen and her former co-worker, Susan Edelman, have been such daytrip enthusiasts that they would plan their vacation days to correspond with the scheduled dates for trips. Even now in retirement, Susan participates in virtually all the trips added to the calendar, and Maureen adds as many excursions as possible on her own schedule.

Trippers get to know each other over the years, sharing stories and chatting about what’s going on in their lives. Retirees Russ and Karen Whittman have been going on daytrips together for a bit over three years. Although self-admittedly quiet and shy, they enjoy the quiet conversations over lunch and appreciate getting to know other travelers.

If you’re like Maureen, Susan, Marilyn, Russ and Karen, and wouldn’t necessarily take advantage of the many points of interest in our area on your own, join other seniors on one—or more—of the upcoming daytrip outings. Build new memories with other older adults who have similar interests.

If you would like to participate in or learn more about our daytrips, contact Lifelong Learning at 847.784.6030, or refer to our catalog for daytrip details.