1. America’s Pastime and its Dominican Connection

    image Spring is officially here and the polar vortex is, for now, a thing of the past! It was a long, hard winter, but the warmth and bloom of the new season is right around the corner, and with it comes some of my favorite activities and Road Scholar learning adventures!

    Having grown up here in the Greater Boston area, I am, of course, a diehard Red Sox fan (not quite at the level of my husband, who goes to sleep listening to his sports talk radio). I try to get in as many Red Sox games as I can during the season, if only to cheer on my favorite player, Big Papi!

    Baseball’s Dominican Identity

    Now, baseball may be America’s pastime, but in Big Papi’s native Dominican Republic, it’s a way of life. Road Scholar’s new educational adventure, The Best Baseball in the World: Life and the Great Game in the Dominican Republic, amid the Caribbean coastline, colonial architecture and the welcoming landscape of Santo Domingo, offers the opportunity to experience the game as an element of the Dominican identity. I worked as a tour director in the DR in the early 1980s and the Oakland A’s had their spring practice there, so I was privileged enough to combine my love of baseball and travel at an early age!

    We’re thrilled to be able to create an educational travel opportunity like this to explore the country’s history and culture beyond the natural beauty that has traditionally attracted visitors.  It’s how we think about learning and travel — we look for what is culturally relevant, unique and special, and work it into a groundbreaking educational program.

    Sharing your love of the game with a grandchild

    If your grandkids are anything like my 16-year-old nephew, they’re huge baseball fans, too. We have a great Intergenerational learning adventure called Curveballs, the Curse and Red Red Sox Legends, where the future sluggers will get to explore the ins and outs of century-old Fenway Park, attend a Red Sox game, and even play a game in the Boston Common.

    Other Spring learning adventures

    And it’s not all baseball! We have lots of other great spring learning adventures on the horizon for a variety of interests. Coming up in May, there’s the England’s Great Garden Heritage, From Sissinghurst to Chelsea, where participants will join expert botanists on a grand survey of the best of English gardens from Kent and the Cotswolds to London for a full day at the world’s most prestigious annual garden show. It’s sold out for this year, but you can enroll early in the upcoming June catalog for 2015! 

    Even though there was still some snow covering my tulip bulbs this morning, I know that the revitalizing warmth of spring is right around the corner! I hope you’re anticipating it as much as I am, and that you find yourself on a new, mentally stimulating adventure to mark its arrival.  

    — JoAnn Bell


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