Trips & Socials

Bus Trip: On Wisconsin: BE A BADGER FOR A DAY

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

See brochure for more information.

Be a Badger for a day as we tour two outstanding University of Wisconsin facilities in Madison – the Kohl Center and the Chazen Museum of Art. Both facilities are the second largest in the state and the largest outside Milwaukee. In between we’ll break for a quick trip to Whole Foods followed by a delicious Italian lunch.

The Kohl Center is the home of the university’s men’s basketball and ice hockey teams, and the women’s basketball team. Its arena can be rearranged to accommodate a basketball court, a hockey rink, or a concert. Our 45-minute guided tour takes us from the locker room to a seat in a Kohl Center Suite. We’ll also sit in one of the Kohl Center’s 17,230 seats and marvel at the beauty of the huge Mendota Wall, a glass installation by alum Dale Chihuly. The arena is named for former U.S. Senator and Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl, also an alum, who donated $25 million of his Kohl’s department/grocery store fortune to the building project. Wisconsin Bus Trip Logo

Our next stop is the Whole Foods store where you can shop for goodies (take home dinner from the great deli?) or relax over a cup of coffee. Then on to lunch at Francesa’s al Lago on the downtown square across from the capitol building. Our family-style meal features Caesar salad, Farfalle alla Paesana (Bow tie pasta sautéed with Italian sausage, wild mushrooms and peas in a light tomato cream sauce), Pollo al Limone (Roasted chicken breast with lemon, white wine and capers and sautéed spinach), Tiramisu, Italian bread and beverage. Yummy! To walk off all that, time for another tour.

The Cahazen Museum of Art opened in 2011 and is connected to the 1970 Elvehjem Museum of Art by an overhead glass walled walkway. The museum’s collection includes more than 20,000 artworks representing the spectrum of art history across culture, period, media, and genre. We’ll be introduced to this during our 1 ¼ hour docent-led tour. The Museum was renamed the Chazen Museum of Art in appreciation of a $20 million donation from alum Jerome A. Chazen, one of the founders of Liz Claiborne.

NOTE: All facilities are handicap accessible. Tours include a fair amount of walking and standing.
Depart: Rock Valley College at 7:45 am
Return: to Rock Valley College about 5:45 pm
Cost: (Includes two guided tours, lunch and transportation) $60 for Center members and $75 for non-members

CANCELLATION POLICY: If it is necessary to cancel, refunds are available if we are able to fill your seat from a waiting list; notification must be received at least 48 hours in advance. A processing fee of $10 will be charged for all cancellations.

Chicago's Polish Neighborhoods

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

See brochure for more information.

DZIEN DOBRY !! (translation: Good Morning or Good Afternoon)

The Polish-American ethnic group within Chicago has a long history. Large numbers of Poles arrived in Chicago in the years 1870-1920. The city of Chicago today promotes itself as the largest Polish city outside of Warsaw, Poland. Come along with us as we tour a prominent Chicago Polish church, visit the Polish Museum of America, and feast on authentic Polish food.

Polish Art Museum
We start the day at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Quite visible along the Kennedy Expressway, this structure was completed in 1906. The architect combined a variety of styles, wanting to build a church which reminded its parishioners of “the old country.” Holy Trinity Church does resemble the great cathedrals of Europe. After hearing a talk relating the church's history, we’ll enjoy a self-guided tour. A most interesting church feature are the “catacombs” in the lower level. This is a winding path of niches containing relics of more than 25 saints. (For good pictures of the church interior, see:'s HolyTrinityPolishchurch.)

Most Poles who arrived in Chicago in the years prior to 1920 resided near Milwaukee Avenue, in an area which is still called Chicago's Polonia. Our lunch-time eatery on Milwaukee Avenue is Red Apple Buffet. The buffet table contains these selections and more: cabbage rolls, pierogi, blintzes, fish, chicken, salads, red cabbage, and potato pancakes. Coffee, tea, or soda is included in the meal. Be prepared--Polish food is hearty fare!

Further down on Milwaukee Ave., we’ll visit the Polish-American Museum, for a self-guided tour. A three-story structure, it was completed in 1937, one of the first ethnic museums in America. The Paderewski room honors Ignacy Jan Paderewski, piano virtuoso, philanthropist, statesman. Much Polish artwork will be found in the Great Room. Other exhibits contain military artifacts, and memorabilia of Casimir Pulaski, and Pope John II. An impressive collection of “pisanki” (Polish Easter eggs) can be seen. Polish folk art and folk art costumes are also on display. You can visit the gift shop, containing amber jewelry, Polish greeting cards, designs from wood shavings, and more.

Break out the late winter doldrums and come with us to Chicago's Polonia! Wear red and white in honor of the Polish national colors.

NOTE: A number of steps with hand rails are at the church entrance. Church catacombs
are accessible by walker, not wheelchair. Restaurant and museum are handicap
accessible. Church and museum involve much standing and considerable walking.
Depart: Rock Valley College at 8:00am
Return: Rock Valley College around 5:45pm
Cost: (includes admissions, lunch, transportation) $65 for Center members and $80 for non-members

Bus Trip: Medieval Times Lunch and Show

Thursday, March 31, 2016

See brochure for more information.

Travel back in time to 11th Century Spain for a royal afternoon of feast and educational festivities at Medieval Times Lunch & Tournament show
in Schaumburg, IL. Experience a thrilling presentation of authentic jousting and swordsmanship. Witness incredible displays of beauty and grace by magnificent Andalusian horses. There will be time before and after the show to visit the Hall of Arms, Torture Museum and gift shop.

A delicious four-course lunch will be served in the castle during this interactive all new show. Lunch consists of roast chicken, corn on the cob, half an herb-basted potato, chocolate chip cookie and beverage. All to be eaten without utensils – part of the fun! CLR Medieval Times

We will be seated in one of six colored pavilions where we cheer on our pavilion’s knight during the tournament and eat while watching the show. Six knights will compete in medieval games, combat, and ride his majesty’s prized Andalusian stallions performing stunts and dressage. Applaud our knight as he competes for the title of King’s Champion.

Before heading home, we’ll take a short drive to the IKEA store where we’ll have about 1.5 hours to peruse their designs, furnishings, home and kitchen accessories and foods. IKEA is a world-wide manufacturer famous for innovation and economy.

NOTE: This is a live horse show in an enclosed area that can affect allergies or asthma. Also, there are strobe lights and pyrotechnics. Facility is handicap accessible.
Depart: Rock Valley College at 8:30am
Return: Rock Valley College around 5:15pm
Cost: (includes admissions, lunch, and transportation) $73 for Center members and $88 for non-members

CANCELLATION POLICY: If it is necessary to cancel, refunds are available if we are able to fill your seat from a waiting list; notification must be received at least 48 hours in advance. A processing fee of $10 will be charged for all cancellations.

Highlights of Ireland: Emerald Isle

CLR Trip September 22 - October 2, 2016

Ireland Trip 2016Please view the brochure for information.

NOTE: Accessibility is limited in a some locations. The trip does involve a lot of activity, including getting on and off the motor coach several times a day being on your feet during the tours, and walking distances up to a few blocks. Outdoor activities may require walking and standing on uneven or hilly ground. If special accommodations are needed, please advise the CLR office at the time of registration.

Per person price based on double occupancy: $3,560. For single occupancy a $318.00 per person supplement will be added. CLR members will receive $175 discount if deposit is paid by November 5, 2015.

Price includes: air from Chicago O’Hare and Dublin, additional airline fees for baggage may apply, land tour, sightseeing, excursions, hotel accommodations, meals as specified in the itinerary including: gratuities, Travel Protection, round trip hotel transfers, and motor coach transportation to and from Rock Valley College.

Registration: Registration forms can be obtained at the Center for Learning in Retirement office or call (815) 921-3931 to request a form to be mailed. Trip registration is for CLR members only and will be on a first come, first served basis. All passengers traveling internationally are required to have a valid passport. Please provide a copy of your passport at the time of registration.