Active Naperville, Illinois Seniors Tour the World With Monarch Landing’s Travel Club

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People marvel at the active seniors in the travel club getting around so well. The group has grown from six travelers to eighteen in a year's time.

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“People marvel at groups in their 70s and 80s getting around like we do.”

Leila Zweibel and Nellie Lannin scarcely have time to reminisce about the trips they have taken with members of their senior living community, Monarch Landing in Naperville, before they’re on to planning the next excursion. Just over a month ago, Leila and 17 others returned from a 16-day cruise down the Rhine and Mosel Rivers, visiting ports in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland.

“Eighteen people is a record; we never expected to grow from six travelers to 18 in a year’s time,” said Leila, former Monarch Landing travel club chair and current leader of the resident advisory committee. Nellie, a newcomer to the community and a former tour escort for a travel organization overseas, now heads up the travel club. Other committee members are Leila and residents Barb Marsh, Joan Nieman, and Cec Berg.

Beginning with day and overnight trips and gaining steam with a visit to New York City and a river boat cruise down the Danube last year, the travel club has a destination agenda that would exhilarate even the most vigorous of voyagers. One look at the many notices and sign-ups in the Monarch Landing transportation office tells a story of active, vibrant people who are keeping doors to the outside world wide open.

“The travel program at Monarch Landing is very broad,” said Leila. Equally important to variety is ease of travel, cost-efficient opportunities, and the element of choice. “You can do as much or as little as you want.”

Both Nellie and Leila stress the importance of travel details being taken care of so that all residents have to do is pack.

“We often choose deluxe tours in which everything is included and all the particulars are handled by the committee,” said Nellie.

Added Leila, “Monarch Landing ensures that there are appropriate means to get to wherever we need to go, and pre-trip meetings address how to pack, currency conversions, weather expectations, etc. This brings our group travelers closer together, even before we depart.”

While grandiose world sojourns are continuously in the works (currently, the club is planning a cruise down the Seine River, from Paris to Normandy), smaller scale Chicago-area trips remain very popular among Monarch Landing residents. Fifty people (two busloads) have bought 2015 season tickets to shows at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, and there is already a waiting list.

“So many people committing to season tickets a year in advance is pretty incredible,” remarked Nellie.

Still on the docket for 2014 is an outing to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry’s Festival of Lights, while 2015 day trips include productions of “West Side Story” and “Anything Goes,” visits to the Irish Heritage Center and the Swedish American Museum, a Chicago architectural tour, and a cruise down the Mississippi River. The group also plans to attend local concerts at North Central College’s Wentz Hall and two rehearsals of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra…and the list goes on.

“People marvel at groups in their 70s and 80s getting around like we do,” said Leila. “In fact, a gentleman in his 90s joined us on the Rhine river boat cruise and had no difficulty whatsoever keeping up with the group. Our generation is very different these days.”

Monarch Landing is a continuing care retirement community located on a scenic campus in Naperville, Illinois-named “one of America’s best places to live and retire” by Modern Maturity, and “the best city for early retirement” by Kiplinger. Monarch Landing currently offers independent living, promoting a vibrant life style for active seniors. The Springs at Monarch Landing offers assisted living memory support and will soon offer rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, thus providing complete continuing care for seniors. Monarch Landing is owned by Senior Care Development and managed by Life Care Services. For additional information visit http://www.WelcomeToMonarchLanding.com or call 630-548-0400.

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Bridget Machalinski

Bridget Machalinski
@monarchlanding1
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