Tribune Print Share Text

Hingham globetrotters

Vagabonds travel group cruises through another adventure

Created date

June 21st, 2011

Lillian Awde figured she owed herself a vacation after successfully battling a serious illness last year. When she heard the Linden Ponds Vagabonds were taking off for a Rhine River cruise a trip she had taken with her husband more than 45 years ago she was sold. It was Lillian s first trip with the Vagabonds, the community s travel group, and it didn t disappoint. Every city we went to, it became a highlight, says Lillian, who was one of 12 fellow residents who made the trip this spring. It was absolutely wonderful; the weather was gorgeous. You couldn t have asked for a better time. The 14-day Grand Circle cruise through Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Germany marked another successful adventure for the Vagabonds. For nearly five years Marilyn Pula, who lives at Linden Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Hingham, Mass., has led the travel group and joined them in numerous destinations from Holland to Egypt. Between trips, Marilyn organizes the club s monthly meetings, featuring speakers from local travel agencies and informative talks with topics like how to pack and how to compare travel advertisements. The meetings were meant to inspire people, says the avid and experienced traveler. I wanted to share my passion and I wanted everybody to be as enthusiastic and passionate as I was.

Small world

Lillian explains, I love being at Linden Ponds, but it s nice to get away and see how the other half of the world lives too. One of the trip s highlights for Lillian was the visit to a household in Germany, where guests were treated to a tour of the home and garden. It makes you stop to think the world is not as big as we think, she says, adding of their hostess, Talking to her about her children and our children, it was like speaking to a nextdoor neighbor. For Eleanor Dwyer, another neighbor at Linden Ponds, the trip marked her first time in most of the countries visited. She took advantage of the tours at nearly every stop, including the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial the resting place of General George S. Patton Jr. and many others who fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. Eleanor s husband and brother fought in the war and the stop proved a moving sight for her. That meant so much to me to see how well we kept the cemetery, she says of the area, which is maintained by Americans. It was a trip that I thoroughly enjoyed, she adds. Both she and Lillian say they got to know people on the small ship as well as their fellow Linden Ponds travelers. Both women laud Marilyn s efforts before and during the trip. She s the one who looked into everything, Eleanor says. She did a wonderful job. It took a lot of work and she goes the extra mile. This October, Marilyn will join the group on a cruise touching through Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Greece. It will be the last trip she will organize before retiring from her role as head of the Vagabonds. Estelle Katz, who lives in the community, will lead a committee to continue the group, while working with Linden Ponds Trip Coordinator Alicia Burrill-Olson, who will arrange the trips. Marilyn may be moving on, but she isn t likely to retire her passion for travel anytime soon. Next month she and her husband, Fred, will visit Greece to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary and their birthdays.