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Retire or re-fire?

Fire of adventure, exploration still burns for many at Cedar Crest

Created date

September 20th, 2011

I m an explorer at heart, says Christa Tromblay, who lacks just one continent on her list: Antarctica, which she s actually seen from the tip of Cape Horn. I love to see new cultures and experience things a little bit out of the ordinary. Having traveled frequently with her husband, an airline pilot, and friends before moving to Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J., Christa wasted no time discovering travel opportunities at her new home. It was one of the first things I found out about here, she says. Through Cedar Crest s transportation department and Trips and Travel Club, Christa and her neighbors find varied travel opportunities throughout the year, from day trips to New York s Museum Mile to Caribbean cruises planned and organized just for them. After all, with less time maintaining a house, they have more time for leisurely pursuits like exciting excursions and restful outings.

Transportation nation

Cedar Crest Transportation Coordinator Neale Berthen arranges both day trips and extended travel from the community. Aside from planning itineraries, she coordinates shuttle buses with responsible Erickson Living drivers to take community members to and from their destinations. Residents know the drivers, so they feel comfortable and familiar, Berthen says. Christa, who doesn t drive, owes her frequent travel to the convenience afforded by Cedar Crest s transportation: I travel with Cedar Crest because you get picked up at the door. It s a great way for me to get into [New York] city. You have no hassle at all; everything is so easy, says fellow Cedar Crest traveler Vivian Ruszel, who always planned itineraries for family trips. Now, she says, It s nice to have someone else do that. The ease of travel corresponds to the easy lifestyle at Cedar Crest for Christa and Vivian, who both had large homes requiring much maintenance and care. Neither worried about not traveling when they moved to their new Cedar Crest apartment homes. In fact, they looked forward to having more time to travel. When I moved, I most looked forward to having no home maintenance and meeting new people, Vivian says. Since moving, she says she has met dozens of neighbors on trips as well as through other activities. It s easy meeting people when you travel with Cedar Crest because you re with peers; there s moral support, and you feel safe, she says.

Sky s the limit

Both Christa and Vivian frequently take advantage of day trips offered through Cedar Crest s transportation department, including a vineyard tour and wine tasting at nearby Four Sisters Winery, Yankee games, and an Army Band concert at Lincoln Center, among others. I m always planning day trips to areas where people might not normally go, Berthen says. It gives them a lot to look forward to and talk about when they get back. Aside from sharing their adventures with friends and neighbors when they return, those who live at Cedar Crest have the opportunity to bring friends and family members from outside the community on Cedar Crest-planned trips. We encourage that, Berthen says. Ethel McCleary has been exploring with her travel buddy for years. They recently returned from a Princess Line cruise in the Caribbean, arranged by Cedar Crest, which Ethel says was absolutely beautiful like a floating hotel. Like Christa, Ethel says she takes advantage of as many day trips as she can, frequently adding overnight excursions. Needless to say, I love to travel, she says.

A-1 experience

Berthen works with select tour companies to plan overnight excursions, including Colette Travel and Grand American Tours and Cruises. They are senior-friendly tour companies that offer the most assistance during trips; I feel very safe with them, she says. Additionally, she works with the tour companies to arrange special menus for dietary needs or restrictions, including gluten-free and diabetic-friendly. Travel with Cedar Crest is reasonably priced, well-planned, and enjoyable. Everything is A-1, Ethel says. If I didn t enjoy them, I wouldn t do as many [trips] as I do.