Travel with a smile

Published 10:23 am Saturday, February 6, 2010

Don’t be fooled. What Evie Mohrfeld does is hard work.

Yes, she’s been to Alaska, casinos, Branson, Mo., various shows, shopping trips, mystery trips and concerts, all as part of her travel service she offers at the Mower County Senior Center.

But she also plans those excursions, makes sure the tickets arrive in a timely manner and organizes the additional entertainment — the movies and the trivia — as most trips use a motorcoach as the mode of transportation.

Her job is a mix of fun and work and when it comes down to it, she loves it.

“It’s such a joy to see these people go out and make friends,” said Morhfeld, while wearing a necklace she purchased on her recent trip to Alaska.

Evie’s Travel is a joint partnership between Mohrfeld and the senior center.

She plans roughly 20 trips a year — many of them day trips — and while most of her customers are seniors, all ages are welcome.

“The idea has always been to get seniors to travel conveniently,” Mohrfeld said.

Mohrfeld has lived in Austin since 1964 and worked first at the YWCA and eventually at the Hormel Historic Home for a combined 22 years.

In those positions, she also planned trips for seniors and opened her current location — in the back portion of the senior center’s dining room — two years ago. In late February, she’s expecting to relocate into a different area at the center, an office off the main hallway, as the center is going through an extensive renovation.

Mohrfeld works three days a week and goes on many of the trips with her husband. The couple has five children, nine grandchildren and celebrated 50 years of marriage last year.

“As long as I’m having fun, I’ll do it,” Mohrfeld said of the trips.

This year is shaping up to be a big year for Evie’s Travel.

An Ireland trip is scheduled this spring as is a trip to see “South Pacific,” at the Ordway May 16, the “Jersey Boys” at the Civic Center in Des Moines, Iowa, July 8, a Twins trip to the new ball park, the popular mystery trip and a fall foliage trip to New England, just to name a few.

On most trips, there’s room for about 50 to 52 passengers, and Mohrfeld said we’re very fortunate to live as close to the Twin Cities as we do.

“We have the luxury of being close to Minneapolis, which is only second to New York for shows,” she said.

And it’s not just the destination travelers look forward to, as the coach ride can be enjoyable as well.

“We always start out singing,” Mohrfeld said. “We’ll sing “Zippideedoda” and “You are my sunshine” and then a patriotic song because we always recognize our veterans.”

Mohrfeld said that our country’s troops and veterans have always held a special place in her heart and the hearts of her passengers.

“We’re on this trip, and we’re having a leisurely time and their children and grandchildren are off fighting in the war so we can do this” she said.

Other forms of entertainment on trips include movies and trivia and of course talking with old friends and meeting new ones.

One of Evie’s customers is Dorothy Stern, who on Tuesday was wearing a red sweater she purchased on a past trip.

“It was great,” Stern said. “I had a fun time.”

Evie’s Travel is located at the Mower County Senior Center. To make a reservation or to inquire about upcoming trips, call 438-3946