Oops, forgot to say that we did the retreat thing, and it was very, very cool. They gave us white billowy clothes to wear, and we sat on cushions in front of a giant Buddha and meditated for a long time, and we were silent for almost 24 hours (except for the chanting) and we got great vegetarian meals *and* hot cocoa. And it was free.
The monks were sweet, very young, and quite handsome. Too bad they really do believe that if a woman wants to be ordained as a monk, it's because of her ego, and they cannot let it happen. But it's great if a man becomes ordained. It brings merit to his family. Ah well: it's good to know that even Buddhism, though very close, is not the perfect organized religion.