Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio showNotes
"Travelers411" Radio Show - August 08, 2009 - Show Archive

Reunion Resort in Orlando, Florida; Rules for Contests; Travel in Spain; Attractions in Albany, New York.

Listen to the show in Windows Media Format:     hour1     hour2

Listen to the show in MP3 Format:     hour1     hour2

Hour 1

Topics Include:

“Traveling Feet” has undergone a name change as part of a website rebranding process. “Travelers411” is the new name for the show formerly known as “Traveling Feet”.

Stephanie broadcast from Albany, New York in May during the capital city's 61st annual Tulip Festival. Over 200,000 flowers were in bloom in Washington Park. Albany has had a series of special attractions, exhibits and events in 2009 in honor of its quadricentennial. A historic racing event takes place in New York on Saturday August 29, 2009, the 140th Travers Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course.

Washington Park, Albany, NY
Washington Park in Albany, New York.

The “Capital District's Talk Radio”, Albany's Talk1300AM, is a Business Talk Radio affiliate. Patrick Ryan, Vice President of Business Development for Talk1300AM, joins “Travelers411” to talk about his recent experience in Orlando, Florida. Stephanie recommended that he and his wife stay at Reunion Resort in honor of the couple's anniversary. She helped organize the trip and assisted with their booking process.

Ryan speaks highly of the greeting etiquette of the employees at Reunion Resort, a factor that can make or break a traveler's initial impression of a hotel. Guests of the resort pull up to a circular driveway and are met by a guard at the gate. Ryan said that in addition to a warm welcome, the check-in process was very quick. He and his wife stayed in a residential style villa with a living area and a deck overlooking one of the property's three championship golf courses.

Golf Reunion Resort
Championship Golf Course at Reunion Resort, Orlando, Florida.

Famed golfers Jack Nicholas, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer designed the courses that are on the property. There is an area for visitors to sit outside with a drink and watch the golfers and the sunset. Reunion Resort also hosts the one and only teaching academy of professional golfer Annika Sorenstam. She gives small, guided classes for groups of six to eight students. The school offers club fitting and uses Callaway Golf's Callaway Performance Analysis System.

Reunion Resort has 540 accommodations including private homes with three to eight bedrooms. Each home has a full sized kitchen, a living room and a dining room. The remaining accommodations are one to three bedroom private villas which also have a residential quality.

There is a five acre waterpark on site with a 1,000 foot lazy river, a 150 foot water slide, a “kids interactive play” area and poolside food and beverage services. In addition to the water park there are a total of nine other pools on the property. One is located on a rooftop and another is part of the Seven Eagles Pool Pavilion.

Water Park Reunion Resort
Water Park at Reunion Resort, Orlando, Florida.

Reunion Resort lives up to its name as it is prepared to handle large groups of people. The property offers customized packages for all types of reunions and gatherings and will arrange team building activities on the property. Other group activity options include tennis, spa treatments and onsite restaurant experiences.

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Reunion Resort

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Fun Facts:

Wall Street lawyer William Riggin Travers founded the Saratoga Race Course with John Hunter. The two were also partners at Annieswood Stable. One of their horses, the Hall of Famer Kentucky, won the first running of the Travers Stakes in 1864.

Annika Sorenstam has won a total of 90 international tournaments, the most of any female golfer.

Guests Include:

Patrick Ryan, Vice President of Business Development & Sales, Talk1300AM, Albany, New York.

Nikki Lindgren, Director of Public Relations & Communications, Reunion Resort, Orlando, Florida.

Dru Abrams, Creative Director, Travelers411 Family of Brands.

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Stephanie concentrates this hour on an often overlooked European destination, Spain. Spain is a popular golfing location but is not often in the mind of the average traveler who is looking to explore Europe. On the first tier of European destinations are always London, Paris and Rome. Unless a traveler has roots in a destination they are not likely to branch out during their initial European travel. The 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona helped promote the city but Stephanie feels more focus should be placed on the other cities within the county.

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain.

Bill Burruss, Founder of Distinguished Hotels, has been the air with Stephanie several times to discuss the properties in his collection. Burruss has been in the hotel representation business for decades. He has twice built a successful collection of hotels which he personally handpicked and marketed as a group. He sold his first collection and spent several years golfing.  During this period he thought about ways in which he would have done his business different. Stephanie says that properties that are part of Distinguished Hotels enrich and inspire their guests. An example would be the Finca Cortesin Hotel Golf and Spa in Spain.

A must-see destination in Spain is Madrid. Stephanie argues that it is easy to explore and offers so much. First time visitors should take a bus or cab to the Plaza Oriente where the tour buses line up. These tours allow visitors to see the magnificent architecture of the city, visit the countless museums and find the best shopping areas. One of Stephanie'S favorite hotels in Madrid is the Westin Palace Madrid which is within walking distance of the Museo del Prado. The Prado features one of the world's finest collections of European artwork including Spanish artists such as Velazquez, Goya. The famous Picasso painting Guernica, which commemorates the revolution in Spain, was originally hosted by Museo del Prado but was moved to the Museo Nacional Centro Arte Reina Sofia in 1992.

Barcelona Spain
Barcelona, Spain.

If you are standing in Madrid's main plaza, the Plaza Mayor, you will see a narrow, windy street to the left. Down the street on the left hand side is Casa Botin a restaurant that is over five hundred years old. The walls are lined with blue and white Spanish tiles and the building has some of its original furnishings. Stephanie recommends ordering the Rojo (read) Salad. Dinner in Spain is usually served after nine so Stephanie advises eating at a tapas restaurant (which open earlier and offer small portions) if you can't wait until the late evening dining times.

Madrid is a great city to base oneself for daytrips or to make plane connections to other cities in Spain such as Malaga. Visitors can reach the city of Segovia by car or motor coach and visit Roman Aqueducts. Also within driving distance is Toledo. Stephanie says that it is a great city if you want to witness a “study in comparative religion”. Under the Caliphate of Cordoba, Toledo enjoyed a golden age of harmonious living between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Stephanie recommends dining at the Paradores Restaurant in Toledo.

Albany, New York
The 61st Annual Albany Tulip Festival in Washington Park.

Patrick Ryan returns at the end of the hour to talk about surrounding attractions in the area of Albany, New York. He recommends visiting the Saratoga National Historical Park, the site of the Saratoga Battlefield which was the turning point of the American Revolution. Ryan says that visitors of Albany should also take a ride through the locks system up the Mohawk River or explore the Hudson by way of Dutch Apple Cruises. Albany is also great destination in and of itself with many historic buildings in its downtown.

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Fun Facts:

Bing Crosby died of a heart attack while playing golf on a course in Marbella in the south of Spain.

Picasso was commissioned by the Spanish government to create a large mural for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris. The result was the Guernica.

The Guernica has been hosted at the Museum of Modern Art in New York several times. During the Vietnam War, the room containing the Guernica became the site of mostly peaceful anti-war vigils. In 1974 a protestor who objected to Richard Nixon's pardon of William Calley (a soldier convicted of crimes related to the My Lai massacre) spray painted "KILL LIES ALL” in red on the painting. It has since been restored.
Saratoga National Historical Park has the Boot Monument that commemorates Benedict Arnold's service during the Battles of Saratoga. However, the monument does not actually name him.

Guests Include:
Patrick Ryan, Vice President of Business Development & Sales, Talk1300AM, Albany, New York.

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