Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio showNotes
"Travelers411" Radio Show - August 22, 2009 - Show Archive

Europe's “HolidayCheck”; Sisters Camille D'Arienzo, Kathleen Quinn and Stella Auricchio; Albany's Quadricentennial and “Heritage Weekend”; Brigit's Garden, Roscahill, County Galway, Ireland; Contests on; Galway Bay in Galway, Ireland; With More Cheap Fares Worldwide.

Listen to the show in Windows Media Format:     hour1     hour2

Listen to the show in MP3 Format:     hour1     hour2

Hour 1

Topics Include:

HolidayCheck is a company based in Lake Constance near Zurich, Switzerland. It started with the personal experience of one of the company's founders, Markus Schott. In 1999 he was planning a trip to the Dominican Republic and found an affordable hotel option that he was interested in. He researched the hotel online and eventually found a Canadian traveler's comments on the destination. He realized there was the opportunity for an internet platform where people would share their personal travel experiences. It started with five friends and grew bigger and bigger. Business to business manager for HolidayCheck, Georg Ziegler, says that it has grown tremendously in a short time and is a different company than when even he joined the company in 2008.

Saxony, Germany
Saxony, Germany

HolidayCheck is featured regularly on German and European TV  and radio and has since become the number one opinion poll for holidays in Germany. The website is available in eleven different languages and is continually expanding to meet the demands of the global market.

The site is designed to let you better inform yourself about the vacation you have in mind. A lot of information is provided on the website. Visitors are advised to spend time getting used to the navigation and then research the destination that interests them. They should also explore the profile of the people who give their thoughts and recommendations and the details of these people's own itineraries. Many factors may influence their final decision.

Georg Ziegler states that HolidayCheck owes its success to its authenticity. The website platform is a place of informative content where people exchange opinions and ideas. You need to be able to trust that the information you are relying on comes from an authentic place. This is the case with HolidayCheck which provides users with information from travelers just like them.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread

For more information visit

Sister Camille D'Arienzo, Sister Kathleen Quinn and Alan Maloney, GM of the Mount Falcon Country House Hotel, County Mayo, Ireland
Sister Camille D'Arienzo, Sister Kathleen Quinn and Alan Maloney, GM of the Mount Falcon Country House Hotel, County Mayo, Ireland.

Sisters Camille D'Arienzo and Sister Kathleen Quinn of the Sisters of Mercy join “Travelers411” along with Sister Stella Auricchio, part of the Sisters of Saint Joseph order. A branch of the Sisters of Saint Joseph exists in Berkshire County. Like other congregations of the order worldwide it has its roots in 17th century Le Puy, France. Many of the original sisters were guillotined during the time of the French revolution. The order disbanded but was re-established in 1807 by Mother St. John Fontbonne in Lyon, France.

The Chamberry Inn in Lee, Berkshire County, Massachusetts was converted from a school founded by a teaching order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The nuns arrived from France in 1885 to teach six grades of students. Several years ago the town was going to demolish the building. Joe Toole, a former student of the school, bought the building for a dollar and spent $10,000 USD moving it a couple of blocks away in town. He converted it to  a B&B. Some of the guestrooms still have chalkboards on the wall which visitors can use to leave each other messages.

In 2007 Stephanie sent Sister Camille D'Arienzo and Sister Kathleen Quinn on a ten day adventure in Ireland. The two are presently her guests in Berkshire County. She took them and Sister Stella Auricchio to a concert at Tanglewood with Kurt Masur conducting. Sister Camille D'Arienzo was astonished to learn Masur was 82 and has been a conductor for almost sixty years. The pianist playing that night, David Fray, was 28. Sister Camille says that she hopes Fray's career will span the same sixty years or more.

Sister Camille D'Arienzo, Sister Kathleen Quinn and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, John Hume
Sister Camille D'Arienzo, Sister Kathleen Quinn and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, John Hume

Sister Camille said the collaboration of the orchestra playing at Tanglewood was a religious experience. She says that it is amazing to see people using their talents, insights and time to add to the beauty of the Universe. Stephanie says that many of the great composers have had very short lives but still contributed incredible works. Many died young but their work lives on because the extraordinary transcends generations.

Click here to listen to Sister Camille Darienzo a Catholic Nun with the Sisters of Mercy interviewed by Stephanie Abrams without commercials.
Sister Camille Darienzo , Catholic Nun, Sisters of Mercy, Recording Date: 08/22/2009 - 13:41 minute segment. Click here for shownotes and more info.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's threads

For more information visit and

Stephanie says that it is important to travel with organized documentation. The airlines have been very unforgiving in the past and have claimed the right not to take responsibility for customers' lost or stolen tickets. Stephanie says that make even less sense in the days of e-ticketing when everybody's information is in the computers. Refunds do occur but can up to a year to be processed. E-ticketing provides a convenient way to travel with tickets and prevents you from the possibility of loss.

Fun Facts:

The Sisters of Saint Joseph have 14,000 members worldwide with half based in the United States.

The Religious Order of the Sisters of Mercy (RSM) is an order of Catholic women founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland in 1831.

When the Sisters of Saint Joseph established the Chamberry School in Lee, Massachusetts in 1885 only two of the nuns could speak English.

Guests Include:

Georg Ziegler, Manager B2B Marketing & Cooperations, HolidayCheck.

Sister Camille D'Arienzo, Catholic Nun, Sisters of Mercy.

Sister Kathleen Quinn, Catholic Nun, Sisters of Mercy.

Sister Stella Auricchio, Catholic Nun, Congregation Saint Joseph (CSJ).

Hour 2

Topics Include:

“” broadcast in May (as “Traveling Feet”) from the 61st Annual Tulip Festival in Albany, New York. Stephanie said it was a stunning presentation and was surprised to learn that the event planners dig up the bulbs a few weeks after they have bloom and sell them to raise the funds for the next year's festival.

May 2009's "Tulip Festival" in Washington Park, Albany, New York
Flowers in Bloom during May 2009's "Tulip Festival" in Washington Park, Albany, New York.

On a recent show Stephanie spoke with sculptor Peter Rockwell, the youngest son of Norman Rockwell. She asked him about examples of impressive sculpture and stone work in the world and he mentioned the “million dollar staircase” on the west side of the Albany Capital Building. It was recently cited as one of Albany's “hidden gems”. It took 33 years to build the New York State Capital. The local stone workers carved not only famous people into the building's side but also laymen from the local community. It is an important piece of 19th century history.

Albany “Heritage Weekend” is taking place the weekend after Labor Day, September 12th and 13th, 2009. It includes the Jazz Festival and special quadricentennial exhibits at both the capital and governor's mansions. Major attractions will have half-priced admissions and there will be special tours and talks throughout the city. This event weekend is leading up to the 400th anniversary celebration on September 26, 2009. In remembrance of Henry Hudson's discovery of the Hudson River the city has had the famous historical replica, the Half Moon Ship traveling up and down the river all summer. The ship will be based back in Albany for the celebration.

Albany Aqua Ducks and Trolley Tours, Albany, New York
Albany Aqua Ducks and Trolley Tours, Albany, New York

Other activities during “Heritage Weekend” include authentic craft demonstrations, as well as music and entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening. There are also special cemetery tours which discuss the early Dutch settlers and the people who have shaped Albany history. Many visitors choose to do rubbings of the tombstone's inscriptions.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread

For more information visit

Brigit's Garden, located in Roscahill, County Galway, is a non-profit property that was inspired by the personal passions of its English-born founder, Jenny Beale. Beale worked with designer Mary Reynolds to develop the beautiful grounds. The location is used for educational work as well as welcoming visitors from around the world. It is easy to get lost in the natural surroundings and the layered symbolic significance of the property.

Sculpture of Brass Leaves at Brigit's Garden, Roscahill, County Galway, Ireland
Sculpture of Brass Leaves at Brigit's Garden, Roscahill, County Galway, Ireland.

Brigit's Garden is eleven acres. Its grounds and the various gardens are intended to represent the four festivals of the Celtic calendar. These include Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtain and Lughnasa which are the respective celebrations of fall, the period in between spring and winter solstice, spring, and summer. The grounds are a blend of contemporary design and ancient Celtic wisdom. One of Beale's goals is to also promote the wonders of the natural world.

On site is a cafe, standing stones, basket swings, a bench made from oak trees that were preserved in a bog for thousands of years and the largest sundial in the country. Guests can come to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings or stay for any numbers of events. They can also learn to weave reeds into the famous Brigit's Cross. Many of the performances and activities are held in honor of the Celtic festivals. Concerts, fire spinners and dancers, school field trips and weddings all take place at Brigit's Garden.

Sundial at Brigit's Garden, Roscahill, County Galway, Ireland
Sundial at Brigit's Garden, Roscahill, County Galway, Ireland.

Brigit's Garden is named in part for the goddess Brigit in Celtic Mythology. St. Brigit of Kildare was also a nun who became one of the patron saints of Ireland. St. Brigit's Day marks the beginning of the Celtic Spring festival. Jenny Beale states that it is a “living place”.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread

For more information visit

Related Galleries:

Brigit's Garden Roscahill Ireland Brigit's Garden

“Travelers411” listeners can enter to win land stays in properties in the US and abroad. To be eligible for selection you have to be a registered user online at and start a new thread in the destination category that corresponds to the current contest. To find out what the current contest is visit the contest forum. The thread must have the title “I want to go to” and the name of the destination's city. Making this thread automatically enters you to win. The online editors will choose winners based on their submissions. These winners will then be announced on air and online.

Click here for the list of all contests.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread

For more information visit

Travel Deal:

Stephanie learned of a Dooley Vacations package that included roundtrip airfare from NYC or Boston, a car rental and bed and breakfast stays for the week, for $299 USD per person. “You can't afford to stay home”.

For more information visit

The Galway Bay Hotel is situated on the street across from the promenade that lies parallel to the shores of Galway Bay. The property has a glass enclosed conservatory in one of its public areas that looks out over the view. Across the ocean is Boston but Dan Murphy, General Manager of the Galway Bay Hotel says that between Galway Bay and Boston lies the Aran Islands. During her last trip to Ireland Stephanie road a horse cart on the island of Inisheer. On the boat ride back to Clare she saw a shoal of dolphins in the water.

Volvo Ocean Race Fleet, Galways Harbor, County Galway, Ireland
Volvo Ocean Race Fleet, Galways Harbor, County Galway, Ireland.

Stephanie likes to base herself at the Galway Bay Hotel and explore the surrounding areas. The hotel has 153 guestrooms and is an hour boat ride from the Aran Islands. The property hosts a wedding almost every weekend due its scenic views.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread

For more information visit has some unbelievable fares currently available worldwide. From LA to Sydney, Australia it is $544 USD roundtrip. From Toronto to Auckland, New Zealand it is $1339 USD. Chicago to Amann, Jordan is $328.  New York to Delhi is $380 USD.  NYC to Kathmandu, Nepal is $580. San Francisco to Singapore is $697 USD. All are roundtrip fares. None of the fares quoted above however include the cost of taxes. The average cost can range between $150 to $400 USD. This includes fuel surcharges.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread

For more information visit

Fun Facts:

The largest sundial in the world is in Jaipur, India.

St. Brigid of Kildare is the patron saint of babies; blacksmiths; fugitives; nuns; poets and poultry farmers (among other groups).

Guests Include:

Michele Vennard, CEO, Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Jenny Beale, Founder and Manager, Brigit's Garden, Roscahill, County Galway, Ireland.

Dru Abrams, Creative Director, Travelers411 Family of Brands.

Dan Murphy, General Manager, Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, Galway, Ireland.

Sanjay Hathiramari, Vice President, Supplier Relations,

Travel Info on Air Quick Links Travelers411 Featured Links Travelers411 Featured Content
Travelers411 Mini Sites
Featured Content

Visit the Travelers411 Directory for
U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Click here to visit the Travelers411 Directory for U.S. Space and Rocket Center

The Center operates 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily and is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Travelers411 - Travel PR Sidebar Widget

Travelers411 Travel PR

Click here for user submitted announcements

Browse announcements or create an account to post and promote your own.

Click here for details

Travel Deal for
Boston Symphony Orchestra

BSO subscription benefits include $30 ticket voucher, $15 Symphony Cafe or Symphony Shop voucher, free ticket exchanges, ticket insurance for misplaced tickets, 15% discount on any additional individual BSO tickets and more!

Click here for details Quick Links
Featured Directory:  The Betsy Hotel
The Travelers411 Family of Brands:

© 2016 Travelers411. All Rights Reserved. Travelers411 and Persistent Visions are Registered Trademarks. "Your Travel Community" TM. "Explore Your World" TM. Travelers411 and all subpages and sub domains are protected by US Copyright law. We also strive to respect the copyrights of others. Please do not post material to this site for which you do not have proper permission from the copyright holder. To request use or report abuse please contact us.

| Sponsored Link |
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  U.S. Department of Commerce.  Get up to date information on weather, climate, oceans and coasts, fisheries.  Click here to visit