Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio Shownotes - July 23, 2011
"Travelers411" Radio Show - July 23, 2011
img See World-Class Paintings in Beautiful Scenery at the Francine and Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts; 'The Problem We All Live With' Travels to the White House from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts; Horseback Riding, Trout Fishing, and Wide Open Spaces at Bitterroot Ranch and Equitours, Dubois, Wyoming; The Travelex Cash Passport Gives You Access to a Chip-and-PIN World.

Listen to the show in Windows Media Format:      hour1      hour2

Listen to the show in MP3 Format:      hour1      hour2

Click here to subscribe to the podcast for this broadast.

Hour 1

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Victoria "Vicki” Saltzman, Director of Communications, Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.
www.clarkart.edu

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show learn about the summer art exhibitions in the Berkshires with Vickie Saltzman, Director of Communications at the Francine and Sterling Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Vickie has just returned from a trip to France with a contingent of Clark staff, following in the footsteps of some of the museum's paintings on their international tour. At the Musee d'Impressionnisme in Giverny, Vickie and the others saw 72 of the Clark's paintings open a new exhibition that will run through October 2011.

Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.
Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.

The Clark Art Institute is home to the private collection of Sterling and Francine Clark. "Sterling moved to Paris in 1910 and began collecting art very soon after," explains Vickie. "He met and married an actress from the Comedie Francaise. Francine had a better eye and was a touchstone for his collecting; it's not surprising that many paintings in their collection have a French heritage, from works by Manet, Monet, and Renoir to Degas and Berthe Morisot."

Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.
Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.

That collection normally resides in the Berkshires. "It's a pretty phenomenal little place," Vickie says. "We're lucky to be able to share part of the collection with the people of France this summer. We took great French paintings back to France; many of them were back there for the first time in more than 60 years. The exhibition on tour right now includes early works by painters like Theodore Rousseau or Jacques-Louis David, all the way through Impressionists and on to people like Toulouse-Lautrec."

Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.
Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.

What impressed Vickie most was being able to see Monet's house and garden at Giverny, along with the paintings he completed in that very house. The 72 paintings from the Clark collection will be on their international tour through 2014. "They're going to be away for a while," she says. "But while they're away, we're bringing in some remarkable shows. We have a very vigorous special exhibitions program designed to bring some very special treats to the Berkshires, so nobody needs to feel like they're missing out."

Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.
Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.

During the summer of 2011, for example, the Clark will feature an exhibition on Pissarro, with more than 90 works by the painter. "Here's a little scoop," says Vickie. "We're opening a small exhibition from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with portraits by Rembrandt and Degas. They both did self-portraits, and you can actually see the influence of Rembrandt on Degas and his portrait work. After it's at the Clark, the exhibition will go to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, so that's very special. And then we have some really exciting things in 2012 and 2013, including a big exhibition of Chinese archaeological treasures – we're working hard on that already."

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8226

For more information visit: www.clarkart.edu


Link to this segment

Laurie Norton Moffatt, Executive Director & CEO, Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA.
www.nrm.org

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show relive a trip to the White House with Laurie Norton Moffatt, Executive Director and CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The museum's permanent collection houses many paintings depicting both family life and difficult moments in family history, one of which was loaned to the White House. Laurie has just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. to deliver the painting.

Norman Rockwell's "New Kids in the Neighborhood," part of the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. Photo by Jeremy Clowe.
Norman Rockwell's "New Kids in the Neighborhood," part of the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. Photo by Jeremy Clowe.

What was it like to visit the White House? "It was one of those life moments you'll always remember," says Laurie. "The Norman Rockwell Museum was extremely honored to receive a request for the painting 'The Problem We All Live With.' It was chosen to hang in the visitor waiting area right outside the Oval Office, where people wait to see the president. It's over a sofa in a small area, so the painting just commands the room."

The “Four Freedoms” gallery at Norman Rockwell Museum. Photo courtesy of Berkshire Visitors Bureau.
The “Four Freedoms” gallery at Norman Rockwell Museum. Photo courtesy of Berkshire Visitors Bureau.

The work was painted in 1963 during the civil rights movement. "The piece shows a young girl walking to school escorted by U.S. marshals," explains Laurie. "Their heads are cut off, so your eyes are focused on this beautiful child with the innocence of youth and confidence in her step. It's set against a concrete wall that's splattered with racial epithets, tomatoes, all kinds of ugliness that's been thrown at this girl."

Norman Rockwell Museum Exterior. Photo by Art Evans.
Norman Rockwell Museum Exterior. Photo by Art Evans.

The painting was published in Look magazine on the 10th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision to accompany an article assessing the state of school integration. The girl shown is Ruby Bridges, who was the first student to integrate her elementary school in New Orleans. "She now serves on the board of the Norman Rockwell Museum, so we traveled together, along with the board president," says Laurie. "Ruby was really the focus of the visit for President Obama, who thanked her for her courageous first grade year."

Children’s art workshop at Norman Rockwell Museum. Photo by Sarah Edwards
Children’s art workshop at Norman Rockwell Museum. Photo by Sarah Edwards.

"At the moment depicted in the painting, Ruby was just 6 years old," Laurie adds. "She went to school all by herself that year because all the white families removed their children from school. Ruby had a teacher from Boston, Barbara Henry, that she really relied on, but it was just an immensely lonely year. It was also a courageous year for her parents, who made the decision to allow their child to go to this school. What President Obama focused on was that it was Ruby's step that made it possible for the U.S. to elect a black president 50 years later. So it was a profoundly moving meeting for everyone in the room."

"The Problem We All Live With" inside Norman Rockwell Museum's main gallery. Photo by Jeremy Clowe.
"The Problem We All Live With" inside Norman Rockwell Museum's main gallery. Photo by Jeremy Clowe.

What happens at a White House meeting? "There were 6 of us, including Ruby's family, and dozens of White House staffers, Secret Service, aides, and assistants," recalls Laurie. "The president gave us a quick tour of the Oval Office. Some of the art he's selected includes one of the original copies of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln. Just below that on the table was a beautiful portrait bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also had a pamphlet from the civil rights march on D.C. in 1963 framed and hanging on the wall.

Norman Rockwell Museum Exterior. Photo by Art Evans.
Norman Rockwell Museum Exterior. Photo by Art Evans.

"There was even a Norman Rockwell painting: a Saturday Evening Post cover with the Statue of Liberty that was painted in the 1940s," she continues. "The office is just filled with a beautiful collection of American art. It felt like a dream; I was trying to remember the words and conversation but also look at the art and think about the history! It was just a privileged, rare glimpse into what we only see on the news."

Sculpture part of the Peter Rockwell exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Sculpture part of the Peter Rockwell exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Laurie was also delighted by a surprise appearance by Michelle Obama, who wanted to meet Ruby Bridges. "After we met with the president for 15 or 20 minutes, we walked through the White House and out to the gardens," Laurie explains. "Michelle was just getting ready to jump rope with a group of young children for her Move It program. Then, to our great delight, Bo came along with his trainer. He's such a sweet, perfectly coiffed dog and laid right down at Michelle's feet. Ruby and Michelle spoke about children and families; it was just a wonderful moment that added to the incredible specialness of the visit."

Sculpture part of the Peter Rockwell exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Sculpture part of the Peter Rockwell exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Meeting Bo made Laurie think of "It's a Dog's Life," the exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum focused on the artist's dogs and those he painted. "He loved dogs and included them in his paintings so many times," she explains. "So we have a special themed look at the paintings featuring dogs. The exhibition includes more than just original artwork; we have printed photos from the archive of the dogs that posed. They're so funny – they show the dogs in all kinds of antics, as well as the artist coaching the dogs and trying to get them to behave a certain way."

Peter Rockwell and Stephanie Abrams outside the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Peter Rockwell and Stephanie Abrams outside the Norman Rockwell Museum.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum will hold a Family Day on August 6 with special visitors from the Good Dogs Foundation. The program brings dogs into hospitals, elderly care centers, and other places where people might need cheering up. Museum guests can bring their own dogs for an evaluation by the foundation, to see if the family pet has the right temperament to visit others and help them feel better.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8227

For more information visit: www.nrm.org


Guests Include:

Victoria "Vicki” Saltzman, Director of Communications, Francine & Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.
www.clarkart.edu

Laurie Norton Moffatt
, Executive Director & CEO, Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA.
www.nrm.org

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Bayard Fox, Owner, Bitterroot Ranch, Founder & CEO, Equitours, Wyoming, USA.
www.ridingtours.com
www.bitterrootranch.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show explore Big Sky country with Bayard Fox, Owner of Bitterroot Ranch and Founder and CEO of Equitours in Wyoming. Equitours now offers tours in about 30 countries with 55 different outfitters. "We're everywhere from Africa and South America to India, Ireland, and Europe," explains Bayard. "We work on all continents except Antarctica." Stephanie has some experience with Equitours; her daughter went on one of their riding tours of the west coast of Ireland.

Canter on the beach in the Donana National Park while riding at the Epona Equestrian Center.
Canter on the beach in the Donana National Park while riding at the Epona Equestrian Center.

Which came first, the ranch or the riding tours? "We started the ranch in 1971," says Bayard, "then we started horseback riding tours in 1978 in Kenya. We chose that country because my wife was raised on a farm over there. She knows that country well, so we could go there with our guests in the winter when our ranch in Wyoming was closed." Bayard met his wife when she came to work on the ranch. "The next thing I knew, she had taken the place over," he adds. "She showed me all the things I could be doing better!"

Popular for fast paced beach riding, the Donegal From the Saddle Trail Ride in Ireland takes place in the remote northwestern part of the country and is based out of a small coastal village with lots of personality.
Popular for fast paced beach riding, the Donegal From the Saddle Trail Ride in Ireland takes place in the remote northwestern part of the country and is based out of a small coastal village with lots of personality.

Bitterroot Ranch has 4,000 acres, plus 60 square miles where Bayard grazes his cows during the summer. He was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and grew up riding horses and enjoying the outdoors. "At that time, it was still a good place to ride, fox hunt, and so forth," he explains. "Now, it's too built up, so I'm happier in Wyoming. Here, the nearest paved road is 16 miles away. We're at 7,500 feet in altitude, so the summer climate is ideal."

Explore the southwest's most amazing geological formations on horseback during the Navajoland Ride.
Explore the southwest's most amazing geological formations on horseback during the Navajoland Ride.

The ranch is also close to attractions like Yellowstone and the Buffalo Bill Museum. "Yellowstone was the first national park in the world and is still the most beautiful, I think," says Bayard. "It has marvelous canyons, volcanoes, geysers, just beautiful scenery with terrific wildlife. And the Buffalo Bill Museum is unquestionably the best museum in the world for Western art and wildlife.

Bringing in the herd at Bitterroot Ranch in Wyoming.
Bringing in the herd at Bitterroot Ranch in Wyoming.

"It's located in the town of Cody, which is named after Buffalo Bill Cody," he continues. "It's an excellent location for a museum like that because it really is the heart of the Wild West. At the museum, you'll find paintings by all the great Western painters, collections of firearms, Indian weapons and tools, and wildlife – stuffed animals like buffalo and grizzly bears, and displays that show them in their habitats."

Guests gather in the main lodge for meals and relaxing evenings. The lodge has a sitting room, large living room with a piano, dining room, and pool room, along with a well stocked library.
Guests gather in the main lodge for meals and relaxing evenings. The lodge has a sitting room, large living room with a piano, dining room, and pool room, along with a well stocked library.

Bitterroot Ranch is located in Dubois, Wyoming, which is pronounced 'DEW-boys' locally. (In the original French, it would be 'du-BWAH.') There's plenty of French heritage in the area because the first Europeans in the region were French trappers. The ranch itself has log cabins up and down a river that flows through the center of the property and has great trout fishing, according to Bayard.

Cantering through meadows with experience guides.
Cantering through meadows with experience guides.

"The river is the East Fork of the Wind River," he explains. "You can look across the valley at the Wind River Mountains, which start about 40 miles from us. They're always snow-clad, and you can see the whole 100-mile range. They actually form the Continental Divide here. Behind the ranch are the Absaroka Mountains, which meet the Wind River Mountains in kind of a sideways V at Togwotee Pass on the way over to Jackson Hole."

Pack trips into the Washakie Wilderness for two or three days can be arranged most weeks from early July to late August.
Pack trips into the Washakie Wilderness for two or three days can be arranged most weeks from early July to late August.

Bitterroot Ranch is less than 100 miles from Jackson Hole, but Bayard would be happy to be further away. "We escaped the tremendous volume of tourists that go to Jackson," he says. "In my opinion, they kind of trashed the place, but we don't face that problem here." He's used to isolated places; before coming to Wyoming, Bayard had a diving business in the Solomon Islands and lived in Iran, the Congo, and France. "I was in the CIA; that's how I got to all those places," he says, deadpan. "I probably shouldn't talk about it – I don't want to have to kill too many people."

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8228

Related Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_National_Park
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Teton_National_Park
http://www.bbhc.org
Wind River Country, Hidden Heart of Wyoming

For more information visit: www.ridingtours.com and www.bitterrootranch.com


Link to this segment

Jon Dario, President, Travelex Currency Services. New York City, New York, USA.
www.us.travelex.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show investigate the chip-and-PIN problem with Jon Dario, President of Travelex Currency Services in New York, New York. After having problems with her perfectly valid U.S. credit card in Europe in March 2011, Stephanie has vowed not to return to the continent without the Travelex Cash Passport.

Soldiers in dress in Athens Greece.
Soldiers in dress in Athens Greece.

Travelex launched the Cash Passport in 2008, then added the chip-and-PIN technology in October 2010. "We developed this because we were hearing over and over from customers that they were having problems using the magnetic strips on their cards," says Jon. "It seemed like a growing problem and something we should really be able to provide for our customers." Stephanie agrees, saying there's nothing more terrifying than realizing you're relying on valid credit cards that are just not working. "You can't even buy a meal," she points out.

Side street in Athens Greece.
Side street in Athens Greece.

The problem goes beyond incompatibility. "There's also the matter of money for European merchants," Jon explains. "There, the responsibility for fraudulent transactions shifts. If they accept a fraudulent card, they're fully responsible. It's not like in the U.S., where the issuing bank is responsible. It's a matter of money to merchants, so if they think your card is suspicious, they won't accept it."

Side street in Athens Greece.
Side street in Athens Greece.

Travelex recently asked a third-party market research company to investigate the problem. "They came back and said that approximately 50% of U.S. travelers going to Europe were having problems of this nature," Jon says. "A full 20% of those having problems said it had actually spoiled their trip because it was such a catastrophe! And the same company said that less than one-third of U.S. travelers going to Europe had even heard of this problem, yet it's becoming more and more prevalent. So it's good to get the word out."

Bratislava side street in Slovakia.
Bratislava side street in Slovakia.

Both Stephanie and Jon have personal experience and secondhand stories about U.S. credit cards not working in Europe. "When I hear people say that it didn't happen to them, I say wait a bit, your turn is coming," says Stephanie. Jon adds that his own card was declined at Victoria Station in downtown London. "And I've heard story after story with the same thing," he continues. "One traveler was on a toll road in France and tried to pay with their credit card, which seemed like the most efficient way to do it. The card didn't work, so this poor person kept trying to use it and ended up with a line of cars honking behind them."

Video shoot in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Video shoot in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The chip-and-PIN technology on the Travelex Cash Passport provides a few safeguards for travelers. "There's no direct connection to the identity of the cardholder, so there's virtually no risk of identity theft if the card is lost or stolen," Jon explains. "If the card is lost or stolen, Travelex will replace it in 24 hours, if not sooner. A lot of people are calling it the modern version of travelers' checks; it serves much the same purpose but is much easier to use."

Group of students in Slovakia.
Group of students in Slovakia.

What happens if the card is lost or stolen? Each Cash Passport comes with an additional card with a toll-free phone number. Travelers can store this card separately from the Cash Passport, and in case something happens, they can call the number to speak with a local operator. "No matter what time zone you're in, someone will be available," says Jon. "You simply call the number, answer a couple of quick questions designed to make sure that it's really you, and then we'll make arrangements to get you a replacement card ASAP."

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8229

For more information visit: www.us.travelex.com


Guests Include:

Bayard Fox, Owner, Bitterroot Ranch, Founder & CEO, Equitours, Wyoming, USA.
www.ridingtours.com
www.bitterrootranch.com

Jon Dario, President, Travelex Currency Services. New York City, New York, USA.
www.us.travelex.com

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

Visit the Travelers411 Directory for
Inn at the Presidio

Click here to visit the Travelers411 Directory for Inn at the Presidio

San Francisco's Presidio district is famous for its history as a US Army base and iconic army architecture rambling through old-growth tree lined streets and nestled along the San Francisco Bay.

Travelers411 - Travel PR Sidebar Widget

Travel PR from
Variety Cruises

Variety Cruises

Travel PR From: Variety Cruises. Click here to listen now.

Variety cruises offers travelers exciting small ship and yacht vacations with itineraries in Greece, Turkey, Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, Cape Verde and more.

Travel Deal for
Connemara Equestrian Escapes

7 day trail riding vacation with 3 clinic days in Connemara, Ireland featuring Julie Goodnight

Click here for details

sabrams.com Quick Links

Explore your World! with Travelers411 Directory Listings

Find great info on Restaurants and Bars, Hotels, Car Rental, B&B's, Attractions, Entertainment and hundreds of other categories...

Click here.

The Travelers411 Family of Brands:   Travelers411.com     sAbrams.com     Travelingfeet.com     Jetset411.com

© 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 www.noaa.gov