Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio Shownotes - October 08, 0211
"Travelers411" Radio Show - October 08, 0211
Lorraine Mondial Air Balloons Flying Above the Clouds with Andrew Broom, Vice President of Communications of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, and Leslie Manion, Hot Air Balloon Crew Manager and Member of National Capital Balloon Club; Current Events and Travel Philosophy; Unique Barbados and St. Lucia Recommendations from Carol Slee, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Administration at Almond Resorts; the History of Irish Coffee in America with Larry Silva from the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco; Seeing San Francisco Through a Movie Lens with Bryan Rice of San Francisco Movie Tours; and the Secret to Stephanie's Favorite Mussels with Berkshire Crowne Plaza Hotel's Executive Chef Lee Masten.

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Hour 1

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Andrew Broom, Vice President of Communications, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, Frederick, Maryland, USA.
www.aopa.org
www.LetsGoFlying.com

Radio Show Host and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams promises to take listeners above the clouds in today’s show, and she begins by introducing Andrew Broom, the Vice President of Communications at the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association in Frederick, Maryland. Andrew says that travelers taking a flight on one of the planes with a member of his association will actually typically fly below the clouds on a "visual flight rules" day. Adventurers will see breathtaking beautiful sights from a few thousand feet above the ground. The Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association is the largest aviation association in the world, with 4,000 members including both pilots and enthusiasts.

A flight in a small private plane offers a "totally different perspective" on the spectacle of fall foliage, according to Andrew. He recommends that those interested visit the organization’s site, letsgoflying.com and enter the zip code of the region they would like to fly in to access a database of about 3,500 flight schools which offer an introductory flight for about $100 per person. This includes flying with a certified flight instructor and is a great gift idea, as Andrew points out. Those interested can actually fly the plane safely under the instruction and supervision of professional pilots.

Show Host Stephanie Abrams mentions flying in a flight simulator at Heathrow Airport in London and likens it to a big video game. Andrew says that it is a very different experience to get in a flight simulator than in an actual small airplane, which "gives you a great appreciation for mother nature as well as your own abilities". He mentions that there are sight seeing tours available, but as a pilot himself he recommends taking one of the mentioned introductory flight instead, as these offer incomparable experiences. "There’s nothing like it, to have the air under your feet, looking down at the world."

Stephanie remembers an encounter with The Ninety-Nines, a group she met in Derry City in northern Ireland at the Beec hHill Country House. The group was visiting a spot where Amelia Earhart once landed, mistaking it for a location in France. Andrew notes that the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association has a relationship with the Ninety-Nines as well as other notable groups such as Women in Aviation, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and other organizations across the spectrum.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13483

For more information visit www.aopa.org and www.LetsGoFlying.com


Link to this segment

Leslie Manion, Hot Air Balloon Crew Manager, National Capital Balloon Club, Ontario, Canada.
www.ncballoonclub.ca

Radio Show Host and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams welcomes Leslie Manion, a member of the National Capital Balloon Club and Hot Air Balloon Crew Manager from Ontario, Canada to discuss her international experiences of hot air ballooning. They both mention the beautiful attraction of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Leslie says that between 500 and 800 revelers attend.

Leslie confirms that it is an expensive hobby to pursue hot air ballooning internationally at festivals, since travel requires the shipment of some of the equipment even if other bulkier pieces can be borrowed on location. She mentions using the service Luggage Forward, a company whose founder Stephanie had previously interviewed. Additionally, Stephanie recommends using FedEx for bulk shipping needs instead of a moving company because the savings are significant. The main rule to consider for this service is that shipped boxes must originate in one locartion and end in one location.

Leslie recently attended Lorraine Mondial Air Balloons, a hot air balloon festival held on a former NATO air force base in Chambley, France. Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams is familiar with the area and recommends it as a lovely place to visit, mentioning the city of Strasbourg on the border of France and Germany as being particularly interesting, along with being home to Stephanie’s favorite restaurant, Au Crocodile. She identifies it as being an area rich with American history from World War II. She feels that it’s important to note that contrary to popular opinion, the French living in the area had a great appreciation for what Americans did for them during the war - Stephanie’s own father having been personally involved.

Returning to the subject of The Ninety-Nines mentioned earlier in the show, Stephanie shares some interesting facts she’s dug up about a group whose current members she once met during a trip to Ireland. The organization was born from "the great new feminism focused on individualism" that emerged following the women’s suffrage movement. Organizers began to focus on cross country air races involving women and in 1929, the first all women’s air derby was organized. This gave women the chance to fly cross country on the same courses that previously only men had flown on.

The aviator and journalist Fay Gillis Wells founded The Ninety-Nines in November 1929 in a hangar at Curtiss Field in Valley Stream, Long Island, inviting female pilots to be a part of an organization supporting their foray into the male-dominated field. Amelia Earhart recommended that the group be named the Ninety-Nines in honor of the ninety nine women who responded to Gillis Wells’ initial mailing recruiting those potentially interested in founding such an organization.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13484

For more information visit www.ncballoonclub.ca


Inspired by this spirit of adventure, Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams points out that it is a terrible thing to be "stuck" in a place and that we should allow ourselves to be inspired by such adventurousness. She wants to share some things that travelers ought to think about when traveling to assist in making trips more comfortable. She used the travel site Trip Advisor to get ideas for her recent trip to San Francisco and Hawaii, and feels that it’s important to research your destinations to get the best possible experience for yourself. In her opinion, "everything should be an experience, even stopping for a snack". Thorough research for travelers is a must. Reading reviews from other travelers about prospective accommodation is important, but even better if you can take advice from someone that you trust. Strangers can have entirely different backgrounds or expectations and these may not align with your own.

Stephanie has noticed that many fine hotels have started using pillows "the size of a postage stamp" and that she frequently finds such little things as too few pillows mentioned in bad reviews of hotels. Her best advice is to check the bed and the bathroom as soon as you get into a hotel room, to make sure that the provided items like pillows, blankets, towels, and soap are of the amount to comfortably accommodate your party, and to be vocal with the front desk and housekeeping about what you need if more are required. Issues like these can be easily resolved through communication, and travelers wouldn’t have to write disgruntled reviews documenting their disappointment in the experience.

Reminiscing about her recent trip to Hawaii, Stephanie suggests her idea of a perfect way to see Hilo on the Big Island is to rent a car with a GPS system, which she emphasizes as necessary to avoid confusion on the island roads. Visiting both sides, Hilo and Kona, is a great way to experience the island’s two very different atmospheres and activities. She recommends checking out a bronze plaque while visiting the volcano crater on Hilo commemorating a visit by Mark Twain in 1866. It’s a good reminder of the ease of travel that we enjoy today, compared to a horseback visit to the crater then! Twain wrote the book "Roughing It" which includes a description of the experience. She suggests that park rangers can provide information and remarkable stories about the place.


Travel Tips:

Stephanie recommends taking food plans if they are offered in hotels of island destinations where many things must be imported, making food costs very high. Meal plans are the most economical solution for travelers in this situation.

On the Big Island of Hawaii, Stephanie mentions the Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawaii as being well worth a visit.


Guests Include:

Andrew Broom, Vice President of Communications, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, Frederick, Maryland, USA.
www.aopa.org
www.LetsGoFlying.com

Leslie Manion, Hot Air Balloon Crew Manager, National Capital Balloon Club, Ontario, Canada.
www.ncballoonclub.ca

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Broadcasting from her studio home base in the Berkshire Mountains of the northwest corner of Massachusetts in Berkshire County, Radio Show Host and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams invites listeners to pay a visit to the studio. While in the region travelers can enjoy the late changing season of the spectacular Massachusetts fall foliage.

Stephanie extends her thoughts and prayers to the Kansas City region for the safe return of baby Lisa. She also mentions the passing of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Referring to his speech given to a graduating Stanford class in 2005, she mentions that his philosophy of getting the most out of each day resonated with her own philosophy, which she adopted after the death of her father at a young age. She calls it a "life affirming, uplifting lesson" to learn that you cannot waste any day. To do otherwise is to put off living only to later realize that opportunities have been lost, in her opinion.

She mentions during her first trip to Europe meeting a retired couple who had waited their entire lives to take their European dream trip. Their travel plans matched those of Stephanie and her husband, so they found themselves bumping into the couple frequently. The couple were not in the greatest states of health by the time they finally took their trip, and Stephanie and her husband helped by describing the sights at various castles in Germany when the couple were unable to walk up old, deteriorating stairs. She uses this as an example that people must take advantage of things while they can. "People, will you please just get up and go?" she emphasizes.

Show Host Stephanie Abrams also mentions a film currently in theaters that listeners may be interested in, "The Guard". It was filmed in Ireland, and parts were filmed at the g Hotel in Galway. She mentions the attractive decor of the rooms, including a beige and white room with chrome spheres hanging from the ceiling and a view of Galway Bay from the windows. The coffee tables are built like shadowboxes and filled with Swarovski crystals, and the hotel features expressively decorated Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Lounges. She recommends having tea or a cocktail in the White Lounge. All the mirrors are designed by Philip Treacy, the milliner who designed hats for the recent royal wedding.


Link to this segment

Carol Slee, VVice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Administration, Almond Resorts, Barbados and St. Lucia, Caribbean.
www.almondresorts.com

Radio Show Host and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams welcomes Carol Slee, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Administration for Almond Resorts in Barbados and St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Carol is staying at the Berkshire Crowne Plaza Hotel near Stephanie's recording studio and both travel experts recommend it as an excellent accomodation for the area. Carol has a long history in the travel industry, starting out at a small travel agency in Pennsylvania which was acquired by Liberty Travel. Carol later transferred and for eight years managed a Liberty office in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She moved into the tour operator side of the business, working another eight years for Gogo World Wide Vacations. Eventually she decided she needed more sunshine, so moved to Florida and worked for American Express vacations and Air Jamaica vacations.

Carol says Barbados is special because it is a "very English" island. Historically, many Caribbean islands changed between nations, but Barbados has remained in English hands and has a stable government and high standard of living. It had a peaceful transition from English ownership to independence. Although Almond resorts are all inclusive, the location in the safe city of Bridgetown allows Carol to encourage guests to actually get out on the island and get to know the location and the people and enjoy local shopping and sightseeing.

For guests eager for some off property sightseeing, she recommends the Animal Flower Cave at the north end of the island, created by waves knocking against the sea cliffs. Sea anemones in the water inside the cave are beautiful to see - they’re actually animals that look like flowers. She also mentions the interesting attraction Harrison’s Cave - a huge, underground cave where roads have been created so visitors get on a trolley and drive through with a guide pointing out various attractions. Another fun activity is going to Oistins Fish Fry on a Friday night. It’s a big street party with lots of good food and music, some shopping, and is a nice way to mingle with the people of Barbados. Stephanie calls it an example of "living culture".

For vacationers in St. Lucia, Carol recommends taking a full day Catamaran cruise from the northwest coast, where most hotels are located, to the south of the island and the famous Pitons, two huge, greenery covered mountain peaks. St. Lucia is a volcanic island, so part of the trip includes a stop in the southern city of Soufriere, where visitors actually get to visit a dormant volcano. There is a hot stream on the hillside there and a dip in it followed by covering one’s skin in nearby mineral-rich mud provides a spa-like experience and smooth skin.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13485

For more information visit www.almondresorts.com


Travel Tips:

Stephanie recommends insuremytrip.com for travel insurance. It is a clearinghouse of available travel insurance options from over twenty agencies. Travelers should remember that insurance must be purchased before a storm is actually on the weather map in order for a trip to be eligible, so make sure to buy your insurance when you first book your trip.

Stephanie strongly recommends letting yourself actually take the trips you dream of taking, and not just talking about it. Economical travel options or shorter trips can be key in making your fantasy trip a reality while maintaining a reasonable budget.  She feels that travel is the way to make sure that you have a life full of great memories, and not of great regrets.


Fun Facts:

Almond Resorts has three all inclusive resorts in Barbados and one on St. Lucia.


Guests Include:

Carol Slee, VVice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Administration, Almond Resorts, Barbados and St. Lucia, Caribbean.
www.almondresorts.com

Hour 3

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Larry Silva, General Manager, Buena Vista Cafe, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, California, USA.
www.thebuenavista.com

Radio Show Host and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams is broadcasting on location from San Francisco, California and welcomes Larry Silva, General Manager of the Buena Vista Cafe at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Hop on the cable car and take it to the end in the direction of the wharf to get to the Buena Vista. Like the cable car, they’ve got quite an established history - Larry has worked there for six years, and most of the staff have been there for thirty or forty years. The cafe is famous for introducing Irish coffee to America.

Up until 1950, the Buena Vista operated solely as a saloon. In 1952, a local newspaper man named Stan Delaplane introduced the recipe for Irish coffee. He was first served the drink by Joe Sheridan, the man credited as its creator. He was also a bartender at the airport in Foynes, a village in Ireland’s County Limerick. Joe Sheridan came to America to properly introduce the drink at the Buena Vista and its popularity quickly spread across the country. The Buena Vista celebrates the history of the Irish connection in their establishment, with clippings and articles displayed on the walls so that customers can learn and understand about the immigration of Irish coffee to America.

Stephanie says that the decor, including woodwork around the bar, provides a sense of Americana in the Buena Vista. Larry adds that much of it is over 100 years old, and laughs that this includes the plumbing and despite the low pressure in the soda machines, they’ve kept these original fixtures intact to maintain the sense of authenticity and remember the history. The bartenders at the Buena Vista use Tullamore Dew, the same kind of Irish whiskey used in the original creation. Stephanie calls the Buena Vista the "mecca" for Irish coffee.

Food served at the cafe includes a popular breakfast service. The Buena Vista opens at 8 AM and serves American style breakfast, including half a dozen varieties of eggs benedict. Breakfast is served all day. They also serve burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. "We’re not very big, but we’re very busy," Larry describes the restaurant.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13486

For more information visit www.thebuenavista.com


Link to this segment

Bryan Rice, Owner, San Francisco Movie Tours, San Francisco, California, USA.
www.sanfranciscomovietours.com

Describing her own penchant for seeking out real life locations from memorable film scenes, Radio Show Host and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams introduces Bryan Rice, the owner of San Francisco Movie Tours. He was motivated to start his company after living in San Francisco for ten years and showing personal visitors various sites across the city such as the location of the climactic scene from Hitchcock’s "Vertigo" and a house from "Mrs. Doubtfire". His guests enjoyed the visits so much that he decided to turn the concept into a business. He wanted to "show people San Francisco through the eyes of a movie lens," he explains. "People love SF and people love movies!" as he happily explains the company.

The tour uses a "theater on wheels", a San Francisco movie tour bus. It includes surround sound and has four screens which play seventy clips from fifty five movies filmed throughout the city, including Foul Play, Dirty Harry, Princess Diaries, So I Married an Axe Murderer, to name a few. Originally, the tour was mainly a history of movies through San Francisco but people liked getting a city tour too, so they are now showed a clip on the bus as the bus passes the various sites seen in the films and the locations are identified and explained.

One fun stop is City Hall, a building that Bryan says has been featured in many films including the recent "Milk" and which even moonlighted as the U.S. Capitol Building in "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The bus makes designated photo stops including the popular destination of Alamo Square, which many people know from the sitcom "Full House". As well as being featured in the opening of the popular show, it boasts an idyllic set of colorful houses along with a gorgeous view of the San Francisco skyline.

The tour takes three hours and begins and ends at Fisherman’s Wharf, a busy and exciting area of the city with lots of activities to further entertain visitors. San Francisco Movie Tours shows a few cable car destruction sequences from films, but Bryan says not to let this deter visitors from taking a ride on San Francisco’s famous cable car after their tour!

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13487

For more information visit www.sanfranciscomovietours.com


Link to this segment

Chef Lee Masten, Executive Chef, Berkshire Crowne Plaza Hotel, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA.
www.berkshirecrowne.com

Radio Show Host and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams welcomes Lee Masten, Executive Chef at the Berkshire Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Stephanie wants him to hear about her dining experience at a restaurant in San Francisco called Chapeau, where she tried an order of mussels. She reports that the restaurant was fabulous and the food outstanding, but that nothing compares to the mussels served by his kitchen.

Lee reveals the key to making good mussels is that the shell must be sauteed and that many restaurants skip this step or else don’t understand its importance. A sauteed shell brings out the "earthy, pungent, peppery flavor of a mussel", he explains. The dish comes highly recommended by Show Host Stephanie Abrams!

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13488

For more information visit www.berkshirecrowne.com


Travel Tips:

Stephanie recommends visiting the restaurant Chapeau in San Francisco but make sure you have a reservation first - it’s a small place that fills up quickly!


Fun Facts:

Within a few years of the introduction of Irish coffee at the Buena Vista in San Francisco, Irish whiskey consumption in America was up by 40%.

The oldest film featured by San Francisco Movie Tours is a 1922 Buster Keaton movie, and most recent include films such as "The Social Network" and "Pursuit of Happiness".


Guests Include:

Larry Silva, General Manager, Buena Vista Cafe, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, California, USA.
www.thebuenavista.com

Bryan Rice, Owner, San Francisco Movie Tours, San Francisco, California, USA.
www.sanfranciscomovietours.com

Chef Lee Masten, Executive Chef, Berkshire Crowne Plaza Hotel, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA.
www.berkshirecrowne.com

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