Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Traveling Feet Shownotes
Traveling Feet - April 18, 2009 - Shownotes & Audio Archive

The Newly Constructed New Mexico History Museum; Albany New York's Quadcentennial and 61st Annual Tulip Festival; Floridian Properties from Destination Hotels and Resorts; The Volvo Ocean Race Fleet in Boston and Galway; the Carrygerry Country House..

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Hour 1

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Dr. Frances Levine joins “Traveling Feet” from snow covered New Mexico. Snow accumulated in the mountains of north New Mexico and central Colorado early Saturday with the mountainous areas around Santa Fe receiving as much as 4 inches. Stephanie says hello to her listeners in New Mexico who tune in to the show on KXKS AM 1190.

The newly constructed New Mexico History Museum is designed to educate Santa Fe visitors on the history of the southwest and its place in American history. The museum highlights the stories of important western figures including Kit Carson and Geronimo who led the last Apache resistance in the 1880's in southwestern New Mexico. The museum also focuses on the Santa Fe Trail which connected the western frontier of the United States and the northern frontier of Mexico.

The Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States, is also part of the museum's campus. It is 400 years old and was originally Spain's seat of government for today's American Southwest. The building marks the north side of the Santa Fe Plaza in the city's downtown. It has served as the state's history museum in recent years and is also the site of a daily artisan market. The Native American Artisan program permits members of the 23 Indian tribes in New Mexico to sell jewelry and handicrafts outside the building.

The New Mexico History Museum opens May 24, 2009 during Memorial Day weekend.

For more information visit and

Albany, New York is celebrating its 400 years of history this month. The first weekend of May, Albany will host a history fair over a four day period. The celebration includes a series of open houses at historic homes in the city, tulip displays, special lectures and art installations. Gallery openings are held in the city on the first Friday of every month but the art installations of May 2009 reflect the quadcentennial celebration.

Three historic mansions will be open to the public Sunday May 3, 2009. Cherry Hill was built in the 1700's and was the home of six generations of the Rankin Family who later established the mansion as a museum. Admission to the tour on May 3rd is $3 USD per person. Tour participants will hear audio describing the experiences of the family and the evolution of the city over the years.

Also open Sunday is the Ten Broeck mansion, built in 1798 by Abraham Ten Broeck.  Ten Broeck is famous for having billeted Revolutionary War soldiers in the backyard of the mansion during the war. The third mansion included in the open house, the Schuyler Mansion, also holds significance in American history as owner Philip Schuyler, a general in the American Revolutionary War, held traitor Benedict Arnold hostage in his home. All three mansions are in the center of the city, though once they were surrounded by pastures.

The first four days of celebration culminate on May 4, 2009 with a special tour of the city's tulips. The tour guide is Albany City Gardner, Judy Stacey. Stacey helped plant this year's special crop of flowers. The second weekend of May marks the tulip celebration in Albany. “Travel with Stephanie Abrams” will be broadcasting more about Albany tomorrow, April 19, 2009 and Stephanie plans to visit the city to see the beautiful display herself.

For more information visit

This year is the 61st tulip festival in Albany. The chairman of the festival, Marcus Q. Pryor owns and runs a risk management company in Albany and also serves on several boards in the city including the Capital Repertory Theater. The theater is soon announcing its 2009 season.

Albany has a special Dutch connection. Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River Valley on behalf of the Dutch East India Company and Albany is a city with rich Dutch heritage. This relationship was further solidified in 1948 when Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands commissioned the Orange Wonder as the city's official tulip.

Stephanie makes note of Albany's eclectic skyline, which includes the Capitol Building, Cathedral of All Saints, City Hall and the “Egg”, a very uniquely shaped performing arts venue. This mix of classic and modern architecture is just one important feature of the city.

For more information visit

In honor of this year's celebration 200,900 tulips were planted in the city. 53,000 other bulbs were also planted as were 1,500 “surprises”. The surprises are bulbs specially developed in Holland for the quadcentennial and were offered to each of the 15 original Dutch colonies. The bulbs will blossom into never-before-seen, orange tulips. The largest beds of these will host as many as 600 flowers. These special tulips have also been scattered in other quantities in historic sites around the city. Washington Park is the main planting field of the celebration with 90,000 tulips. To get the best display, tulips should be planted new each year.

For more information visit

Fun Facts:

Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano was the first explorer to discover the Hudson River.

Albany's sister city in the Netherlands is Nijmegen.

New Mexico is of significant importance to the modern era of science as it was the site of scientific achievements that factored into the end of World War II. The Manhattan Project was developed at Los Alamos, just north of Santa Fe and the site of the Trinity Experiment was south of Socorro.

Guests Include:

Dr. Frances Levine, Director, New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors.

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

Marcus Pryor, Chairman, Albany NY Tulip Festival.

Judy Stacey, Albany City Gardner.

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Stephanie is preparing to travel to Tianguis 2009, an International Travel Expo held in Acapulco, Mexico. She has been back in the Berkshires for only a short time, flying recently to both California and Ireland. During one flight she had an unpleasant air travel experience. Visit Stephanie's blog to read more about United Airline's new policy on ‘oversized' passengers.

The hotel group, Destination Hotels and Resorts has properties throughout the United States and has recently added several new Floridian resorts to their collection. The Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach is a beachfront hotel south of Daytona city center in a quiet, residential community. Daytona is located on the east coast of central Florida.

In 2005 the hotel invested $37 million USD in renovations. The Shores is a 200-room, boutique hotel, elegant in design and very warm in atmosphere. It has high ceilings and dark woods in its decor. There is a lobby bar adjacent to a four star restaurant overlooking the ocean. Outside is a patio area with four fire pits that are lit nightly. Guestrooms are intended to feel extremely “livable” with poster beds, 42 inch flat screen TVs, DVD players, iPod clock radios, and other standard amenities like bathrobes, safes and coffee services.

The Intercontinental in Tampa is another beachfront resort in the Destination Hotels collection. It is located in the Westshore shopping and business district. Storefronts in the district include Saks and Macys and restaurants include the Palm and P.F. Chang's. The Intercontinental has 323 guestrooms and serves both the business and leisure market. The hotel's swimming pool is situated on its roof top and overlooks Tampa Bay. It is located 3 miles from Tampa International Airport and is a 20 minute drive from the west coast beaches.

Travel Deal:

The Intercontinental has a special military package available May 10, 2009 (Mother's Day) through June 21, 2009 (Father's Day). The package is designed as special salute to the military and is referred to as a “BOGO”. Guests who book one night's stay Thursday-Sunday will receive either a second room or a second night free. In addition to the complimentary one night stay guests also receive a free dinner for two adults and 20 % off the hotel's spa. The hoteliers will also arrange to send a care package with a personalized note from the guest to their military loved one overseas.

For more information visit

The Volvo Ocean Race is the pinnacle boat race of its kind. Using state-of-the-art technology, several 70 footer yachts are in competition to travel around the world. The boats left Spain October 1, 2008 and have traveled to South Africa, India, Singapore and China. The vessels are now somewhere between Rio de Janeiro and Boston, Massachusetts. They will leave Boston May, 16, 2009 and are scheduled to arrive in Galway, Ireland for May 23rd.

Race participants will remain in Galway, Ireland for a two-week long festival before departing for Sweden. 200,000 people will be in the city during this time and Stephanie Abrams intends to be among them. Festivities include street theater and carnival events. Stephanie recommends the historic 18th century manor house, Glenlo Abbey Hotel, when staying in the city.

For more information visit and

The Carrygerry Country House is located only five minutes from Shannon Airport but feels set apart from the area. The hotel has no direct neighbors and has beautiful views of the scenic countryside. Often travelers will choose convenience over comfort but the Carrygerry Country House combines the too.

The hotel has only 11 guestrooms. It was built in 1793 and because it is a historic site the hoteliers are unable to add on to the property. The highlight of Stephanie's stay at the hotel was the chicken dinner she had prepared by Niall Ennis, Co-owner and Executive Chef of the Carrygerry Country House. Ennis says that chicken is looked upon as a cheaper piece of meat but that if it is treated and prepared correctly it can be a spectacular entree. The trick, says Ennis, is in the marinade. The marinade he used in preparing Stephanie's dinner included olive oil, black pepper, fresh lemon juice and the stalk from fresh coriander.

Click here to read Stephanie's blog entry on Ennis' dish and to get the recipe!

For more information visit

Guests Include:

Drew Toth, Director, Sales & Marketing, Destination Hotels.

Brian Bourke, Director, Sales & Marketing, Glenlo Abbey, Bushy Park, County Galway, Ireland.

Niall Ennis, Co-owner, Carrygerry Country House, Newmarket-on-Fergus.

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