Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Traveling Feet Shownotes
Traveling Feet - June 27, 2009 - Shownotes & Audio Archive

The Mooney Hotel Group's Dunadry Hotel and Golf Club in Belfast; Eastover Resort Closes; the Buttonwillow Church Civil War Dinner Theater; Summer 2009 Cultural Events in Berkshire County; the Swissotel Group Offers Accommodations Worldwide; Filming of “The Proposal” in Rockport, Massachusetts.

Listen to the show in Windows Media Format:     hour1     hour2

Listen to the show in MP3 Format:     hour1     hour2

Hour 1

Topics Include:

John Mooney, CEO of the Mooney Hotel Group, returns to “Traveling Feet!” to discuss the Dunadry Hotel and Golf Club in Belfast. The Dunadry Hotel is Stephanie's favorite place to stay when she is passing through the city. Mooney is director of the Dunadry and is currently hosting a barbecue event for families at the property. Festivities include magic acts, singers, jugglers and fire-eaters. Mooney recently composed a children's book called “A Wonderful Story” about a boy who has three gold feathers to give away. Proceeds benefit Lion Club programs to assist abused children and other related charities.

Belfast City Hall
Belfast City Hall in Northern Ireland

During her most recent trip to Ireland Stephanie flew roundtrip Newark to Belfast with Continental Airlines. It was the first time Stephanie flew in and out of Belfast and she was pleased to find that the Belfast International Airport was even smaller and more easily navigable than Shannon Airport. The first thing she did after landing was have an Irish breakfast with Mooney (who Stephanie refers to as “John J. Wonderful”). The Dunadry is only minutes from the airport.

The family-run Mooney Hotel Group is made up of three properties: the Wellington Park Hotel, the Dunadry Hotel and Country Club and the Armagh City Hotel. John Moony is the director of the Dunadry Hotel and strives to achieve the highest standards of hospitality with all Mooney accommodations. Mooney states “Life is about people”.

For more information visit http://www.mooneyhotelgroup.com

Stephanie is sad to see Glin Castle, in County Limerick have to close its doors due to financial difficulties. The property is owned by Desmond Fitzgerald, the 29th Knight of Glin. In order to raise funds to try and reopen the property Fitzgerald has had to sell off his personal collection of Irish antique furnishings, much of which he had written books about. Parts of the collection were auctioned off by Christies in London in May, 2009.

Click here to read Stephanie blog entry on Glin Castle's Christie auction.

The iconic Eastover Resort in Lenox, Massachusetts is closing permanently in November, 2009. The resort has been family owned and run since 1947. It is situated on 450 acres surrounded by state forests. Eastover Resort provides an inclusive vacation package allowing guests to eat, sleep and recreate at the resort and explore the greater Berkshire County. Reservations for weekends through the summer are still available for bookings.

Eastover famously caters to families but also has time set aside for couples and singles weekends. The resorts hosts many different events such as Berkshire Rally, a gathering of motorcyclists. In 2009 the event was held May 29 through May 31st. For the past 12 years Eastover has also hosted the Naturist Society. Locals know that the nudists are arriving when the Eastover tennis courts are wrapped in black plastic from the outside to prevent public view. Eastover has coordinated other inclusive stays, most with a particular theme. One memorable theme was “10 days of silence” a retreat focused on complete silence for the term.

In addition to the main mansion the property also uses its former stable, now known as the Tally Ho building, and 16 other buildings spread out on the property where the guests stay. Eatover's Heritage Room is filled with Civil War memorabilia that rivals museum collections. It features cannons, weaponry, medals, North and South uniforms and carriages. The collection was assembled by George Bisacca, Founder of Eastover and the father of the current owner, Ticki Winsor. Much of the collection is authentic and will be auctioned by John Fontaine Auction Gallery. Ticki states that though selling the memorabilia is heartbreaking she would much rather it be displayed somewhere then kept in boxes. She says that “it is meant to be seen”.

For more information visit http://www.eastover.com or call 800.822.2386.

Buttonwillow Church Civil War
Buttonwillow Dinner Theater Production in Whitwell, Tennessee.

Not far from Chattanooga, Tennessee is the Buttonwillow Church Civil War Dinner Theater in Whitwell, Tennessee. One of the theater's owners, Steve Gipson, joins “Traveling Feet!” to discuss the ongoing production. The theater group has previously toured the country but is now performing exclusively in Tennessee. The basis for the dinner theater is for guests to witness a story about the Civil War and also to feel as if they are actually there. Guests are served authentic southern meals of the era. Recipes were created by Varina Davis of the Confederate Whitehouse now based in Montgomery. Gipson says of the food, “You get to eat what Jefferson Davis ate”. The production is called “My Granddaddy's Watch”.

Click here to see pictures of the Buttonwillow Church Civil War Dinner Theater.

Fun Facts:

George Bisacca , Ticki Winsor's father, was a circus performer with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus during his youth.

Guests Include:

John Mooney, CEO, Mooney Hotel Group, Northern Ireland.
www.mooneyhotelgroup.com

Ticki Winsor, Co-Owner, Eastover Resort, Lenox, Massachusetts.
www.eastover.com

Steve Gipson, Co-Owner, Buttonwillow Church Civil War Dinner Theater, Whitwell, Tennessee.
www.buttonwillowchurch.com

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Stephanie welcomes Albany's WGDJ 1300 AM to the group of Business Talk Radio affiliates.

Tanglewood
Tanglewood in Lenox, MA. Summer Home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.


Berkshire County, Massachusetts in the summertime is rich with arts, crafts and entertainment. Tanglewood in Lenox, Berkshire County is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The BSO's 2009 season opening was held Friday, July 3rd with an all Tchaikovsky performance.

Tanglewood has the capacity to seat 18,000 people between the Koussevitzky Music Shed and surrounding lawn. Television screens have been added to the back of the Shed so that even those who purchase cheap tickets with obstructed views can have full view of the stage. Most performances this summer still have available seating. An exception is the always popular “Film Night” with John Williams conducting the Boston Pops. Some seating remains but it is very limited. Performances in Seiji Ozawa Hall also sell out very quickly.

Guests of Tanglewood can order Meals-To-Go for the performances. These range from a bag selection, a three-course box selection or a picnic tote selection. Many visitors often choose to pack their own meals and picnic on the lawn. Lawn tickets are only $9.00 USD for an average performance and give guests the opportunity to star gaze while listening to a concert.

For more information visit http://www.bso.org

Lenox, Massachusetts is also home to Shakespeare and Company which recently began it s 31st season. Hamlet opened the last weekend of June on June 26, 2009. It was originally produced in the 2006 season and received such acclaim that it was brought back for a limited run in 2009. The company's production of Othello, which opens July 3rd, was also reintroduced due to immense popularity.

Hamlet features Shakespeare and Company's Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer as Gertrude. The production is said to infuse a certain vibrancy into an inescapably introspective play. The infusion of energy is owed in part to the cast (who have real life familial connections) spectacular lighting and original scoring.

Shakespeare and Company has a total of 18 productions through the summer, Five of which are Shakespeare plays. Another critically acclaimed piece is Pinter's Mirror, a series of three one act plays by Harold Pinter. 

For more information visit http://www.shakespeare.org or call 413.637.3353.

The Swissotel group, based in Zurich, Switzerland, has destinations in major metropolises around the world including Sydney, Berlin, Beijing, Moscow, Bangkok and Singapore. Their only US location is currently the Swissotel Chicago. This property has recently opened a huge new convention center.

Swissotel will be 30 years old next year. It was founded by Nestle and the Swiss Airlines in 1980 and was later acquired by Raffles Holdings. Today it is a sister brand of Fairmont Hotels and Raffles Hotels under the Fairmont Raffles Hotels International brand. Swissotel hotels combine quality, efficiency and reliability with hospitality. It is “individualized service with charm” and embodies “passion for perfection”, says Director of Communications, Eva-Maria Panzer. The group also prides itself in culinary excellence.

Most Swissotel properties have between 100 and 200 guestrooms. The smallest of properties is in Gocek, Turkey. Gocek has a large secluded bay and the Swissotel property is in a removed beach resort. It has only 57 guestrooms. The largest Swissotel property is in Singapore and has over 1,000 guestrooms.

Click here to listen to Eva-Maria Panzer Name from Swissotel interviewed by Stephanie Abrams without commercials.
Listen to this segment, commercial-free featuring: Eva-Maria Panzer, from Swissotel.

For more information visit http://www.swissotel.com

Sitka
John O'Connell Bridge in Sitka, Alaska

Fun Facts:

Stephanie recently saw the 2009 film the Proposal starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. The film is set in Sitka, Alaska but was largely filmed in Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts. One area of Rockport featured prominently in the film is Bearskin Neck.

According to a local road sign “Bear Skin Neck” in Rockport, Massachusetts was “Named from a bear caught by the tide and killed in 1700”.

Guests Include:

Kim Noltemy, Director of Sales & Marketing, Boston Symphony Orchestra.
www.bso.org

Jeremy Goodwin, Associate Director of Publicity and Playbill Advertising, Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, Massachusetts.
www.shakespeare.org

Eva-Maria Panzer, Director of Communications, Swissotel Hotels & Resorts.
www.swissotel.com

Click here to listen to Eva-Maria Panzer Name from Swissotel interviewed by Stephanie Abrams without commercials.
Listen to this segment, commercial-free featuring: Eva-Maria Panzer, from Swissotel.

Peter Webber, Manager, Rockport Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Rockport, Massachusetts.
www.rockportusa.com

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