Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Traveling Feet Shownotes
Traveling Feet - July 25, 2009 - Shownotes & Audio Archive

The Riverside Suites Hotel in Sligo, Ireland; Martello Media's “Yeats: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats”; The Historic Lissadell House and Gardens in Sligo; Trocadero Restaurant in Dublin, Ireland; The Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Massachusetts.

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Hour 1

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Effective August 1, 2009 “Traveling Feet” will be renamed “Travelers 411”. The show's content will remain exactly the same and the name change is only to better incorporate the show into the Travelers411 network of websites including

A recent marketing campaign by Tourism Ireland uses the tag line “Ireland's wonderful west awaits you”. The picturesque county Sligo, situated in the west of Ireland, often goes unnoticed by tourists. Stephanie has visited the area multiple times and focuses this hour on the county and city of Sligo.

Riversite Suites, Sligo
Riverside Suites Hotel, Sligo

The Riverside Suites Hotel is located near Sligo's city center alongside the Garavogue River. It opened January 2009 and has an atmosphere that is “modern but relaxed” says Irene Melody, Director of Sales and Marketing for the property. There are a total of 30 luxury style suites at the hotel consisting of mainly one-bedroom suites. The remaining three units are two-bedroom suites.

The suites are designed as residential spaces, each with its own fully equipped kitchen and a leisure space with a 32 inch plasma screen and satellite television. Guests receive the amenities of a small apartment for the price of a hotel room. During the summer months a one-bedroom suite costs 95 euros ($133 USD) on a Saturday night and 75 ($105 USD) on a Friday night.

There is a promenade by the riverside consisting of old buildings more recently converted to a series of restaurants and pubs. There is a walkway over the river from the hotel to get to the city center as well as a shortcut that cuts over the river by way of a road pass. The poet William Butler Yeats was born in Sligo and his burial site is only a five minute drive from the hotel. Yeats immersion courses are offered in the city during the month of July.

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Mark Leslie, Managing Director of Martello Media joins Stephanie to discuss his company's design of “Yeats: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats” an exhibition currently showing at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin. Yeat's imagination was captured by the extraordinary limestone landscape of Sligo. The area is steeped in legends and folklore and has stunning natural beauty such as enormous cavernous Table Mountains that drop down to the sea and some of Ireland's most phenomenal glens.

Castle Leslie
Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, Ireland

Because the landscape was such an inspiration to the poet, Martello Media incorporated it into the exhibit's multimedia. For example, a visitor will listen to a reading of the poem “Lake Isle of Innisfree” and see pictures of Lough Gill and the island described in the poem. Martello Media designs “unique narrative spaces and interactive experiences”.

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Lissadell House and Gardens in County Sligo is a large country estate located on 410 acres adjacent to Sligo Bay. The house contains 72 guest rooms and was built from local cut grey limestone in the Neo-Classical Greek Revival style. It was the childhood home of Countess Constance Markievicz, the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons and an important figure in 1916's Irish Easter Rebellion. She was also a close, personal friend of Yeats.

The surrounding woodlands and gardens of the property have been recently restored for visitors. The estate Gallery was formerly the “Music Room” and was written about by Yeats. The room has extremely high ceilings and contains two Grecian gasoliers (a kind of chandelier from the Regency period). There are no windows in the space, only skylights. It has also been restored over the course of the last five years.

The proprietors of the Lissadell House have been developing the estate as a year-round attraction but recently had to close its doors. All avenues on the property were declared public by Sligo's local council who were amending a county development plan. The owners have taken County Council to court and have an official hearing date set for October.

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Fun Facts:

Sligo's Irish name "Sligeach" means “shelly place” as the borough's river and estuary contains an abundance of shellfish.

Sligo is unofficially known as “Yeats Country”.

Jack Yeats, William Butler Yeat's brother, was an accomplished painter.

Mark Leslie's grandfather Shane Leslie was a personal friend of William Butler Yeats. Yeats was a visitor to Castle Leslie.

Mark Leslie was the first person to hanglide off of Ben Bulben located in county Sligo.

On Yeat's gravestone is inscribed the last lines from the poem “Under Ben Bulben”. The lines are: “Cast a cold eye On life, on death. Horesman pass by!”

Guests Include:

Irene Melody, Director of Sales and Marketing, Riverside Suites Hotel, Sligo, Ireland.

Mark Leslie, Managing Director, Martello Media, Ireland.

Isobel Cassidy, Manager, Lissadell House and Gardens, Lissadell, Ballinfull, County Sligo.

Hour 2

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Many people often rationalize that they cannot travel due to economic restraints but Stephanie says that each person has an obligation to treat themselves at some point. There are many ways to economize travel. Stephanie recently arranged a 21 night stay for a family of four in Ireland. They stayed in four and five star historic hotels, contemporary properties and charming cottages and the average cost was $237 dollars a night. Stephanie splurged on a couple of luxury properties but incorporated other more frugal (but not “skimpy”) choices. She states, “Everyone should experience how the king lives”.

Saint Stephen's Green
St. Stephen's Green in Dublin, Ireland

When in Dublin Stephanie recommends the Trocadero Restaurant on Andrew Street in the Dublin 2 district. It is located just off Grafton Street within five minutes walking distance from Saint Stephen's Green. The restaurant was started 52 years ago by the late Eddie Michaels, affectionately known as Eddie the Greek. He was a great lover of Irish theater and started a tradition of posting photographs on the wall of actors who visit the restaurant.  Eddie Michaels died in the early eighties but the restaurant has endured in mostly the same form. Trocadero has been under the current ownership for nearly twenty years.

About 15 years ago the proprietors changed the interior design to incorporate dark red tones. The restaurant is still frequented by guests who have known it through the generations. It is treated like a club by many regulars. Co-owner Robert Doggett states that they don't change the menu too often as many have come to expect the standard specialties. One of the restaurants most popular starters is a roasted beet and grilled goat cheese salad. Trocadero's has many traditional beef dishes as well as a nice selection of fish.

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Starfish, Chatham
The Chatham Bars Inn's "Starfish"

The Chatham Bars Inn is an ocenside resort located in Chatham, Massachusetts on the elbow of Cape Code. It was built in 1914 as a hunting lodge and soon thereafter was turned into a hotel. The property invested $25 million USD in renovations designed to bring the resort back to its original splendor. Much has been done to the landscape, guest rooms and the main inn's fixtures, furniture and carpeting. It is an ongoing project that will continue for the next two years.

The resort is comprised of 35 buildings on 25 acres.  The main inn contains 40 guestrooms, the most of any building. There is a spa building adjacent to the main inn with 12 spa suites, 5 treatment rooms and a separate pool reserved for spa use. There are several bars and restaurants on site including the Beach House Grill which is adjacent to the main pool as well as the beach. Some buildings are designated for the use of the public golf course located closer to town. There are buildings by the tennis courts, coast and lawn area, most which also have guest accommodations.
There are a total of 217 rooms on the property including nearly 70 suites. The accommodations overlooking the water have large balconies while other guestrooms have patios, smaller balconies, garden furniture and/or fireplaces. There is a public veranda overlooking the water where guests can have breakfast, lunch or evening drinks.

Chatham Bars Inn
Poolside at the Chatham Bars Inn

The Chatham Bars Inn is open year-round. It hosts two to three weddings a weekend throughout most of the year. There have been many repeat guests through the generations and it is an extremely family friendly property. There are 12 live lobster traps on site and the resort offers guided trips for kids to see them. Sea trips are offered on either the resort's 52 foot fishing boat or their 54 foot Hinckley cruiser.

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Related Galleries:

Chatham Inn Beach

Guests Include:

Robert Doggett, Manager, Trocadero Restaurant, Dublin, Ireland.

Paul Zuest, Managing Director, Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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