Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Traveling Feet Shownotes
Traveling Feet - May 23, 2009 - Shownotes & Audio Archive

“Traveling Feet” Broadcasting Live from Glenlo Abbey, County Galway; The Volvo Ocean Race Fleet's Galway Stopover; Failte Ireland West; Galway Harbour Company Anticipates the Fleet's Arrival; Ireland's Green Dragon; Brigit's Garden in Roscahill, County Galway; “Americans in Galway”.

Listen to the show in Windows Media Format:     hour1     hour2

Listen to the show in MP3 Format:     hour1     hour2

Hour 1

Topics Include:

“Traveling Feet” is broadcasting live from Glenlo Abbey in Bushy Park, a fashionable neighborhood in County Galway, Ireland. The area is adjacent to the city of Galway and Salthill. Stephanie is back in Ireland in honor of the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race Fleet. The Irish boat, the Green Dragon, is currently ranked 5th in the race and is expected to enter Galway Harbour at 3AM May 24, 2009. The Green Dragon is the only team that will visit two home ports. The first was Qingdao, China and the second is Galway, Ireland.

Stephanie was in Boston last week for the May 16th launch of the ships from the city. Tourism Ireland chartered a boat and Stephanie and others witnessed the boats depart from the harbor.

Click here to see pictures of the Volvo Ocean Race in Boston posted in the photo gallery.

For more information visit

Regional Tourism Development Officer of Failte Ireland West, Ann Mealia, was one of many Irish to join Stephanie in Boston last week for the Volvo ships' departure from the city. The boats have already put on 30,000 miles during the race. They have traveled to destinations around the world but Galway is the fleet's first European stopover.

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The Harbour Master of the Galway Harbour Company, Captain Brian Sheridan, joins “Traveling Feet” to discuss the large public gathering at the harbour. Yachts and large cruisers are present and there is a mast challenge already up and running. There are crowds of people standing in lines trying to see the action going on at the pier.

Sheridan's responsibilities as Harbour Master include managing the navigational activity in the harbor and maintaining safety. He is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the homebound Green Dragon ship. Puma and Green Dragon are currently neck and neck and are expected to arrive around 2 or 3am. Stephanie will be on one of the media boats out in the harbour that greet the early morning arrivals.

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The Green Dragon is Ireland's entry for the Volvo Ocean Race. Stephanie interviewed CEO of the Green Dragon Team, Jamie Boag, harborside in Galway. Boag and a partner manage sailing sports teams and were the masterminds behind entering Ireland into the race. The Green Dragon is the smallest team in the fleet. It took 6 million dollars to construct the boat and takes another 12 million to run it. Other teams in the race spent 4 times that amount on their boats. Boag explains that the Irish team is the underdog and it was a long uphill battle to raise the funds and make the entry happen.

The race started in October 2008 in Alicante, Spain and then moved on to Cape Town and Cochin, India. The ships spent Christmas in Singapore and then went to Qingdao, China where the boat was built. Qingdao was also the site of last year's sailing Olympics. Many of the Greendragon's sponsors are from China and there are Green Dragon team members from China.

The longest leg at sea for the ships was 42 days when they were between Qingdao and Rio de Janeiro. The ships departed Rio for Boston and Boston for Galway. The remainder of the trip includes Marstrand, Stockholm, and St. Petersburg.

The Green Dragon is 70 feet long but provides almost no amenities. It has lightweight bunks and other furniture made with carbon fiber designed to save on weight. Boag states “it is all about weight saving”. The crew eats all freeze-dried food and has a device to desalinize the ocean water to make it drinkable. Boag explains that all of a person's belongings must fit inside a gym bag. He says that one scientific study compared life on a race boat to a soldier's in combat.

Stephanie quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”.

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Travel Tips:

Stephanie recommends that travelers fly roundtrip from New York to Belfast with Continental Airlines in order to save on airfare to Ireland.

Fun Facts:

Galway is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland.

Shirley Robertson, wife of Greendragon team CEO Jamie Boag, is only the second woman in history to win successive Olympic gold medals in sailing.

At the time of this broadcast, team Ericsson 4 was in the lead with 92 points.

Guests Include:

Anne Mealia, Regional Tourism Development Officer, Failte Ireland West.

Captain Brian Sheridan, Galway Harbour Master, Galway Harbour Company.

Jamie Boag, CEO, Greendragon Team Volvo Ocean Race.

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Brigit's Garden, located in Roscahill, County Galway, is in a part of Ireland that feels like another planet. The English-born founder of this magical spot, Jenny Beale, describes her property as “Celtic wisdom brought to life”. There are standing stones on the grounds, basket swings and a bench made from oak trees that were preserved in a bog for thousands of years. There is also a large and very unique sundial on site. Beale is passionate about Celtic history and the natural world and her gardens reflect this. They are intended to represent the 4 festivals that make up the Celtic calendar, Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtain and Lughnasa.

On the property is a cafe. Guests can come to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings or stay for any numbers of events. Many of the performances and activities are held in honor of the Celtic festivals. Concerts, fire spinners and dancers, school field trips and weddings all take place on the grounds.

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When Stephanie and her husband arrived in Belfast the first thing they did was join CEO of Mooney Hotel Group, John Mooney, for breakfast. The couple then traveled on to Derry. At the Beech Hill Country House Stephanie bumped into John Hume, the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize Winner. He explained that Thursday May 21, 2009 was a big celebration in Derry to commemorate the landing of Amelia Earhart. The Ninety-Nines, an international association of female pilots that formed in the early 20th century, gather for the event. Stephanie says she always discovers something new when she returns to Ireland. She visited the Ulster American Folk Park in County Tyrone for the first time.

American born Brooke McDermott is the founder of an organization called “Americans in Galway”. They have an emerging website at Before emigrating, McDermott had lived in Pennsylvania. She had visited Ireland 4 times before but made the decision to move to the country when she met and married an Irish professor of Economics at the National University of Galway who was on his sabbatical in the states. She said she had further incentive after the 2004 United States Presidential Election.

Americans in Galway was launched during an Obama Inauguration party at the historic King's Head on the High Street, Galway Ireland in January, 2009. McDermott explains that she founded the organization in part for Americans who are readjusting to life in Galway. There are discrepancies in language, culture and climate that an expatriate has to come to terms with.

Stephanie has already had her vet put a microchip underneath her dog Maggie's skin. Maggie won't have to be quarantined for six months if Stephanie decides to take her to Ireland. She says this act already puts her one step closer to moving to Ireland. She may someday live in a cottage in Spiddal.

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If Stephanie had not stopped to visit Brian Bourke at his property Glenlo Abbey Hotel five weeks ago she would not have decided to return to Ireland for the Volvo Ocean Race. Stephanie has now learned that there is a Sister City Convention in Belfast at the end of July. She plans to return to Ireland again for the event.

Much is happening in Galway in honor of the Volvo Ocean Race's stopover. The Red Arrows Aerobatic Team will be performing next Saturday. Bourke regrets not having been in Boston last week for the festivities there. He says that many business people and heads of local government in Ireland were present for the Volvo Ocean Race in Boston. A mutual friend of Stephanie and Brian, Tim Kirwan, organized a breakfast meeting for Irish delegates while in the city. Kirwan was on the same boat charted by Tourism Ireland. He was carrying around a lunch box that Stephanie found to be odd. It turned out that the lunch box was full of cigars.

Click here to listen to Stephanie's October 26, 2006 interview with Tim Kirwan. The interview begins five minutes and thirty seconds into the hour.

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Milwaukee's Irish Fest begins August 13, 2009 and continues through the 16th. General Manager of the Milwaukee Pfister Hotel Joe Kurth is offering “friends and fans” of Stephanie Abrams a special rate of $159 USD per room plus taxes. Stephanie will be broadcasting live from the lobby of the hotel.

For more information visit or call 414-390-3800

Guests Include:

Jenny Beale, Founder and Manager, Brigit's Garden.

Brooke McDermott, Founder and Organizer, Americans in Galway Organization (AGO).

Brian Bourke, Marketing Director, Glenlo Abbey.

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