Archive for the ‘On the Fly!’ Category

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams Dubbed “Queen of the Northway” & “Ambassador for NYS 49th Sentate District” at Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

From left to right: Linda Tepper  and  Louis A. Dahoda, Chamber members; NYS Senator James N. Tedisco, 49th Senate District, Queen of the Northway & Ambassador for the region travel expert Stephanie Abrams, james Lofrumento,  Chamber member, and Peter Bardunias, President & CEO of the Southern Saratoga Chamber at the Northway Rest Stop between Exits 9 and 10 on I-87

At the rest stop visitors center located between exits 9 and 10 on I-87, also known as the Adirondack Northway, in New York State, a great respite for travelers en route to NYS destinations and all points north in Canada, on October 14, 2019, those on hand and invited  NYS dignitaries in government, business and tourism witnessed a ribbon cutting and ceremony at which travel expert Stephanie Abrams was recognized for her support of this region’s tourism and was dubbed both, “Queen of the Northway” and “Ambassador for the region. The two titles were bestowed by Peter Bardunias, President & CEO of the Southern Saratoga Chamber and NYS Senator James N. Tedisco from the 49th Senate District, respectively.

New York State 49th Senate District Senator James N. Tedisco presenting Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams with NYS Senate Citation                                                                                    recognizing her support and promotion of tourism for the region.

The group was assembled to debut, at the Northway Visitors Center Rest Stop located near Clifton Park and Malta, NY,   Episode 22 of Travel TV WITH Stephanie Abrams which features ten destinations that Abrams designates as ‘awesome’ and leads off with insights into the features and benefits of a visit to Saratoga Springs.  An ongoing video reminder of Abrams’ TV shows was running on a continual loop at the Northway Rest Stop location as well as a promotional video highlighting Abrams TV shows and websites devoted to travel and her critically acclaimed novel, RUMORS, a book that Abrams notes is a “great read while you are traveling!”

NYS Senator James Tedisco signing the ribbon after the ceremonial ribbon cutting as Stephanie Abrams looks on.

This Northway Visitors Center acts as a major distribution center for tourism information for the region where travelers can access a wide variety of brochures and pamphlets to enhance their travel experience. “And the place is spanky-new and immaculate in a beautiful setting so it’s the kind of place you want to stop on your way north or south on I-87. It was the perfect location for this wonderful day of recognition that I so appreciated regarding what we have been doing at Abrams Hospitality Marketing to support this gorgeous region of New York State.  It  was a joy meeting and greeting those who expressed sincere appreciation for the quality and quantity of what we have done to raise awareness of this glorious region of New York State, its attractions, features and  benefits for visitors, “ Abrams concludes.

Plaque marking historic Northway trail at the Northway Visitors Center Rest Stop on I-87 between exits 9 and 10.

Turners Falls Massachusetts’ Fashion Passion Exploded with Innovative Design at Discovery Center

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams with Word Master and Moderator of Fashion Passion Bob McNeil

Last night, the Discovery Center in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, burst forth with creative design, fabulous fabrics, flamboyant movement, marvelous rhythms, entertaining models and Caribbean ingenuity held together with the witty banter and insightfully descriptive verbal interpretations of stunning Caribbean designer  outfits provided by fashion show moderator and word master, Bob McNeil. Fashion Passion paraded outfits that created audible oohs, ahs, and lust for scrumptious designs paraded for men and women that flowed through the hall on waves of percussion instruments  as Bob McNeil kept the program cohesive between designer fashion changes.

A visit from two Caribbean folkloric characters. . .

and an interpretive dance performance from one of the models. . . .

plus a marvelous rendition of a, “Me and Mrs. Jones,” by a special singer on the program rounded out an inspirational and entertaining evening.  Watch for calendar for the appearance of Fashion Passion in Turners Falls next year! You won’t want to miss it!

Baltimore, Maryland: Beacon of Hospitality

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

If you know anything about Ireland, you know that it is in the DNA of the culture to be incredibly hospitable and you’ll, of course, find that in the tiny town of Baltimore in County Cork, Ireland where, every year, there is a great tournament of firemen who come together in this seaside town just east of Kinsale to see what fire department teams an run up ladders and row boats and perform other search and rescue tasks the fastest. But, while Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland shares the same name with Baltimore, Maryland, the derivation of the Irish town’s name is actually Baile an Tí Mhóir, which Town of the Big House, while Baltimore, Maryland is named for Lord Baltimore, the 1st Baron Baltimore, who was the visionary, George Calvert, who worked to establish Maryland as a haven for Catholics where they could practice their faith and worship without persecution.  Interestingly, while Baltimore, County Cork, and Baltimore, Maryland are at opposite ends of the spectrum from tiny town to busting metropolis, both share a history of Catholic residents, snuggle up to strategic harbors that lead to the Atlantic Ocean, and exude the level of hospitality that live up to the Irish motto that continues to be clearly evident in both destinations: “Cead Mile Failte,” Irish for “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes.”

While you’ll find people in Baltimore, Maryland whose Irish family roots go back to the days  of  the First Lord Baltimore, the city, over the  last four hundred years, reflects a spicy blend of peoples and the cultures they brought with them from wherever they emigrated from who have embraced Baltimore as their home, from recent moves to arrivals  over four centuries,  and have chosen this unique city that bubbles over with southern charm in its unique positioning between northern and southern states strategically located in the Middle Atlantic States region. What you find in twenty-first century Baltimore is a marvelous blend of Colonial American history, a rich array of cultural offerings from art to literature, music, dance and events that rejoice in all of the above, set in geographically lovely setting in Baltimore that is propelled by individuals, organizations and agencies that work diligently, persistently  and passionately to bring to residents and visitors valuable experiences that represent the best souvenirs one can take away from a visit to this unique destination.

Baltimore Inner Harbor

As a world traveler, I can tell you that there isn’t a city in the world, with the exceptions of Vatican City and Monte Carlo, Monaco, an independent principality abutting the French Riviera, where the Prince’s regulations make administration of what happens in every nook and cranny a matter of decree, that doesn’t have streets or neighborhoods that need to be the focus of improvement and that are in evidence in the most visited and praised cultural capitals on the planet. Just take a drive from the airport to an upscale island resort almost anywhere and you’ll quickly identify where a destination needs to focus on improvement. Happily, while agencies of governments who care about their constituencies work on making those improvements, there is, in general, no negative effect on visitors coming to those destinations as it is rare when travelers and tourists leave the historic, cultural, entertainment, culinary self-rejuvenating trails which busily absorb them.

We arrived in Baltimore two days ago. In that short time, I have had the amazing pleasure of meeting people, total strangers who had no idea who I am, where I come from, what I do professionally, what I care about personally.  I am breathless from gasping in awe at the warmth of the people I have met, not only the humanity, spirit, naturalness and soul of those working at a hospitality venue we have visited, who were amazing at places like aboard the yacht cruise of Baltimore Harbor aboard Entertainment Cruises, “Spirit of Baltimore,” and the incredible staff at  the Renaissance Baltimore Harbor Hotel that jumped through hoops in minutes to meet my unique needs on the spur  of a moment, (NOTE:  both stories will be shared in upcoming blogs so please watch for them!) but also includes my brief interaction with local folks and employees I briefly met while shopping in a local Wal-Mart to pick up a few items needed for  our travels.

Mark and Stephanie Abrams aboard Entertainment Cruises “Spirit of Baltimore”

The level of warmth and friendliness I’ve encountered since our arrival  seems to come naturally to the residents of Baltimore, Maryland, comparable to the level of warmth and friendliness I expect to receive when traveling in Ireland, offered by people of every color, ethnic origin, ancestral lineage has created a colorful tapestry in Baltimore of the descendants of people who had the strength, vision and fortitude to leave wherever they came from because, like the line in the film,  “Network,” they were “. . . mad as hell  and I’m not going to take this anymore!” America is a country made up of descendants of people who were ‘not going to take this anymore,’ and meet so many people today, especially in Baltimore, who are the product of that strength and that vision that things can be so much better, people can be so much better, and it all can be NOW. . .  and you’ll find that spirit alive and well in the joyful atmosphere that welcomes the stranger in the most delightful way and that is Baltimore!

What’s a trip to Baltimore without a great crab cake!?!

Try a lump crab meat crab cake at  Renaissance Baltimore Harbor Hotel. Scrumptious!

We’re off  to Fort McHenry, closely associated with the birth of our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key, moved by the “dawn’s early light” when he knew that America had emerged victorious in battle because, “our flag was still there” flying over Fort McHenry. Today is Defenders Day at Fort McHenry honoring America’s military and veterans. I’ll do my best to represent my grandfather, Adolph Statter, a Baltimorean of Austrian immigrant parents who settled in Baltimore in 1870, who, in 1898, fought in the Spanish-American War, and my father, Jacob Leonard Beber, a highly decorated WWII veteran who was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, having been injured in action in France, Sharp Shooters Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, the French Fougere, and a slew of other decorations honoring his bravery, heroism and bravery. Would that he were here today to attend this wonderful tribute to veterans in his home town of Baltimore, the place, by the way, where I was born.

Medals Awarded to PFC Jacob Leonard Beber, US Army Infantry

Grandfather Philip Beber (L) in front of his furniture store in Baltimore, MD with

Grandfather Adolph Statter, Baltimorean US Army Veteran of the Spanish-American War of 1898.

More to follow. . .

Go Baltimore! You rock!

News Media Wake-Up Call: “The Bahamas” is NOT Destroyed! Do You Know What “The Bahamas” Even Means?

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

As your personal travel expert, you can expect to hear much, much more from me and the REAL EXPERTS on TRAVEL IN THE BAHAMAS; those who live and work in the Bahama Islands and are involved in travel, tourism and the  hospitality industry and who know what is really going on there in the weeks and months to come because the stories you are seeing in vivid color on TV news are terribly, horribly skewed.  While there is no doubt that those who live, work and have been accustomed to enjoying what Abaco and Grand Bahama Island have had to offer the visitor, they have undergone a great natural assault from which we hope they all quickly recover. But you probably have the impression from recent days of reporting that “The Bahamas” is one massive place and that The Bahamas is a place that is now uninhabitable and not fit to visit. That could not be further from the reality that, while Abaco and Grand Bahama Island took the brunt of the damage of awful Hurricane Dorian, where we can only hope helpful people and supplies pour in to rebuild spirits and structures,  there are at least 14 individual islands and island groups that range over a 600 mile distance in the Atlantic that are ALL  part of the untouched Bahamas that are in perfect condition and doing  business as usual unharmed by this storm!

If anything, now is the time to visit Nassau, Paradise Island and all of the other individual island destinations and groups of islands that are part of  what is referred to as “The Bahamas” and this catchphrase name has resulted in so many knowing so little about the vastness of what each of the islands of The Bahamas unique offers visitors to the massive area that stretches over a 100,000 square mile region in the Atlantic Ocean. It is this travel expert’s plan and vision to work with the tourism leaders of The Bahamas to help my US audience and global fans on radio, on TV, on the internet, on iHeart Radio, TuneIn Radio and iTunes and those who watch my TV shows nationally in the US and on ROKU to learn the names of each of the islands of The Bahamas  and to know what each distinctly has to offer the visitor with real understandings of the individuality of each destination within The Bahamas with a goal of making the names of the islands and elevate the knowledge for travelers of where to stay, what to do, where to eat and dine, and to get to know this massive expanse of tourism paradise   the way each knows his/her own neighborhood.  While most travelers are familiar with, minimally, the names Nassau and Paradise Island, even most sophisticated travelers can’t name more than a total of four or five of the islands of The Bahamas that make the in-the-know-traveler visit and return frequently. It’s time we dive into that educational process especially given that these islands did not interface with Hurricane Dorian and would love the opportunity to show off what makes their unique destination within The Bahamas special, welcoming, hospitable and ready to share the reasons for their pride in their island with visitors.

Given the news coverage of the destinations of Abaco and Grand Bahama Island as it relates to The Bahamas, I expect that, if there were a fire in Botswana, the news media would report that, “Africa is on fire!” The pounding copy across TV screens trumpeting, “Bahamas Destroyed by Dorian,” delivers, once again, a skewed and unbalanced story. While the losses of life and property on Abaco and Grand Bahama Island are, without doubt, horrific to absorb, as it relates to the impression one gets in seeing and hearing the news delivered in this fashion gives the viewer the idea that tourism to The Bahamas is at the end of its road. The fact is that those losses, while taking a terrible toll on our hearts as caring people and on the families who are suffering extreme losses from that direct hit by Dorian, it is disturbing to see tourism to The Bahamas thrown aside with repeated news indicating that, in essence, you can cross The Bahamas off your list of places to visit anytime soon!  That is just not the case and it is for that reason that I need to don my “Super Travel Girl” cape and fly in to use our powerful set of communications tools in broadcasting and online to help get the real story of what is available in perfect condition, with perfect places in a paradise called The Bahamas that is the umbrella name of a nation made up of wonderful islands, many of which  you are unaware of but which are just waiting to welcome you to experience their exquisite tourism offerings.

In the coming weeks and months, we plan to talk with leaders in tourism in every nook and cranny on the islands we refer to as if it were one mass: The Bahamas.  I suspect that my audiences will have a long list of MUST VISIT destinations in The Bahamas that grows as we explore more and more islands and learn what makes each uniquely special and different and discover unique ways to make those visits by air and boat.

Visiting The Bahamas now is also a wonderful way to help Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands to rebuild by supporting the government of The Bahamas who can then support the rebuilding process more robustly.  The friendly Bahamian people on every island in The Bahamas are waiting to greet  you with open arms in beautiful surroundings offering every travel experience from Beachcomber’s Delights to Pampered Luxury!  You’ll find exactly what you are looking for from your vacation experience and you won’t be disappointed!

Now is the time to pounce on making your plans to travel to The Bahamas. By the laws of human nature and the laws of Supply  & Demand, there’s a very good chance that you’ll find some amazing promotions and bargains to add to the enticement to get over the stories you’ve seen and heard and see for yourself that The Bahamas are alive and well and waiting for you. So what are you waiting for?

What Would Irish People in Ireland Say About a Tall, African-American Leprechaun Mascot for Notre Dame?

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams with Derek Warfield, founder of The Wolfe Tones & The Young Wolfe Tones

Musician, Composer, Musicologist, Historian, Wit, and Amazing Performer

The concepts of height and ethnicity have come under scrutiny related to the newest mascot of Notre Dame who is both tall and African-American.  The school, associated with the phrase, “The Fighting Irish,” has been brought into the backlash, or is it ‘blacklash,’ by ‘purists’ who believe that the school’s mascot should be a white redhead whose size is diminutive.

It’s funny that the much loved Irish-American, who played an over-six-feet tall elf in the film, “Elf,” broadcast about 1000 times on TV during the Christmas holiday season, is totally accepted and beloved as a huge elf, a word, by its definition, connotes a very small being. I have never heard anyone challenge Farrell’s judgment besmirching efldom by being ‘too damn tall!’

I often find that people who do not, and never have, lived in Ireland and, maybe, have never even visited or spent more than a week or two at that destination, have opinions related to Irish issues and Irish thought that are diametrically opposed to what the born-bred-lived-in-Ireland-all-their-lives folks believe.

Which brings me to the open-mindedness of Irish people: I’m sure you’ve heard tell in the recent past, from very high places in US government, that Frederick Douglass is “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.” If you have read the first part of the autobiographic trilogy by Frederick Douglass, as I have, you learn that he was doing for slaves in America what Daniel O’Connell was doing for the Irish who were, in essence, enslaved by the Brits. And after a pen pal relationship developed, the abolitionist Douglass went to Ireland to meet O’Connell. Douglass remarks that his arrival in Ireland in 1845 was unique or him because it was the first time he felt he was greeted as a man, and not as a black man.

There is something about the Irish, who have been, prior to the creation of the Republic of Ireland barely 100 years ago, suppressed, oppressed, repressed, starved, chased from their ancestral lands and homes. . .and castles. . . by people whose skin was the same color as their own, who have learned to judge people by their actions, their values, their skills and talents, their human virtues and not by the color of their skin!

While the question of whether Samuel B. Jackson, tall African –American leprechaun mascot for Notre Dame, is worthy of being the school’s mascot because may be more about the color of his skin than his size, given what I know about the very core and nature of “real” Irish people, the ones born and raised and still living in Ireland, I can’t think of a person I know anywhere on the island that is Ireland from Malin Head to Bushmills, to Belfast to Kinsale, who would object to Samuel B. Jackson being the leprechaun mascot for the school.  I can think of quite a number of transplants from Ireland living in the US  promoting tourism to Ireland who find the whole concept of connecting Ireland with leprechauns “diddle-didle-dee” music an “embarrassment,”  to them and hope that no one in tourism promotes “that sort of  thing,” and for that I say, “Shame on you!  You have so missed the point and the value of leprechauns and faeries, fiddlers’ tunes that make you smile, laugh, want to find the end of the rainbows, dance with the faeries, and drift into the magic and the mystical that is truly Irish and gets those who indulge through the worst of times!”

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams with Malachy McCourt moments after the unveiling of the bust of his brother, Frank McCourt, at the entry of what was the Leamy National School in Limerick where the McCourt children went to school. Today, it is the site of the Frank McCourt Museum.

My very dear, and very unusual, friend, actor, author, wit and all around very goofy fellow, Malachy McCourt often refers to the illnesses that befall specific ethnic groups resulting from centuries of intra-group breeding. Among those illnesses Malachy refers to are Cooley’s Anemia which afflicts Greeks, Sickle Cell Anemia which afflicts  African descendants, and Tay Sachs Disease which a afflicts the Jewish population. But he’s always quick to add that there is a disease that afflicts the Irish and that, as he explains, is, “Respectability!”

Clearly, that remark also reflects another inbred trait of the Irish and that is a sense of humor! My audiences on radio and TV and those who follow my blogs, stories and public appearances are well aware of my unique need to visit Ireland with some regularity as a place to replenish my spirit and draw on the resilience of the people, their passion for everything they do, the creativity and genius that they bring to every art  form and their persistence, perseverance in the face of obstacles, prejudice, persecution, and demons of all kinds which they have overcome and blown though with humor, faith, and unswerving focus to attain whatever goals they set for themselves.

But one of the things I find, which may be linked to the concept of the “Disease of Respectability,” is that many Irish, particularly Irish-Americans, and particularly those Irish living in the US promoting tourism to Ireland, project themselves as a bit embarrassed, even annoyed, that Americans find leprechauns and music they describe as “Diddle-dee-dee, Didle-dee-dah” tunes charming, alluring, and part of the magnetism of the mystique of Irish lore.

You Rock, Samuel B. Jackson! Lad, you make a fine leprechaun! Exude enthusiasm and stay on the One Road. And while  you’re at it, sing the chorus of Celtic Symphony with emphasis on “Ooh, ah, up der Arse; ooh, ah, up de RA.” (Be sure  to click on the link to hear Celtic Symphony and notice in the first seconds, and throughout, the black-white-Irish-connection. . .and check out the visual of the Queen! Bravo to my great friend Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones!).

Slan Agus Beannacht


Your Personal Travel Expert,

Learning Language thru Travels. . . Give the Sisters a Big Bowl of Bullets. . . or Ireland: a Big Bowl of Us

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Sister Camille D’Arienzo (left) with 1998 Nobel Peace Prize Winner John Hume and Sister Kathleen Quinn, both members of the

Mid-Atlantic Order of the Sisters of visiting  Northern Ireland on a trip to Ireland hosted by Stephanie Abrams Travel Fairy Godmother


Sister Catherine Markey of the Benedictine Sisters Convent,  Fort Smith, Arkansas on a trip to Ireland at Clonmacnoise

provided by Stephanie Abrams Travel Fairy Godmother

Sister Camille D’Arienzo and Sister Camille D’Arienzo came to mind this week because I was invited to attend the last. . . WHY THE LAST??. . . Evening of Mercy fundraising event that the Mid-Atlantic Community of the Order of the Sisters of Mercy run each year. In 2008, I was one of the 2 lay people that are honored, along with two members of the clergy, that are presented because of their unique contribution to the world in keeping with the mission of the Sisters of Mercy.  If you’ve read my facebook page, you know that for the last few weeks I have been upside down in balancing my professional life that was sent off-kilter by unexpected moves by companies that syndicate my radio shows, Travelers411 and Travel WITH Stephanie Abrams. One Hundred Percent of my attention has been focused on sorting out the loose threads and weaving them back into a vibrantly colorful tapestry which took all of my time and attention. So being at this historic event was, regrettably not in the cards.  The good news, the best news, is that I thought out and followed a plan to keep everything on track and, with the help and support of more people in the broadcast industry than I had any idea cared about me and the radio shows we produce, we are rolling along even faster than we have ever before in the 17 years we have been on the air! But placing all the moving parts where they needed to be, as it relates to Sister Camille and Sister Kathleen Quinn whom I sent on a 10 day trip all over Ireland staying at the finest hotels and experiencing Ireland at its best, it was the answer to the Zen question, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”  My thinking of the good sisters was, “Thought without action,” as I just couldn’t be at the event in the midst of a tornado of activity swirling around us.

And when I think of Sisters Camille and Kathleen, I also think of another Stephanie Abrams Travel Fairy Godmother recipient of a 10  day trip to Ireland and that is Sister Catherine Markey, Archivist for the Benedictine Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  I hosted Sister Catherine and her traveling companion, Kathleen Jarvis, as well and, when the chauffeur I had organized to drive them all over Ireland fell apart, my husband and I flew to Ireland and, to their surprise we were waiting for them in the lobby of the hotel on the grounds of Knock Shrine in Co. Mayo the morning that their driver and guide were scheduled to be unavailable to them.  We became and ‘driver and guide’ for them and spent a week traveling around with these two people I’d never met before on the eve of the 80th birthday of Sister Catherine! And I must tell you that that was on of the very best and most memorable weeks of my life!

I thought of both of them again today as I was reviewing Episode 21 of Travel TV WITH Stephanie Abrams: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day & Marconi Day in Ireland. The St. Patrick’s Day portion shares the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Lanesborough, County Longford, Ireland with my audiences on radio, TV and online. The moderator of the parade is a TD, Minister of Irish Government, Mr. Eugene Murphy.  I was reading the closed captioning to be certain that words like “Cirque du Soleil and Enniskillen were all spelled correctly and other words that would be a challenge for an automated closed captioning system.

And then I cam across two expressions embedded into the transcription of the monologue of the moderator. I don’t know when I’ve had such a good laugh! The first one announced in the closed captioning: ” Sisters of Big Bullets” and the second said, “A big bowl of us.”

This presents us with a bit of an opportunity to learn a bit of Irish!

The moderator first spoke about the women in costume in the parade who were promoting a theater production of, “Sister Act” and the closed captioning said, ‘ Let’s give the sisters a big bowl of bullets.”

A bit later, the moderator’s comments were interpreted in the closed captioning as a float passed across the screen, “Let’s give them a big bowl of us!”

While neither, I am sure, makes any sense at all to you, that’s because the now corrected closed captioning say we should give the sisters a “big bualadh bos” as does the translation for the float going by. Pronounced “BOOL-UH-BUS,” this bit of Irish means “Applause” so a giving someone a big bualadh bos is the equivalent of the moderator asking the crowd to ‘give them a big hand’ or ‘give them a big round of applause.’

I have left a message for my very dear, and controversial friend, Malachy McCourt, that I have the title for his next book! And, instead of calling my travel guide to Ireland which I am determined to finish by September, “1001 Reasons to Visit Ireland,” I think I will title it, ” Ireland: A Big Bowl of Us!” or maybe, “Ireland: A Big Bowl of Bullets,” although, with what’s been going on in Derry and Belfast lately, that might be too literal a  title for the guide.

And now that I’ve finished reading, amending and approving the closed captioning for Episode 21, I have to admit that that’s the most fun I’ve had in the last three weeks. I needed that laugh!

This Was a Week that Needed an Infusion of Inhaling from My Rose Petal Box!

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

I have had a Rose Petal Box on at shelf in a curio cabinet for decades.

It is filled with rose petals from roses that have long since withered and died.

Removal of the lid releases the most amazing perfumed fragrance into the air.

Each petal represents a wonderful experience in my life.

Many petals represent the celebration of a wonderful event or occasion.

Included herein are some visuals and a couple of audio clips of memories that are concentrated within rose petals in my Rose Petal Box. While I’m confident you will enjoy these moments created around the world even though you weren’t there, know that each rose petal represented by a photo herein conjures up volumes of images, conversations, people, places and vision of glorious destinations around the globe.

Have a listen to my NarcyCalamattaRosePetal that wafts from a very special rose petal collected in Malta, a place you must visit!

Most of the petals were gathered at unique and extraordinary destinations around North America and around the globe.Even more amazing about my Rose Petal Box and its contents is that both the box and the rose petals are imaginary and live in my mind, my heart, and my senses shelved in a curio cabinet in my brain. There’s no way to misplace, break or lose it as it is firmly lodged in the fabric of my being.



The diversity of the cultures, destinations and venues within those destinations that are represented with rose petals that exude spicy to sweet aromas is enormous and spans the globe.



Like a photo album, a musical CD or a video that you open to entertain yourself and uplift your spirits, a challenging day will send me to find, in the corners of my mind, my Rose Petal Box, unscrew the lid and place my nose over its wide mouth to deeply inhale the fragrance of marvelous experiences past.


One day I may share with you the challenges that the past few weeks have presented, perhaps fictionalized in my next novel, SECRET, a sequel to RUMORS, which, if you haven’t read it, put it on your MUST DO list as you will love it! In the meantime, I am focused all of the obstacles the need to be surmounted and to attain our goals in all aspects of what we do to bring the world to our audiences in the most informative and entertaining way. And taking a deep whiff from my Rose Petal Jar was a daily prescription this week to getting past the kinds of aggravations that I know that each of you are confronted with at some points in time in your personal and professional lives. The key to success is finding all the solutions necessary to surmount the unexpected and unforeseen redwood trees that fall across the road you are traveling on.

Rose Petal Memory:  Hanging out with Uncle Jack, Sir John Leslie, Castle Leslie, Monaghan, Ireland

For some, for too many, I have met in my life, identifying obstacles is the excuse for why a good idea cannot come to fruition. For others, like me, whose philosophy is, “Failure is not an option,” finding paths over, under, around and through the obstacle is the reason one needs to identify that the obstacles are there.  That process is kindred to Winston Churchill’s reminder, “Never give up!”



From the theory that, “When it rains, it pours,” such was the feeling of the week past.  Happily, last week is past and the trees are being cleared away so that the path will continue to be an open roadway on the journey to new and continuing travels and adventures. But there’s no question that I relied on my Rose Petal Box and its wafting perfumed scent to infuse my being with wonderful memories of people, places, experiences, incidents and events that create an uplifting cloud pervading the atmosphere and whirling around me like a tornado of positive energy.

Rose Petal Memory: HUGGIN’ Up BUGS BUNNY at the NYTimes Travel Show

I highly recommend having a Rose Petal Box of unique memories to inhale during a challenging time. I hope you create one for yourself and maybe create a tangible form for the person in your life that you celebrate with on Mothers’ Day , Fathers’ Day or other special occasion by conjuring up a decorate container that you fill with photos, mementos, and even key words on a little card that bring back a flood of happy memories and good times with just a quick glance.



So for this Mothers’ Day, if you don’t have the time or even know where to start to share this gift of a Rose Petal Box with the person in your life you celebrate tomorrow, share this blog with her and wish her shelves and shelves of Rose Petal Boxes from you. . .and from me too! And, if you are going to create a Roses Petal Box, maybe you’ll want to include among the contents a gift certificate for a hotel stay or other travel experience. The prescription for all that ails you, take it from Dr. Abrams, is, “Take 2 trips and call me in the morning!” Go make some Rose Petal Box memories!

Rose Petal Memory: CEANOTHUS SHRUB



Happy Mothers Day  celebrate someone in their lives from all of us at &

There’s a Philosopher in Each of Us Proven by Irish-American Keith Lyons, KBNP, Portland, Oregon!

Monday, May 6th, 2019

Broadcast travel expert Stephanie Abrams at Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

I’ve known Keith Lyons for more than a decade now. . . almost 2 decades I think!

He is the Chief-Cook-and-Bottle-Washer at KBNP, The Money Station, AM 1410 in Portland, Oregon.

His station has been one of our affiliates from the earliest arrival on the scene of Travel WITH Stephanie Abrams which was then syndicated by BusinessTalkRadio Network where we debuted on July 7, 2002. During that time period, Keith ran our show for years and then moved over, about 6 years ago, to carry Travelers411, the show we started on September 17, 2005. We start our 18th year on radio with the first show on the first Sunday in July and the 15th year on the air with Travelers411 the third Saturday in September this year.  A few weeks ago, we welcomed the KBNP audience back to Travel WITH Stephanie Abrams.

No matter the syndicator or syndicator changes, like many of our affiliate radio stations, the general manger, owner, program director of many have become friends I’ve never met. Staff members have moved from one station to another and from one state to another and have managed to keep in touch with me, like Greg Cooper whom I met when he worked at WWNN in Florida, moved on to Atlanta and is now in NYC still keeping in touch with me!

In Keith’s case, we’ve had long, philosophic conversations about the state of radio, the state of the States, and the state of the world as well as my getting updates on his children and their children as he became a grandfather as life moves along. I remember when his grandchild, Braithe, was born and I got my education that, in Irish, that means “Freckled Girl” and I had the added joy, while in Ireland, of shopping for “baby things” for Braithe, some of which I bought in Brown Thomas, the big department story on Grafton Street in Dublin, always a fun experience for the shopper who lives within us all, and some came from the darling gift shop at the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Even today, years later, I have the lovely thank you note that Keith’s daughter sent on behalf of Braithe, who, while already reading Scientific American and Cosmo in her crib, didn’t quite have the motor skills necessary to pen her own thank-you reply.

I’m not unaccustomed to receiving “love notes” with good ideas, suggestions of show topics, names of people and places he’s aware  of that he thinks I should know about and other prompts and reminders from Keith Lyons on a regular basis but today I received three lines that must be original to him that I’d like to share with you. Perhaps it’s the beginning of an invitation to join a merry band of people in my radio, and now TV, audiences to form a small, congenial group with Keith and KBNP  listeners at the nucleus, to take a trip to Ireland with me that will include the best kept secrets of Ireland that you won’t find in the average guide book or on the itinerary of tour operators who sell trips to Ireland; an itinerary that includes visits with some of the most incredible singers, dancers, artists, musicians, golfers, political leaders, tourism leaders, writers, storytellers and people steeped in knowledge of Irish local history. . . and a leprechaun or two; a unique journey you won’t  find anywhere else. . . and I’ll come along to guide along the route! If you’d like to join such a group, drop me a line at and let me know what months work best for you and how long you can afford to be away before you’ll be unbearably missed.

So here are the thoughts that Mr. Keith Lyons: Philosopher shared with me. . . and now I share them with you:

If something good happens…travel to celebrate.

If something bad happens…travel to forget.

If nothing happens…travel to Ireland to make something memorable happen.

Keith Lyons

KBNP Radio

Now that’s truly worth pondering. . . .

Ian Paisley’s ‘ranting and raving’ Will Turn US Visitors Off, Says Travel Expert

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

When Northern Ireland MP Ian Paisley, Jr., came out with boxing gloves on before a group of travel industry professionals in at a committee meeting there attended by, among others, executives from Visit Derry and Visit Belfast, while I didn’t agree with his belligerent tone which is counter to the brand of the region projecting the  warmth visitors receive on the Ireland that is Ireland, and it was clear to anyone who has recently visited the Republic of Ireland as I have as recently as 5 weeks ago, that Paisley is uninformed and ill-informed. His notion that the Republic of Ireland, especially the marketing team at Dublin International Airport, have targeted visitors to The North to steal them away to the Republic and, therefore, NI tourism interests should be “aggressively” marketing in Dublin, is hilarious when you are truly in the know! I actually was amazed, given how little marketing Northern Ireland does in the US where they should be focusing their attention to attract visitors to the many unique, historic, amazing and life-altering travel experiences that await the visitor to The North, by the barrage of radio well done radio commercials, gorgeous TV spots and print ad promoting NI that were absolutely everywhere you turned while we were in Ireland for 17 days in March! Considering the precious little that is invested by Northern Ireland entities, aside from the overview of Tourism Ireland promotions which include attractions in NI, what is being put forth in the Republic of Ireland by NI tourism interests is serious overkill! But this seems to have missed the eyes and ears of Ian Paisley which probably means he isn’t spending much time in the Republic or he would have seen and heard these ads promoting tourism to The North. And you can’t miss the if you drive around with the radio on, put the TV  on when you return to your hotel or pick up a newspaper or magazine. . . not to mention the many billboards including those in airports in the Republic!

But worse than his position presented as if it’s ‘dirty pool’ for one destination to market within another destination is his tone which is derisive and argumentative which, to me, is like putting out a vat of vinegar hoping to attract ants and flies!  The impression his remarks create is exactly opposite of the brand image that tourism in Ireland has worked so hard to proliferate and that is that Ireland is place where, even when there is disagreement which happens all too often with people of strong opinions and viewpoints, there is a level of civility, respect, humor and wit that all come into play no matter the discussion even if it all ends with remarks that the “other side” is made up of a bunch of “feckin’ eejits!”

The comment that offended me the most was the directive of  Northern Ireland MP Ian Paisley that Visit Belfast, Visit Derry and other tourism agencies at the Belfast meeting should market, especially targeted to Irish-Americans in Dublin, that they are “in the wrong part of Ireland.” That remark is unimaginable but it is certainly in keeping with the reputation of the style of this politician.  I  cannot imagine that that approach would endear Northern Ireland touristic venues to US visitors in Dublin, in general, and to Irish-American visitors, in particular, since many of those visitors have family histories associated with hardships imposed by British rule and British police and army personnel and police in The North whose interaction with Catholics in NI defies proper description.  With Brexit already causing concern about the open relationship between the two politically different sections of Ireland and with more than one flare up of violence in recent months reminiscent in Belfast and Derry, one  would think special attention would be given to peaceful coexistence. Paisley’s words throw gasoline on a warm embers that would go out if everybody continued to work and live in a peaceful atmosphere respecting one another and doing their best not to forget the past but to remember that history is in the past and should be left there.

A better approach for politicians is to talk about the glorious attractiveness to travelers of the region they come from and represent. If  it weren’t for my TV show launching in February 2018, my first travel guide, “1001 Reasons to Visit Ireland,” would be published and available in print and ebook. Having put amazing effort into my unique approach to guiding the traveler through  the island that is Ireland, I can tell you that, while Northern Ireland has some extraordinary attractions and lodgings and wonderful food as well, the quantity of what there is to see and do in Northern Ireland cannot compare with the quantity of high quality attractions, lodgings, events  and dining options that saturate every nook and cranny of The Republic. Three or  four nights in Northern Ireland, unless you are planning to vege out in the destination, is sufficient for that average traveler who is not on an academic mission whereas three or four months in The Republic won’t be enough time to see and do everything of touristic value in The Republic. There is no contest there regardless of windbag opinions.

Generally speaking, any guide book on Ireland will start with what there is to see and do in The Republic. As my good friend, Dr. Tim Campbell, Director of the Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick, Co. Down, Northern Ireland said to me when I was talking with him about my travel guide,”Guide books put Ireland first and somewhere around page 600 they introduce Northern Ireland.” That was an enlightening thought for me so in my guide, which has several different approaches to make itineraries and information easy to slide into the perfect itinerary for each and every traveler, the counties of the island of Ireland are introduced alphabetically so Dublin comes in a bit down the list after some counties in The North such as Antrim, Belfast, Derry and Down.

I’m hoping that Paisley takes a trip to, for instance, Miami International Airport. Florida alone, and the US in travel industry in general, have much to promote and could be doing that, as some do, at MIA. But take note of the promotional billboards on walls and the print ads in magazines, in-flight magazines and newspapers that promote Caribbean destinations and Resorts including places like the Bahamas, Mexico and Sandals Resorts. It wouldn’t occur to ANYONE in the travel industry to be upset that destinations worldwide promote their tourism offers in our airports and media. That’s normal!

I guess  what’s not normal is that politicians are, in general, not the best people to talk about travel. They often put their feet in their mouths and their shoelaces get stuck between their teeth as is the case with Ian Paisley.

Years ago, a fellow who owned a travel agency with his father in Virginia was on a site inspection/company meeting I ran on board what was then The Big Red Boat. . . anybody remember that ship? The cruise line’s rep for our region sailed with us. She must have taken Dramamine before the cocktail hour and between that medication, cocktails followed by wine at dinner, she was blitzed. She was sitting at my dining table at dinner and the CEO of the cruise line was at the adjacent table where the CEO of my company was seated. As this young woman who I just adored got very slurry, blurry and sloppy, the fellow  from Virginia said something I never forgot: “Drinking should be left to the professionals.”

I feel the same way about giving advice, recommendation, and strategies in the travel industry: “Talking about travel and tourism should be left to the professionals.  Those who don’t understand how to talk about travel, give advice and answer questions in a way that is in keeping with the marketing image of the brand they speak about have no business speaking. In less than a full sentence, the uninitiated can unravel decades of serious work and hundreds of billions of dollars, yen, euros, pounds sterling, pesos, and Swiss Francs! No one ever ruined a destinations’ image by keeping their mouths shut.

So Mark Bain, who is the journalist who wrote the article on May 1, 2019 about Paisley’s speech, called me and asked for my opinion. That was published on May 2nd in the Belfast Telegraph.  His article is posted below. Click on Ask Stephanie on the navigation bar if you wish to engage in discussion on this issue or visit Read on . . .

Belfast Telegraph

By Mark Bain

May 2 2019

A US travel expert has slammed DUP MP Ian Paisley for his “aggressive” language in calling for Northern Ireland tourist bodies to poach visitors from south of the border.

Broadcaster Stephanie Abrams, who has a syndicated radio show attracting almost 12m listeners and boasts 30m TV viewers, said she was “livid” about the comments.

“Regrettably I’ve met him, thankfully briefly, and only once,” said Mrs Abrams, who enjoyed a career in the travel industry before turning to broadcasting 17 years ago.

“I spend up to 90 days a year in Ireland working with tourist bodies, and anyone who watches the shows or visits the website will see how much work I’ve put into showing Ireland, and by that I mean the whole of Ireland, in a positive way.

“I’d say half the shows I’ve produced have featured Ireland, and Northern Ireland in particular, very heavily. I love the place.

“Northern Ireland as a destination is advertised daily on radio and television in the south. There are commercials to be proud of on TV.

“But these comments just show he is very much ill-informed. Northern Ireland is marketing in the south of Ireland.”

Mrs Abrams said Mr Paisley should be aware that “the aggressive language he has used” would only serve to turn tourists off.

She added: “It sends out the wrong image. There needs to be respect to other places people wish to travel to.

“In some respects a more aggressive marketing policy would be ideal, but perhaps the place for that is in the USA?

“Politicians should leave talking tourism to the experts.

“If I knew nothing about Northern Ireland and I saw these remarks, I’d probably never go there, as an American.

“Ranting and raving like this is not what people want to hear.”

Stephanie Abrams, who lives in Massachusetts, showcases Northern Ireland heavily on her travel website at

Belfast Telegraph

Ireland’s Kerry Footballer & Minister Deenihan Credits Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams for “Doing More for Irish Tourism than Anybody Else!” Announced on Radio Kerry on Ballybunion’s Marconi Day!

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

From right to left: Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams, Former Kerry Footballer & Minister Jimmy Deenihan and Radio Kerry Broadcaster Deirdre Walsh

on March 19, 2019 Celebrating Marconi Day

For Immediate Releas

At the 100th Anniversary events on  Ballybunion Day, in County Kerry, Ireland, March 29, 2019 commemorating the first voice radio message transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean from Ballybunion to  Nova  Scotia, Canada by the Father of Radio, Guglielmo Marconi, Stephanie Abrams was invited to be present for this historic event at which Marconi’s daughter, Princess Elettra, recreated that very first voice transmission across the Atlantic to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Marconi’s heritage was both Italian and Irish given his mother was Annie Jameson of the Jameson Irish Whiskey family. This Irish connection  is a great source of pride for h his daughter, Princess Elettra Giovanelli, who wears green outfits whenever she is in Ireland, and her son, Prince Guglielmo Giovanelli Marconi who was also in attendance.

Jimmy Deenihan, famous Kerry Footballer and former Fine Gael politician who has served as  Minister of State for the Diaspora from 2014 to 2016, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht from 2011 to 2014 and Minister  of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry from 1994 to 1997, invited Stephanie Abrams to be present for this event.  Radio Kerry’s host/presenter Deridre Walsh was on hand at Ballybunion Day celebrating Marconi’s historic launch of the use of wireless voice radio across the Atlantic. She invited Deenihan and Abrams aboard  the  Radio Kerry Bus equipped with satellite communications tools to broadcast live interviews with the Marconis, Deenihan and Abrams, among others.

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams with Princess Elettra Giovanelli Marconi and  her son, Gugielmo Giovanelli Marconi on Radio Kerry’s broadcast bus

Deirdre Walsh questioned Jimmy Deenihan first, stating, “Delighted to see you Jimmy Deenihan! You’ve brought Stephanie Abrams. Tell us why!”  Deenihan’s reply made me very proud to be included in this very special and historic day.  Minister Deenihan replied to Deirdre Walsh’s question saying: “Well, she’s a huge broadcaster in America and she has done more for Irish tourism than anybody else, I’d say. And she’s been working closely with Tourism Ireland promoting all of Ireland but especially Kerry. Actually, she did a special promotion on West Kerry that was very, very beneficial to West Kerry and resulted in large numbers of people coming from America because of the promotion that Stephanie gave West Kerry .. . . but that was last year. But she’s been a true friend of Ireland and a friend of Kerry and very most importantly so, a friend of Ballybunion’s.”  The entire interview can be heard, starting at 20:50 at Radio Kerry’s Ballybunion Day podcast.

Other at Ballybunnion’s Marconi celebration included Irish political leaders, key leaders from County Kerry,  US radio and TV broadcaster, Stephanie Abrams, Mark Leslie, CEO of Ireland based  Martello Media, and the Marconi descendants. Guglielmo Giovanelli Marconi was in attendance with his bride, Princess Vittoria. Also on hand for the recreation of the March 19, 1919 transmission of the wireless voice radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean were broadcast crew from Ireland’s RTE Radio, Radio Kerry FM, and Stephanie Abrams producing program content for her radio shows, Travel WITH Stephanie Abrams and Travelers411, and her TV Show, Travel TV WITH Stephanie Abrams which is available to over 30 million US TV households as well as on the BizTV channel on ROKU. Episode 21 of her TV show features the events and is expected to broadcast at the end of May, 2019.

A street in Balllybunion, County Kerry Ireland, honoring the work of Marconi 100 years ago!

Visiting the Lartigue Monorail & Train Museum in Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland:

From right to left: Jimmy Deenihan, Kevin O’Callaghan, Mark Leslie, Stephanie Abrams,

Princess Elettra Giovanelli Marconi, Prince Guglielmo Marconi & his wife, Princess Vittoria

The irony of the uniqueness of this occasion was not lost on Deidre and Stephanie whose professional lives are built on the systems and tools created by Marconi. Those tools include the invention of a unique antenna necessary for wireless transmissions as well as creating the basis for radar, cell phones and satellite communications. Princess Elettra Marconi is quick to remind all in earshot from the Radio Kerry transmission that, “My father was a genius!”  All listening acknowledged their agreement!

Dedication of plaque commemorating  100th Anniversary on March 19, 2019 of Marconi sending 1st  wireless voice message across the Atlantic Ocean from Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, Ireland to Nova Scotia, Canada on March 19, 1919. Left of the plaque are Prince Marconi, Minister Griffin from Co. Kerry, Princess Vittoria Giovanelli Marconi. To the right are Princess Elettra Marconi and Jimmy Deenihan, former Kerry Footballer and former Minister of Irish Government.