Celebrate America and The Father of American Music This Holiday Weekend in Kentucky

Celebrate America and The Father of American Music This Holiday Weekend in Kentucky

Kentuckians will not only be celebrating the birth of America’s independence this 4th of July, but also the birth of America’s first great songwriter, Stephen Foster. Born on July 4, 1826, Foster was a frequent visitor to Federal Hill, the Rowan family’s Georgian-style mansion in Bardstown, a charming community located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region. He immortalized Federal Hill in his hauntingly beautiful song, “My Old Kentucky Home”, which later became Kentucky’s official state song.  The celebration will take place on Saturday, July 2nd, at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, home…Read more
Hit Virginia’s Skyline Drive for an Unforgettable Road Trip

Hit Virginia’s Skyline Drive for an Unforgettable Road Trip

“Road trip!” Those words are music to the ears of someone who loves to travel as much as I do! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against flying or cruising or even riding the rails, as they say. But there’s just something special about getting behind the wheel and hitting the road!  I just got back from an incredible road trip on the Skyline Drive, a 105 mile National Scenic Byway that runs the entire length of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. This scenic mountaintop highway winds its way along the crest of…Read more
Houma, Louisiana: Experience Bayou Country’s Best Museums

Houma, Louisiana: Experience Bayou Country’s Best Museums

Top photo source: flickr user Michael McCarthy In the heart of Louisiana’s Bayou Country lies Houma, a city heralded as a nature lover’s paradise. Here you’ll find over 2,500 square miles of swamps and wetlands, breathtaking scenery, world-class fishing, birding sanctuaries, nature preserves, and so much more. But Houma (located in the Atchafalaya Basin, just 55 miles from New Orleans), is also a city that’s proud of her cultural heritage and is home to some wonderfully diverse museums. Here are a few I found especially interesting: Houma’s Regional Military Museum commemorates the sacrifices…Read more
See Spring in Living Color: Two Incredible Public Gardens in Georgia

See Spring in Living Color: Two Incredible Public Gardens in Georgia

The Southeast has some of the most beautiful public gardens in the country and now that spring has officially sprung, this is the perfect time of year to pay them a visit. Two amazing gardens I highly recommend are in Georgia: the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Atlanta and Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, just an hour southwest of Atlanta. Atlanta Botanical Gardens is a great place to visit any time of the year, but it’s especially beautiful in the spring, when the tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths are in bloom. I went last…Read more
Beat the Winter Blues at the Clearwater Sea Blues Festival

Beat the Winter Blues at the Clearwater Sea Blues Festival

For many of my friends up north, winter is looked upon as a necessary evil they must endure until they can once again experience the delightful days of spring. I keep telling them that they don’t have to wait; all they have to do is head down to Florida and they’ll be able to bask in the warm sun, enjoy the beautiful beaches, and attend lots of fun events and activities. One event I am especially looking forward to is the Clearwater Sea Blues Festival, which takes place February 19 – 21 at…Read more
Clarksdale, Mississippi: The Birthplace of the Blues

Clarksdale, Mississippi: The Birthplace of the Blues

The Mississippi Delta is widely recognized as America’s birthplace of the blues, a style of music expressing the struggles and hardships of African Americans living in this vast and vital area. Although this musical sound and style existed before the 20th century, it really came into prominence in the 1920’s, when record companies first started recording blues artists. The blues' distinct musical style has influenced many other genres of music, including rock and roll, jazz, and soul. Clarksdale, Mississippi, has been one of the main hot-spots for the blues from the start. It…Read more
Minden, LA’s Fasching Festival: A German Holiday Celebration

Minden, LA’s Fasching Festival: A German Holiday Celebration

This time of year, when people think of holidays, it's not usually Mardi Gras that's on their minds.  But in Minden, LA, Carnival season starts in November, thanks to the town's German heritage. In Germany, "Fasching" (also called "Karneval") officially begins on November 11 at 11:11 am and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. This Saturday, November 21, Minden will be hosting their "Fasching Fifth Season" celebration in their historic downtown district, which will be all decked out for the holidays. This charming city in the piney woods area of northwest Louisiana is well-suited…Read more
Fort Pierce, Florida: An Impressive Visit to the National SEAL Museum

Fort Pierce, Florida: An Impressive Visit to the National SEAL Museum

My husband and I recently watched the movie, “Lone Survivor”, which begins by showing some actual footage of men training to become Navy SEALS. They say you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than becoming a SEAL, and after seeing how difficult and brutal the training is, I believe it! Watching this emotionally moving film took me back to an amazing trip we took to Hutchinson Island, located on Florida’s east coast. The island has 23 miles of beautiful beaches, and is home to the National UDT-SEAL Museum.  The museum is…Read more
Fort Moultrie, SC: 170 Years of Protecting our Nation

Fort Moultrie, SC: 170 Years of Protecting our Nation

I've visited Charleston, South Carolina many times, but for some reason, I never made it out to Fort Sumter…probably because there’s always been some much to see and do in the city itself! Well, during my most recent visit, I finally remedied that! (Read about my visit to Fort Sumter here.) Inspired by that visit, I decided to take in another nearby citadel, Fort Moultrie.  Located on Sullivan’s Island, Fort Moultrie was built to protect Charleston, which it did quite nicely when British warships attacked on June 28, 1776. (This battle was actually America’s…Read more
Fort Sumter, SC: First Battle of the Civil War

Fort Sumter, SC: First Battle of the Civil War

Top photo credit Charleston, South Carolina, is a charming city, known for its rich history and its world-famous southern hospitality. There’s so much to see and do in this captivating locale, but make sure you budget in some time to venture out to one of the area’s premier attractions, Fort Sumter. Fort Sumter is an island fortification located in Charleston Harbor, and is most famous for being the site where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. After South Carolina succeeded from the Union, they wanted the Union forces stationed there…Read more