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
Meridian, MS: One of the Largest July 4th Celebrations Around

Meridian, MS: One of the Largest July 4th Celebrations Around

Celebrating Independence Day with parades, barbecues, music, and fireworks has been an American tradition almost from the beginning. Congress first authorized pyrotechnics as part of 4th of July celebrations in 1777, and today, more than 14,000 fireworks displays go off across the nation every July 4th. The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays and this year, I’ll be in Mississippi attending Meridian’s July 4th Celebration at Bonita Lakes, which just happens to be one of the largest Independence Day events in the area. Bonita Lakes opens its gates at 3:30…Read more
Corinth, MS: The Crossroads of the Confederacy

Corinth, MS: The Crossroads of the Confederacy

I know I'm lucky.  I get the opportunity to travel all over this great country of ours and see all she has to offer.  And,  in my humble opinion, you just can’t beat the Southeast! This region really has something for everyone: beautiful beaches, gorgeous natural settings, all types of art and culture, fine dining and accommodations, and more history than in any other area of America. The Southeast is an especially popular destination for Civil War buffs, and if you fall into that category, or even if you're just curious about this…Read more
Spend a Hot and Spicy Day on Avery Island

Spend a Hot and Spicy Day on Avery Island

You may not have heard of Avery Island, LA and the name Edmund McIlhenny may not immediately ring a bell. But you are almost certain to be familiar with a product manufactured here by the McIlhenny family since 1868 — the peppery-hot condiment called Tabasco Sauce. Driving over the small toll bridge onto Avery Island, I know I've arrived at my destination as I notice the peppery-vinegar smell wafting through the air from the Tabasco factory that starts as a mild whiff and gets stronger the closer I get. Most visitors come here…Read more
Macon, GA’s Pinkest Party on Earth

Macon, GA’s Pinkest Party on Earth

They call the International Cherry Blossom Festival “the Pinkest Party on Earth” for good reason. Every March, Macon basks in the glory of more than 300,000 cherry trees that produce more cherry blossoms than any city in the world – Washington, D.C., included. Japan’s consul general even proclaimed Macon the "Cherry Blossom Capital of the World"! This annual festival takes place in mid-March (March 19- April 4 this year) and has won many awards and accolades, including being named a Top 20 Event in the South, and a Top 50 Event in the U.S.…Read more
Mardi Gras Masks, Music and Merriment in Mobile, Alabama

Mardi Gras Masks, Music and Merriment in Mobile, Alabama

For many people, when they think about Mardi Gras celebrations, they think New Orleans. That's understandable because it's usually the Big Easy's iconic festivities that are associated with the carnival season in America. Many historians believe that the earliest Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when French explorers landed near what would become New Orleans, dubbed the area Point du Mardi Gras, and held a small celebration there. However, the first organized carnival in America actually occurred in Mobile, Alabama in 1703, 15 years before New Orleans was founded. And in…Read more