Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Plus One : Louisiana

What would $15 million buy today? A mansion in Beverly Hills? Stud Rights to a few Champion Thoroughbred horses? In 1803, $15 million bought almost 900,000 square miles of land that was known as something called the Louisiana Purchase. Put in perspective, 900,000 square miles is approximately three and 1/4 Texases. Pretty big stuff. With a rich and varied history, Louisiana is a gem to behold. What's not to like about a state that boasts New Orleans as one of its own? NOLA has world -renowned food (and chefs, see Paul Prudhomme), Mardi Gras, voodoo, above-ground cemeteries and The World Champion (who dat!) New Orleans Saints.
Louisiana is blessed with some of the best fishin" and hunting anywhere, freshwater or saltwater fishin', deer hunting and, of course, alligators,hence the nickname, The Sportsman's Paradise. I love the warm, friendly people, great food (mudbugs!!) and outdoors opportunities of  this magical place called Louisiana. C'est bon !

Order a free Louisiana Travel Guide here.

Colorado Chronicles : Estes Park

I have posted about Estes Park before on my Facebook page, but I couldn't really do it justice due to space limitations. So, I'll give it a go here. If you've got a few minutes, spend them watching this video about Estes Park. EP is located at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park in one of the most beautiful parts of Colorado. I have been there several times, and each time I am simply astounded at the natural splendor of the place. Downtown Estes Park is a hodgepodge of shops and restaurants with something sure to please everyone in your family. Just east of downtown is Estes Lake where trout fishin' is pretty darn good. 
For over a century, the historic Stanley Hotel has been a landmark in Estes Park. Besides the luxurious digs, The Stanley offers Ghost Tours. Yes, ghost tours where you can, for a fee, learn about ghost sightings and hear spooky stories about paranormal activity at the hotel. Surely, you have at least heard of The Shining by Stephen King. Room 217 at The Stanley Hotel is where that story was born.
As I mentioned above, Rocky Mountain National Park is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Estes Park. All in all, EP is on My Top 10 Best Places I Have Been List.

Hint for the Guys: Estes Park would be a GREAT place for a second honeymoon. Just sayin'.

UPDATE: FREE Colorado Travel Guide 

Maine Minutiae : Jackman

Jackman, Maine is in Somerset County in northwest Maine only 111 miles from Quebec City, Quebec Province, Canada. Its location alone is reason enough to visit Jackman. It's very rural, remote and pristine. The area offers year-round outdoors activities ranging from fishin', hiking, kayaking and camping in the spring and summer to snowshoeing, snowmobiling (very popular) and ice fishin'. Another very popular activity, especially for tourists is moose watching. While my home state of Texas has many "Cattle Crossing" road signs, here in Maine, particularly areas like Jackman, the road sign of necessity is a "Watch For Moose" sign. I guess moose are just the Maine version of Texas cattle. The list of outstanding places in Maine to visit just grew by one- add Jackman to it.

FREE :  Maine Travel Guide

Texas Tidbits : Toledo Bend

If I were to tell you the following facts about a body of water, what would you think it was? Facts: 181,600 surface acres of water; over 1200 miles of shoreline; 65 miles long; holds over 1 trillion gallons of water. One of the Great Lakes. Nope? The Great Salt Lake? Negatory. How about Toledo Bend Reservoir in East Texas? That's the place.

 Toledo Bend is so large that is unofficially categorized as three lakes - Upper Lake, Mid Lake and the Lower Lake. Now that's BIG. My Dad was from Troup, Texas (near Tyler), so we always got the latest news in East Texas  from family. That's how we learned of Toledo Bend being built in '60s. From the family grapevine in East Texas. I remember it very well. TB is one of the best fishin'lakes in the country, regularly yielding huge Largemouth bass, stripers and catfish, as well as crappie and panfish.

Toledo Bend is a landlocked ocean, it seems. It's a beautiful place to spend time with friends and family. While you're there, be sure to round up about 20 lbs of mudbags, some small red taters and corn on the cob and have a Cajun Style Crawdad Boil. Oh.....and don't forget the cold beer.

Get your FREE Texas Travel Guide

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