05 January 2018

Good Times in Cajun Country

It’s less than two hours from New Orleans, but a trip to Cajun country in Louisiana offers experiences totally different from the Big Easy.  Years ago, I wrote that "visiting here is like visiting another country -- but a country where the past isn't found on cobblestone streets or historic statues; rather it curves through the air on fiddle and accordion melodies, drenches your taste buds with its spicy zest of living -- and more often than not, does both at the same time. Music and food are as intertwined here as the moss that wraps around the trees in the bayous -- even when you're not expecting it."  After my most recent trip to Lafayette, Louisiana and its surrounding Cajun country, I discovered it hasn't changed a bit. The good times are still rolling; in fact, the good times have gotten even better. For 6 Great Reasons to Visit Cajun Country, read my post at U.S. News & World Report's En Route travel blog. (But know there are lots more reasons to visit; I just couldn't list them all!)

A sunrise swamp tour on the Atchafalaya Basin is unforgettable....
Likewise, a visit to Avery Island's Tabasco factory, museum, and Jungle Gardens...or 
Martin Accordions ....where the visit includes a musical presentation:

And don't miss the Blue Moon Saloon...

05 December 2017

Will Travel for Books

If you're a bibliophile, chances are a journey out of your armchair and off the page will often lead to places where your favorite authors have lived, (drank), and/or (usually) written about. New Orleans happens to be a particular favorite of mine. Sip a Sazerac (or three) at Hotel Monteleone's Carousel Bar with the ghosts of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway and Eudora Welty who once frequented the place. Or stop in at the small gem of a bookshop, Faulkner House Books. A national literary landmark,  it's located in the same space where Faulkner once rented rooms. For more lit lovers cities: Read my 6 Great Getaways for Book Lovers at U.S. News & World Report's En Route travel blog


31 October 2017

Halloween in Transylvania

 Transylvania is as eerie and enchanting as Halloween--and autumn is a beautiful time to visit. Check out my "5 Great Medieval Places to Visit in Transylvania" on the U.S. News & World Report En Route blog.

22 June 2017

Vieux Carre: Best cocktail before a show at the St. Paul Ordway?

Vieux Carre: Gin Daisy 

         Tanqueray bloomsbury.rhubarb.strawberry.lemon

30 May 2017

Good Cocktails at the Bad Waitress

They're more than good. They're fantastic. At the new The Bad Waitress in northeast Minneapolis, the cocktail menu is a winner. One of our favorite mixologist/bartenders, Johnny Michaels, has done it again. Four friends, four cocktails, four happy drinkers. Meow Mix, Lady Byng (with the pansy), Tangerine Sidecar, and The Most Interesting Man in the World. By the time we left, we were the most interesting women in the world.

19 April 2016

LaCrosse, WI: The Charmant Hotel: For (real) sweet dreams

Located in a former candy factory in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, The Charmant Hotel salutes its sweet history in all sorts of ways. The best?  A 24/7 chocolate candy counter.  Adjacent to the check-in desk this means even if you wake up at 2 a.m. craving, say, a chocolate covered caramel, you can satisfy it.