9 Incredible Experiences To Have In Louisiana Before You Die!

Credit: NewOrleansOnline.com

I’ve sort of become a Louisiana travel writing pro.  I didn’t start out that way, but after writing a few articles for Matador Network, I discovered they were desperate for content on my home state.  Then those few articles turned into commissioned articles from Louisiana Travel and Tourism and I was Matador’s go-to guy.  So here is my latest and I have to admit I haven’t done a lot of the things on this list, but now I want to.  Well, maybe not spend the night in the haunted plantation home.  🙂  Enjoy my latest article… “9 Incredible Experiences To Have in Louisiana Before You Die!”

Happy Christmas! London At The Holidays!

PassportIn November of this year, I was fortunate enough to travel back to the very first foreign country and city I had ever embarked upon 20 years ago – London, England.  I had been wanting to return to London for a long time, but airline tickets were always so expensive. In September, when a random fare sale popped up with a $500 discount on a round-trip to London, I jumped on it. There would be no turkey and pumpkin pie for me. Instead, I would travel back to London, England.  Not only was I returning to a city in which I was somewhat familiar, I was also returning to a city where I now I had friends.

I was also really excited that I would be in London at the start of the Christmas holiday season. It’s always exciting to see a city when it transforms itself for the holidays and London would be no different.

REMINDER: Click on any of the pictures to see more detail.

Continue reading

My “Go To” Travel Book. Always.

EW_BooksMy “Eyewitness Travel: London” book arrived! Yay!  Everyone has their favorite travel guide series for different reasons. As I have traveled over the last 20 years, I find I like the “Eyewitness Travel” guides the best from DK Publishing. I’m a visual person and those books allow me to see what I am going to see, or may want to see. There are tons of color photos and probably more than any other travel series. I especially love the Survival Guide in each book which offers great advice if a city or country is new to you or reminders for a city you’ve visited before.  Everything from When To Go to Social Etiquette to Getting Around and Security.  I’ve already purchased China and Japan to help me plan for my Asia adventures (sometime in the near future, hopefully).

So check out the “Eyewitness Travel” guides when you get a chance.  You won’t regret it.  And no, this is not a paid endorsement.  🙂

LONDON, BABY!

Source: VisitLondon.com

VisitLondon.com

First off, sorry all for not posting more.  A lot of changes happening at the 9 to 5-er and I’ve been VERY BUSY!  However, for Thanksgiving, I am excited to say that I am headed to LONDON!  I haven’t been back in 20 years and I’m so excited.  I need to call Liz and see if I can stay at the Palace.

So, what should I see in London?  I’m happy to admit the Harry Potter Studio Tour is on the list already. HUGE Harry Potter fan, but what else in London should I check out?

God Save The Queen!

warner-bros-studio-tour-london-the-making-of-harry-potter-warner-bros-studio-tour-london-hogwarts-expressweb-8bda679e9fcb25322ddbae65bb6d49dc

A Tropical Island Near NYC? YES! Welcome to Fire Island

For the last several years during the summer, I have traveled to Fire Island, off the coast of New York, about 2 hours outside New York City.  And usually when I tell people where I’m going, they ask, “Where is that?”  Well, here’s a map.

Fire_Island-NY-USA-Location_Map-01Fire Island has several communities, but the ones my friends and I frequent the most are the Pines and Cherry Grove, both extremely gay friendly.  Fire Island is also a nationally protected seashore. Getting to the Pines or Cherry Grove is a bit of a challenge.  Once landing in NYC, you go to Jamaica Station and catch the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) to Sayville.  The LIRR will run you $10.25-$14 each way depending on the time of day you travel.  At the train station in Sayville, you can catch a shuttle bus for $7 that takes you to the Sayville Ferry.  The Sayville Ferry to Fire Island Pines or Cherry Grove will cost you $8.25 one-way or $16 roundtrip.  The ferry takes 20 minutes to travel from Sayville to Fire Island Pines or Cherry Grove.  And then, finally, you have arrived in paradise.

Continue reading

Visit “Jurassic World.” Yes, You Really Can!

Universal Pictures Jurassic World opened this weekend to massive box office success.  The film grossed the second highest US box office opening ever with $204.6 million.  The dino pic also earned the title of biggest global box office opening ever with a take of $511.8 million.  While “Jurassic World” is a not a real place and you can’t visit, you can travel to the beautiful sites where the movie was filmed, and best of all, you don’t have to leave the US.

The main location used is Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu.  Kualoa Ranch now offers its own movie studio tour taking you to all of the stunningly gorgeous locations used in the film.  The original “Jurassic Park” also shot here.  Check out Kualoa Ranch’s video tour above.

Some of the exhibit scenes from “Jurassic World” were shot at Honolulu Zoo, right across the street from beautiful Waikiki Beach on Oahu.  One of the majestic waterfalls featured is Manoa Falls, also on Oahu.

Photo: Jurassic Kahili Ranch

Photo: Jurassic Kahili Ranch

But not all of the tropical scenes were shot on Oahu.  The island of Kauai was also featured in “Jurassic World.”  Jurassic Kahili Ranch is home to some of the wide open vistas used in the film.  Manawaiopuna Falls in Hanapepe Valley was another waterfall featured in the film, as was Blue Hole. These locations were also featured in the original “Jurassic Park.”

jurassicworld

One of the coolest places in “Jurassic World” is the “Jurassic World” Theme Park.  The theme park does exist, but it’s not in Hawaii.  It’s in New Orleans.  Yes, you read that right.  The theme park locations were shot at Six Flags New Orleans which was severely damaged after Hurricane Katrina and never re-opened.  The former Six Flags was used in a few movies, but none quite as prominently as “Jurassic World.”  Check out this Wired.Com story on “Jurassic World” shooting in New Orleans.

And as a final note, if you haven’t yet seen “Jurassic World,” run, don’t walk to the theater.  The film is a great summer flick.

 

 

 

 

The Boeing 787 Takes Off… And It’s Scary As Hell

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is preparing for the Paris Air Show and it’s showing off a little.  Okay, it’s showing off a lot.  Check out the take-off on this baby at :35!  It’s nearly VERTICAL.  I pray this is for the air show only and not the norm.  I don’t want to feel like I’m in a rocket when I am traveling.  Unless I am going to the moon.

Rain at Uluru! Incredible!

Uluru Sunset1I’ve been swamped at my real job, so sorry for a lack of posts, but this event definitely brought me back here.

RAIN AT ULURU in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Rain there is extremely rare.  According to ABC News, only about 1 percent of tourists to see rain at the majestic site.  Waterfalls are even more rare. Check out these videos from YouTube’s Storyful Editor.  Wet or dry, Uluru is a site that should not be missed in Australia.

How To Become A Chicagoan in 17 Easy Steps

Originally published by MatadorNetwork.com; May 14, 2015


Photo by: Bert Kaufmann/flickr

Photo by: Bert Kaufmann/flickr

1. Don’t say “The Windy City.” It’s an advertising moniker more than anything. Locals never use it. And “Chi-town” is out too.

2. Love the Cubs or love the Sox, but you can only choose one so choose carefully. There’s no going back and your loyalty to a Chicago baseball team, or lack thereof, is going to be taken seriously.

(And if you choose the Cubs, you have to love them even when they lose, which is a lot.)

3. Respect that Chicago is known for deep-dish pizza, but don’t eat it all the time. We don’t do that. When you do want the real deep dish experience though, go to Pequod’s or Burt’s.

4. Always order your hot dog “Chicago style.” It’ll come with yellow mustard, green relish, onions, tomato slices, pickles, sport peppers, and celery salt all served on a poppy seed bun. Don’t even think about asking for ketchup. And for the real deal, go to Gene and Jude’s in River Grove.

5. Lower Wacker Drive is your friend. You’ll hear people trash talk it, but a real Chicagoan knows if you want to get around town quickly, Lower Wacker is the key. Continue reading