Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Friday, April 19, 2013
*Scroll down for the French Quarter Fest slideshow*
The French Quarter Festival is always a good time. Showcasing New Orleans Culture and Heritage since 1984, the French Quarter Festival has grown to become the largest free music festival in the South with 21 music stages and 250 musical acts throughout the Quarter representing music from just about every genre (R&B, folk, jazz, gospel, brass bands, funk, there's even a music stage for kids!) Most streets in the French Quarter are closed off for festival goers to ensure a safe and enjoyable time and very few events in the city are afforded such a traffic closure. Add to that great New Orleans food from 90+ vendors and great weather, why wouldn't you get out and enjoy yourself?
We attended the 2013 festival on Friday April 12, to near perfect weather. I can't express in words how enjoyable the city of New Orleans is when the weather's mild and pretty, it's indescribable really. We downloaded and used the FREE French Quarter Festival App to figure out where we wanted to go and who we wanted to see. We confined ourselves to the festivities in and around Woldenburg Riverfront Park and Decatur Street and captured the sights and sounds (and eats!) while we were there. From Big Chief Bo Dollis, Jr. and the Wild Magnolia's featuring Mardi Gras Indians on the Abita Beer Stage, to the New Orleans Night Crawlers and Stooges Brass Band on the Capital One Riverside Legacy Stage to Gina Brown and Anutha Level on the Absolut Louis Pavillion Stage to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on the Chevron Cajun Zydeco Showcase Stage to random Brass Bands getting in wherever they fit in (until the NOPD shuts them down for playing without a festival permit... boo). We topped all of that off with the Soul Rebels at the Blue Nile (missed their performance at the festival the day before) we experienced a cornucopia of great music and food in a single afternoon and evening. So if you ever need a reason to get out to New Orleans for a springtime weekend getaway, trust, the French Quarter Festival is all the reason you'll need :)
Ron Ward, Photographer, Music "504" by the Soul Rebels
Monday, April 15, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
Friday, November 9, 2012
Austin, Texas is a pretty cool town, a little weird, but still mad cool. This was our 2nd trip there and we got a more authentic sense of the city this go round. We were in Austin (the self proclaimed live music capital of the world) for Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012 to see Run DMC live! on the (orange) Stage. We shopped, we walked, we heard music we love, we ate, we people watched, we photographed... while people watching and we really enjoyed the super chill, hipster neighborhood that is Austin. Below is a tiny pictorial glimpse of our weekend using my trusty iPhone camera along with the photographer's camera while we were in Austin... [all photos taken by ©Ron Ward unless otherwise noted]
|Riding around Austin in my Goorin Brothers newsboy that I'm in LOVE with..|
|Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012. We were there!|
|Our stay was nice. This place was urban chic done well. We booked last minute using Hotel Tonight. Click the pic for more pics of this place...|
|We passed a courtyard wedding on our way to the festival at Auditorium Shores and couldn't help but snap a pic...|
|The sea of music lovers at Fun Fun Fun Fest. [taken with my iPhone]|
|The festival really encouraged alternate forms of transportation to the venue. Bikes (and pedi-cabs!) way outnumbered motor vehicles.. [taken with my iPhone]|
|The sea of people (after the lights went up) still hanging around after Run DMC's set, we left the festival shortly after to explore Austin nightlife... [pic taken with my iPhone]|
|The pedi-cab! A great way to see Downtown Austin and a great job if you want to lose a few lbs.|
|Night time pedi-cab..|
|We actually ate at Frank for lunch the following day, but we parked there during the festival all weekend.|
|In the parking lot at Frank... and I promise you I wasn't tired because it was after 10pm. Well.. maybe a little, lol.|
Chocolate Whisky Butter Bread Pudding. YUM. We indulged in this (with coffee!) after our hot dog's at Frank's. Taken with my iPhone.
Men in short shorts! Don't act like you don't know. What kicks these guys were for the cameras. Gotta love Downtown Austin.
|We had a nice last night in Austin at La Condesa. Other Austin hotspots we hit up while we were there? Annie's Cafe, Joe's Bakery and The Elephant Room which was a super cool spot for late night jazz.|
|Cheers to a great trip to Austin! [pic taken with my iPhone at La Condesa]|
Monday, September 10, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
People are so frustrated with the airlines these days, MYSELF INCLUDED (with their bag fees, delays, horrible customer service, I'll just stop there) that this news is not hard to believe at all.
via The New York Times:
A decade ago, Delta and US Airways shuttles were the preferred mode of travel between the cities. But high fares, slow airport security and frequent flight delays — along with Amtrak’s high-speed Acela trains, online ticketing and workstation amenities — have eaten away at the airlines’ share of passengers.
Between New York and Washington, Amtrak said, 75 percent of travelers go by train, a huge share that has been building steadily since the Acela was introduced in 2000 and airport security was tightened after 2001. Before that, Amtrak had just over a third of the business between New York and Washington.
In the same period, Amtrak said, its market share between New York and Boston grew to 54 percent from 20 percent. Nationally, Amtrak ridership is at a record 30 million people; the Northeast accounts for more than a third of that and is virtually the only portion of Amtrak’s system that makes money.
Continue reading this story HERE.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
|Click the pic above to go to Sears Vacations|
Thursday, June 21, 2012
We stayed at the Hotel Le Marais in the French Quarter recently (booked via my awesome iPhone app Hotel Tonight) and we left impressed. It's very unassuming from the outside, but don't let that throw you. This is a new boutique hotel in the heart of the French Quarter (less than 2 years old at the time we stayed there) and the best way for me to describe this hotel is "minimal chic" We were so excited about the contemporary look and feel of this property, that we didn't even realize that we had two free drinks on the house for being first time guests (grrrrr) But even though we stayed only one night (BUMMER) we had a great stay here. The staff was accommodating, the pool area was fab and the location (if you're itching to be inches away from the French Quarter) was amazing. Click HERE to see more pretty pics of this property, and book your stay today!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
The 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is
April 27 - May 6, 2012
Click HERE to buy tickets for the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Get the New Orleans Jazz Fest iPhone App!
Lauryn Hill at the 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
On our recent trip to Louisville, Kentucky (pronounced "Looavul, Luhvul, Loueville, Looaville or Looeyville we learned) I have to be honest, our expectations weren't that high, but wow, were we proved wrong fast! Follow along below won't you? While we recount for you our Kentucky experience...
The Galt House Hotel
The website says that the rooms in the Suite Tower are "bigger than your first apartment" and I promise you, I made almost the exact same comment when we unlocked the door to our room. The rooms are beyond spacious, with it's living room area, small kitchenette area, coat closet, hallway, vanity area, large bathroom, and finally the very large bedroom. You could literally invite a group of people over and not feel cramped in these rooms. This hotel celebrates their 40th Anniversary in 2012 and is one of the premier places to stay if you're in town for the Kentucky Derby. The food and the view from Rivue on the 25th floor of The Galt House is also not to be missed.
The Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs
One of the many things Kentucky is very proud of is its Bourbon. I mean, Kentucky is "Bourbon Country" as Bourbon originated in the state of Kentucky and 95% of it is produced there. There are distilleries open for tours year round to take a closer look on how it's produced. While we were there we were able to taste the "Old Fashioned" (a little intense for my tastes) Bourbon Balls, and a champagne spritzer made with Kentucky Bourbon, but my favorite tasting had to be the Evan Williams Honey Reserve. Smooth.
Check out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail HERE.
|The "Not Brown" Fried Green Tomatoes, Shrimp, Crab, |
Bacon, Spinach, Mornay by Chef John Castro
Louisville Mega Cavern Zip Lines are the world's first and only underground zipline adventure tour. We did this and it was awesome. Cool temperatures (you're underground!), five zip lines, three challenge bridges and two hours later, we left wanting more. I can definitely see how adrenaline activities can be addicting.
Other Must See Louisville Attractions...
The Muhammad Ali Center. It's so well done and such a beautiful interactive tribute to him, his accomplishments and his life, (you can even sit and watch some of his fights in their entirety) whether you're a fan or not, you're not going to want to miss a center that won "Best Cultural Attraction in the State of Kentucky" in 2011 when you visit.
|"I have dreamed all my life of creating a place to share, teach, and |
inspire people to be their best and pursue their dreams." -Muhammad Ali
The Kentucky Show! It was here that we learned about Kentucky's bustling, "Soho" like arts culture. Who knew?
The Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Mint Julep Tours, whether you want a city tour, Bourbon trail or a horse country tour, Mint Julep Tours can take care of you.
And there's so much more to do in Louisville Kentucky that I didn't name here in this post. I said when we were leaving that I'd love to go back and visit again with my family. To Kentucky. Who knew? :)
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Louisiana is where I live, born, raised, current resident and dedicated SAINTS FAN! WHODAT! It's not perfect here, but I love it.
And don't miss The African American Heritage Trail in Louisiana while you're here. African Americans blazed many trails here in the state and they have a story like no other... Trust me, as a resident who still chooses to be an occasional tourist and taste and experience this state, whatever you choose to do here, you'll have a fabulous time doing it.
Friday, March 16, 2012
On a recent trip to Louisville, Kentucky, we were once again reminded about the wonders of traveling and visiting the South. Read below for just a glimpse (a glimpse!) of what awaits you when you travel South to Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia...
Visit North Carolina!
There's lots to do in North Carolina, but out of all the attractions, one of the hottest things to do right now would have to be "12 Places to Experience the Hunger Games" North Carolina's scenery will unfold before eager movie audiences this spring when "The Hunger Games" is released in theaters (I'm reading the book now and finding it hard to put down). And what better way to visit North Carolina than to trace the characters footsteps through all the sites where the movie was filmed? And if that isn't enough, the Democratic National Convention will also be held in Charlotte, North Carolina this year. Epic.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Visiting the State of Kentucky (Louisville) for the Travel South Showcase and the people here could not be more hospitable. There's something to be said about the charm that the Southern States bring and they bring it in spades. The Travel South Showcase is the only regional conference that is 100% focused on the southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana (that's us!), Mississippi, North Carolina,South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.