SENIORS DRIVE THROUGH NEW MEXICO



Seniors Enjoy Hobbs

welcomeI was watching a weather forecast and a nasty storm passed right through Hobbs. I have been through New Mexico many times but I don’t remember going through Hobbs (pop. 35,000) in Lea County. Senior travelers will find it south of Clovis and northwest of Odessa and Midland, Texas, just a hop, a skip and a jump from the west Texas border.

In 1907, James Isaac Hobbs and his wife Francis (Fannie) sold their family farm in Brown County, TX and with their three daughters and James Berry, moved to southeast New Mexico for Fannie’s health. Later the city would bear their name.

Near First and Texas Streets, they constructed a dugout. Berry Hobbs, who opened a store in 1909 and later served as postmaster, is credited with being the founder of Hobbs.

 Seniors Enjoy Hobbs Greatest Asset

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Hobbs is located within easy driving distance from Lubbock and the Midland/Odessa area. The city is the focal point for arts and education in Lea County. New Mexico Junior College and the College of the Southwest, a four-year college with an MBA and MS degrees, are both at home in Hobbs.

Interested in sports or events?  The Lea County Event Center is the second largest facility of its type in New Mexico just across the street from the Black Gold Casino and Horse Racing Track where excitement is always in season. Senior visitors will find that Hobbs is not only growing into New Mexico’s newest destination, they will discover Hobbs’ greatest asset… its people.

 The Harry McAdams State Park in Hobbs is a beautiful place for senior citizens to enjoy natural scenery and beauty. The Visitors Center, located in the park, houses  several interesting historical displays. The park has a picturesque jogging trail, and for senior birders, a bird sanctuary and wildlife area.

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Bring your golf clubs and play the Ocotillo Park Golf Course, known as one of the best golf courses in southeastern New Mexico. Then check out the Hobbs Community Playhouse, known for their symphonies.

 Senior Historians, Nature Lovers, Take Note…

Whether you’re a history buff, a sports fanatic, a nature lover or a gambler, Hobbs has it all. Western Heritage Museum Complex on the campus of New Mexico Junior College and the Lea County Museum, in neighboring Lovington, are great custodians of southeastern New Mexico history and culture.

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“The home of “Hobbspitality,” located on the Campus of New Mexico Junior College, the Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame strive to be the regional leaders in the preservation and exhibition of artifacts and materials documenting the Cowboy and Ranching Heritage of Southeast New Mexico and West Texas.”

Stay in town (28 hotels) and have some great Mexican food at the Taqueria Jalisco and talk with some of the locals. It’s all about hospitality and senior visitors will find out why it is such a great town.  jeb

SENIORS LIKE AUGUSTA, GEORGIA



Seniors Enjoy Another Top Place To Live

Augusta-GA-Real-EstateI was reading about Augusta, Georgia and discovered that it has been one of those Top Places to Live. Augusta (pop. 570,000) ranks high due in part to the fantastic location along the Savannah River where senior visitors will encounter a hint of southern hospitality at its best.

Augusta epitomizes the Classic South. Senior visitors will enjoy Antebellum mansions, hallowed historic sites, and quiet, tree-lined avenues perfect for relaxing strolls. 

The site of Augusta was used by Native Americans as a place to cross the Savannah River. This city was founded as a trading post during the British colonial period. It is known today as “The Garden City of the South,”.

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Augusta is best known for hosting The Masters golf tournament. Augusta is home to Georgia Health Sciences University, the state’s only public health sciences graduate university and one of the area’s major employers.

Seniors Enjoy The Classic South In Augusta

Augusta epitomizes the Classic South. Founded as a trading post during the British colonial period, the city showcases Antebellum mansions, hallowed historic sites, and quiet, tree-lined avenues perfect for relaxing strolls.

“Nestled on the banks of the mighty Savannah River, the Garden City is a blend of Southern charm and city fun. Arts and culture. Shopping and fine cuisine. Dynamic recreation.” In no time at all, senior visitors come to understand why Augusta is the best-kept secret along the Savannah River in Georgia.

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The city is steeped in history – boasting architecturally rich sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Augusta was established in 1736 by General James Edward Oglethorpe.

 Seniors Also Enjoy The Festivals

Bring along your demanding palate. For senior foodies who crave menus with a zesty ethnic flair, the region offers a wide variety of festivals and celebrations. The International Food Bazaar at the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival. Try authentic souvlaki  and baklava at Greek Fest or Latin American favorites at the Hispanic Festival.

Enjoy dinner and a show at Ft. Gordon or Le Chat Noir. Dine at Frog Hollow Tavern, a top-rated restaurant. “Catch the Augusta Players in action then delight to the beauty and artistry of the Augusta Ballet as they perform at the historic Imperial Theatre.”

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This Master Gardener would check out the wide variety of beautiful flowers of the Sacred Heart Garden Festival. This is where I might discover one of the reasons Augusta is called the Garden City of the South.

Romance abounds in Augusta. Reserve a night or two at the historic Partridge Inn, a 120-year-old landmark. A favorite for first time visitors is The Augusta Canal Interpretive Center at Enterprise Mill. I think that seniors will enjoy this Top Ten City and come away with fond memories of true southern hospitality.  -jeb

SENIORS DRIVE THROUGH IDAHO



Seniors Stop In Salmon

22619_c7FFh_Salmon_Idaho_Vacations_mdRecently I was watching the Weather Channel and noted a small town in Idaho that I had never heard of. My wife and I come from small towns in Iowa. These seniors both love small communities, so I wanted to share Salmon with our readers.

Salmon is the county seat of Lemhi County with a population of just over 3,000. Let’s consider that small, but very small is my hometown of 300. A claim to local fame is the fact that it is the birthplace of Sacajawea.  Remember her?

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She was a Lemhi Shoshone woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition as an interpreter and guide during their exploration of the Western United States.

The famous “River of No Return” (Salmon River) runs through Salmon. Located 140 miles south of Missoula, Montana and 160 miles north of Idaho Falls, senior travelers will find it at the junction of Hwy 93 and 28.

Senior Travelers Discover One Of Idaho’s Secrets

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This note from an insider: “the City of Salmon and surrounding area are truly one of Idaho’s last and greatest secrets.” It’s always nice to discover state secrets. Salmon is an all-season destination and the area enjoys a number of summer and winter activities.

In and around Salmon visitors enjoy whitewater rafting, fly fishing, hunting, horseback riding, cross-country, down-hill skiing, snowmobiling and ice skating. Salmon hosts a number of fun events throughout the year including Salmon River Days and Sacajawea Heritage Days.

The  Sacajawea Interpretive Culture and Education, Center opened in Salmon in August 2003 and is where senior visitors can spend hours learning about her as well as the history of the area.

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Seniors Enjoy Walking Where Lewis and Clark Walked

The Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed the continental divide at Lemhi Pass just to the southeast of Salmon. They followed the Salmon River through the present site of the city, then ascended the North Fork of the river to cross into present-day Montana near Lost Trail Pass.

The Salmon River is at the foot of the Beaverhead Mountain Range. Seniors, if you enjoy the outdoors and beautiful scenery, Salmon is the place for you to enjoy river rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, hunting and fishing.

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Idaho fly fishing is hot and one of the top destinations that the West has to offer. You just might hook into a nice rainbow, steelhead, cutthroat or a brook trout.  Who knows, if you are in the right place at the right time you may even land a big colorful Chinook.

Williams Lake, named after Henry Williams, an early pioneer rancher, is located only 12 miles south of Salmon at an elevation of 5,252 feet with awesome scenery in all directions. Lake Creek Trail offers a great hike. Salmon has it all, including good clean Idaho mountain air and Idaho at its best. -jeb

SENIORS VISIT COSTA RICA



Seniors Enjoy The “Rich Coast”

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Costa Rica, the “Rich Coast”… in Central America has unlimited tourist potential and is ranked as one of the most visited international destinations. Senior travelers find Costa Rica bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

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One of Costa Rica’s main sources of income is tourism. The country is a democratic and peaceful destination. It has not had an army since 1949. Although the country is small and it covers only 0.03 % of the surface of the globe, 25.58 % of the country is composed of conservation and natural protected territory.

Costa Rica’s biodiversity could fill an entire continent, encompassing 12 distinct ecological zones. Nature lovers on a vacation can explore 26 national parks and protected lands. Costa Rica’s premier eco-tourism destination for visitors flourishes with primitive ferns and has more kinds of plants, birds and butterflies than all Europe.

Senior Visitors Might See Sloths, Monkeys And Toucans

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A keen senior eye will discern a sloth hanging on a branch, howler monkeys high up in the trees and a wide variety of other bird species including colorful toucans. It has been stated that Costa Rica may contain as much as 6% of the world’s plant and animal species in an area the size of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.

The Ticos, as the natives are called, like to note that their nation is the exception in Latin America, where military dictatorships have long dominated politics. Rough Guides has a nice listing of destinations not to be missed within Costa Rica.

One of the “biggies” is Arenal Volcano, one of the Western Hemisphere’s most active volcanoes. Arenal’s upper slopes are periodically doused in flows of red-hot lava. No matter how far off the beaten path senior visitors may choose to go, it’s hard to not be at the center of Costa Rica’s premier ecological and geological features.

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Turtle Watching, Bird Watching and Wildlife Spotting

Turtle watchers may be fortunate to view some of the thousands of turtles – leatherbacks, hawksbill, olive ridleys and greens – that come ashore to lay their eggs each year, and, if you’re lucky, glimpse the babies hatch and return to the sea.

For us seniors who enjoy wildlife, the biologically rich coastal rainforest is one of Costa Rica’s finest destinations for walking and wildlife-spotting.

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Costa Rica’s fascinating ecological story is woven into the history of a peaceful and family-oriented culture. I think that you will love Costa Rica. And oh yes, bring along rain gear. A nice umbrella as well since it rains year round in Costa Rica.

December through April are generally considered the dry season. Lonely Planet notes that…“all trails seem to lead to waterfalls, misty crater lakes or jungle-fringed, deserted beaches.”

I could not find just one UTube to share today, so I give you a plethora of choices to explore.  -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Enjoy a West Texas Oasis

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Do you have your coffee, friends, we’re headed for Texas this morning. San Angelo, in West Central Texas, with its 100,000 citizens, is the largest city in this mostly sparsely-populated part of west Texas. Senior travelers find San Angelo a beautiful setting, home to awesome three lakes, and the beautiful Concho River, that runs through the heart of the city.

San Angelo was founded in the late 1800s outside a new Army post, Fort Concho. The founder, Bartholomew DeWitt, named it “Santa Angela” after his wife, Carolina Angela. This was eventually shortened to “San Angela.”

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The final change came in 1883 when the US Postal Service informed the town that the name was grammatically incorrect (san can only be used before a male name). Rather than revert to the original name, they simply changed it to “San Angelo.”

 Seniors Enjoy San Angelo’s Great Location

San Angelo is perfectly situated between the lush East Texas Hill Country and the rolling plains of West Texas. Texas is divided into 7 different and distinct regions, and this senior loves them all.  Hill Country is one of my favorites.

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San Angelo is home to Fort Concho, a National Historic Landmark. Established in 1867, along the banks of the Concho River. Fort Concho was built to protect frontier settlements, patrol and map the vast West Texas region, and quell hostile threats in the area.

In 1889 the last soldiers left and it was deactivated and is now a historic preservation project and museum.

Constructed for the most part of native limestone, Fort Concho consisted of at least forty buildings and covered more than 1600 acres.  Fort Concho National Historic Landmark encompasses most of the former army post and includes twenty-three original and restored fort structures.

Fort Concho And The Riverwalk Interest Seniors

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The Convention and Visitors Bureau site highlights the history of San Angelo. In addition, San Angelo enjoys an active arts community, highlighted by the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art and the San Angelo Civic Theater.

“What city in Texas has a historic downtown district with a river running through it; has an internationally renowned museum; and possesses a cultural and artistic community surpassing all expectations?”

Running through the center of town and home to beautiful, one-of-a-kind freshwater mussel pearls called “Concho Pearls,” the Concho River is a key feature of San Angelo. Senior walkers enjoy the Riverwalk located on the Concho River with its 4 miles of walking/running trails and 14 water displays.

The words used to describe downtown San Angelo are as numerous and diverse as the people who live and visit there. So you will all be welcomed in San Angelo. Take in the many amenities the city has to offer and senior visitors will come away with many fond memories.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MAINE



Seniors Stop In Scarborough

5aa642d0620716c11627ed56179d63c8_3k8f This senior has a “snowbird” senior friend by the name of Joe who spends his summers along the Atlantic shores in Maine. He can not talk enough about the area. He told me to look up Scarborough and especially Pine Point where he has a residence.

Pine Point and  Scarborough are in Cumberland County on the southern coast of Main. It is a coastal resort area, 7 miles south of Portland and 90 miles northeast of Boston. 19,000 folks call Scarborough home. Scarborough is a favorite spot for many Montrealers who enjoy spending their summers along the beautiful coast of Maine. TripAdvisor notes 19 attractions not to be missed.

Scarborough was incorporated on July 14, 1658. The town was named after the city of Scarborough in Yorkshire, England.

 Senior Wildlife Enthusiasts Enjoy the Nature Center

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At the 3,000-acre Scarborough Marsh Nature Center, senior visitors can explore Maine’s largest tidal marsh, which serves as a resting, breeding and feeding ground for many species of wildlife. You can take guided or self-guided walks, rent a canoe at the nature center, or go on a guided canoe tour.

If you travel along the peninsula of Prouts Neck at the southern end of Scarborough, you can view homes designed by architect John Calvin Stevens and see the rocky cliffs that inspired painter Winslow Homer.

At the Prouts Neck Bird Sanctuary, senior visitors can walk on a path that passes Homer’s studio and see the nesting area of the endangered piping plover. The piping plover is a small sand-colored, sparrow-sized shorebird that nests and feeds along coastal sand and gravel beaches in North America.

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Race Track And Championship Golf Course Draw Seniors

Scarborough Downs Harness Race Track is Maine’s best bet for live harness racing action. For senior golfers, Nonesuch River Golf Club, a meticulously maintained 18-hole public championship golf course is open for its 17th full season of play.

Scarborough and its neighbors, Higgins Beach and Cape Elizabeth, are popular vacation destinations, attracting visitors with their natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and historic and cultural attractions.

I had to dig around to find much on Pine Point, but Joe said that I needed to be sure to include it on any blog on Scarborough. I discovered that Pine Point was Voted the Best Beach in Maine by Readers of the Maine Sunday Telegram. Joe was right about that.

1280px-Portland-Head-Lighthouse The Lighthouse Inn at Pine Point is conveniently located near many area attractions including the historic Portland Headlight, the most photographed lighthouse in the country. Completed in 1791, it is the oldest lighthouse in the state.

There are several public golf courses, family amusement parks as well as whale watching trips and fishing excursions.  So stop in Pine Point and Scarborough when you are in Maine.  Enjoy the wonderful selection of sea food, the clean Atlantic air, the call of the sea gulls and all the friendly people. jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO SOUTHWEST COLORADO



Seniors Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison

America's Best Idea

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, located in southwest Colorado is big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time. Black Canyon of the Gunni as many call it, invites senior visitors to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America.

With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky. This beautiful and fascinating area was first protected as Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument in 1933.

It’s just been since 1999 that the dramatic landscape of Black Canyon of the Gunnison has held national park status, but the Gunnison River’s carving of the canyon began millions of years ago. The Black Canyon is so named because the walls are often shrouded in shadows making them appear black.

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Seniors Enjoy The South Rim

Read what National Geographic has to say about The Gunni. The Gunnison National Park is best known for the narrow gorge called the Black Canyon. With a depth that reaches 2,700 feet (820 meters), the canyon was carved by years of erosion by the Gunnison River.

Scenic overlooks along the 6-mile (10 km) South Rim Road offer views of the canyon. The Cedar Point Nature Trail off South Rim is an easy-to-navigate hiking trail that includes signs about the area’s plants. It leads to a great view of the 2,250 foot (7,380) high Painted Wall, the tallest cliff in the state.

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South Rim Road is a highly popular 7-mile scenic drive through the park. Pulpit Rock Overlook is a scenic point that offers dramatic views of the surrounding area and it’s is where tons of photos are taken.

Tomichi Point is the first, and impressive, scenic overlook as you enter the park and Gunnison Point is the high altitude point from which to view the canyon.

 

Seniors Find Spectacular Site

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a spectacular site to see. This is the only canyon that is in North America that is able to combine the opening which is narrow and has walls which are sheer and the depths within is startling, to say the least, but that also makes it fun and exciting.

Gunnison River / Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

And senior hikers, you will enjoy the Black Canyon because it has many opportunities and great trails. Summer is the most popular time to visit. Be prepared to perspire if you hike at midday on exposed trails, and bring along a good supply of water.

North Rim has more hiking options than the more popular South Rim. The longest trail to the top of Green Mountain is a little over 7 miles long. The best views are from Exclamation Point (3 mile round trip) and once you get there you understand why this spot was named the Exclamation Point.

Here senior travelers will find critical information, insider tips and photos.  Enjoy the Gunni.  jeb

SENIORS VISIT MEXICO



Seniors Stop In Colorful Tonalá

hqdefault I discovered a family heirloom yesterday, an ashtray. I turned it over to discover that someone brought it home from Tonalá, Mexico. This senior has been all over Mexico but have never heard of Tonalá… population of over 400,000. Tonalá is a city and municipality within the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area in the state of Jalisco in Mexico.

Seniors, come along with TripAdvisor and check out the world famous Tonalá Craft Market. Tonalá is best known as a major handcrafts center for Jalisco, in particular its pottery, as well as its very large Thursday and Sunday street market that is dedicated to handcrafts.

Seniors Find Ceramics Center In Tonalá

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It is said that Tonalá is where the professionals shop for quality purchases. From the pre-Hispanic period, the “Tianguis” on Thursdays was the traditional meeting on the square of Tonalá.

Early ceramics in the area were rough and utilitarian, for such purposes as cooking, carrying water or storing seeds. Some of these were multicolored, but the decoration faded because the pieces were not fired after painting. Not so today. It is all quality and well done.

Tonalá has been a ceramics center since the  preHispanic period. The “municipal palace” or local government building is distinguished by its clock tower and arches, which are decorated in ceramic tiles in traditional motifs.

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Fodors notes that among the region’s oldest pueblos in Mexico is bustling Tonalá, a unique place filled with artisan workshops small and large. Although it’s been swallowed by ever-expanding Guadalajara, Tonalá remains independent and industrious.

Tonalá, A Working Village

More geared to business than pleasure, Tonalá doesn’t have the folksy character of nearby Tlaquepaque. There’s a concentration of stores on Tonalá Avenue and Avenida de los Tonaltecas, the main street into town.

Many more shops and factories can be found spread throughout Tonalá’s narrow streets. And for what its worth, Fodors suggests that since the town has unusually long blocks, wear your most comfortable walking shoes.

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Now part of the Guadalajara metropolitan area, it is a working village where senior visitors will find hundreds of craft workshops producing blown glass, forged iron, paper mache and rustic wooden furniture, as well as clay in a variety of techniques.

Industrious artisans go about their work, but seniors can also visit their studios. On Thursdays and Sundays in Tonalá, a huge street market extends over several blocks, with vendors offering all kinds of handcrafted items and novelties from throughout Mexico.

So when you are in Guadalajara, make a visit to this exciting city.  Put it on your travel bucket list like I have and enjoy. -jeb

SENIORS STOP IN EUNICE, LOUISIANA



Seniors Head Deep Into Cajun Louisiana

cfiles13808 Eunice is a city in Acadia and St. Landry parishes in Louisiana.. The population runs right at 10,000 happy cajuns. Seniors, welcome to Eunice! The “HEART” of Acadiana! Eunice is the place to find good friends, good food and good music right smack dab in the middle of Cajun Country.

Eunice has the unique combination of attractions tourists enjoy. Senior visitors will discover a Sportsman’s Paradise second to none, with an abundance of wildlife and fabulous camping facilities.

And for people looking for a Retirement Paradise, you’ve come to the right place in Eunice. The folks there are just waiting to offer you all the hospitality Cajuns are noted for. All over Louisiana one hears the phrase, Laissez les bon temps rouler, but in Eunice is where the Bon Temps has come to stay.

Seniors Learn About Cajun and Zydeco Music

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One-time lawman and pioneer land developer C.C. Duson is credited with founding Eunice, which was named for his second wife, Eunice Pharr Duson, thus the name of the city.  Located near the heart of Cajun country, Eunice is famous for its Cajun and Zydeco music.

Back in November 1997 the famed Cajun Hall of Fame and Museum was founded. The Liberty Theatre constructed in 1924 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hosts “Rendez-Vous des Cajuns”, an internationally known performance that features Cajun and Zydeco music and humorists.

Louisiana State University Eunice (LSU Eunice) is considered one of the best community colleges in the state and continues to realize higher enrollments. LSU Eunice has been named by Yahoo as one of the nation’s Top 100 most wired community colleges. The college is also the home of the Bayou Bengals baseball team, three time NJCAA National Champions.

Seniors Learn About Cajun Culture

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The Eunice Chamber has lots of useful information for first-time visitors on what to see and do in town to make your visit more enjoyable. The Prairie Acadian Cultural Center is where you can discover what makes life on Louisiana’s Cajun prairies special through a new series of cuisine, culture, and music the first Friday of every month.

The local newspaper, Eunice Today, is a great means for finding out what’s shakin’ in town today. The Symphony Orchestra at the  Liberty Center of the Performing Arts is another major draw for those seniors who enjoy music.

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Rain or Shine, Mardi Gras is BIG in Eunice. See for yourself and enjoy all the wonderful Cajun Cuisine as well as the hospitality of the locals. Senior visitors can enjoy “mudpuppies” (crawfish – crayfish – mudbugs) and try to get in on a “boil” or two where they may even toss in a few shrimp and crab.

When our son lived in Shreveport (LA), we had a great boil or two ourselves. Having been a teacher of French for over three decades, I have Eunice on my travel bucket-list. Put it on yours as well. -jeb

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