SENIORS ENJOY CALIFORNIA



Seniors Head For “The Happiest CIty In California”

SCruzFlagcolorSanta Cruz is said to be the third happiest city in the nation. Well seniors, let’s head west and check out happy Santa Cruz. Hosting one of the last remaining seaside amusement parks on the West Coast or hiking seven miles inland to admire the redwood forest along with a top-notch farm-to-table cuisine, Santa Cruzans love their life and senior visitors do as well.

 Situated on the northern part of Monterey Bay, the California city of Santa Cruz lies about 30 miles southwest of San Jose and 74 miles south of San Francisco.

Incorporated in 1866, the city is the seat for the County of Santa Cruz. The principal industries of Santa Cruz are tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and education. The University of California at Santa Cruz is located in this city.

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 Seniors Are You Into Paddle Boarding

Santa Cruz was founded in 1769 by Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola, who named the area after the Spanish name for “Holy Cross.” In the late 1800s, agriculture, logging, lime processing and commercial fishing were the thriving industries.

Local lore has it that Santa Cruz is the birthplace of mainland surfing. There is a plethora of other things to see and do without getting on a surfboard, for instance a paddle-board.  Have you ever done that?

Kayak Connection offers tours and hourly rentals. I saw photos of people paddling around with a dog riding on the board. In Santa Cruz, they say that  early morning solo paddle is surprisingly serene. On some days you might even see whales floating by.

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Santa Cruz is famous for its beaches and for the sport of surfing. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, housed in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, traces more than a century’s worth of surfing history associated with Santa Cruz. Museum visitors enjoy a spectacular view of the city and the Monterey Bay while overlooking the famed surfing site known as Steamer Lane.

 Seniors Go From Beaches To Mountains

Santa Cruz seniors go from beach life to mountain life in only 20 minutes time. Roaring Camp Railroads is a narrow-gauge steam engine that invites tourists to chug through huge redwood trees that have been in place for hundreds of  years.

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The Farmer’s Market has been in place for 27 years and is loaded with certified-organic growers. My wife and daughter would be drawn here with all the organic productsTripAdvisor  suggests that senior visitors not miss the West Cliff Drive and then the Natural Bridges State Beach.

And for those with a demanding palate, we start off with SOIF…which means thirst in French. Chef Patrice Boyle is the former owner of a winery in California. This is a wine bar and restaurant with a shop that features fine wines from around the world.

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How about some scratch-made organic ice cream from Penny Ice Creamery? Gayle Ortiz invites visitors to taste her gluten-free chocolate cookies. It is a great stop for the makings of a great picnic. I was impressed with her offering of silly-good deviled eggs.

I just might run into you in Santa Cruz, a great place for fun, food and taking in the crisp air along the Pacific Ocean. -jeb

SENIORS ENJOY CONNECTICUT



Seniors Visit Pomfret For The First Time

91_154.t.250.250Pomfret, a town in Windham County, Connecticut with a population of about 4,200, was incorporated in 1713. Wow, senior friends, Pomfret is  historical, one of the oldest towns in the state!  The town was named after Governor Saltonstall’s estate near Pontefract (meaning broken bridge) in Yorkshire, England, and agriculture and various mills along the town’s plentiful waterways supported the settlers’ earliest enterprises.

The town might be best known for the wolf’s den where Israel Putnam killed Connecticut’s last known wolf. Rocky paths connect to join the small cave which is the actual wolf den with a glacially positioned boulder called the Indian Chair. Now part of Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Wolf Den is on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are eerie remains of an 18th-Century Settlement in Pomfret where Welsh roots inspired the name of the new community. Obadiah Higginbotham and Jonathan Randall both settled the area in 1790. I love that first name.

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 Seniors Visit One Of Oldest Towns in Connecticut

This senior first came across the name of Pomfret while searching for top private schools in Connecticut. Pomfret School, with only 350+ students, is one of the state’s well known private schools.

Today, Pomfret is a residential community with light industry, including fiber optic manufacture, ample protected open land, and a large historic district listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

While the town is small it has several sites not to be missed: the Sharpe Hill Vineyard, Airline State Park Trail, Martha’s Herbary and Pomfret Wine and Spirits. I would want to pay a visit to Tyrone Farm, a uniquely beautiful 170 acre country estate. The farm is a fourth generation family business.

Senior Birders Take Note…

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Pomfret offers beautiful vistas, winding country roads, stone walls, and an eclectic collection of shops and restaurants. Town government has been sensitive to maintaining the rural environment and historic charm that makes Pomfret the quintessential New England Community.

 Listed on the National Register seniors will want to visit the Brayton Grist Mill, Gwyn Careg, Israel Putnam Wolf Den and the Pomfret Town House that was erected in 1841 and was used for many years as the site of Pomfret’s town meetings. It is now owned by the Pomfret Historical Society.

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Senior hikers will find extensive walking, hiking and horse trails. The Connecticut Audubon Center at Pomfret offers spectacular birding and is particularly known for its grassland habitats. The motto is “Close to Home…Far from Ordinary.”  Enjoy genealogy?  Read up on the local history that describes the town in detail.

Seems like there is always more to learn about a small community and Pomfret has its related topics all on one site. Seniors travelers, I think you will enjoy a stop in Pomfret.  -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

SENIORS ENJOY THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF LOUISIANA



Seniors Spend Time In St. Landry Parish

UnknownSt. Landry Parish, Louisiana, with a population that runs around 84,000, is the Zydeco Capital of the World. Senior travelers will find the parish seat, Opelousas, 21 miles north of Lafayette, and 126 miles west of New Orleans.

The Parish was created in 1807. Its history much precedes 1807 as the territory that became St. Landry Parish was inhabited as early as  10,500 B.C. Saint Landry is the patron saint of Opelousas and his feast day is celebrated June 10 of each year.

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The Parish is 939 square miles in area and there are 12 municipalities located within the Parish each with its own distinct personality. Senior visitors will see evidence of the French heritage in St. Landry Parish from the visitors guide en français, the signs, newspapers, restaurants menus, and the many surnames of its inhabitants.

Seniors Enjoy an Étouffée

La Table Française are local gatherings that take place throughout the Parish. It presents an opportunity for the locals to share conversation en français over a good cup of café. Having been a teacher of French for over 30 years, I’d like to think that I would fit right in…but with the local acadian accent…maybe not.

Senior travelers, head down to Arnaudville the end of May and take in the 32nd Annual Étouffée Festival. Étouffée is a “smothered” dish and a favorite among locals, enough to stir up some friendly rivalry.

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Get a taste of the competition at the Mayor’s Cook-off, which will feature a diverse variety of étouffées including crawfish, seafood, vegetable, and even wild game. Arnaudville is a haven for musicians, artists, and champions of the French language itself. Look up their cultural events on Google.

 Seniors Like the Mardi Gras in Eunice

Be sure to sample the Gumbo, a dish that originated in southern Louisiana from the Louisiana Creole people during the 18th century. St. Landry Parish is the site of one of the oldest European settlements in Louisiana, le Poste des Opélousas, an administrative territory established by the French in 1720.

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The local cuisine naturally reflects its dramatic history and diverse cultures. It is said that one might best describe the history of St. Landry Parish’s cuisine as that of a cultural gumbo. Blackberry pie would be high on my dining dishes.

Eunice is known as the “Prairie Cajun Capital” and is popular for its annual Mardi Gras celebration. Seniors, spend some time in Eunice visiting the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Liberty Theater, a restored 1924 Vaudeville Theatre.

I would not want to overlook Grand Coteau (Big Ridge en français), that is on the National Register of Historic Places, that includes over 70 structures with a wide variety of architectural styles.

Krotz Springs, Leonville, Palmetto and Lebeau…the town list goes on. St. Landry Parish claims a state tourism honor and for good reason. Set your GPS for St. Landry, seniors, and enjoy some great music, Louisiana food and scenery that will be memorable. -jeb

Filed under : Family Travel, United States

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