Feeling very honored to have been approached by The Jambalaya News family to contribute with a column, I hope to motivate, encourage and inform you of the many riches that surround our community and region. Being a member of the media definitely has its perks, but the most important part is the responsibility we are entrusted with. News radio and television both have their requirements regarding the content being delivered. The Jam allows me the extra room to express personal thoughts and interests. I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
The season is in full swing, as we are officially through half of our summertime. With June almost a thing of the past, be sure to make the most of what is left. August will sadly return in the blink of an eye. While your travel plans may have already taken place or will happen soon, you might be able to squeeze in a few more. So, the question might be, what should I do next?
A theme park for Lake Charles may not currently be in the works, but our friends to the west have added a new entertainment option in the mix. Pleasure Pier in Galveston, Texas began racking up points purely on anticipation and word of mouth alone before even opening.
The pier opened on Memorial Day, May 25 and is all the hype for Texas, Louisiana and beyond. During a Sunday trip to Galveston with my close friends, the Landry family, I felt as though I was reliving my younger years with nearly an hour wait to board the Galveston Island ferry.
Once on the island, it was apparent that the pier was the sight to see. The amusement attraction adds a completely new component to Seawall Boulevard and expands the range of possibilities of what to do this summer. Pleasure Pier boasts 15 rides (with a new one set to open soon), and a clean and a beautiful landscape jutting over the Gulf of Mexico. Stop by 25th and Seawall Boulevard with your family or friends to get a jumpstart on your summer fun. If you’ve already explored this new epicenter for amusement, let us know. Email our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us of your adventure.
Don’t forget about the other options along our I-10 belt that have sustained us for years during the summer. From Blue Bayou in Baton Rouge to the numerous Schlitterbahn locations throughout Texas, let’s support these seasonal vacation spots to keep them going strong.
If you’re not able to travel or have already used all of your vacation tokens, embark on a regional adventure through Southwest Louisiana.
As an area with a somewhat smaller population in comparison to neighboring regions, we really do have a vast amount of options. From museums to the sights of beautiful scenery, architecture and history, you can surely find something to do.
The 1911 City Hall Arts and Cultural Center usually has at least two wonderful art exhibits hanging simultaneously. The fabulous Mardi Gras Museum at the Central School Arts and Humanities Center houses a wide array of Mardi Gras costumes and memorabilia—the largest in the state. And make sure you check out all the art exhibits at Central School. The Imperial Calcasieu Museum has artifacts from days gone by, and just over the bridge, there’s the Brimstone Museum and Henning Cultural Center.
As far as sights are concerned, take a moment and look around. There are so many opportunities that we either overlook or take for granted. The Creole Nature Trail that travels down Gulf Highway and wraps through Cameron Parish is one of the top travel destinations in the U.S., believe it or not.
The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau will keep you in the loop on what’s happening. Stop by the CVB located at 1205 N. Lake Shore Drive and or go to www.visitlakecharles.org. And check out the “Jambalaya Jam” and “Local Jam” sections of this publication to see what fun festivals, concerts and events you can attend!
You can also be creative. Volunteer or intern at an organization you’ve wanted to learn more about. Don’t be afraid to make your summer a time to play hard and work hard, a motto my boss lives by year round. This year has already been a trying one for me with the loss of a close friend, but also a challenging one with new work experiences.
On a side note, with summer comes heat—and it seems as if it’s been hotter than ever. I challenge you to check on elderly family members, friends and neighbors to make sure they’re okay. And make sure your pets are safely inside with plenty of water—and never leave them in your car for any length of time.
To all of my friends who are unable to travel or return home to see your family this summer: Push forward and make the most of the situation. Create your own little vacay by visiting Touloulou’s, a beachside area at L’Auberge Casino and Resort, or Party By the Pool on Thursday evenings. Bike or take a walk on the lakefront, or a hike in Sam Houston Jones State Park.
Even if it’s only for an hour, get out and take a breather. You just never know when that chance might pass you by forever.