Chapitre 16: A Milestone in Memphis, TN

This wasn’t my first time in Memphis; however, it was my first time celebrating a milestone in “the birthplace of rock n’ roll“: My BFF’s graduation from Pharmacy School!

All that hard work (stress, tears…you name it!) paid off!

5 Raisons to Celebrate a Milestone in Memphis:

  • Endless beer.

    The beer menue at the Flying Saucer.

    What better way to celebrate than chillin’ with friends and a several pints of beer. 

  • Delicious BBQ from the Commissary. There’s no better way to celebrate a milestone than filling your belly full of delicious, southern BBQ! The Germantown Commissary gets packed quickly, so, better show up early to avoid the 2-hour wait.
  • Musées Intéressants. Sure, there are musées all over the world but there’s no cooler way to celebrate a milestone than visiting musées that aren’t quite the norm. Each ville, or city, has her own; the Belz Museum is one of Memphis’. Admiring what the Belz Museum has to offrir is a cool way to celebrate a milestone! 
  • Record a celebratory rock n’ roll session at the Sun Studio. …Or just take a tour. Either way, you’re sure to have a rock n’ roll of a time! 
  • Celebrate on Beale Street. …Speaking of having a “rock n’ roll of a time”, there’s really no better (and bigger) place to rock the night away than on Beale Street.

Memphis is a great place to celebrate a milestone: Invite your friends and famille and then just let it loose on Beale Street. As you take the party to the streets of Memphis, don’t forget to feed everyone, too (cue in The Commissary)!

There’s quite a bit to do and see in Memphis; however, before you go dancing into Graceland, don’t forget to check out these other really COOL things to do (such as the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music)! ♦


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

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Chapitre 15: St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, GA

It was hot, yet it was Mars…

Orleans Square

Orleans Square

So, I left my winter coat at the hôtel.

I was in paradis: there was no snow, no bitter cold wind, and no thick sweaters!

This was how Mars should be…

This wasn’t my first time in Savannah, Ga (see: Chapitre 2: An Encounter Célèbre in Savannah, GA) , but it was my first time celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in the Spanish Moss Kingdom.

St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is quite the green party, which makes sense since green has become the emblem of St. Patrick’s Day.

The couleur green being Everywhere is welcomed with a parade simple honoring Irlande and St. Patrick.

5 Raisons to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah:

  • Green water in the fontaines!

    Forsyth Park FountainInspirée by the fontaine at Place de la Concorde in Paris.

    The water in most of the fontaines is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day.

    The German Memorial Fountain in Orleans Square

  • River Street.

River Street is one big party! Though the bull riding costs money, the party-itself is free!

  • Guinness outside of the bar & on the street! As long as your alcoholic beverage is in a plastic cup, you can drink it on the street!
  • Free necklaces. Sure, a lot of cities offrent free necklaces during the St. Patrick’s Day parade; however, there’s no better way to catch a free necklace than hanging out at the same arrêt de bus that was in Forest Gump.
  • Pirates! Take a step back in time: Patrick (before he became a Saint) was captured by pirates and then taken to Irlande. So, there’s no better way to honor the Saint than drinking a Guinness next to some pirates…or grabbing some good ol’ southern food at Pirate House Restaurant.

Either way, you’re sure to have a good time!

Savannah is the ville parfaite when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations; however, St. Patrick’s Day is definitely not the only raison to visite this belle ville.

En fait, Savannah offre many sites historiques intéressantes such as:

 

   

The grave of Button Gwinnett, the Georgia signer of the Declaration of Independence & the President of Georgia.

 

Just to name a few… Obviously, there’s plenty more!

So, if you find yourself in Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day, don’t forget to embrace All of Savannah and not just All of the Guinness in your plastic cup (why not enjoy both at the same time!). ♦


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

Chapitre 14: Alligators, Craw-Fish, & a Lighthouse in Tybee Island, GA

Soleil,

sand,

smiles,

lighthouses,

and alligators…?

Alligators at The Crab Shack Restaurant.

Well, that’s what I found in Tybee Island.

In 2011, Spring Break fell on the week of Saint Patrick’s Day. So, I décidé to go “all out” while still in the USA. And when a Chicagoan says, “all out,” she means “to a warm climate with a beach”

I found myself wading in the Océan Atlantique in Mars!

It was meant to be…

Just look at our smiles…we’re in paradis!

Why wasn’t I a Tybee resident already?

Oh wait…there are alligators. That’s why.

But, the alligators didn’t stop me from stuffing my face with fresh craw-fish and enjoying all Tybee has to offre!

Thumbs up in the Head Keeper’s Cottage at the Tybee Island Lighthouse Station.

5 Raisons to Munch on Craw-Fish in Tybee Island:

  • Sunny weather. Georgia can get quite humide in the mois de l’été, or summer months, which makes eating craw-fish outside with nature not so thrilling. So, there’s no better way to shrug off that humidité than relaxing on Tybee Island with a plate full of craw-fish.

They’re as close to cockroaches (they sure look like ‘roaches) as I was going to get in 2011. And, boy, were they good!

  • Seclusion. Tired of eating in overly crowded beach restaurants? Tybee Island is a wonderful vacation destination; however, it’s not as popular as The Hilton Head, for exemple (which is close by).

    The Crab Shack Restaurant

    So, eating a bucket full of craw-fish with only a few vacationers is the norm.

  • Eating with ‘Gators. At The Crab Shack, one can eat alongside real alligators There’s nothing more thrilling than eating craw-fish next to several alligators
  • Endless amounts of craw-fish overlooking Chimney Creak, which leads into the Océan Atlantique. The breathtaking vue of the creak enables patrons to eat in paix and tranquillité.

    The Crab Shack is ready for Saint Patrick’s Day.

  • Fun without the endless crowds. At The Crab Shack, there’s a mixture of fun and food.

    The Low Country Boil from The Crab Shack.

    mélange of both gives this restaurant a relaxed, southern atmosphere, which makes dîner that much more enjoyable.

Aside from alligators, beaches, and craw-fish, Tybee Island is known for its lighthouses – spécifiquement, the Tybee Island Lighthouse.

The Tybee Island Light Station has been in place for over 270 years. General James Oglethorpe, Governor of the 13th colony, in 1732, had the lighthouse made.

I made it up (and down) the 178 stairs…

…to see the vue of Tybee Island.

Across from the lighthouse rests the Tybee Island Museum Battery Garland.

Once home to Fort Screven during the Spanish-American War, this fort was turned into a musée.

Everything from pirate paraphernalia…

to military effects…

to carnaval rides…

to the Océan Atlantique

can be viewed at this musée.

To some, the point of a vacances is to relax;

to others it’s to raise your blood pressure doing thrilling activités.

I will always remember this trip to Tybee Island as one where my parents could relax for a change.

If you ever find yourself in Tybee Island, don’t forget to enjoy the craw-fish and the alligators among the lighthouses and beaches. ♦


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

Chapitre 13: A Thrilling Tubing Experience in Knoxville, TN

The lune was shining down on us as we entered the boîte.

“I should’ve worn a different shirt,” I thought to myself.

It was much more chaud, or hot, in Knoxville than in Chicago – I wasn’t préparée for it. Luckily, the reste of the week-end was spent tubing!

This was my first time tubing and it most definitely won’t be my last! To feel the vagues, or waves, bobbing us up and down, and to use all of my force to hang on (I may have been thrown off a couple times) was simply thrilling!

5 Raisons to Spend a Week-end in Knoxville:

  • Concord Park. Concord Park offre a variété of activités such as hiking, skateboarding, various sports (soccer, golf…), and The Cove, which offre fishing (and other water activités) in Fort Loudoun Lake. There’s nothing more relaxing than admiring the park while kayaking on the lake.
  • Fort Loudoun Lake. Although it’s not a very clean lake, it’s a great way to spend a chaud afternoon!
  • Wakeboarding competitions. In 2010, I witnessed the Mastercraft Pro Wakeboard Tour hosted in Knoxville. There’s no better way to enjoy Knoxville than taking your boat out on Fort Loudoun Lake and watching a wakeboard competition.
  • Gay Street. Gay Street is the street for Knoxville’s most historical sights such as the Tennessee Theatre. Gay Street is even referenced in Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain.
  • Norris Lake. Norris Lake is not actually in Knoxville; however, the beauty of staying in Knoxville is that Norris Lake can be easily accessed by car. Leave after breakfast, pic-nic on the boat, and be home by dinner: It’s the journée parfaite!

Knoxville is a quaint ville, or city, with quite a histoire! If you ever find yourself in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Capitale, be sure to rent a boat and get yourself out on the lake, for Knoxville is best enjoyed whilst on the water. ♦


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

Chapitre 12: A Dauphin Sighting in Panama City Beach, FL

I was looking at my reflection in crystal clear blue water and then I saw rochers, sable, and poisson…The Gulf of Mexico was the prettiest body of water I had ever seen (that is until I swam in the Méditerranée in 2012).

I found myself at a loss for words in 2009, when I buried my feet in pure white sand.“This is close enough to paradis pour moi,” I thought.

5 Raisons to Take a Dip in the Gulf of Mexico in Panama City Beach:

  • Poissons and crustacés.

    Fishing…

    There’s no better way to swim than with real poissons…just watch out for poissons venimeux.

    A successful catch with the net…

  • Dauphins! Not only can you swim with poissons, you can also swim with dauphins!
  • Crystal claire water. Before the oil spill, the water was so clean that you could see the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. After the oil spill, it took time (it’s still not 100% yet) to restore the water to its crystal clear blue.
  • White sable. There’s nothing better to do before taking a dip in the water than basking beneath the soleil on soft, white sand.
  • Shell Island. There are several small wildlife habitat islands in the Gulf of Mexico – they’re really just a swim (or a jet-ski) away from the coast. 

Panama City Beach is not The number 1 best spot to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico in FL, but it’s not bad, either. The city mixed with the beach creates a slightly more hazy vue due to the polluted atmosphère than the vue in a town or village mixed with the beach (such as Destin, FL). However, this vue is still pas mal, or not bad…In fact, the beach was clear-enough for my vue! ♦


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

Chapitre 11: Mardi Gras in New Orleans, LA

In Février of 2009, I celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.

It sure seems like it was yesterday when I hopped into a friend’s car and we took the road-trip down to the capitale du Jazz . Its charme, histoire, and culture welcomed us with open arms!

As cheesy as it sounds, I thought staying in the French Quarter would make me feel closer to the French and to France. Little did I know, I would get the chance to discover the ‘real’ France through studying abroad 3 years later…and I would come to find that it looked nothing like the French Quarter in New Orleans.

Instead of learning more about French culture, I learned about Voodoo culture (and Zulu)…

…and how the city’s residents came together after hurricane Katrina (despite the lack of government aid).

In 2009 (4 years after hurricane Katrina), the city still hadn’t fully récupérée from the hurricane.

I filled up on delicious cuisine Créole

and beignets from Café du Monde.

I really embraced the city…as a touriste (hey, it happens) who admires every street performer…

…and entre every shop from small boutiques to souvenir shops.

I enjoyed myself along with the milliard other Mardi Gras-ers.

5 Raisons to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans:

  • Bourbon Street (enough said). As long as your drink is in a plastic cup, you can take the party from the bar to the street!

Why stay in a cramped bar anyway? The music can be heard just as loudly on the street as in the bar.

  • Free musique: It’s EVERYWHERE and it’s GOOD!

  • Masques. You don’t have to go to Venice to find a masque classique and beau…and it’s a partie of the Mardi Gras ensemble!

Or you can go full out in a costume!

  • The Mardi Gras Parade! You can even join the Mardi Gras parade even when you’re not a partie of it!

    Standing behind…butterflies?

There are a ton of parades in the week approaching Mardi Gras as well as on Mardi Gras itself: Take a look at this website for 2016’s parade routes (obviously, 2017 has not yet been determined).

  • Mardi Gras decorated cars. Obviously, people go all out for the compétition for the best maison décorée. But they certainly don’t define the line at “house”…They even décorent their cars!

There’s no better way than to spend Mardi Gras than dressed in a purple and gold masque with a trumpet full of your favorite cocktail and joining one of the many Mardi Gras parades on Mardi Gras…

…and hanging out with random street musiciens!

New Orleans, or N’Awlins to the locals, is the way to go! ♦


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

Chapitre 10: Happily Hula Dancing in Honolulu, HI

L’été 2008: the soleil shone as bright as the 7 couleurs of the rainbow that just happened to loom forever in the ciel (sky) bleu et claire.

I wondered if I would find a pot of gold at the end…oh wait, I did.

Certainement, it dépend on your définition of gold; however, I think miles of sandy beaches fit the bill.

When images of Hawai’i come to mind, they’re not only filled with sunny beaches, but also with hula dancers.

There are even hula dancers in the centre commercial.

There’s nothing better than a free show as Luaus can get rather pricey.

5 Raisons to Hula Dance in Honolulu:

  • It’s always sunny. There’s nothing better to do than the Hula while basking under the soleil with the sable beneath your pieds (feet).
  • Everyone’s “doing it,” so you won’t feel out of place. This is the one moment you can follow the “everyone’s doing it” phrase. So why not do it? You don’t have to be an expert.
  • There’s miles of océan. Yep, you can even dance in the océan! It can get quite hot hula dancing on the sable, so, why not continue the hula fun in the water? It’s a great way to faire du sport (aka: to exercise)…
  • You can dance with wild fish! How cool is that?!?
  • You get the chance to dance on top of the world (so-to-speak). Take the hike up Diamond Head and let the breeze sway your hanches (hips). 

Joining in the hula dancing fun is pretty exhilarating (even for amateurs like myself); however, there’s so much more to do in Honolulu than dance.

If you ever find yourself basking under the Honolulu soleil, don’t forget to climb Diamond Head,

…take photos with the several statues mémorial located throughout the Waikiki Beach area…

…and admire these statues, too,

…step foot (if you get the chance) on Bellows Field Beach (it’s beyond MERVEILLEUSE with its white sand!),

Bellows is not quite in Honolulu, but it’s close – it’s about a 30 minute drive.

…have fun with the animaux at the Honolulu Zoo,

…scale the Hawaiian coast,

 …and thrift shop (aka: souvenir shop) at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet (it’s HUGE) in downtown Honolulu (The location for awesome deals on souvenir gifts).

As you enjoy all of these fabulous activités in Honolulu, don’t forget to attempt to do the Hula. It makes for some great laughs and you might even get lucky & end up with a free Hula leçon (and make some great friends, too). ♦


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.