August 13, 2010

A brand new day for Louisiana

There has been an idea brewing in my head for months now, I can't seem to shake it, so I'm going to go for it. One of the goals of this blog is to promote and bring attention to the great things that Louisiana has to offer. I focus on North Louisiana because this is where I grew up. This is what I know. This is my backyard. I am not an expert on Louisiana but I am passionate about this state and the culture. There are so many things to do and see. To visit Louisiana is to experience a people and a culture that is very diverse. The natives of Louisiana know how to live and experience life. There's a deep connection to the land, the outdoors, the arts, music, food, friends and family. The people of Louisiana are proud of their heritage and their history. This culture is what makes Louisiana unique. The food is influenced by so many cultures from around the world. To travel to Louisiana one must experience the food and flavors, the sounds and vibes, the arts and music, the products and people. Louisiana is not just a destination, it is an experience.

In the beginning, this was just a way to promote the people, places, products and events of North Louisiana; now it has become a journey. The very way of life in Louisiana is being threatened. For generations this state has relied upon tourism and industry to survive. There are very good people who work to make these jobs happen. Now, their very existence is threatened. My attention is still going to be focused on North Louisiana but I will not neglect the rest of the state. I will support my local seafood industry as I have since the beginning. I will support the entire state and their products and I implore you to do the same.

My family and I have supported local products for many years. When we have a choice we buy local, Louisiana-made products. We support great LOCAL Louisiana restaurants. We purchase great Louisiana food from many different people. You would be amazed at the many products that are available that are made right here in this great state!

This journey is not ours alone, there are many who have taken it before us and many who will continue it long after we are gone but my goal now is to take it up a notch. I plan on still promoting Louisiana events, businesses, travel destinations and products but I also want to give you an inside look into things that make this state great. If you are from Louisiana I hope that you will email me and share your ideas and comments. If you know of a business or place that I should feature, please let me know. Like I said before, I'm not an expert on Louisiana but I am passionate. I'd love to hear from you.

When I was growing up, I did not realize what a special place Louisiana was. I took for granted the pine trees, lakes and outdoor activities. I took for granted the friendly people and the great food. Now that I'm older I appreciate these things and I am thankful that this is where I call home. I have fond memories going to Toledo Bend with my grandparents. I have fond memories of playing outside. I have fond memories of traveling the great state to visit relatives. These memories are what keep me grounded and give me a sense of belonging. The past ten years I have had the opportunity to travel extensively in North Louisiana and explore the area with my family. We've hiked Mt. Driskill (Louisiana's highest elevation), visited Bonnie & Clyde Trade Days, enjoyed fishing and playing at Toledo Bend, visited Grand Bayou and Nichols in Coushatta, walked through historic Natchitoches front street, eaten at many, many great restaurants, visited alligator farms and the Alexandria Zoo.

If you haven't had the pleasure of exploring your own backyard, then please make plans today to explore the back roads of Louisiana. Stop at some local restaurants, shop at local stores, meet some new people and make some new friends. Enjoy one of the many festivals that celebrate our heritage. Our state needs help right now. We desperately need people to come visit and explore. We need locals to shop locally and keep their money here. This is a plea to think before you go out to eat, try some of the great local establishments. Shop at your local stores and look for locally produced products. Support our local economy. In the end everyone will benefit!

Thanks for reading and please email me if you have any suggestions! I look forward to sharing my journey with you and I would love to hear what you are doing and finding in this great state!!