Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Three Best Travel Secrets

I was surprised that I was tagged in this travel meme going around the internet.  I felt I had arrived (pardon the pun) when Shannon Lane (http://www.shannonlane.com/ ) mentioned Weekday Rambler blog on her website.  The challenge:  Share your three best travel secrets. 

My first secret is not a place.  It's a tip for you to search local publications that list attractions or special events in your area.  Many times there are short trips worth taking that involve little planning and expense.  Sometimes they involve a museum exhibit, a new restaurant, or simply an interesting historic area.  Be open to new ideas.  A vacation doesn't have to take several days or involve an airline.  Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities near, rather than far


If your travels do find you in a new city, seek out locally owned restaurants to sample the cuisine of the area.  Avoid chains at all costs.  An example would be this:  When traveling I-49 north in Louisiana there is a little town named, Lecompte.(pronounced lacount)  The exit sign boasts a BK and Lea's Lunchroom.  The smart traveler will select Lea's and order their famous ham sandwich and some homemade pie.  My favorite is Coconut Cream. You can even order whole pies to go. Now, you can't get that at BK!  Lea's was established in 1928 and has been visited by folks from all over the world.  Each year Lecompte hosts a Pie Festival.  Of course, Lea's pies are featured. Find out more at http://www.leaslunchroom.com/  and remember to eat local.  That's my second travel secret.

My third secret is Hymel's Seafood Restaurant on Highway 44 near Convent, Louisiana.  Baton Rouge folks have been going there for many years just for the boiled and fried seafoods.  If you are looking for fancy, this is not the place.  I think they used to sell gas for your car there in addition to serving food.  The restaurant's ambience will not impress you.  They put newspaper down on the tables instead of tablecloths.

The best time of the year to go to Hymel's in when crabs are in season. Yes...there is a season for some tyypes of seafood and spring and summer are the best times for Louisiana crabs.  Warning:  Don't order boiled crabs if you are trying impress someone on a first date.  This is serious messy eating.  You will get a tool to crack the crabs and some butter for dipping the meat, but no silverware.  You will get a roll of paper towels and I advise using one as a bib.  Be sure to wear some washable clothing as the juice goes everywhere.  Hymel's does not have a website, but they are in the phone book.  If you get near Convent while following the Mississippi River southward, ask and anyone can tell you where to find Hymel's. 

There you have it:  My Three Best Travel Secrets.  Did you notice that two of the three have to do with eating??? I would love for you to share your travel secrets in the comment section below.

Now I am tagging Citrus Quark to share his travel secrets  http://citrusquark.blogspot.com/

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