Monthly Archives: August 2014

Just Good Ole Boys, Never Meanin’ No Harm

If you grew up watching The Dukes of Hazzard TV Show, then you are lucky, and you probably find yourself wishing there were still shows like it.  Shows that are all about good-hearted family fun, where the good guys do the right thing, and the bad guys get their comeuppance.

We can offer you the next best thing, a dinner show that has all the elements of the Dukes TV show, dancing, music, comedy, down-home family fun and a stick to your ribs meal.  The Hazzard County Hoedown Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge is a tribute to the TV program and features all our favorite Dukes characters as the Duke boys sing their way out of Boss Hogg’s famous celebrity speed trap.  You’ll love every finger licking minute of this show while you dine on a buffet of Southern favorites.  And after the show, pose for a photo with the General Lee, it’s parked right outside.  Just don’t slide across the hood.

While you’re tripping down this Dukes memory lane, swing over to Cooter’s Place in Gatlinburg where you’ll find costumes, collectibles and artifacts from the TV show.  You can also race like the law enforcement is after you at the indoor go-kart track or play a round on the Dukes of Hazzard themed indoor mini-golf.

LA LA Lobster

If you are craving some nice Maine Lobster, cooked to perfection and drizzled with butter, you know where to go.  Los Angeles, of course!

The 18th Annual Long Beach Lobster Festival, which claims to be the largest lobster festival outside of Maine, is happening September 5th to 7th.  They’ll be flying in tons of fresh Maine lobster daily for preparation by a Master Chef for mouthwatering perfection.  The festival will have a Sports Tent where you can keep up with college and professional sports while you dine.  They also boast two bars, a children’s area and two stages where local artists will perform swing, salsa, 70s, 80s music and more.

The 15th Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival which proclaims they are “Home to the World’s Largest Lobster Festival,” will be September 12th to 14th.  Also flying in tons of fresh Maine lobster daily, and offering guests entertaining music, dancing, street performers, a pirate camp and more.  While we cannot confirm or deny their claims, we do know they hold four Guinness Records, including Largest Serving of Lobster, Most Lobsters Served in Eight Hours – 9,060, and Most Lobster Cooked Simultaneously in One Cooker – 950.

Last, but not least, the 19th Redondo Beach Lobster Festival.  They don’t claim to be the biggest, just the best.  Featuring Lobster and surf and turf which pairs the Maine lobster with Certified Angus Beef New York Strip Steaks.  Music and fun in the sun aplenty at this fun festival.

Escape to the Polynesian Water Park Resort

Visit Wisconsin Dells and escape to nearly 500,000 gallons of water park adventures, both indoor and outdoor, a game center for the kids, three restaurants and a snack shack, a gift shop, whirlpools and a sauna. If you can break away for a day, the Wisconsin Dells Jet Boat Adventure, the Lower and the Upper Dells Boat Tour and Noah’s Ark Waterpark are all within two miles of the hotel.

Avoid the hassle of loading the kids into the car for the drive to the water park on your vacation; at the Polynesian Water Park Resort, all you have to do is bring them downstairs. The resort features both an indoor and an outdoor water park, so your vacation is nothing but fun and excitement every day. While the kids are zipping down the slides, splashing in the waterfall, floating in the lazy river and shooting some hoops in the water basketball area, mom and dad can enjoy a drink at the Polynesian Water Park ResortOutdoor Tiki Bar or a bite to eat at the Aloha Bar & Grill or Outlook Sports Bar. At the end of the day, take a soak in one of the three indoor whirlpools or the sauna.

The luxury doesn’t stop when you get to your guest room though. Each room comes equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, high speed internet and cable TV. Sleeper sofas are also available in some rooms, and the resort also has condo units for added comfort. For dinner, you can head to one of the dining locations onsite, or you can travel the short distance to Paul Bunyan Restaurant, Denny’s, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery or IHOP, all within a half-mile of the hotel.

Vegas – The Show

Remember the good old days when you hit the Las Vegas Strip to see performers like Elvis, or Louis Prima, or the Rat Pack.  You know what we’re talking about.  The performers that came to define Las Vegas as much as blackjack and sequins.

You can experience a musical journey through the Vegas history, learning about different performers who made Las Vegas the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” and enjoying iconic musical numbers, amazing dance routines and more, at Vegas The Show.

Vegas – The ShowA large cast of some of the most dynamic performers to grace the Vegas strip are featured on this stage.  Revel in two hours of singers, dancers, showgirls and a live orchestra in a production that combines old-fashioned Vegas style with modern entertainment.

This production is suitable for all ages and you can add a dinner package for a full Vegas experience.  Choose Lombardi’s, Spice Market Buffet, or other options to fill up before the show.

Lights, Camera, Nashville

If you’re a fan of the TV Show, Nashville, and also a fan of Nashville, TN, then you probably recognize many of the shows filming locations.  Shot entirely in Nashville, the show of the same name has been a hit since it premiered in 2012.  Followers of the program will be happy to know that season three is right around the corner, with its first episode scheduled to air on September 24, 2014.

While you are waiting for the next episode, why not visit Nashville and tour some of the famous locations featured in the show.  The ‘Nashville TV Show Tour’ is a 3.5 hour narrated tour aboard a comfortable bus.  Fans will ride by homes of some of the infamous characters from the show.  You’ll make a stop at the Ryman Auditorium, and have a chance for a photo-op on the stage.  Tours vary but you’ll see plenty of filming sites.  You may get to see the Bluebird Cafe a frequent setting for the Ryman Stageshow, The 5 Spot, a live music hangout in East Nashville, or Two Old Hippies, a huge store packed with fun novelty items, rock & roll memorabilia, an actual VW bus, and a concert stage.

Other iconic filming locations include The Bridge Building, a historic landmark on the waterfront in downtown; the Bridgestone Arena, the city’s largest indoor concert venue; and Centennial Park, a 132-acre park with a replica of the Parthenon.

Mountain Biking in Canyonlands

With the heat of July and August subsiding, its a perfect time to head to Moab, UT, and explore the Canyonlands National Park.  Moab is called the capitol of the biking world, and you should see for yourself why that is on a Canyonlands Mountain Biking Expedition.

Load up your mountain bike, or plan to rent one for a cycling adventure on the famous White Rim Trail deep in the Canyonlands.  You and your bike will be driven to the top of Shafer Trail from where your guide will lead you on a 20-mile expedition of winding trails, and spectacular scenery of the canyon, river and wildlife.  Bring your lunch, or plan to purchase a sack-lunch, and plan on carrying some water for this ride of a lifetime.

The trip back is an adventure in itself as you are picked up at Lathrop Canyon, for an exciting jet-boat ride 25 miles up the Colorado River, back to town, stopping along the way to explore an area of petrified woods.

Shark Steaks, Anyone?

During your next Orlando vacation, head out into the waters of the Gulf and reel in some serious catches on a Deep Sea Fishing Gulf of Mexico package.

Your excursion will begin with a nice picnic on Clearwater Beach, and a chance to apply your sunscreen in preparation for the afternoon of fun in the Florida sun aboard the largest catamaran fishing boat on Florida’s West coast.  You’ll venture ten miles into the gulf for some fishing in some of Florida’s most bountiful reefs.  All the gear is provided and your knowledgeable guide will make sure you have a great time and a good chance at hauling in a keeper.  The reefs are teeming with a variety of fish, including gray snapper, sea bass, grouper and even shark.  You’ll have four full hours of wetting lines on this tour, and on the cruise back to the land you can think about how you’ll prepare your shark steak dinner.

A Sweet Grand Ole Opry Sponsor

The world’s first ever combination candy bar was invented in 1912, in none other than Nashville, Tennessee.  There were chocolate bars on the market, but none that incorporated other ingredients.  The Standard Candy Company combined a mound of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts and real milk chocolate, and called the creation a Goo Goo Cluster.

The story of how they came up with the peculiar name has some variations, but boils down to the fact that the first sound uttered by most babies, is “goo.”  The candy’s inventor decided that could work into a good advertising slogan, a candy so good, people ask for it from birth.

The candy was sold at the Grand Ole Opry (GOO) which was established in 1925, 13 years following the candy’s debut.  And the Standard Candy Company was a long-time sponsor of the program.

Happily, you can still get Goo Goo Clusters today, and you can still visit The Grand Ole Opry.

Boots, Chaps, and Cowboy Hats

While there are people around the world who ride horses, herd and rope cattle, only in America are they called Cowboys!  Silver Dollar City in Branson salutes and celebrates the Great American Cowboy from September 12th to October 25th with their National Harvest & Cowboy Festival, named one of the top 25 events in Missouri.

In addition to all the shopping, food, craftsmen and thrill rides you can always enjoy at Silver Dollar City, this festival will bring in 125 visiting craftsmen, displaying their skills and their wares.  Special events throughout the festival include a Western Barn Dance, the Wild West Show featuring trick riders, incredible ropers, and Native American Dancers, and Chris Isaacs will be sharing tales from the trail and poetry celebrating cowboy culture.

Expert horse trainer, Fred Woehl will be working to tame wild mustangs, demonstrating his unique techniques developed over all his years of experience.  The exhibit, Extreme Mustang Makeovers, is produced in cooperation with the US Bureau of Land Management.

Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar CityLearn how to cook like a cowboy as Kent Rollins demonstrates authentic chuck wagon cooking, and serves up some cowboy poetry and humor from his restored 1876 Studebaker wagon.

Meet Gunsmoke star and cowboy artist, Buck Taylor in the Frisco Barn at Buck Taylor’s Cowboy Emporium.  You’ll find displays from top wild west artists, from cowboy life paintings, to painted turkey feathers, wildlife bronzes, and leather and saddlery works.

Celebrate the spirit of the West at Silver Dollar City.

Kids Take Over The Kitchen

If you are experiencing the snack-attacks that come with back to school days, you are not alone.  And if your kids are like most, they probably complain “there’s nothing to eat.”  Which of course means there’s no ready made, or quick microwaveable junk food to eat.  There are plenty of healthy options that kids can prepare on their own, they just need a little encouragement to discover that creating their own snacks can be fun and tasty.

The Young Chef’s Academy, with locations in California, Texas, Ohio and New York, is actively teaching kids from four to fourteen that cooking is creative, and full of discovery and fun.  Incorporating lessons in science, math, reading, health and social skills through hands-on cooking lessons.

Throughout August and September the Academy is holding open-house events for families to get a taste of what they are all about.  The free event is sponsored by the Food Network Magazine, the California Grape Board, Horizon Milk, and the Young Chef’s Academy, working in conjunction to invite kids to take over the kitchen.

Each open house event is approximate three hours and includes six stations where kids take part in hands on cooking activities.  They’ll learn kitchen safety, and how to prepare some fun, kid-friendly snacks like cake in a cup, taco bowls, and french fry salad.  The best part is the kids are doing it themselves.  They will gain confidence in using kitchen tools, and perhaps be inspired to use the kitchen at home!

The San Antonio event is being held August 30, and is not far from the San Antonio Riverwalk and great lodging locations.  The other event locations and dates are listed below.
September 8:  Forest Hills, NY
September 13:  Mentor, OH;  Solon, OH; Strongsville, OH
September 14:  Fort Worth, TX
September 20:  Fresno, CA
September 28:  Frisco, TX