My Published Stories



A Great Smoky Mountain Cabin Rental

Have you ever wondered how the Smoky Mountains got their name? I discovered the answer to this question while enjoying a family getaway to a Smoky Mountain cabin rental in this spectacularly picturesque region of Tennessee.
The native Cherokee called it Shaconage or “place of blue smoke.” It is nothing short of miraculous when you experience it for the first time, as I did on this family trip. The optics are caused by the natural phenomenon of trees, shrubs, and other native plants emitting natural hydrocarbons that interact with the air, creating the illusion of smoke.
The sight is sensational when waking in the morning or just after a soft rain.

Podcast - Showcasing Coastal Mississippi

I’m really excited to interview author Lisa Evans about Gulfport, Mississippi. Lisa’s tips for the best things to do in Gulfport are awesome because she relocated from New York about a decade ago and loves the warm weather and beautiful scenery.  

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Coastal Mississippi, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

7 Must Try Memphis Restaurants

When someone mentions the city of Memphis, the first thought is likely either Elvis, blues, or barbeque. All are correct, but there is so much more to Memphis. I would encourage you to explore not only the most well-known areas of the city but also some of its hidden gems.
I naturally had to visit Graceland on a recent visit and experience authentic Memphis BBQ. But I also enjoyed some of the city’s other treasures. I must say, I am looking forward to returning to delve more into this friendly, reemerging city.

Coastal Mississippi - A Treasure Trove of Natural Beauty, Culture, and Fun

Coastal Mississippi sometimes can be seen in the shadow of her neighboring larger cities of New Orleans and Mobile. We are lovingly known as The Secret Coast. More and more people are discovering our mystique, and I'd like to give you a few reasons why. Understand there are multitudes of other places here to enjoy. We have something for everyone! But here is a brief list of why Coastal Mississippi is a place that I love. 

5 Best Things to do in Columbia, MO

Nestled in mid-Missouri, the Columbia area is flourishing with activity and a young vibe. There is so much to see and do – they have something for everyone. However, just because you don’t happen to be a college student or young professional doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy coming to the area.

I enjoyed so many new and exciting things on a recent trip, and it was hard to choose! Below is my list of highly recommended activities when you decide to visit. They refer to themselves as the “cool neighborhood in the big city,” and in my opinion, you will agree. The community is warm, friendly, and exciting and offers a great deal.

5 Must-Try Fulton, MO Restaurants

Fulton could be considered the quintessential small city in Mid-Missouri. ‘Big Sister’ Columbia is within a half-hour drive, but it’s well worth that extra few minutes to travel into Fulton and experience all they have to offer. Here you will find not only some great places to enjoy food and drink, but a charming downtown Brick District deserving of exploration. 

The Brick District is part of the downtown area that provides charm and elegance at the same time. Yes, the roads are brick and within the district, there are over 100 locally owned businesses, including many of the best Fulton restaurants. There are also several events each year that take place here and in other parts of town.

8 Best Columbia, MO Restaurants

Columbia is not your typical ‘college town’. Yes, it is home to three colleges: University of Missouri ‘Mizzou’, Stephens College and Columbia College. However, this vibrant city has so much to offer visitors to the area beyond what you would expect.

Let’s talk about the culinary options you can choose from. I was amazed at the multitude of restaurants available. You can find anything from a great breakfast to pizza to high-end fine dining.

Big Blend Radio Interview

Located on the Mississippi Sound, part of the Gulf of Mexico, Coastal Mississippi has a multitude of attractions and unique places to visit. It is affordable with much diversity. It is the Secret Coast.

On this episode of Big Blend Radio's 2nd Friday "Food, Wine & Travel Show," travel writer Lisa Evans talk about Coastal Mississippi's natural beauty and outdoor adventure opportunities, the various museums and historic sites, food and festivals, and family activities.

Coastal Mississippi - Let Us Surprise You

Coastal Mississippi – I’ve not heard of that, some might say. Where is it, and what is there to do? Many years ago, the above sentence could easily have been something I might have uttered. Then a funny thing happened. I visited the area once and fell in love. Ten years later, I relocated and have spent close to the last ten years in my adopted home. Allow me to tell you why.

Discover Beautiful Natchez, MS

Antebellum homes with Spanish moss falling gently from the boughs of beautiful oak trees. Staggering history from hundreds of years ago. The Mighty Mississippi River meandering below as you perch on the bluffs above. Is this how you envision Natchez when you hear its name?

I have always loved Southern charm, elegance, and grace. Throw in some history, and I’m obsessed even more. Natchez has all the qualities noted here and much more. It is a city that exudes hospitality yet pays homage to its history.

5 Best Natchez, MS Restaurants

When you think of Natchez, chances are the first thought is that of witnessing the flowing of the mighty Mississippi River from the bluffs above. Maybe it’s about the history that simply oozes from every fiber of the city. Perhaps it’s the antebellum homes and giant oak trees. Whatever brings you to Natchez, know they have food to excite anyone.

I recently visited this beautiful city for the first time. I can honestly say it was everything I had imagined and more. The food was incredible, and I’d like you to accompany me on the memories of these great establishments. I’ll stand by my recommendations for all the eateries. When you visit Natchez, visit the below. You won’t be disappointed. You can even tell them I sent you!

9 Best Lake of the Ozarks Restaurants

I’ve heard Missouri referred to as a midwestern “flyover” state. Concerning food, many people’s first thoughts run to those generally associated with a style of barbecue, either St. Louis or Kansas City. Or, perhaps to one of the other classic dishes Missouri is known for, like toasted ravioli, St. Paul sandwich, or the gooey butter cake.

On a recent trip to Lake of the Ozarks, I was pleasantly surprised and quite impressed by the wide variety of offerings for tourists and locals alike. As Lake of the Ozarks has more shoreline than the Pacific Coast of California, you can imagine there are hundreds of food and beverage establishments from which to choose. Some I found on the recommendation of a colleague, others I stumbled upon by chance. All were well worth my time.

Fun Things to do in Central Missouri for Boomer Travelers

Have you ever been to Missouri, specifically central Missouri? Or Perhaps you have visited or even live there and already know about the gems I’ve recently experienced.

Full disclosure – I previously thought Missouri was simply a flyover state. While I knew some of its natural beauty, I honestly did not consider it a vacation destination.

Lake of the Ozarks - A Gem in Mid-Missouri

When someone mentions the state of Missouri, many people’s minds immediately route to St. Louis, Kansas City, or Branson. Maybe they think of Joplin, as it was made famous due to the devastation of a vicious tornado.
But how about Lake of the Ozarks? I discovered this area to be a wonder for its natural beauty. Having been named the “Best Recreational Lake in the Nation” by the readers of USA Today, it is nestled into the Ozark Mountains.

On The Road Again - Moss Point, MS

Learn a bit about the Moss Point area

Coastal Mississippi:  Play - Stay - Eat

Coastal Mississippi, perhaps even Mississippi in general, is sometimes thought to be a forgotten area.  Having heard it referred to as ‘the landmass between Alabama and Louisiana”, I am here to help shatter that tagline. The fact of the matter is we have a beautiful area which we call The Secret Coast.

The Mohawk River:  Who Says You Can't Go Home

Rivers are sometimes taken for granted. Stop and think – you see one, enjoy the natural beauty, and perhaps admire a yacht sailing along on this waterway. But have you ever spent time learning about a river that is of interest to you? I grew up in a part of New York State that is steeped in natural beauty and history. A bit over 100-yards from my childhood home the Mohawk River flows.

Fort Klock:  History in the Mohawk Valley

HISTORIC FORT KLOCK:  A large piece of history in a small town setting.

Colonial History in New York's Mohawk Valley

St. Johnsville, New York is ripe with Colonial history. It is a charming, quaint village located just a bit over an hour west of Albany and situated along the Mohawk River. Growing up here, I was surrounded by history and places that my youthful mind never appreciated nor found necessary to explore outside classes in high school. Within 15 minutes of my childhood home stands places so steeped in history that all are listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

Mississippi's Coast - A Natural Place to Explore

Coastal Mississippi is not well-known like its neighbor to the west – New Orleans or even its neighbor to the east – Mobile.   Coastal Mississippi is an area tucked along the Gulf of Mexico – technically on the Mississippi Sound.  This area is noted as being an adult playground of sorts, but it truly is so much more

A Weekend in Coastal Mississippi

Coastal Mississippi is a slip of land located between two large neighbors. To the east we have Mobile, AL and to the west we have New Orleans, LA. Many times, people looking for a beautiful area to visit overlook us. I’m here to tell you, it is well worth your time, money and effort to stop in for a few days and experience us for yourself. We have gorgeous scenery, a variety of places to see, and so many things to do in Coastal Mississippi that you can’t go wrong spending a weekend in Coastal Mississippi, or an entire Mississippi Gulf Coast vacation.

Pop's Pizzeria:  A Taste of Italy in Coastal Mississippi

When you think of Coastal Mississippi it is generally either seafood or BBQ that come to mind. Pop’s Pizzeria is a place where you can get mouthwatering New York-style pizza and other casual Italian food that is authentic and reasonably priced.

Location:  Pop’s Pizzeria is located at 921G Cedar Lake Road in Biloxi, Mississippi. It is found in a small shopping plaza at the corner of Popp’s Ferry Road and Cedar Lake Road, perhaps 3 minutes – traffic dependent – from Interstate 10, one of the major thoroughfares of the area.   Pop’s Ferry can be a very busy intersection, but there are plenty of entrances into the shopping plaza. If you’re coming from downtown Biloxi or Gulfport, it is perhaps a 15-20 minute drive.

Old Forge, NY:  Jewel of the Adirondacks

When hearing the term New York, most people immediately think of the bounty that is New York City.    While there is no doubt this is a fascinating place, there is an abundant state beyond the five boroughs.    Today, we’ll take a trip to the Adirondack Park, and one of the many jewels which can be found there – Old Forge.  So, let’s take a weekend jaunt and see what can be discovered.

48 Hours in San Antonio, Texas

When you hear the name San Antonio, what is your first thought? For many people, it is the Alamo, the place of the epic battle between Mexican President Santa Anna and the defenders of the Alamo Mission, trying desperately to win their independence from Mexico. Davy Crockett may also ring a bell.