With the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack taking place this month, travelers can commemorate this significant battle in world history by visiting Galveston’s American Undersea Warfare Center. The center, located at Seawolf Paark, is home to the USS Cavalla, a former U.S. Navy submarine best known for sinking the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku, a veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack.



New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) launches its 32nd annual Christmas New Orleans Style campaign, 


Six weeks of celebration begins today with Christmas New Orleans Style, sponsored by New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, (NOTMC) and programmed by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI).


“For the perfect holiday celebration in a mild and inviting climate, spend your Christmas in New Orleans this year," said . “The 2016 holiday season offers authentic experiences from our unique culture that will help you experience Christmas in new ways.”


In addition to the city’s usual offering of historic neighborhoods, the Christmas season adds holiday music at many venues, traditional Reveillon dinners at local restaurants, and attractions like ChristmasFest at the Convention Center and holiday shows at the World War II Museum. Over one-hundred attractions, restaurants, and shops have activities planned over the six weeks of Christmas New Orleans Style.


Activities include free concerts, tours, and cooking demonstrations, traditional Reveillon dinners, custom attractions, and great shopping. The joy is spread from November 17 through Twelfth Night, Friday, January 6th, 2017.


"In New Orleans you’ll have fun while experiencing a culture found nowhere else,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of NOTMC. “Sparkling lights, holiday sounds, and traditional food delights visitors who choose to celebrate in New Orleans.”


Seasonal celebration highlights include:


·         Papa Noel hotel rates discounted up to 25% at one of 58 area hotels and bed and breakfast establishments


·         Up to 52 participating Reveillon restaurants with dinners starting at only $34


·         Over 82 holiday events, 15 of which are free


·         Free concerts at St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter and St. Augustine Church in the Treme neighborhood


·         Great Christmas shopping with many discounts offered around the city


·         Entertaining historic characters strolling through the French Quarter from 'Louisiana History Alive!'


“Every festive experience can be found in our free Christmas New Orleans Style Guidebook,” said, Executive Director of French Quarter Festivals, Inc. “You can pick it up at a Visitor’s Center once you arrive or download it from our FollowYourJoy.com website.”


The 2016 “Follow Your Joy” ad campaign will feature New Orleans over the following dates:


Social 11/14 – 12/11
Digital 11/10 – 12/11
Television 11/14 – 12/25


John Goodman is the voice of the :15 holiday commercial which features scenes of New Orleans architecture, the National WWII Museum, City Park, and the historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar. The soundtrack is ‘Jingle Bells’ by New Orleans’ New Birth Brass Band.


A social and digital media campaign will cover six fly markets that include Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Little Rock, AK; and Memphis, TN.


The social and digital campaign will advertise in twelve secondary fly and drive markets including Austin, TX; Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Brooklyn, NY; Houston, TX; Jackson, MS; Kansas City, KS; Mobile, AL-Pensacola, FL; Nashville, TN; St. Louis, MO; Tampa-St. Pete, FL; and Tulsa, OK. The campaign will occur on Facebook and Instagram in all 18 regional drive and national fly target markets.


Digital distribution will include banners across Travel & Leisure, National Geographic, AFAR, and Vox.Social messaging will include sponsored social ads showcasing seasonal events and happenings, holiday caroling, bonfires on the levee, light shows, and decadent desserts.


In addition to being featured on YouTube, a national television campaign will play the spot on Food Network, Hallmark, HGTV, Travel Channel, BET, TLC, and DIY. Local television affiliate stations for ABC, CBS, and NBC will air the ‘Follow Your Joy’ spot as well as the ‘Follow Your NOLA’ family spot during Thanksgiving and Holiday specials in Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, Little Rock, and Indianapolis.


A holiday website, FollowYourJoy.com, showcases 'Christmas New Orleans Style' events, Christmas carolers, bonfires on the levee, light shows and delicious desserts. Additionally, visitors and locals are invited to share their favorite New Orleans holiday moments on Instagram and Twitter by tagging their photos with #FollowYourNOLA and #FollowYourJoy. The holiday campaign is also supported across New Orleans’ official social media channels including , ,  , and the  blog.


NOTMC’s agency of record, , along with  and , as well as social media firm  worked together to coordinate the ad campaign across all platforms.


To learn more about Christmas New Orleans Style, and to see the 2015 CNOS guidebook listing all scheduled events, visit FollowYourJoy.com or FQFI.org. Hotel reservations, including special citywide rates, can also be booked via direct links to hotels on FollowYourJoy.com. The spots are viewable online at GoNOLA-TV, found on YouTube, or by clicking on the following links:


:30 “Follow Your NOLA” family spot


:15 “Follow Your Joy” holiday spot 


For a schedule of events or more information on Christmas New Orleans Style, call (504) 522-5730 or visit 

Take a Historic Ghost Tour on Galveston Island – Place of Deadliest Storm in US History




Galveston’s Ghostly History to Draw Thrill Seekers This Month




 The season for thrills and chills is here and Galveston Island’s ghostly history makes it one of the top destinations in the state for “haunted” exploration. From a 105-year-old “haunted” hotel to Galveston’s storied harbor, cemeteries and Victorian mansions, this month the island will be bustling with visitors seeking to be spooked by numerous ghost stories that stem from the country’s deadliest natural disaster and other tragedies. 




Galveston has many sites that are considered haunted, including an 1867 building that served as a morgue after the 1900 Storm – still the deadliest storm in U.S. history having killed an estimated 8,000 Galveston residents. The building now houses  – a year-round haunted house attraction in downtown Galveston. The haunted house embraces the spooky history of the building’s past while providing guests with a psychologically thrilling experience.




Also embracing its reported haunting is the island’s 105-year-old  which has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Stories andon the Discovery Channel’s Ghost Lab for its paranormal significance. The hotel, which offers special ghost tours during October, is said to be haunted by a “Ghost Bride” who reportedly has been seen in room 501 and in the hotel’s west turret. Legend has it that the bride hung herself in the west turret during the mid-1900s after hearing reports that her fiancé had died at sea. Tragically, her fiancé eventually returned to the hotel looking forward to a marriage that would never be.




The , which manages many of the island’s well-preserved historical sites and Victorian mansions, also offers ghost tours throughout October. Many of the island’s historic places have ghost stories attached to them as Galveston has been home to epidemics of disease, war, fires, storms and many merciless pirates, including the infamous Jean Laffite whose lavish and lawless den of thieves was the island’s first European settlement.




“Many, many people have lived and died by these waters, and perhaps some of the dead still reside here,” said Dwayne Jones, executive director of the Galveston Historical Foundation. “We invite our guests to listen to the stories and decide for themselves. But you don't have to believe in ghosts to know that the dead are a presence on this island.”




Galveston is also home to the nationally recognized paranormal expert , who offers ghost tours in the island’s cemeteries, downtown district and other parts of the island year round. Visit  for information on Dash Beardsley tours.






Ghostly Galveston Attractions 2016




Haunted Mayfield Manor


Date:  Year round 


Time: Varies


Price: $10


Location: 2312 Harborside Drive






Broadway Cemetery Tours


Date:  October 15 


Time: 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.


Price: $15


Location: 4201 Broadway Avenue






Haunted Harbor Tours Onboard the Seagull II


Date:  October 21-22, 27-30


Time:  5:15 p.m.


Price:  $15 adults, $12 youth, Free for 5 and under


Location: Pier 22 (22 and Harborside Drive)


Info: The narrated exploration of spooky corners and tragic sites in and around Galveston’s storied harbor takes place onboard aboard the 50-foot passenger boat, Seagull II, and continues throughOct. 30 with departures from the Texas Seaport Museum. 




Ghost Tours at Ashton Villa


Date:  October 27-31


Time:  8:15 p.m.


Price:  $30


Location: 2328 Broadway Avenue


Info: The public is offered a rare set of tours through this 1859 building. Join your guide for an unprecedented tour of the home as you hear about the early days of Galveston’s formation and exceptional life, and possible after-life, of the home’s Miss Bettie Brown.    




Lanternlight Tours of the 1892 Bishop’s Palace


Date:  October 28-29


Time:  8:30 p.m.


Price:  $30


Location: 1402 Broadway Avenue


Info: Experience Bishop’s Palace in a whole new light! This special tour lets visitors explore the National Historic Landmark and see how this architectural gem takes on a completely different look in the night. 




1838 Menard House Séance


Date:  October 29


Time:  9 p.m.


Price:  $150


Location: 1605 33rd Street


Info: Join Sharon Michelle as she guides a group of 12 guests through the spirits of Galveston’s oldest home, the 1838 Michel B. Menard House. A natural born psychic Sharon first started using her many gifts over 40 years ago, since then the spirit has continued to guide her and add to her knowledge and abilities. 




Menard House Trick or Treating


Date:  October 31


Time:  5-7 p.m. 


Price:  Free


Location: 1605 33rd Street


Info: Galveston’s oldest residence opens its doors for one night of ghostly fun. Bring your kids by for treats (and a few surprises) to the 1838 Michele B. Menard house, located at 1605 33rd Street. Free for all, be sure to bring your ghost hunting equipment! 




Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour and Dinner 


Date: Tuesdays-Fridays throughout October


Time: 6 p.m.


Price: $45 per person plus tax and gratuity (includes three-course dinner; advance reservations required)


Location: Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Boulevard


Info: In celebration of “ghost season,” Hotel Galvez & Spa hosts weekly ghost tour-dinners during the month of October. The ghost tour-dinner is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays as well as Fridays (overnight package only). During the tour, staff guides participants through the ghostly past of the hotel, which is then followed by dinner in the Galvez Bar & Grill. The one-hour public ghost tour is only available as part of the dinner package. Friday night tour dinner packages are available exclusively as part of an overnight ghost package. Advance reservations are required.




Hotel Galvez Audio Ghost Tours


Date: Year-round


Time: N/A


Price: Free


Location: Hotel Galvez, 2024 Seawall Boulevard


Info: Hotel Galvez offers a free audio tour app for smart phones. Guests and the public can enjoy 25-minute history tours and 20-minute ghost tours year-round.




Dash Beardsley’s Ghost Tours of Galveston


Date: Fridays/Saturdays Year-round


Time: Varies


Price $20 adults/ $15 children 10 years old and younger (toddlers free)


Location: Varies


Info: Galveston Paranormal Expert Dash Beardsley offers the island’s most popular haunted tours, including “Original Ghost Tour on The Strand,” “Restless Spirits Tour,” Secret Society Cemetery Tour,” and the “Jack The Ripper Mystery Island Tour.” For details, visit 




Zombie Apocalypse Hike


Date: Fridays in October


Time: 6-7 p.m.


Price: Free


Location: Galveston Island State Park, 14901 FM 3005


Info: Every Friday evening in October experience a family friendly hike while preparing for an apocalyptic event! Hikes begin at the Galveston Island State Park nature center and then lead you through the park to find a variety of items for survival.




Movie Nite on The Strand: Labyrinth


Date: Oct. 1


Time: Dusk


Price: Free


Location: Saengerfest Park, 2302 Strand


Info: Free outdoor showing of the film “Labyrinth” in which teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) journeys through a maze to recover her baby brother (Toby Froud) from a goblin king (David Bowie). For more information, visit .




Ghostly Gardens


Date: Oct. 30


Time: 2-4 p.m.


Price: Free


Location: Moody Gardens, One Hope Boulevard


Info: Trick-or-Treating, Creepy Crafts and Costume Contest for Kids plus $5 admission to Moody Gardens attractions if a member of your group is in costume. For more information, visit.




About Galveston Island


Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is home to popular amusements such as, Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island visit  or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.

, the first resort to be built in the Upper Keys in more than 21 years and the 100th addition to Autograph Collection Hotels, welcomed its first guests recently.


Autograph Collection’s 100th hotel brings new level of luxury to Key Largo, FL

Inspired by Key Largo’s natural beauty, Playa Largo Resort & Spa sits on more than 14 waterfront acres and draws on its surroundings to inspire the elegant yet breezy aesthetic of the 144-room resort that also offers ten secluded bungalows and a three-bedroom beach house with private plunge pool. 


Playa Largo Resort & Spa’s upscale amenities and services include an expansive waterfront pool, 745 feet of sandy beach, a fully equipped fitness center, two tennis courts, basketball court, watersport rentals and a private marina. Guests can enjoy dining at one of three gourmet onsite restaurants including La Marea, a traditional steakhouse, Las Olas ceviche and sushi bar and Sol by the Sea, offering waterfront views and local fresh-caught seafood. Adults can pamper themselves at the full-service Ocean Spa while little ones enjoy the Playa Kids daily discovery camp.


“Playa Largo was conceived from a desire to offer visitors to Key Largo a luxurious and modern full-service resort option – something that until now wasn’t available here,” said Shakir Hussain, general manager. “We are redefining what it means to travel to the Florida Keys and are thrilled to be welcoming our first guests this week and our first groups soon after.”


From a 6,000-square-foot ballroom ideal for corporate events to a picturesque formal lawn perfect for banquets and weddings, this new resort provides a range of options for beach vacations, destination weddings and meetings.


Playa Largo Resort & Spa was brought to life by , a recognized developer in Florida, and , one of the foremost owner-operator companies in the hospitality industry.  The chic Ameri-Caribbean look was conceptualized by Prime Design Associates, LLC while The Gettys Group is responsible for all interior design elements.


For more information and reservations, visit ,  or . 


About Playa Largo Resort & Spa


Playa Largo Resort & Spa, the 100th addition to Autograph Collection Hotels, is situated on 14 secluded beachfront acres in Key Largo.  With sweeping views of Florida Bay, the resort features 144 luxury rooms and suites, 10 private bungalows and a three-bedroom beach house with private pool. Developed by Prime Hospitality Group (PHG) and Shaner Hotels, Playa Largo marks the first full-service resort to be built on Key Largo in more than 21 years. For more information, call 305.853.1001 or visit . Connect with Playa Largo’s official Facebook fan page by visiting  and follow on Twitter @PlayaLargo.


About Autograph Collection Hotels


Autograph Collection Hotels celebrates individuality by curating one-of-a-kind travel experiences at more than 100 luxury lifestyle hotels found in the world’s most desirable destinations. Exactly like nothing else, each hotel has been hand selected for its distinction as an iconic landmark, for its remarkable design or for its best-in-class resort amenities. For more information please visit , and explore our social media channels to learn more about championing the independent spirit that is #ExactlyLikeNothingElse.    


. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with nearly 4,500 properties in 88 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of more than $14 billion in fiscal year 2015. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 19 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at , and for the latest company news, visit .  

John Woram is the proud owner of a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1. It's the same year, model and make as the one in the James Bond movie, “Diamonds Are Forever.” Woram mostly works on his car and takes it to different car shows.