National Career Development MonthNovember 2023
Holiday HappeningsNovember 2023
This month, we celebrate the heartwarming tapestry of family life. In today’s fast-paced world, finding those precious moments to bond with loved ones can sometimes feel like a distant dream. Life is a delicate balance between work, responsibilities, and cherished family time. Luckily for those of us in Southwest Louisiana, opportunities abound for quality time with loved ones over food and fun!
Whether you’re a family of two, four, or more, with budgets big or small, every family can find something special to create traditions. Because, in the end, it’s these cherished moments that remain in our hearts and minds.
Get inspired by our Southwest Louisiana bucket list and create your own as a family. There’s so much to do and see.
Memory Making: The Southwest Louisiana Bucket List
by Matt Dye
Southwest Louisiana has always been that hidden gem along I-10, and as we continue to grow, there’s no shortage of fun afternoon excursions to take to get a feel for the area. So, if you’ve lived here your whole life, just moved here, or have people visiting and no clue what to do, here are a few of the essential things to do.
Order a Darrell’s Special
We can argue over who has the best crawfish or gumbo, but when it comes to po’boys, Darrell’s has been an institution here in Lake Charles for nearly 40 years, and while other quality po’boy shops have opened up since, it’s still the first one on nearly everyone’s list. Maybe it’s the way the bread soaks up the gravy and the jalapeno mayo, but either way, you’re going to need a lot of napkins.
Get a Drive-Thru Daquiri
If you’ve lived here your whole life, you may take it for granted, but in the other 49 states, there’s no such thing. Mention to one of your friends living in Colorado that you stopped and got a drive-thru daquiri on the way home, and you’ll have a whole new topic of conversation. There’s nothing more Louisiana. Just remember to keep the tape in place. Laissez le bon temps rouler!
Mardi Gras Experience
You don’t have to go to New Orleans to get a proper Mardi Gras celebration. All you have to do is head out and catch parades on Ryan Street, with multiple happening leading into Fat Tuesday. And be sure to check out the Mardi Gras Museum at Central School and the 12th Night Gala in January that kicks off the whole season.
Catch the Vibes at Downtown at Sundown
Each May, right before the weather in Louisiana becomes full-oven temp, the city hosts an outdoor concert series featuring some of the best local acts. While we have bigger festivals, this one has a more mellow vibe, a Friday evening to just unwind after a long day and experience downtown Lake Charles at its finest.
See a Gator on the L’auberge Golf Course
There’s a number of places to see a gator safely. And there are a number of places to see a gator unsafely. But there’s few places where a gator sees you. It may be a niche choice, but there’s nothing quite like standing over a tee shot while a gator is sunning himself 15 yards away.
Search for the Pink Dolphin
Cuter than an alligator and a lot harder to find, we’ve all heard of Pinky, who was first spotted in the Calcasieu River in 2007 and most recently this past July. While there’s photos and video on the internet, few have ever seen the albino bottlenose in person, but you’ve got time, as most dolphins live at least 40 years.
Go on an Airboat in the Marsh
There’s all sorts of fun ways to experience the water here, from kayaking to sail boating, but one unique experience is taking an airboat out on the marsh. There’s something about the way you jet along the tight canals that feels surreal the first few times you do it. And you’re bound to see all sorts of wildlife along the way as you glide along the mirror surface of the water.
Take a Picture at the Sallier Oak
Over 375 years old, the Sallier Oak is just an impressive piece of art and history. Located on the grounds of the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, the Oak has come back even stronger since Hurricanes Laura and Delta. If you haven’t been in a while, it’s always cool to come back to see how it’s changed since the last time, and if you’ve never been before, be sure to bring the wide lens.
Catch a Sunset at Prien Lake Park
There’s something about the view sitting at Prien Lake Park looking over Indian Bay. Maybe the colors just seem more vivid that close to the water, maybe it’s the outline of the 210 bridge, or the way the sky just seems to go on forever, but it feels magical, and if you brought your camera, another great time for a photo.
Saturday Night Under the Lights
There’s an energy under Saturday nights at Cowboy Stadium as Jolie Blonde starts up and cowbells are heard clunking all around. Win or lose, a Cowboy game is a great experience from the tailgating and cornhole to the cheerleaders, marching band, and of course, the action on the field. You’ve got to go at least once.
by Taylor Trahan Henry
In today’s digital age where everyone has a camera in their hands by way of cell phone, we often overlook the power of taking the time to capture those heirloom family portraits. Marking milestones, capturing new additions to the family, or simply taking the time to capture your lifestyle on camera is an art and it’s one that’s worth preserving.
Why are family photographs so important? It’s because they serve as the visual archives of our lives. Each picture is a moment frozen in time, a memory etched into the fabric of our existence. When you flip through a family photo album or see a framed picture on the wall, you’re not just looking at an image. You’re gazing at a story, a piece of your history, and a fragment of your heart. It’s often said that one day photos will be all we have left of certain people or places. The reality is, as harsh as it sounds, it’s absolutely true.
Families are always changing and developing. Your family will change in a few months as kids grow. You shouldn’t take all these moments for granted. You can also document your child’s growth in family photos. Your kids will enjoy looking at photos to see how they (and you) change from year to year. You may even get a good laugh at those fashion trends in a few years.
Capturing these moments is a gift to both the present and the future. When you take a family photo, you’re creating a bridge between generations. A snapshot of a family reunion, a birthday celebration, or even just a candid moment in the park becomes a timeless connection to your past.
Think about the joy of showing your children, and their children, the photographs from your own childhood. These images allow your family to delve into the past and share in the experiences, laughter, and love that have shaped your family’s story.
Our phones are incredible for capturing everyday moments and providing ease of access to share with friends and family. But don’t forget to choose a storage option that works for the long term and captures those memories for years to come.
Family photography is not just about snapshots or poses; it’s about capturing the essence of who we are and the love that binds us together. So, grab your camera or book the session, embrace the moments, and treasure the memories – because the photos of your life will stand the test of time!