27 May 2010

The Only Oil I Saw Was For My Cornbread... All Jazzed Up to Be In New Orleans & Baton Rouge

What lies behind New Orleans and what currently lies before New Orleans are very small in comparison to what lies "within" New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina & the BP oil spill haven't done Louisiana Tourism any favors lately... but you can't tell that if you visit the area now. It's business as usual there! I met with 9 regional entities in two days & the combined attitude was resilience & deep pride. The spirit of the locals invigorated me & my love for the Bayou.

Since "The Storm" a few years ago, LSU won the Championship in Football & the Saints won the Superbowl. Everyone in the region rallied & fought with them. The tourism industry is no different! The conventions are back, the festivals are back, the restaurants are all open, the bars are open, the streets are cleaner, the new hotels are fantastic, homes are being rebuilt... this area is better than ever. New Orleans is the flavor of America, the Party of America and the soul of America. She's deep, she's dark and she's a little crazy. You should do your part and visit her soon.

Oil Spill, Schmoil spill... I ate local seafood every meal. A cajun food feast at Deanie's, beignets at Cafe Du Monde, crawfish-gouda-spinach quesadillas in Baton Rouge & 4 Dozen oysters at various stops around the French Quarter.  "delicious as the less criminal forms of sin."

Ted's Top 5 Things He Learned About Travel on This Trip:

1. Cleaning trucks & high pressure water guns now clean the streets of the French Quarter every morning. The water has a hint of lemongrass which has the infamous party region smelling fresh each day.

2. The Bayou Country Summerfest is this weekend in LSU Football Stadium. Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and others will all be there. I snuck in the stadium while they were setting up.

3. Louisiana has the tallest State Capitol in the US. 34 Floors and 450 Feet Tall.

4. New Orleans has tons of new non-stop flights. KC has 5 new flights a day. I flew for $164 round trip. Only 1 1/2 hr flight. I stayed at the Maison Dupuy in the Quarter for under a $100 a night!

5. Don't ever, ever, visit your beautiful, talented, single, independent, fun, in-shape, clever, spirited and influential sister-in-law in her home town of Austin and fail to mention her in your Travel Blog... ever. How was that Erin???

Well... as the media continually bombards us with how bad the disaster is to Louisiana & you ask yourself "how can I help?...can you think of a better way than to listen to live jazz at the Spotted Cat after three pounds of crawfish? I didn't think so...

Trip Quote:

"We'll be fine son... it's not the size of the dog in the fight... it's the size of the fight in the dog."

19 May 2010

You Can Mess with Texas but... Keep Austin Weird! Lazy River Riding Media Buying at iMedia

Despite the opinions of most of you... floating on the Hyatt Lost Pines resort lazy river pool, drinking Shiner Bock IS Work!.. stop eyerolling,.. I'm in Austin, TX attending the iMedia Conference and the pool seems to be where all of the networking is going on... I learned more about on-line media buying best practices in that pool... than... well I learned a lot.

Austin reflects a culture of individual and artistic expression which maintains this incredible city's status as a vibrant and eclectic creative center. If you think about it... Texas is a traditionally conservative State but Austin continues to be very progressive with its arts, music, shopping & food. In our terms.. "its WEIRD" and the residents embrace their status and it's unique dynamic which encompasses the entire town. I saw a LARGE guy strolling down Congress Ave in a sun dress & no one thought anything of it... awesome. Fueling the diversity, Austin has more live music venues per capita than any other city in the world, restaurants with creative food (shrimp corndogs), strange architecture, very few chain stores, street & wall art everywhere .. how cool is that?

Because downtown Austin has so many distractions may be why the conference is held 24 miles outside of town. Keeping a bunch of ad-agency & sales people bottled up is hard to do. After two full days of sessions my coworker Andrea & I accompanied our friends from PointRoll & Grey Stripe in a pimpin' cab with 22 inch rims downtown for a first-class dinner at Moonshine. It was a beautiful night so we walked over to Cedar Street for some great live music & Lone Star beer. I finished off the night playing skeeball & Joust at some bar on West 6th Street. I left at 1:15 but it felt like the town was just getting started... if you've had a plain "vanilla" like Spring, you need to go to Austin and get your Weird on!

Ted's Top 5 Things He Learned About Travel on This Trip:

1. Music is the driver of the creative economy, which generates millions of dollars for Austin. There are several financial programs to help musicians.

2. 73% of mobile users want a coupon or special offer when they visit a DMO mobile site/application. Also, they average 7 app downloads & only use them 4 times each.

3. Every June they have a "Keep Austin Weird" Festival & 5K Race. (Costumes encouraged... are you weird enough?)

4. Every night at sunset from Mar-Oct 1,500,000 bats fly from under the Congress Ave bridge out into the night in search of food. (See Photo below)

5. It takes 17 minutes to float around the lazy river pool in an inner tube... basically a 2 loop per drink ride. I raced a rubber duck 8 times and lost.

Hey... I'm a MIzzou grad and I'll concede the University of Texas's sports program is a bit better than ours, but our mascot is a ferocious man-eating beast which exudes power, grace and intellect... theirs is a big cow with overgrown horns... that's all I got... and it ain't much.

Trip Quote:

"I graduated from the University of Texas in '08 but luckily the economy went to crap so my parents paid for me to go to grad school... so I have two more years of school."  A random waitress on 6th Street... God Bless America!

For a video of Andrea's Rodeo skills click here

you are here: travel with ted

”All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

Luckily, I find one on every journey I take.

Seriously, folks, if you’re keeping score with frequent flyer miles, this probably isn’t the blog for you.

If you enjoy adventures, even the small, bizarre or unplanned ones, well, then this is exactly the blog for you. This isn’t a dress rehearsal folks, this is the real thing.

I’ll be out there on this globe and I’ll tell you what I experience. You’ll laugh, you’ll learn, but unlike me you won’t get the middle seat behind a colicky baby. So come along. Experience the road as you Travel With Ted.

about ted

Travel. I love it. Guess that comes from growing up the son of a full-time Geography teacher and part-time nomad. Whatever the cause, travel has always been my passion. The way it enriches, arouses and inspires. And the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings experienced by travel are what this blog is all about.

Ted Jumping

For 18 years, I’ve worked in the hospitality and tourism industries. But it hasn’t really been work – it has been a labor of love. With MMGY Global my love of travel continues in my blog. So, come along for the ride. Experience travel with Ted. It’s not ordinary and it might be just the spark your own travel love affair needs.

what i do for mmgy

I understand each destination is unique and I work with tourism marketing organizations to increase visitors and their spending in the area. I help customize completely integrated campaigns for the travel industry around the world.