The Spotted Horse Tavern & Dining Parlor at Evangeline Downs

Just last week I was chatting about travel bucket lists. Wouldn’t it be great to say you’ve been to every state in your lifetime? And I don’t just mean layovers at the airport or driving through without stopping. At least enjoying some of our countries’ sites?

Louisiana is definitely a state I’d like to see. New Orleans or Baton Rouge are the first big cities that come to mind, but how about Lafayette? Today I want to share with you a restaurant with a new debut – The Spotted Horse which you can find at the Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel.

Inspired by an urban legend of a “long-necked spotted horse” (i.e., a giraffe) winning the race by a neck, the restaurant’s flair for the fantastic is reflected throughout the new space. The multi-faceted experience features a tavern on one side, perfect for sipping a local brew and enjoying down-home cuisine; and a full-service restaurant on the other.

You’ll find dining selections range from Southern staples to innovative new dishes. The restaurant’s signature whimsy shines in the collection of hot sauces. A menu of nearly 20 hot sauces is available for customers to pair with their dishes, including ghost pepper and blueberry, habanero carrot curry, and serrano ginger lemongrass. oh my!

If you’re like my family, FOOD is always first on our list and we love visiting new places to see what they have to offer.

For more information on The Spotted Horse Tavern & Dining Parlor click here.

Have you ever been to Louisiana?

I was compensenated for this post. All opinons are my own.

4 Reasons to Travel to Suzhou China (+ Sweepstakes!)

I have a long list of places all over the world that I would love to travel to. I have to admit that China does not cross my mind very often, but just last week I was listening to some world travelers say China was one of their favorite places to visit – it’s beautiful and the food is exquisite!

For this post I have learned about 4 wonderful reasons to travel to Suzhou China and I think when you read them, you will want to go to!

Nine of the World’s Most Beautiful Gardens 
Classical Chinese garden design flourishes in Suzhou where nine of the city’s gardens have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Two of these gardens, Humble Administrator’s Garden and Lingering Garden, are considered the most famous gardens in all of China. Humble Administrator’s Garden is the nation’s largest garden, defined by its pristine collections of small forests and the gentle patter of the water feature that is the garden’s backdrop.

9! Sounds wonderful and relaxing.

The World’s Longest Canal Makes Suzhou the Venice of China
Suzhou’s narrow water passages are some of the oldest in the world and perfect for any traveler looking to take in the city’s original charm. Reach out and touch the plants in the garden of Mudu as you float by with the gentle backdrop noise of the boat’s soft paddle touching the water. Or, float beneath the famed bridges of the Wujiang District where newlyweds routinely cross in the hopes the tradition will bring them happiness, peace and fortunee

I’ve never been to Venice either, but I can just imagine myself blissing floating down the canals.

One of the World’s Richest Historical Sites 
The Suzhou Museum, designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei,  is where guests are treated to a collection of ancient ceramics, wood carvings and other cultural artifacts illustrating the past. The city is also home to The Suzhou Silk Museum, which showcases Suzhou’s title as the silk capital of China and offers guests a historical look at the silk production of yesteryear that made the city famous. Visitors can experience the step-by-step silk-making process starting with the silk worm and moving on to thread and finished products.

Would love to see that!

A Festival for Every Occasion and Food You Won’t Forget
No Suzhou travel experience is complete unless it includes attendance at one of the city’s numerous festivals, which take place across the city throughout the year. The Hanshan Temple Bell Ringing Festival, for example, takes place every year on Dec. 31. Thousands of people flock to the 1,500-year-old temple to hear the monks strike the bell 108 times which is said to bring good luck in the New Year. Meanwhile, the Spring Festival marks the Chinese New Year and is notorious for its amazing fireworks display and unforgettable parade. Festivals are also a remarkable time to enjoy Suzhou’s succulent cuisine. Watch the parade from a seat in a classic Suzhou Tea House or dine on Fengzhen noodles beneath the fireworks.

See? Food! And I always think of festivals when I think of the Chinese. It would be wonderful to visit in person and probably a experience you never forget.

Did I give you the travel bug? Enter the Experience Suzhou: The Venice of China and the City of Scholars Sweepstakes at for a chance to win a six-day vacation package to Suzhou.

Is China on your travel bucket list?

I was compensenated for this post. All opinons are my own.