kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top Five Blog Posts of 2014

You see the lists around this time of year. The Best XYZ of 2014. the Top Ten Whatchamacallits of 2014. A Year End Review of This, That, or the Other.

Which got me thinking . . . what were my most visited blog posts of 2014? What are my readers most interested in? What I discovered is that a popular post, based on number of views, doesn't necessarily mean it is particularly fascinating or poignant. Usually, the posts with the highest number of views are the posts that have been shared by other people who have large numbers of readers on social media sites such as Facebook.

Take, for example, my all-time most viewed post. On August 1, 2010, I wrote a post called Baby Turtle Finds a Home, after my husband Bob brought a small turtle that he'd found at work home to me. He had taken some pretty amazing photographs of this turtle to go along with the story. And at some point, Google Images picked up one of the photos.

So now, if you google turtle photos, that image, with a link to my blog, is one of the prominent sites that pops up. Consequently, over the four years since then, that post has had a whopping 26,483 hits. Really, it's all about exposure.

So here, based on number of views, are my Top Five Blog Posts for 2014.

5. Washington, La. -- people who enjoy antiquing found this post interesting.

4. The number 4 spot needs to be shared by two posts that had nearly identical number of views. Shangri-La Gardens in Orange, Tx. and Lacassine's Bayou Rum. Read here and here

3. Twelfth Night Extravaganza -- a post about the beginning of Mardi Gras season.

2. The Pint House Pizzeria and Brewhouse. Lots of hits on this one, only because the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau picked the post up and put a link to it on their own site. I now write blog posts for their website.

And my number one most viewed post of 2014, with 1512 hits, goes to Scott, Louisiana. This is because the people who live there have a great deal of love and pride in their hometown and pretty much every one of them shared the post on social media. I love them.

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2015 be peaceful and prosperous.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Acadian Village -- Lafayette, LA

There are so many destinations on my Louisiana "bucket list." We scratched one off this past Friday. We went to Acadian Village to see the popular Christmas light display. (Can anyone tell me what LUS stands for?)

Acadian Village is open year around as a historic landmark depicting life of the early Acadian settlers. During the holidays, the site transforms into an enchanted Christmas wonderland. "Noel Acadien Au Village."

This year's theme is "A Blue Christmas." Everyone loves Blue Dog.

We ate funnel cakes.

And warm freshly roasted peanuts. This is Victor. The big green machine behind him is a old time peanut roaster.

Vic says the roaster is over 100 years old. He found it in a dump near Alexandria 27 years ago. He fixed it up and has been selling peanuts since then. Vic is the official peanut vendor at University of Louisiana at Lafayette sporting events. He can also be found at festivals, and apparently, he is a fixture at Acadian Village during the holidays. As we were leaving, I overheard a woman who just arrived say, "I want to get my peanuts before we do anything else."

In the midst of all the lights, there is this lovely nativity scene.

For the kids, carnival rides . . .

Strolling through Acadian Village, we immediately got into the Christmas spirit. We couldn't help singing along with the holiday music playing in the background. For my Pittsburgh readers, it's like a walk-through Hartwood Acres, back in the day. Don't you all miss that?

Special thanks to my dear husband for his photography skills. (I'm in between cameras.)

Merry Christmas, everyone!