Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Cruising the Mississippi by Al & Sunny Lockwood - Book Tour


In crossing another travel adventure off their bucket list, two retirees take a fascinating river cruise and find the heart and soul of the American South…

By Al & Sunny Lockwood

Author: Al & Sunny Lockwood
Publisher: Front Porch Publishing
Pages: 185
Genre: Travel Memoir

If you love travel, beauty, history, fabulous food, and genuine old-fashioned fun, you’ll love this amazing paddle wheel adventure along the mighty Mississippi River.

From a vibrant New Orleans’ Jazz concert at famous Preservation Hall, to the largest plantation mansion on the Mississippi (Nottoway Plantation), to eye-opening Civil War battlegrounds, this lively travel memoir brings American history and Southern culture to life.

The paddlewheeler itself is an enchanting antebellum masterpiece. Period furnishings. Tiffany lamps. An authentic steam calliope. And a huge front porch with comfy rocking chairs where you can relax and enjoy the natural wonder of America’s greatest waterway.

Riverside cities offer their own unique attractions, steeped in history and plantation grandeur.

In this warm and personal travel memoir you’ll learn things about America you never knew before.

If you’ve ever been bitten by the travel bug, you know how the idea of a trip (short or long, near or far) can set your heart a-pumping and your head a-dreaming. Just the thought of walking on ground, or pavement, or cobblestones you’ve never stepped on before can make you pull out the suitcases and start packing.

Sweetheart Al and I were bitten when we were kids. He was in California, eighteen, and about to board an airplane (along with many other young men in uniform) headed for Vietnam. I was twelve, growing up in
Michigan in a family that enjoyed camping in Yellowstone, or the Great Smoky Mountains, or along the shores of Lake Superior.

Decades later, when Al and I met, we were delighted to find we’d both been to Prague, Czechoslovakia back in the 1990s, well before it became a hot tourist destination. He was there with a group of photographers. I went with my reporter’s notebook. And we both found the city, its bridges, buildings, and people life-enriching.

From the start, Sweetheart and I shared the pleasures and challenges of travel: day trips to photograph wildflowers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, weekend trips to explore little leftover Gold Rush towns along California State Highway 49, and longer journeys to Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Utah.

Then, on a peaceful summer evening in 2012, a car crash changed our lives. We were waiting at a red traffic light, just outside of Napa, California, when a texting driver slammed into us at full highway speed, totaling both our cars in a painful explosion of glass and metal.

Although we suffered no broken bones, we were bruised and banged up and spent most of the rest of the summer at the doctor’s office or the pharmacy trying to get back to normal.

That wreck convinced us that life is fragile. And temporary. You can be doing nothing more dangerous than sitting at a red light and the next moment, you can be in the hospital, or worse, in the morgue.

That recognition changed us. We stopped putting off things we’d dreamed about. We
stopped saying, “We’ll do that someday” and decided to make “someday” today.

“Cruising the Mississippi gives the reader a genuine sense that they are also on board the American Queen, exploring the small towns that line the river and luxuriating in an atmosphere that exudes the glories of a bygone era.”

— 5-stars Readers’ Favorite Book Review

“If it’s a ‘you are there’ experiential survey of the paddlewheeler environment that is desired, along with . . . Mississippi history and culture . . . then there could be no better virtual tour than Cruising the Mississippi.”

–D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, MidwestBook Review 

“Without ever boring the reader, the authors present . . . many absorbing facts and events that simply jump off the page. From the luxury . . .of travelling on a paddlewheeler to the history of the river and many of the exciting spots they travel to . . . . I was thoroughly engaged to the last page.”

–Wishing Shelf Book Review 

Amazon → https://amzn.to/38UATK0

Al and Sunny Lockwood have traveled by foot, car, rail, air and cruise ship.  They’ve camped in national parks, hiked mountain trails, photographed springtime flowers in Death Valley and wintry surf along the rugged beaches of Northern California.

They’ve watched July 4th fireworks over Lake Tahoe, explored New Mexico’s Taos Pueblo and ridden the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad through forests ablaze with autumn colors.

They’ve ridden the amazing Falkirk Wheel in Scotland, the Flam Railway in Norway and Ushuaia’s train at the end of the world.

They’ve photographed Gibraltare’s Barbary apes and Gentoo Penguins frolicking in the surf on Falkland Island beaches.

From North Carolina’s Outer Banks to New Orleans’ Bourbon Street and Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, Al and Sunny love to wander and wonder and enjoy.

Everywhere they go, they capture unforgettable moments with their cameras and notebooks, moments to share with their readers. Their work has been published in magazines and newspapers.  It has been recognized with awards from the National Federation of Press Women, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Seven Sisters Book Awards, and The Independent Author Network Book Awards.

“We write to encourage others to travel, to take a break from their ordinary routine and discover the many rewards of traveling with your eyes wide open,” Sunny said. “Go somewhere new, even if it’s only in the next county. And have fun exploring the sites, the sounds and flavors of the place. You’ll be amazed at how much fun you’ll have.”

Al added, “We also write to share the wonder of our own travels. To help you feel what it’s like to be on a cruise ship, or wandering the back alleys of Venice, Italy. We hope our books give readers a real sense of our travel adventures.”

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