Sunday, January 24, 2021


10 Things You Might Not Know About Cruising the Mississippi by Al & Sunny Lockwood #10Things

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.”

10 Things You Might Not Know About Cruising the Mississippi

1. The boat we cruised on (The American Queen)  is a genuine steam powered paddle boat. It is, in fact, the largest steamboat ever built.


2. Its bright red wooden paddle wheel is 28-feet wide and weighs 23 tons.


3. Once a wild boar, swimming in the Mississippi, got caught in the paddle wheel and drowned. That boar's head is now stuffed and hanging on a wall in the Gentlemen's Card Room on Deck 2 of The American Queen.


4. We stopped at Nottaway Plantation, the South's largest remaining antebellum plantation house. The house has 53,000 square feet of floor space. Think of the fun little kids could have playing hide and seek in there.


5. We filled the pages of our book with fascinating things we learned on the cruise: big facts about the Civil War and little facts like who was first responsible for distributing Coca Cola, and what southern shoe maker first designed shoes specifically for right and left feet.


6. Our cruise featured hop-on hop-off buses at each river town where we stopped. Because our old knees are not what they once were, the buses were a blessing in getting us around town, and giving us a restful ride when we needed it.


7. During the cruise, we became acquainted with one of the onboard entertainers and discovered, amazingly, a relative we shared.


8. When you're surrounded with Victorian era opulence -- scrolling woodwork, antique furniture, Tiffany reading lamps -- you truly feel you've stepped back into history. That's what it was like cruising up the Mississippi on this paddlewheeler.


9. Our daily lectures on the mighty Mississippi, taught us many fascinating tidbits on marine culture including why guest rooms on cruise ships are called state rooms.


10. Our steamboat didn't drop anchor or dock next to a pier. Instead it actually nuzzled into the muddy shore along the riverbank or levee, then lowered a long gangway plank for passengers to disembark. 

About the Book:

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.


“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 


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