Is it really possible to travel all the way to Louisiana and miss out on crawfish?

Is it really possible to travel all the way to Louisiana and miss out on crawfish?
As sad as it may sound, the elusive crawfish was able to elude this travel columnist last week in Lafayette.
While I did get the pleasure to enjoy an authentic Cajun-style shrimp boil, Crawfish fettuccine and some of the best jambalaya, red beans and rice and gumbo courtesy of Cajun Karl last Friday, but no crawfish.
Perhaps this will force a return trip to Lafayette in early May for the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival (May 1-3, 2009, log onto www.bbcrawfest.com for more information) in order to try the local delicacy.
The tour of the Atchafalaya Swamp last Friday provided a tempting opportunity to add Louisiana to the list of states I have fished. Instead, I kept my eyes open for alligators and snakes (I did see one massive water moccasin) and gathered information for a return trip to participate in gator hunting season in September.
The food at McGee’s Landing on the Atchafalaya was excellent featuring fried shrimp and fresh fried catfish.
Friday night’s Lafayette Alive celebration was a unique event featuring some 8,000-plus attendees enjoying live music, food and drinks all crammed into the downtown Lafayette Square.
Sunday’s drive back was uneventful with perfect weather, but instead of taking in the scenery through western Arkansas, once I reached Texarkana, I cut over west to Paris, Texas then turned north and traveled along Highway 69 in Oklahoma through Hugo, McAlester, Muskogee and Pryor until I reached I-44.
Lake Eufaula was hopping for a Sunday afternoon as anglers took advantage of the warm weather.

Most visited U.S. destinations
An article posted recently on travelerszone.com courtesy of Forbes magazine listed the top 25 most visited destinations in the United States.
Interestingly, after reviewing the list, it is disappointing to realize of the top 25, I had only visited two of the top 25, but those two were in the top 10.
Number three on the list was the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., (visited in November 1995 shortly after the dedication of the Korean War Memorial).
Number eight was Niagara Falls, a family trip taken in October 1983.
The closest destination on the list of top 25 to Kansas?
Take your pick between the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina at No. 9, Navy Pier in Chicago at No. 10 or the San Antonio River Walk at No. 14.
The rest of the top 25 include (in reverse order):
25, The Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey, 24, the American Museum of Natural History, New York, 23, SeaWorld, San Diego; Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts, 22, Busch Gardens Africa, Tampa Bay, 21, Grand Canyon, Arizona, 19, Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, 18, Metropolitan Museum, New York; 17, Universal Studios, Hollywood, 16, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, 15, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, 13, SeaWorld, Orlando, Fla., 12, Universal Studios, Orlando, 11, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona and Nevada, 7, Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, 6, Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif., 5, Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 4, Fanueil Hall Marketplace, Boston, Mass., 2, The Las Vegas Strip and the top visited attraction in the United States, Times Square in New York.
Of course, when you can start and end each year with several million visitors, goes a long ways toward the top spot.
The runner-up, the Vegas Strip, averages 31 million visitors annually.
Makes the 4.1 million visitors to the Cabela's Retail Outlet in Kansas City, Kan. (the top drawing tourist attraction in Kansas) seem awfully small.

Upcoming events
The weather is set to take an un-Spring like turn today and through the weekend, but that is no excuse to not get out and about and enjoy these events this weekend and on into next week in Crawford County:
• Today and Saturday, the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Business Expo at Meadowbrook Mall. With over 40 businesses scheduled to take part, the event is a showcase of business and industry in the Pittsburg Area. For more information, contact Anna Gudde at the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce at 231-1000, or www.pittsburgareachamber.com.
• Saturday, Pittsburg State University International Students will host the International Food and Culture Fair at Memorial Auditorium. The event begins at 5 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m., admission is $1, PSU students are free with student ID and children 12-under are free. PSU international students will offer tastes from their native cuisines as well as performances of music and dance. The Food and Culture Fair will be hosted by the International Student Association with participants from the Chinese Student Association, Paraguayan Student Association, Saudi Arabian Student Association, Indian Student Association, Korean Student Association, Malaysian Student Association, Spanish Club, French Club and Hispanics of Today. For more information, contact Jazmin Ramirez at jazminanahi@gmail.comor, 875-4792 or Cathy Lee Arcuino at carcuino@pittstate.edu or 235-4680.
• Sunday, the Pittsburg State University Office of Alumni & Constituent Relations is scheduled to host a Kite Fly at 1 p.m. at the PSU Band Practice Field at the corner of Ford and Homer Streets. The event is free, kites will not be provided and children must be supervised.
• Thursday, St. Mary’s Elementary School will host its Spring Concert at 7 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium Admission is free. For more information, contact Memorial Auditorium at 231-7827 or log onto www.memorialauditorium.org.

Craig Hull is the director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau. It is the purpose of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote travel and tourism in Crawford County, Southeast Kansas and the Midwest. He can be reached at chull@pittsburgareachamber.com or at 1-800-879-1112.