(BPT) - You begin Monday in your usual morning mood - grumpy. The day quickly turns around, however, after hearing a few funny stories from coworkers. Suddenly you find yourself laughing and enjoying the morning. Your outlook is positive and your spirits have been lifted, and all it took was one hilarious joke. It has to make you wonder: why don't we laugh more often?
Laughter has healing power, and few comedians understood this quite like Lucille Ball. Born in Jamestown, New York on Aug. 6, 1911, Ball went on to star and produce her own show, "I Love Lucy" with husband Desi Arnaz. During its six-year run, "I Love Lucy" became one of the most beloved shows on television. For four seasons, it was the number one sitcom in the country. Why? Because no matter what was going on in their personal lives, audiences knew that for one hour each week, they could tune in for a good laugh and feel a little better.
Even though Ball is no longer with us, her legacy lives on. Today, her hometown in Chautauqua County, New York continues to keep her vision alive and help others through laughter with its National Comedy Center. Here are three ways to experience the fun during your next visit.
Honor the past
Ball enriched the lives of fans all across the country, and with her husband Arnaz, paved the way for many comedians who came after. To honor her legacy, Jamestown opened The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which features original costumes from the show, family film footage and portraits, and even Ball's 1972 Gold Mercedes-Benz. You can also visit Desilu Studios, nicknamed the "I Love Lucy" museum to get an inside look at where the magic happened. Desilu Studios contains costumes, props and Emmy Awards from over 50 years ago, as well as re-created sets from the show.
Celebrate the present
Each year Jamestown's National Comedy Center presents the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival (commonly known as Lucy Fest) on the first weekend of August to celebrate Ball's birthday. In 2016, Lucy Fest runs August 4-7 and includes 50 events at a dozen venues throughout Jamestown where you'll get to laugh along with up-and-coming comedians and attend informative workshops. Past headliners have included Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and Joan Rivers, and this year you can expect to see Trevor Noah, Lewis Black and Brian Regan.
Prepare for the future
Comedy fans all over the country will soon be flocking to The National Museum of Comedy, scheduled to open in 2017. A one-of-a-kind attraction, The National Museum of Comedy plans to offer year-round programming, include more than 70 exhibits celebrating comedy, and serve as a national archive of the comedy world. Whether you're interested in becoming a professional comedian or are interested in learning how to use comedy in your personal life, you'll find a wide variety of workshops to attend.
Lucille Ball helped viewers find the humorous side to life and her comedic genius continues to be important today. If you're a fan of "I Love Lucy," comedy or even just laughing, join Jamestown in celebrating the healing power of laughter by visiting Chautauqua County, New York. Lucy Fest is expected to be a smashing success once again, and every other week offers a wide range of activities for comedy fans to enjoy. Find more information to start planning your trip by browsing tourchautauqua.com today.
(BPT) - Rugged gorges, epic waterways and beautiful ocean views: this could only be describing the bewildering terrain of Western Australia. But if you're really looking for the best sightseeing and activities, head north to the Kimberley, the gem of North West Australia. Famously known as being "the last wilderness" region, the Kimberley is the ultimate "bucket list" destination for adventure-seeking travelers.
The Kimberley has two distinct seasons, the dry and the wet. During the dry season, which runs from May until October, the temperature is warm and comfortable with blue skies and easier access to beautiful gorges, waterfalls and swimming holes. The wet season, which extends from November until April, is characterized by heavy and short downpours in the evening or late afternoon, providing a refreshing change to the heat of the day. The wet is when the landscape is refreshed and transformed into a lush, green environment with overflowing rivers and spectacular waterfalls.
From 30 million-year-old rock formations and waterfalls, to more than 1,300 native animal species, the Kimberley region is the perfect destination for those envy-inducing Instagram photos. Whether you're seeing the destination by land, sea or air, here are some key experiences you'll enjoy in the Kimberley region:
Rich history and culture on land:
* The Gibb River Road, which links the exotic pearling town of Broome to the town of Kununurra, is one of Australia's most renowned four-wheel drive challenges. This legendary 600-kilometer (410 mile) stock route was originally used for droving cattle, but is now also a captivating destination for travelers seeking the ultimate Australian outback experience.. Campsites, swimming holes, waterfalls, Aboriginal rock art and walking opportunities are plentiful along this route. If self-driving on the other side of the road is not of interest, companies such as Kimberley Outback Tours offer hosted excursions.
* In Broome, Western Australia's pearling town, you can shop for strands of pearls found in warm, crystal clear waters - and even tour a pearling farm for a firsthand look at the cultivating process! And, in both Broome and Kununurra, you can watch master jewelers at work on pieces incorporating some of the most exquisite pink and natural diamonds on earth, all mined within .the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
* El Questro Wilderness Park, located in the east Kimberley, extends about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north to south, totaling one million acres in size. Its landscape offers outstanding diversity including rainforests, gorges and waterfalls. Enjoy an abundance of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and invertebrates congregating near one of the four major river systems, try your hand at barramundi fishing or set out on a horse trek to see beaches and dazzling landscapes all around. To stay right near the action, check out the lodging options at El Questro.
Fascinating sea adventures:
* Cruise the pristine waters of the Kimberley with a smaller ship operator, such as True North, for an adventure into the true wilderness, which offer a more personalized experience and opportunities to explore secluded gorges and swimming holes that are not accessible by larger vessels. You'll journey past towering red cliffs and pockets of rainforest, observe rare wildlife and ancient Aboriginal rock art, swim in cloudless pools and shower underneath dramatic waterfalls.
* For stunning sights of wildlife and nature, divers and snorkelers can check out the Rowley Shoals off the coast of Broome, as it ranks amongst the most remote and pristine marine areas in the world. Amongst the three coral atolls found here, you'll see colorful gardens, giant clams and schools of tuna and mackerel.
Excursions in flight:
* You can explore the Kimberley by air via the Kimberley Aerial Highway, which is a series of airstrips offering views of the region's most iconic landscapes and one-of-a-kind accommodations. Along the highway, snap photos above or land near natural attractions such as the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park, Cape Leveque, the world's only Horizontal Waterfalls at Talbot Bay, and the El Questro Wilderness Park. For the ultimate in flight luxury, stay at the Berkeley River Lodge, accessible only via its private airstrip.
* Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures offers a four-night expedition, providing an exciting way to explore the untouched natural wonderland of the Kimberley. You'll experience a seaplane flight over the Buccaneer Archipelago followed by a water landing on Talbot Bay. State of the art fishing and expedition vessels, helicopters and luxury houseboats await for amazing landscape views, personalized excursions and endless opportunities for private romance.
No matter how you want to explore, you'll find an experience in the Kimberley that's perfect for your sense of adventure. For more information, and to start planning your trip, visit westernaustralia.com.
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