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Visit a hustling, bustling tourist trap and what do you get? Crowds of competitive travelers and a local populace that is sick to death of them. Visit a place with happy people, and you get good service, friendly faces, and you’ll learn firsthand what Harvard researchers affirmed in a 2012 study: Happiness is contagious. Luckily for the average traveler, the places that topped a nationwide Gallup poll and the United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report have plenty to offer in addition to cheerful locals. The Happiest States in the U.S. If we were to tell you that Hawaii is the happiest state in the country, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. And sure enough, Hawaii ranked first in overall happiness for the sixth consecutive year. The sunny As the game went on behind us, I asked him, as a new COO for the Fort Myers Miracle, what his vision for the team was this season. “It’s a great situation for me because this place has been wonderful for 25-plus years!” he said. “I’m just going to sit back, try a few new things this year, get to know the area, the people, and the sponsors, and try to get their feedback and become fan-friendly.” I asked him what the most popular night at the Miracle stadium was. “For the last 16 years, the last four elections, the Miracle have done a presidential bobblehead giveaway, where the fans have correctly, for the last four elections, picked the winner.” Bush, Obama, Obama, and Trump. On August 26, he said “We’re going to have a recount election night. We’re going to give the fans some time to think about their decision of last November.” Instead of bobbleheads, he said they’d have fun “Hilary and Trump Russian
nesting dolls.” Sounds like a fun event to me!
After reeling in a couple more — this time snook and mangrove snapper — Ben and I were done for the day. All in all, though, I’d say it was one of my more successful episodes, fishing-wise. I’ll take 10 keepers any day of the week. Thank you, Ben Hemmen. He may be new to the Fort Meyers area, but if he keeps fishing like that, he’ll fit right in. To my readers, I’ll see you at the Hammond Stadium. Go Miracles!
Rates and Reels viewer and personal friend John Nicollettes had a question of his own. He asked Ben, “Will Doug Mientkiewicz be the manager to get the Miracle back to the championship?” It was a real tough one, in my opinion, but Ben didn’t hesitate. “Doug’s a competitor,” he said. “He was the one that led the team to the championship in ’14 … he’s going to get 100 percent of their effort every night.”
Watch our show “Rates and Reels” now on YouTube and Facebook! DESTINATION: HAPPY PEOPLE Visit the Happiest Places in the World — It’s Contagious
beaches, rich culture, and perfect weather give tourists a taste of paradise that the natives enjoy all year long. Next in line is a state that has little in common with the Aloha State. Alaska came in second place for the third consecutive year. With eight national parks, including Denali, Glacier Bay, and Gates of the Arctic, Alaska’s 663,000 square miles are filled to the brim with the wonders of nature. Denmark has long been the standard- bearer in this category, but this year it relinquished the title to its Scandinavian sister. Norway is home to some of the most breathtaking vistas on Earth, most notably its western fjords like the world-famous Geirangerfjord and Nærøfjord. For the city wanderer, you’ll find choice seaside restaurants and walkable streets in towns like Bergen,
the country’s second-largest city, which sports rainbow architecture and a 15th- century waterfront. Knowing the heart of a destination begins and ends with its people. Tack on beautiful scenery and daydream- worthy activities, and you just found yourself the perfect vacation.
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