Thursday, April 3, 2008
13 Great things about my trip to Baton Rouge
1. I got to see my good friend N and L & E got to play with J & J. We have not seen each other since they moved about 18 months ago. Which was too long - but we picked up right where we left off and I just enjoyed seeing them and their new home so very much!
2. The weather! It was lovely the entire week. A bit cool a few mornings - but the sun was out every day and the N is right - the sky this time of year in Baton Rouge is an amazing shade of blue. The clouds were puff white and it was perfect. It is has been almost 6 months of very cold and gray at home and I reveled in the warmth and sun. I will however note: On Sunday it was very warm very early in the morning and it was humid and I can totally - totally see why the summer is oppressive on Baton Rouge.
3. Crawfish. Ok they are serious good eating. Yum-O! We had them for dinner the first night in Baton Rogue and they rock. They are boiled and then you break the tail away from the body and eat the tail meat and then suck the fat and juice out of the head. It was spicy and messy and flavorful and I loved every single bite. N's husband is a native Louisianan and he knows all about the crawfish and was so glad that we enjoyed the treat. Now is the season and they are plentiful. We also bought them at this fish market which was a fun experience - with the life catfish tank and all sorts of fish and shrimp. I will also own up to a moment of sheer denseness. Typically you boil the crawfish with corn and tatters. So we got home and N put a small pot on the stove and began to boil water. Now we had bought 10 pounds of crawfish. They were not going to fit in the pot. I was perplexed. So I asked about that and N laughed and said, well they are cooked already. Didn't you smell them in the car? Duh! They had smelled so good in the car as we drove home - they were all ready cooked!
4. Alligator Bayou. This swamp tour is a great experience and wonderful learning opportunity for everyone - young and old. It lasts about 3 hours and it is a great way to learn about alligators and the swamp and the eco-system. Also as we were coming back towards the lodge - I got great pictures of the sunset. The nature is breathtaking and it is sad that so much of the swamp is disappearing. It is a great harmony of nature and home to so many creatures. It was well worth the price of admission and I would certainly do it again.
5. Everyone is rather friendly. Very nice and kind. I would not go so far as helpful - but polite to be sure. As an example. when we arrived in Baton Rouge, I took both L & E to the bathroom - which is normal and necessary. So by the time we go to baggage claim, apparently they had decided my bags were unclaimed. Now - there are very few people working at the airport and no one really wanted to be responsible for finding my bag and it was a bit of a comedy of errors chasing them down, but can I just say that I was called Ma'am alot and thanked for my patiences. Which while not overwhelming helpful, it is polite. N shared with me that logic rarely enters the equation in Baton Rouge!
6. The new mall and shopping area where Whole Foods is located. Very nice shopping and very pretty and with the weather there - outdoor shopping is very nice.
7. My kiddos were so well behaved. They were very good - even being off schedule and lacking a bit of sleep. I was so proud of them. They each got a new book when we got home - and they so deserved it. We had a rough flight home (details in another post) and they rose to the occasion - big time.
8. The Royal Standard. What a fun place to shop. Rooms of nifty and interesting things. N and I went there on Saturday and it was a truly great place to shop! I bought a few neat things.
9. Relaxation. The pace is slower in the south and we took full advantage. This trip was peaceful and quiet and at a pace that suited both the kiddos, H and I. A real plus!
10. The State Capital building. It is very tall and we went up to the observation deck and totally enjoyed the view. It is lovely. The same about the Levy. It is very nice and like a park and offers a great view of the river.
11. N & R's back yard! Complete with a pond and lots of trees and flowers. It is a lush paradise and it was so nice to sit outside and enjoy the Spring! No coat required.
12. The fragrance of Spring. The orange blossoms, the azaleas, lilacs and honeysuckle. All combined to make for a wonderful spring smell. I loved it. It was sweet and light and just perfect.
13. Baton Rouge is off the beaten path and it is interesting and I am sure there is more to uncover and it seemed to me to be growing and developing and in time it will have all the amenities of large city - I just hope that it keeps it small world charm. I love going somewhere where the pace is a little slower and I can just be. Baton Rouge seemed like that kind of place. Another plus - it is very close to New Orleans - you could make it a trip of two cities very easily.