Our first day we drove to Baton Rouge and stayed the night. We visited Louisiana State University's campus. LSU's campus is GORGEOUS! Old brick buildings surrounded by giant trees covered in Spanish moss. I never knew how pretty and green Louisiana was until we got there. While on LSU's campus we stopped by their gigantic and impressive football stadium and then visited their mascot Mike, the tiger. Mike's habitat is amazing! Unfortunately Mike was sleeping when we visited him, but I still loved it :) We ate dinner at a yummy pizzeria and then explored Baton Rouge some more. We stopped by the Baton Rouge LDS Temple so I could get some pictures. It is gorgeous! Then we drove around and stopped when we saw something cool. We stopped outside of a pretty church so I could get some photos, the Louisiana State Capital Building, and then looked at old Governor's Mansion.
|Driving through the Atchafalaya Basin|
|This stadium holds 102,321 people. It is the 6th largest|
football stadium in the NCAA.
|Baton Rouge LDS Temple|
The Nottoway Plantation was completed in 1859 for an estimated $80,000 for the Randolph family. It is 53,000 square ft, and has 64 rooms, 165 doors, and 200 windows. The ceilings are 15 1/2 ft high and the doors are 11 ft tall. The owner Mr. Randolph, had a teacher teach the slaves working for him how to read and write, which was illegal at the time. No slaves were ever killed at the Nottoway Plantation. Today, the Nottoway Plantation is worth $63,000,000! It is registered on the National Register for Historic Places, and now serves as a museum and hotel. There is also a Randolph family cemetery on the grounds. I loved the tour and thought it was very interesting. I think Petey liked it, but visiting the plantation was more my desire than his :)
|The craftsmanship in the woodwork is stunning!|
|The famous White Ballroom|
|The original bed in the master bedroom.|
After our tour we headed to New Orleans. Once we were settled into our hotel we wanted to go and explore since it had stopped raining. We drove around for a little bit and stopped at a park so I could get some pictures of the beautiful trees covered in Spanish moss. They are so magical looking, I love them! Then we headed to the world famous Bourbon Street....WOW! We had heard that Bourbon Street was worse than the Las Vegas strip,but I was still pretty shocked. All of the buildings are really cool but it's funny that there can be a gourmet fancy pants restaurant and then 2 doors down there is a strip club with the strippers literally hanging out in the doorway. I think Petey and I were the only 2 people walking around Bourbon Street that were not W-A-S-T-E-D! We walked around the French Quarter and got some pictures in front of the St. Lewis Cathedral. We had heard from numerous people that we had to go to Cafe De Monde and try their beignets. We did and they did not disappoint! Since it had been raining earlier in the day the weather was really pleasant! Seeing the old buildings with all of the French flare was my favorite part of the Bourbon St./French Quarter area. There are tons of museums in N.O., but they have weird hours and Petey and I never had time to go to them. Kind of a bummer!
|St. Lewis Cathedral|
|I got into the Mardi Gras spirit|
|One of my favorite things about New Orleans|
is all of the color!!
On Sunday we had to get up super early so we could go on a Honey Island Swamp Tour.It was awesome!!! I would do it 100 more times! It was so much fun! We saw around 13 alligators, countless turtles, a blue heron, and an osprey. Our tour guide was really fun and had tons of information about the animals and the swamp. We loved when our guide would 'hit the gas' during the straight stretches of the swamp. We got going fast! My hair was blowing all over the place. Whenever we saw an alligator our guide would throw marshmallows in the water and put hot dogs on a long stick into the water to lure the alligators to come close to the boat. The alligators were not afraid of boat or of us at all! And they really like marshmallows and hot dogs :) It was kind of crazy to see all of the little camps on the swamp where New Orleans residents spend their weekends to catch catfish, shrimp, and crawfish, among other things. The swamp tour was probably my favorite part of our trip!
|Ready for our swamp tour!|
|The first alligator we saw. All of us|
on the tour were really excited!
|Love my hubby!|
|Our guide referred to this BIG BOY as Grendal!|
The guide estimated he was 13-14 feet long.
|When our guide was hitting the gas. I'm|
glad that I had a ponytail to (kind of)
control my hair!
After walking around the cemetery we went and got some food and then headed to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. It's a free little garden that has multiple sculptures. Petey and I enjoyed walking around... and we enjoyed the FREE part :)
We then headed to the Garden District. When Petey told me that he wanted to take me there I thought it was just a section of town with a lot of flowers, but I was SO wrong! Haha. The Garden District is actually an older high-end neighborhood full of colorful and beautiful homes. I could've walked around for hours, but it was sooooo hot! We even stumbled upon some famous homes in the Garden District.
|This house was used for the movie, 'The |
Curious Case of Benjamin Button'.
|I want this house!|
After sweating multiple pounds off in the heat headed to the famous Creole Creamery. It was much needed and so so so yummy! We headed back to Houston on Monday morning. Our trip was so fun but not long enough! There are still plenty of things we want to still do in New Orleans, so we will be back!