All Important Family Time ... Jan 26th -- Feb 3rd
Let me begin this post by saying that when Father Time heralded in another year a few weeks ago, a trip to the South was not on the calendar for us. We had other trips planned, but this one was necessary, something we had to do now, which I may go into in a later post. Our focus is family time; this is my first post for the week.
Jimmy and I made flight reservations and flew into Baton Rouge on Tuesday, January 26th, where our journey began. In the space of a week, we will visit my sister, Nannie and her hubby, "Bubba," here, rent a car, and drive to Mobile, Alabama. We'll spend time with family there and manage to sneak in a few other more practical odds and ends before returning to Baton Rouge and then flying home.
On Wednesday, we woke to blustery north winds and an overcast sky, but the day was supposed to fair off before clouding up again. The four of us decided to head down to the river (the mighty Mississippi) to see how high the water was and walk around my old stompin' grounds a bit. (I lived here for ten years.) Even before spying the river, we passed by what some refer to as the "Gothic monstrosity."
Or as Mark Twain wrote: "It is pathetic enough, that a whitewashed castle, with turrets and things ... pretending to be what they are not - should ever have been built in this otherwise honorable place." He also called the Old Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge a "Little Sham Castle" and the "ugliest building on the Mississippi." It certainly is a unique structure, designed to look like a medieval castle and -- Mark Twain notwithstanding -- I kinda like it. It's now a museum, but we didn't go in today; we continued on toward the water.
With water still well above flood stage, the USS Kidd was floating (it's permanently anchored), unlike many times when we've seen it parked on dry ground, surrounded by weeds. The flags are whipping!
Christopher Columbus statue near Catfish Town.
Still along the levee, Nannie and Bubba sprinted for the overpass when we heard a train whistle. I stood in the middle of the tracks to watch the train crawling down the tracks, and then I also ran up to the overpass. We love to be here when a freight train hauls through.
After a cup of coffee at PJ's, we continued walking toward the new State Capitol building, where my sister worked for 23 years. You can bet we had some déjà vu going on. I guess Mark Twain would have approved of this capitol. Look at that gorgeous sunshine!
Of course we rode the elevators to the 29th floor.
Being on the lee side was better, not so windy!
Back on the first floor, we admired the beautiful marble interior, examined the senate and house chambers and looked for (and found) a bullet hole in the marble (below the plaque) from the 1935 murder of Huey P. Long.
We continued our wanderings to the Arsenal Museum, a place I may have been so long ago that I can't remember, and a first visit for Jimmy. When we left here, flat gray clouds had moved in and we deemed it time to return to the car.
A lot of history was represented in this spot.
We whiled away the better part of the day walking and reminiscing and simply enjoying being Out and About together. My fitbit recorded five miles! The walk back to the car was a chilly one in that unrelenting wind off the river. We stopped a couple of times for photo-ops. Closer to their home, Jimmy and I picked up our rental car; we'll leave first thing in the morning for the Mobile area. It's a Ford Focus, not a Prius ... oh well.
Really liked this wind sculpture.
Pure sugar. We refrained.
Lastly, we met our friend, Shirley, for a tasty seafood dinner at Duke's in Denham Springs. We try to see her whenever we're in town. Can I tell you we always enjoy our dinners out with family and friends like these! And we eat well, too!