Exploring Louisiana: Baton Rouge

One of our top reasons for selling our home and completely changing our lifestyle to become full-time RVers was to be able to focus more of our time on people rather than things.  We are dedicating ourselves to being intentional when it comes to our interactions with others.  We want our interactions to be meaningful.  Most of the time, this applies to new people that we are meeting for the first time or sharing a week with, but every once in a while, we have an opportunity to connect with familiar faces.  We are so grateful that we are now able to spend time with friends who have moved all over the country.  In Louisiana, we had some friends to visit in Baton Rouge.  It is so fulfilling and encouraging to spend time reconnecting and learning about the lives of friends we haven’t seen in a long time.  In Baton Rouge, we were able to better get-to-know the wife of and meet the children of one of Chris’ friends from college.  Honestly, we could not have been more genuinely compatible.  It is a true blessing to be able to reconnect so effortlessly and truly enjoy others even when you have been living in different worlds for so long.   Even better when you find familiar faces who are truly living out God’s plan for their lives and are committed to their families and futures.  God is good:  we are reminded of that all the time.

That is the real reason that we visited Baton Rouge, but we were glad to check out the area as well.  Follow along as I review some of the sights…

Downtown Baton Rouge

The Old State Capitol:  Louisiana’s capitol changed location several times.  In 1850, it found its home in  Baton Rouge.  During Union occupation of Baton Rouge in the Civil War, the capital was relocated to Opelousas, but eventually returned to Baton Rouge where it remains today, but in a new building.  The old state capitol is open to the public for free on Saturdays, so we toured the inside along with the historical exhibits within.

Old State Capitol. Baton Rouge, LA Old State Capitol. Baton Rouge, LAOld State Capitol. Baton Rouge, LA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New State Capitol:  Here is a view of the current state capitol building.Current State Capitol. Baton Rouge, LA

 

Louisiana Art & Science Museum:  This building sits along the Mississippi River and houses a planetarium.  During our visit, there was an Egyptian exhibit with an actual mummy, some local art exhibits, a triceratops exhibit, and several other features.  They also show videos in their planetarium.  We wanted to see a Lewis & Clark movie, but our timing was off, so we watched a monarch butterfly movie instead.  The screen is planetarium style, so it is circular and dome-shaped – I actually had to take my eyes off the screen a few times to refocus when things were moving fast.  It was kind of awful from time to time.  Louisiana Art & Science Museum. Baton Rouge, LA

Waterfront:  There is a nice walkway along the Mississippi you can follow with steps down to the river.  The USS Kidd is anchored there and can be toured and there are several other attractions.Mississippi River. Baton Rouge, LA

LSU

Take the opportunity to stroll through LSU’s campus.  The Spanish-style buildings with terra cotta roofing and wrought iron balconies make for a beautiful walk.  There are Indian mounds on the campus and lovely landscaping featuring live oaks for a southern feel.  We did not know this, but LSU actually has a real tiger for their mascot.  His enclosure lies near the stadium.  Our friends recommended visiting him around 2:00-3:00 because he is more active at those times, and they were right!  We took a video of him playing with a ball in the water!  Geaux tigers!  (We can cheer for them, because they never play PSU – thank goodness!)

Nittany Lion vs. Mike the Tiger:  Cage Match…

Stare Down: Nittany Lion vs. Mike the Tiger

Stare Down: Nittany Lion vs. Mike the Tiger

Mike the Tiger in action…

Crawfish

Don’t forget to try some of the local food during your visit.  We had crawfish (it is killing me not to say crayfish) for the first time and loved them.  Thanks to our friends for teaching us how to eat them.  Really, they taste like mild shrimp with Cajun seasoning.  They even look a little like shrimp once you extract the tail meat.    Not fishy at all.  You just have to get over the fact that they are served whole.Crawfish. Baton Rouge, LA

In wet areas, you can even see their homes.  Crafty little claws…

Crawfish home. Baton Rouge, LA Crawfish home. Baton Rouge, LA

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had jambalaya made by our Louisiana native friend.  These cajuns don’t mess around!  I thought I liked spice…yikes!  Seriously, it was delicious, and we are so grateful she went to all that hard work to make our visit authentic.

Fun Facts & Tips

  • Baton Rouge was named after the Indian name red stick.  The Indians placed a red stick on the grounds to demarcate a territorial boundary.  The French used the name for the city.
  • We stayed at Brec Farr Equestrian Center & RV park.  It was a great location, close to LSU and was mostly empty.  They had great rates, but no sewer and all pads were grass.  Baton Rouge, LA
  • This is the third time we have crossed the Mississippi in our RV.
    First, in St. Louis headed West.
  • First, in St. Louis headed West.
  • Second, at the border of Iowa and Indiana headed East.

    Second, at the border of Iowa and Indiana headed East.

  • This time in Baton Rouge, headed West again!

    This time in Baton Rouge, headed West again!

     

About Jen

I love travel, which led me to become a fulltime RVer. I love wellness, which I can talk about 'til the cows come home. I love being self-employed, which means I get to dabble in what interests me from essential oils to RV planners. But most importantly, I love my husband and our life together on the road!

6 comments on “Exploring Louisiana: Baton Rouge

  1. Loved the video of Mike. To me, tigers are the most beautiful of all the mammals God created! (mountain lions just don’t cut it.) And I am jealous that you got to visit the old Louisiana capitol building. I visited the current capitol two or three times when growing up, but never the old one. Glad you didn’t leave my home state without eating crawfish. My favorite is crawfish etouffe. Not quite as spicy as jambalaya.

    Looking forward to more sights as you venture west again. Be safe and have fun!

    Ginger

      • BTW, I remember visiting Mike the Tiger when I was just a little girl. My parents went to LSU during a few summers to study for their masters degrees. Sometimes I stayed with my aunt and uncle while they were away, but I also spent a few weeks with them. I really liked the campus with its Spanish architecture and the scent of magnolia blossoms. The enclosure for Mike was much smaller then, more like a cage with a meager outside area. (That was more than 60 years ago.) The current setup is WAY better.

        • Yes, we loved the architecture too! It is a beautiful campus. Mike is doing very well these days – the enclosure is great! Having met your parents, it is nice to connect them with that campus. Good to hear from you!

  2. Hey Fienes! Just catching up and saw this post – we truly had a blast spending time with you that weekend and agree how amazing it was that we re-connected so easily. The boys thought it was so cool playing HORSE with Mr Chris – definitely a highlight for them! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through your adventures! We love you guys!

    The Johnson Fam

    • Johnsons – So good to hear from you – we miss you guys! Thanks again for being such great hosts – we could not have managed the crawfish without your guidance. Hopefully, we will make it back to Louisiana one day (and basketball will definitely be on the agenda). Blessings, Chris & Jen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *