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.
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.
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…
Mike the Tiger in action…
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.
In wet areas, you can even see their homes. Crafty little claws…
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.
- This is the third time we have crossed the Mississippi in our RV.
- First, in St. Louis headed West.