Thursday, January 25, 2024

Louisiana Vacation


 In early November, we took a trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to attend Jem's Navy reunion.  We drove, and really enjoyed the fall colors of the trees along the way.  Here in central Florida, we get a little bit of color in December and January.

We spent the first night on the road in Pensacola.  This was the beautiful view from our hotel.

The next day, we traveled on to Camp Moore, a Civil War cemetary and museum in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana.  Jem  played docent, since the museum was closed and shared with me all about this important part of Civil War history. Camp Moore was the largest Confederate training camp in Louisiana and the only one still open to the public. It organized and sent soldiers from Louisiana to fight in many major battles of the Civil War, such as Shiloh, Gettysburg, and Atlanta.  If you love history, you can learn more about Camp Moore at their website.

Our first tour was a boat ride with a hilarious captain.  He had some great stories to tell and I really enjoyed his Cajun accent.

We saw a huge group of raccoons on the ride.  They were as interested in us as we were in them.  Yes, the guide gave them treats. So cute!

I even held a baby alligator. Jem got another shot of me holding it, but I look so horrified I don't want to show it to you.

We visited Houmas House in Darrow, La.  I loved this house, and the gardens were gorgeous.  We were amazed to learn that the owner lives there. . . and we went through his bedroom!


                                                                  Photo from flicr


 Some of the trees on the grounds were huge!

 These are photos of murals in the entrance hall of the house:

 Above is a great blue heron, and below is a red-winged blackbird.

The bird below is a roseate spoonbill.  We have these in our area, and I love to take pictures of them.

I loved the harp:

The docent invited anyone who played piano to entertain.  I sat down to play a boogie woogie, but got so excited and flustered that the only song I could remember was Chopsticks.  I bowed out at that point.


Just look at this staircase y'all...


and this mirror!  Oh my!  And the beds and furniture were awesome.  Look at the old high chair.

 These two dresses were glorious.

And this scene begged to be photographed, right? It's a courtyard alongside the kitchen, which is in another building behind the house.

The gardens were really nice, but we didn't have time to view them all. Don't you know this bridge is beautiful at night with the white lights twinkling ?

There was a museum and a restaurant where we had lunch.  Louisiana is Cajun country - so every place we ate on the tours had pork, shrimp, and/or ditch bugs (aka crawfish) none of which we eat, but there was always a chicken main dish so we survived.  Oh, and all of the restaurants had bread pudding for dessert, which must be a big thing in the area.  It was very good.

The museum had a big display about death and funerals that I found fascinating.  The carriage above would be carried by two horses.  You might even see these in present-day funeral processions in New Orleans.

This scene was of a sick person on his death-bed.  Across from it was a display of items used for funerals during that time period. (photo below) I thought the wicker coffin was interesting.  Back then, people were kept at home until the burial or funeral service.  When my grandmother died in 1976 she was at home until the burial. 

On a happier note, there was a nice display about the Mardi Gras parade and costumes.  This yellow one was my favorite: 


I highly recommend this tour if you visit Louisiana.  You can visit their website HERE.

The next day, we took a bus ride to New Orleans to tour the World War 2 Museum.  This was really interesting, and we have to go back because the place is so huge.  No way could one see it all in a few hours.  It would take days.

My favorite part of the tour was the fabulous show by the Liberty Belles.  Jem even got to dance with one of the girls.  We had a great time and a delicious lunch there.

 A few shots of things we saw:

 Lots of airplanes, which Jem loves.

 This is a photo of the "rack" that he slept on during his carrier days. Not too comfortable looking, but he said by the time he got to lay in it, he was immediately asleep.

The two photos below are a display about the mail service during the war. I love the painting of the girl holding the letters to her heart.


While we were touring the museum, our bus driver made a trip to Cafe du Monde to get beignets for everyone.  She was so funny.  She said it's nothing but flour and water,  fried and sprinkled with sugar.  But this square donut has a reputation and it's a must to have one when you visit The Big Easy.

The beautiful Embassy Suites courtyard with a flag for the reunion.


Replica of the Shangrila aircraft carrier.

A funny sign about work on the flight deck, which Jem did.  He was a red shirt, and loved the excitement and adventure.

The reunion committee did a great job of planning activities, tours, and meals during the week we were there. We would have loved to stay longer, but our fur babies were in the spa (aka the kennel) and a week was a long time to be away from them. We were glad to meet some new friends, and look forward to next year's reunion.

Happiness is being married to your best friend!

        Happiness is being married to your best friend. . . and growing old together.                                                            

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