Tuesday. The end of our wonderful 4th of July weekend in Baton Rouge, LA. We were saaaad to be leaving and decided to soak up every last adventure in the city before heading home.
We got up early and ran to PJ's for another Velvet Vanilla coffee, as well as yogurt, muffins, and juice!! We picnicked near the splash pad and totally enjoyed ourselves with every bite!!
As soon as we saw the gates open, we made a mad dash across the street!! Finally!! It was time to go exploring through the Old State Capitol!!
This was sitting to the side as we walked up.. know what it is?!
An actual boxcar used in WW1 given to Louisiana for their help!! How neeeeat!
Wade and I got to answer lots of fun questions, like "What is war??" and "How did the people kill each other?!?" :/ But I loved seeing and touching something from so very long ago!!
We couldn't take a step inside before I had snapped a few pictures of the stunning OUTSIDE!!
I hope it's okay that we sat on their lions.
Welcomeeee to our kingdom.
Grammie, this one is for you!! Look how pretty!!
Once destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt and is now ready for business. Well, ready for tourists, anyway.
Being old at the Old State Capitol. ;))
When you walk in, there's this huge, gorgeous winding staircase..
...and this is the view when you look up.
Walking upstairs, we came to this room..
My little lawmakers.
There was a whole room with presidential displays and I had to take a picture of this, in honor of my old friend, President George H. W. Bush, Sr.
Because we go way back. ;))
Continuing on, we found the Senate Chambers.
There was an electrical fire in 1894 in this room and part of the charred window frame is still there..
There was an adorable JUNIOR Senate Chambers, which was a place for the kids to participate in all kinds of neat governmental-type activities. The first was to cast their vote for their most favorite teacher ever.. and I promise I didn't make her write this!! Ha!!
This made me laugh!!
This was super interesting to me.. it showed who the top two presidential nominees were for each parish based on the primary elections back in March. Rapides Republicans can go on record for supporting Ted Cruz!! So proud!!
ANDREW FOR GOVERNOR!!!!!!!!
I read this and loved learning we were right where all of this action happened 87 years ago!!
Voting to impeach Huey P. Long.. right here in this very room. ((Meg, what does Huey P. Long.. Huey P... Huey P. Long remind you of?! Hahahaa!))
What it looked like then:
The original door hinges:
Making a rubbing of the original designs!!
Samuel could not have been more bored. Hahahaha!!
So sorry, little friend!! Almost done!!
I think at the time, I thought she was holding a gavel. Umm, nope! Hahaa!!
Okay, seriously?! We can all just pack up and go home. With this good looking guy in the office, there'd be no need for anyone else to run for anything. What a DOLL!!
This reminds me of Popeye!!!
Adding one more page to the community coloring book and signing her name to it!!
Family picture time in the Old Senate Chambers!!
Heading back downstairs..
The sweet ladies working the front desk gave all the kids a sticker for climbing the beautiful stairs!!
Checking himself out in the old Governor's Office, ha!!
"One hundred and ten compartments, all under one lock and key."
I need one of these, just 10 times bigger.
I need one of these, just 10 times bigger.
There was an entire room dedicated to the murder of Huey P. Long. Y'all. This. is. the. gun.
See the bullet indention in the back of the wristwatch that belonged to one of Huey's bodyguards?! Ahhhhh!!!
There were so many neat exhibits and tons more pictures that I took, but if I blogged them all, this post might never end. Come over for coffee and we can talk about it. :))
This is the last room I looked through.. and I absolutely loved it. Sarah Morgan was 19 years old and living in Baton Rouge when the Civil War broke out. She kept a diary and felt a special connection to the Old State Capitol building, as hers was the family that donated the land to the city in the first place. These are books filled with her writings, expressing her love for "my Baton Rouge."
One of her diary entries. So sweet.
The kids each got to pick out one prize from the gift shop before we had to hurry back and check out of the hotel!! Here they are with Sarah Morgan and her quilt, ha! ((We also met the nicest couple here.. and they actually live in Alexandria, too!!!! I keep hoping we will get to run into them again one day in town.. They seemed to be as enthralled with the Capitol as I was!!)) Anytime anyone wants to go, I would love to go with youuuu!! It was a WONDERFUL experience!!
We packed up the car, but weren't quite ready to go home..
Instead, we decided to check out Poor Boy Lloyd's, a restaurant that President Obama actually visited on one of his trips here! It's true, I saw the pictures and videos to prove it!!
Pres. Obama ate the oyster poboy, apparently.. but Vannie got the shrimp one!!
Brother with his Red Beans and Rice..
...and I got the Seafood Gumbo!! Excellent!!!
The sweetest part of lunch, though, was the couple sitting on the side of us. They were so friendly to us, talking and laughing with the kids. Right before they left, they commended Wade for how gentle and kind he was with our kids. They said he was giving his grandchildren a gift by being such a good dad to his own kids, teaching them the way a dad should be. A lady nearby overheard and totally agreed, telling Wade it's rare to see a dad so devoted to and engaged with his family. I could have cried. All we did was eat lunch, but by being the strong leader and precious dad that Wade is, he had been a light to all of those around us, those that we didn't even know were watching. Wadie, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!! Thanks for being the man that you are, the man that everyone else wants to be like. You inspire us all.
After a wonderful lunch, we walked a few blocks over to find the NEW STATE CAPITOL!!
But even more importantly, THE STATE LIBRARY OF LOUISIANA!!!!! Hahaa!!
Of course, we had to go inside!!! Can you find Van and Andrew..??
Or Grant?? ;))
So at the time, we didn't realize that this is actually Huey P. Long's GRAVE. So sorry.
But Wadie, that's a pretty good impersonation!!
Just sitting on the steps of the Capitol building!!
Vannie found the Barbie section, ha!!
Cutest little people in the Louisiana Senate room!!
We rode the elevator up to the very top (an elevator that could barely fit our whole family at one time.. SCARY!!). But it was worth it for the views and the breeze!!
The babies loved being up there.. Wade and I were kinda dying, ha!!
Louisiana's House of Representatives Room:
Y'all, I should really learn more about state government. I barely even knew what we were looking at.. Next time, we will have to take a guided tour. ;)) Here is Andrew pledging and saluting and hi-yahing again, hahaa!!
We found this time capsule that will be opened on July 4, 2075!! How did we not know about this?! What is inside, does anybody know?!??
Before we left, I wanted to walk the back hallway where Huey P. Long was shot.
Where one of the bullets hit!!
So, so sad. I pray he knew Jesus!!
Playing a little boomerang on the State Capitol's lawn!!
This is the front yard of the Louisiana State Museum, a place dedicated to all things Louisiana, and our very last stop in BR.
I literally took pictures of everything you can imagine. Napoleon Bonaparte's death mask, the chains worn by slaves, the wig worn by Judah Benjamin (who apparently was afraid he would be charged with Abraham Lincoln's murder and escaped to England.) Sadly, there is only so much room on this post to document it all, but needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. :)) And the kids did, too!!
I'm not really even sure who Zachary Taylor is, besides being one of our presidents.. but ahhhh!! He had a sombrero and THIS IS IT!!!! Hahaha!!
A Civil War submarine, one of the very few ever recovered.
An Ambulance Wagon from the Civil War!! This is all you, Wadie!!
Jen, Kurt, and Heather.. remember that big black pot in the woods behind our house?! It wasn't left there by the Indians!!! It's a sugar kettle to make syrup!! Hahaa!!
I had never even noticed these hot dog stands before our trip to New Orleans this year, but they. are. everywhere!!
Did y'all know this?! Crazy!!
"If you were born in Alexandria, get under the sign!!"
The kids's favorite part?? The Dance Hall, hahaa!! They danced around and around in there for so long!!
There was entire Mardi Gras section and while parades usually drive Wade and me crazy, I think we may try to make it to a Thibodaux children's parade next year!! I'm sure the kids would have a ball, based off of their expressions from seeing so many beads and floats here, ha!! And in case you need to know when the next Mardi Gras will be ((for the next 8 years)), here you go.
Wadie, you NEED your own sausage shed!! How fuuun!!
We finished our adventure through the museums and when I was quite sure that we had hit all the major tourist attractions, we slowly started walking the streets back to our car.. when what to my wondering eyes did appear, but THIS SIGN. The Morgan House Site. Remember Sarah Morgan from the Old State Capitol?! This is where she lived!! "On this site stood the home where Sarah Morgan Dawson (1842-1909) wrote A Confederate Girl's Diary, which has become a Civil War classic. The diary depicts the occupation of Baton Rouge by Union forces." Sadly, it is just a parking garage now. :(( But HOW NEAT to stumble across this after learning all about her earlier that morning!!
We got in the car and crossed back over the river, heading home. What a joy it was to spend the weekend away with my family. It was a breath of fresh air, like a reset button, an intentional time to step back and focus on each other. As busy as we were navigating the city, (hitting up 7 museums in 3 days for $12 total!!), trips like these bring us together and calm our world. They help to sharpen our focus on what really matters, bind us together, and offer sweet memories to last a lifetime. Freedom, indeed.
Happy 4th of July from our party to yours!!