Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Little Trip To Cajun Country

In the last few months all of Jon's family has moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Remember this?)  It meant that his parents would be farther away from here, but his brother's family would be closer than they had been in Virginia.  We were happy for all of them as we could see how the Lord was moving each of them.  It wasn't long before we started talking about a visit.  Jamie (Jon's brother) asked several times when we could come down.  Jon and I had decided a while back that since we are saving for Ben's band trip that we wouldn't be doing any traveling over the summer.  However, Jon really wanted to go and I could completely understand!  It helped that Jon was going to be off the whole week of 4th of July.  Sooo...we made plans to go!

Louisiana bound!

These were sure signs that we were getting close!

Nathaniel is amazing on the guitar!  We have seen videos of him playing, but it was neat to get to watch and listen in person!  He is very talented!

Since we were there on a Sunday we got to go to church with all of the Grief's.   It was nice to see where they all go and here a great message!  After church we headed out for some traditional, local food.  Yep, that means seafood.  I am not a fan of seafood, but when in Rome... right?  It really wasn't bad.  We didn't get too crazy.  Jon and I had some shrimp and catfish as well as some alligator.  Yes...alligator!  It was actually really good.  A little rubbery, but not bad.  (:  Let's not get too excited, I'm not turning into a seafood lover!  I still prefer land creatures!  Ben and Abby were thrilled with the idea for seafood!  Abby loves shrimp and Ben had a shrimp po' boy.  Luke, our super picky eater, begged for catfish and loved it!  WOW! 

Jamie really wanted to show us the capitol building while we were so close.  Their family has been a handful of times and he really enjoyed it and wanted to share it with us.  It's pretty neat that you can go up in an elevator and get out on the observation deck and look around.  Those with a fear of heights weren't so thrilled, but it was a beautiful view!  The inside of the building was pretty neat too.  Ben and Abby loved the "For Governor Only" elevator.

This is my favorite picture from the whole trip!
I love my family!!

As we were driving back to Jamie and Anne's house, I couldn't help but notice the beads hanging on this street sign.  We really are in Mardi Gras country!  Crazy!

There are so many beautiful plantations down in Louisiana!  I hope that we can go on a tour on our next trip!

Since Baton Rouge is only about an hour from New Orleans, Jon and I knew that we would like to go check it out.  Ken had a doctor's appointment there that day, so we decided to all load up and head out for the day.

Abby could hardly contain herself when she saw the massive clarinet  painted on the side of this building!  She was beyond excited!!

Our time in New Orleans didn't go quite as we had hoped.  It was a pretty rough day, but the pictures are fun! :)
Jon did a little exploring on the computer/GPS and suggested a different route back to the house.  We decided to take the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and I'm so glad we did!  It was pretty neat!  For a little while there was no land to be seen!  It was also fun to watch the elevation on Jon's iPad.  At one point we were below sea level!  The whole drive from New Orleans to Baton Rouge was beautiful!  It was so green and lush!

What could be better after a crazy day than a blast from the past?  Hungry Howies!  Pizza that we used to love when we lived in Michigan!  YUM!!

Since we were in the area we thought it would be fun to go see Mike the Tiger, the LSU mascot.
I couldn't get over how beautiful the campus was.  It was gorgeous!

I love this picture of all the cousins!

I loved the way that the girls picked up right where they left off!  They hadn't seen each other since Christmas time, but you never would have known it! They had so much fun playing together!  I don't think I ever heard any of the say that they were bored the entire time we were there!  They played games, did each others hair and makeup, made friendship bracelets, watched minimal t.v...they had a great time together!

And this is what Ben and Nathaniel did the. entire. time.  I guess this is just what boys do, but they had a great time just being together being boys!

Luke had  a great time too.  He had to work a little harder to find his place with all of the big kids.  He did a great job, but one of the things that I was so proud of was how well he slept.  That's one of those things that you never know how it's going to go when away from home.  This little guy did such a great job every time he was put down!  He was either being very obedient or he was completely wiped out.  I'm thinking it might be a little bit of both.

We took a little time out to take Katie, Emily, Abby and Luke to the water park.  It was HOT!!  Not only was it hot, but it was insanely humid!  Way more humid than here!  (I will try to refrain from complaining about the humidity here in Oklahoma now that I have experienced that humidity!)

While we were at the water park Jon took some pretty cool pictures! The top left picture is my favorite!

On our last night in Louisiana we had a cookout at Ken and Jeanie's.  They have a little pond behind their house which was like a magnet for the kids!

We headed home on July 4th.  It was so neat to be driving through this beautiful country and listening to the patriotic music on the radio.  There was just something about it.

We took the scenic route on our way home.  Did you know that Oklahoma has mountains?  I had no idea!  Jon mentioned it to me after he went hiking there, but I still couldn't imagine mountains in Oklahoma!  It turns out he was right.  The Kiamichi Mountains run through southeast Oklahoma and are absolutely beautiful! They are certainly not the Great Smokey Mountains or the Rocky Mountains, but they are beautiful and a huge change from all of the years we spent in flat Kansas!  I'm thinking a camping trip needs to happen down in those mountains!

We played the license plate game while we were on the road.  We saw 28 different state license plates.  The best part is that we saw Alaska and Hawaii!

We had a great trip!  It was so nice to see family that we don't get to see very often, see some of this beautiful country and just get out of town for a while!  We are all looking forward to heading down to Louisiana in the future! 

Thank you, Ken, Jeanie, Jamie, Anne, Nathaniel, Katie and Emily for taking care of us while we were down there!  You guys made it so fun!  THANK YOU!!


Mom said...

Looks like you had a great time. Love the blog! Luke looks so comfy sleeping with all his blankies. The cousins sure have grown! Glad you's enjoyed your time away from home.

Nana-Judy said...

Looks like a FUN trip, Jamie. Glad you could get away and spend time with Family,too. I enjoy reading your blog.

Kris said...

Cute hair Mimi and Abby! Louisana looks like a lot of fun! I'm glad you were able to make the trip! Oh my goodness, Nathaniel is quite a talented young man!