The Mighty Oak
Favorite thing: If there is one thing that characterizes the deep south and especially Louisiana, it has to be the beautiful old oak trees that dot the landscape. A drive through the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge allows the tourist to see these magnificent trees up close. With over 33 million dollars worth of historic live oak trees, the LSU campus is reknowned as one of the most beautiful in the country.
Posted by Megypt. Please see our Homepage re photo use.
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Inside the Capital
Favorite thing: We went down to the lobby from the tower, and looked around and took photos of the various statues (Henry Watkins Allen - civil war governor, Jean Baptiste Lemoyne-first colonial governor (photo 3), William Charles Coles Claiborne -first American Governor 1804-1812, Nicholls, first modern post-Reconstruction governor; and P.B.S. Pinchback, the first black governor of the state).
In the center of Memorial Hall is a large bronze relief map of state's products and industries according to each parish (Louisiana refers to its counties as "parishes," a remnant from the state's Catholic roots). Beyond the bronze map are three bronze elevator doors. I noticed that the elevator doors were covered with portraits. They turned out to be all the governors of Louisiana from Claiborne to Long.
Fondest memory: According to Louisiana Travel Tips: "Here, one can see the touch of Governor Long's participation in the design. Legend has it that if the portraits had been arranged in a logical pattern, his portrait would have ended up on the lower right corner of the door. To offset that embarrassing placement, Long had the portraits arranged in an illogical pattern so that his countenance would grace the upper right corner. (photo 4 shows Long's portrait)
The walls had decorative paintings (the women in the paintings were topless, but there was one person in a George Washington type wig who was full frontal nude but had no obvious breasts or other sexual characteristics - photo of this is in my travelogue). We also walked to each side and took photos of the Louisiana Senate and House of Representatives chambers (photo 2).
Flanking the elevator doors are fabulous 1954 French Porcelain lamps, a gift from France to Louisiana worth $15,000 apiece at that time. The coffered ceiling in the House Chambers is Celotex, a material made from bagasse, a byproduct of sugar production. Bagasse is what remains of the sugarcane once its juice has been extracted (photo 5)
There was a Dixie Correctional Institute employee cleaning the tall windows.
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Looking at the Capital
Favorite thing: I asked the guard at the front door if I could go out and take photos and come back in without going through the metal detector again, and he said I could so I did that.
I stood at the top of the steps of the 450 foot tall building and took a photo of the grand staircase of 48 steps, with each step bearing the name of a state and the date they were admitted to the Union (photo 2). Alaska and Hawaii were added later on the top step
I also took one looking directly up at the Art Deco tower which is covered in Alabama limestone. The entrance door is 50 feet high (photo 3)
Fondest memory: On each side of the stairway is a statuary group - to the east is The Patriot (photo 4), a statue of a soldier and mourners of a soldier slain in battle; to the west is The Pioneers (photo 5), representing the men and women who founded Louisiana. Both statues were sculpted by C.M. Dodd and designed by Lorado Taft.
Actually I can't see either of those ideas from my photos, but that is what the websites say is there.
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Soak in All Things LSU
Fondest memory: This picture was taken at the 2000 LSU-Tennessee game. Considering I had my best friends there, the game was close, LSU won on the final play of the game, we all hopped the fence to rush the field, this was my favorite LSU moment. It was also my last game as an undergraduate.
This is a picture of my fondest memory; packed house 92,000 strong, Tiger Stadium, baby!
Favorite thing: There are many swamps (bayous) in this area, some of which are developed so that visitors can walk through them on raised walkways and enjoy the flora and fauna there. I saw lizards up close and birds unlike ones I've seen up north. People think "alligators" when they think Louisiana but I have only seen one in the wild over the 12 times I've visited---and that was a small one (with plenty of teeth!).
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An Eventful Stop Off
Favorite thing: We had originally planned to visit Baton Rouge on our trip south but we changed plans and stayed an extra night in Galveston. It was then the plan to travel straight through to New Orleans and not stop. As it would happen, We had been following the activities of Hurricane Isidore out in the gulf (which fortunately changed to a tropical storm before it hit the coast). We thought we could make it into New Orleans. 20 miles out of New Orleans, we fortunately happened to pull off I-10 to pick up petrol. While at the gas station we were told that New Orleans (The French Quarter) was underwater and I-10 was also underwater and being closed and so circumstances made it that we did stay in Baton Rouge after all.
We like our rice and our politics dirty
Favorite thing: I would say that you can't make a trip to Baton Rouge without a visit to LSU (but I'm biased). The oak trees are gorgeous and azaleas are beautiful. Another absolute must is seeing the Mississippi River. I would also suggest going downtown to see the Louisiana State Capital and old state capital. Go to http://www.ci.baton-rouge.la.us/ (and hit 'things to do, places to see') for suggestions beyond my tips.
Fondest memory: I did my undergrad at LSU and am currently a graduate student at LSU... plenty of good memories! The picture to the left is of the Memorial Tower, a landmark on campus, but maybe not as much as the football stadium!
Favorite thing: Drive around! It's relatively easy to negotiate the roads in this city as it's not overwhelmingly big. There is a lot to see by car or by foot. One place that is really fun to go to is the Mall of Louisiana. I'll include a picture here and there'll be more in my travelogue. I'm not generally a mall person but I did enjoy this one.
Fondest memory: Paul, of course. :)
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