Louisiana

Hey Guys!

We spent one week in Louisiana!

Maybe I should say…we spent one week in Louisiana…eating. ;-P

I knew it was bad when we found this place called Ronnie’s only five minutes away from where we stayed. We went there for dinner our very first day in LA and it did not disappoint!

I know, I know…it doesn’t look like much, but let me tell you….woo-WEE…it is amazing! What you’re looking at are boudin balls. They’re made of rice and smoked pork then deep fried. The ones we got were stuffed with pepper jack cheese. If you’re ever in Louisiana make sure to get yourself some and make sure you pronounce it like a local… boodan. Ours was served with a spicy remoulade sauce that just really pushed it all over the top! We went back to Ronnie’s just for these. Y’all, I think we gained twenty pounds here, but you know what…I’d totally do it again!

We did actually get out and see some of the state. We didn’t just eat. I promise. We made it to the SCB in Baton Rouge.

Check out that front door! We were completely surprised by the Louisiana State Capitol Building.

This is the front hall of the SCB. We haven’t seen too many great halls like this. Out of 35 states…maybe three (including LA).

I mean…look at the ceiling. Look at our ornate and detailed it is! We spent several minutes with our heads craned back trying to take it all in.

One of the things I always look for at a SCB is the State Seal. In LA they’ve got a huge one right in the middle of the great hall!

This is the Senate Chamber. Check out those columns. We really walked around totally stunned at the opulence of the LA SCB.

Now, there’s not a dome at the SCB, but there’s a fantastic view on the 27th floor! And…you can actually go outside on the walk! That was a first for us. Usually, if there’s some kind of walk up that high it’s locked. It’s usually off limits. You can look out the windows, but you can’t get outside. It was so nice being able to go outside and checkout that view!

We also stopped by the old SCB. It looks like a castle! It was very cool!

 When you walk into the old SCB you immediately see this amazing staircase!

And Guys…look at the dome!!! I took sooo many pictures of this dome! But, look at it! Gorgeous!!

 

The old SCB has been turned into a small museum. We didn’t really look through it all due to time.

The stained glass wasn’t just on the dome. There were several of these wonderful windows too!

Check out this mirror! I had the boys stand next to it so you could really see how huge it is!

Here’s another view of that ah-mazing dome…

and one more shot of the outside. Because, castles are cool.

Zapps chips are offered in tons of states, but they’re a huge thing in LA so we grabbed a couple of bags. We weren’t too impressed with the VooDoo flavor. It was both very sweet and very sour all at the same time.

I’ve struggled this entire EasternLoop2016 to find decent root beer. Y’all…it’s been so hard! And then we get to LA and there’s four different Barq’s!!! What?!?! I had to get some of each.

Guys, we had a great week in Louisiana!

See y’all down the road!

#easternloop2016

Categories: Capitol Building, EasternLoop2016, Foodie Find, Louisiana | Leave a comment

Pizza Roundup NOLA Pizzeria

To my fellow pizza lovers I bring you a pizza post from Louisiana!

In Loisiana there is a tasty pizza place called NOLA Pizzeria.

At NOLA Pizzeria you can get some tasty pizza like a margarita pizza

and a BLT pizza which is good! If you like a lot of lettuce though, definitely get this pizza.

You can also get sandwiches and wings at NOLA Pizzeria and they look good.

Oh I almost forgot, if you like Barq’s root beer then definitely come to Louisiana because they also have cream soda and red cream soda!

The decor is cool and the service is good.

With all that this place gets a 5 star review.

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

Categories: Louisiana, Pizza Street | Leave a comment

Vicksburg National Military Park

Abraham Lincoln thought that Vicksburg was “the key” to winning the Civil War. The Vicksburg National Military Park has a 16 mile road that winds through some of the major battlegrounds of the Siege of Vicksburg.

One of the cool things that the NPS offers at these battlefields is an audio tour of the park. There’s usually a few different ones to choose from. We always get the longest, most detailed one. This time the longest one was two and a half hours. It took us over five hours to complete the whole driving tour. We get out at each stop and look around. Talk about it.

One of the times we stopped and got out to look around we found some hidden canons.

Along with the audio tour we got this great little booklet. In the picture above you can see one of the stops. At this stop we learned about the Shirley House. This house was caught in the middle of a siege. The army dug a “honeycomb” of shelters all around the house during the battle.

The house is still there today

and so is the “honeycomb”. The shelters have all fallen down and been cleared away, but the land is still scarred from the battle.

The Illinois Memorial was the biggest memorial we saw. So much thought goes into each Memorial. On the Illinois Memorial there are 47 steps that lead up to the entrance. One for each of the 47 days of the Siege of Vicksburg.

Inside the Illinois Memorial was this gorgeous seal.

We’ve been to several different battlefields, but this was the first time we found a tunnel!

We learned about the different types of artillery. You can see in the pic above that the opening isn’t smooth. It has notches. These notches are super important! They allow the artillery to go farther and with more accuracy.

I think, perhaps, our favorite stop on the tour was at the USS Cairo Museum where we learned about the Ironclad River Gunboats.

On December 12, 1862, the USS Cairo became the very first armed warship to be sunk by a mine. They weren’t called mines at that point. They were called “torpedos” or “infernal machines”.

 The NPS has restored bits of the Ironclad and installed walkways that allow you to really get inside and see the guts of the boat.

The USS Cairo came equipped with 13 guns, including 3 large 64 pounder Navy smoothbores. Two and a half inch plate armor made of charcoal iron is what covered the mid section of the boat in order to protect the vital guts of the boat.

There was a model in the museum to show what the USS Cairo looked like. The USS Cairo sank in 12 minutes, but no lives were lost.

I did find a few pretties.

I don’t know what tree this was, but it had pretties all over it.

We really enjoy the battlefields. We learn so much and it’s such a great way for the boys to really get an idea of what took place there. Instead of just reading about it in a book while sitting in a classroom, they get to walk around the grounds it took place. I didn’t go into extreme detail about each stop, but hopefully I’ve intrigued y’all enough to go visit the Vicksburg National Military Park!

See y’all down the road!

Categories: EasternLoop2016, Mississippi, National Park | 2 Comments

Pizza Roundup Pizza Inn

To my fellow pizza lovers I bring to you a post from Pizza Inn in Vicksburg, MS.

Pizza Inn is a mediocre pizza place with a pizza buffet.

The desserts are pretty good and the decor was ok and the bathrooms were clean.

When you order a pizza with no cheese you get lots and lots of sauce on it.

With all of that I think Pizza Inn gets a 3.5 star review.

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

Categories: Mississippi, Pizza Street | Leave a comment

A Parkway And More

Hey Guys! 

We made it to Mississippi! We spent two very busy weeks in Vicksburg, MS! I’m going to be breaking our time here up into two separate posts.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is 444 miles long and snakes it’s way through three states. We didn’t get to explore all of it, but we got in around 122 miles of it!

 I know, I know…how interesting could a parkway be? Well…pretty darn interesting when it’s sprinkled with historical stops! This natural travel corridor was used for centuries first by animals, then by Native Americans and then when people would catch rides on boats down the Mississippi River to sell their wares. They would then walk the travel corridor back home.

The natural travel corridor that would become the Natchez Trace Parkway goes through the traditional homelands of the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. One of the stops on the NTP is called Emerald Mound.

Emerald Mound is one of the largest mounds in our country. It stands 35 feet tall and is 770 feet by 435 feet at the base and covers 8 acres. There are two secondary mounds that sit on top of the primary mound making the total height come to 60 feet. Emerald Mound was used as a ceremonial center for the local people who lived in nearby villages, but abandoned the mound in the late 1600s.

Mount Locust Inn and Plantation is one of the oldest structures still standing in the area. The Mount Locust story starts in 1780 and stretches all the way to 1944. The National Park Service started restoring it to it’s 1820 appearance in 1954.

 In the late 1700s boatmen (also known as Kaintucks) were taking their wares down the Mississippi River in their flatboats. At that point the best way to get home was to sell all their wares and the boat then walk back up the natural corridor that we know now as the Natchez Trace Parkway. Mount Locust is right about a day’s walk from Natchez. The travelers would ask the owners of Mount Locust for food and a place to stay for the night. Eventually, the family added on a separate, four room, two story building behind the main house.

We didn’t get to explore the all of Mount Locust due to some bad weather. We would like to eventually go back and see it all.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s the growing number of travelers on the corridor tramped down the rough trail into a clearly marked pathway. On some parts of the pathway where the ground was soft, the travelers wore down the trail and made the “sunken” sections you can see in the pic above.

We made it all the way to mile 122 and the Cypress Swamp!

There’s a nice little boardwalk where you can walk right out over the swamp.

Not far from where we stayed sat the remains of Windsor Plantation. Windsor was built between 1859 and 1861 and was the largest antebellu house in Mississippi at the time.

The plantation once covered over 2,600 acres. It had wrought iron staircases and was four stories that housed 25 rooms, each with it’s own fireplace. The plantation was an important landmark along the Mississippi River. Mark Twain wrote about it in his book “Life on the Mississippi”. The Windsor Plantation survived the Civil War only to be burned to the ground by a party guest who was smoking in 1890.

We also made it to the Mississippi SCB!

Check out the gold coated copper eagle on the dome! It is 8 feet tall and 15 feet across!

Check out the inside of that dome! *cue wondrous music* This is one of the best domes we’ve seen in a while!

And…if that dome isn’t enough to wow you…check out the stained glass in the Senate Chamber. The pics not the best. We weren’t allowed down on the floor so I had to lean out and get the shot from the public gallery.

Not to be out done by the Senate Chamber, the House Chamber has it’s own stained glass dome. We weren’t allowed on the floor again…so the pic is kind of weird, but you get the idea of how awesome the domes are.

The Mississippi SCB has some very nice details. I love these light fixtures.

Y’all know I have a thing for staircases…check out the wavy balustrade! You can also see some more stained glass at the top.

We really enjoyed the Mississippi SCB!

We had some spectacular sunsets while we were in MS!

Stay tuned for part two!

See y’all down the road

Categories: Capitol Building, EasternLoop2016, National Park | Leave a comment

Montgomery, AL

Hey Guys! We spent almost a week in Montgomery, but the only thing we did was visit the SCB.

Montgomery became Alabama’s capital city in 1847. The building you see in the picture above dates back to 1850-51.

The current SCB replaced an earlier building that burned down. There’s a lot of history to be found in Montgomery. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to explore any of it.

The House and Senate Chambers in the SCB were both made into museums. We could walk into the room but not too far.

The dome was gorgeous! This pic doesn’t do it justice at all.

There are eight different 1920’s murals beneath the dome that illustrate Alabama’s history. It took three years to complete all eight murals.

In 1861, the Confederate States of America was born in the Alabama Senate Chamber when delegates from the Southern states voted to establish a new nation.

I have a thing for staircases. It started this past summer in the New York SCB. I’m not the best at getting the shot yet, but I’m working on it. I love to look at the staircases in each SCB. They’re all so different.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you this time. We had a short week filled with everyday mundane things…school, cleaning, work.

See y’all down the road!

Categories: Alabama, Capitol Building | 1 Comment

Pizza Roundup Pieology

To my fellow pizza lovers, I bring to you a post from Pieology in Montgomery, AL.

Pieology is a really tasty pizza place where you make your own pizza like what you do with sandwiches at Subway.

They have loads of tasty topping you can choose from and all  the toppings are unlimited!

Yum!

The decor is good and the food comes out quickly.

Price was very reasonable…

The bathrooms are clean as well. All in all I think Pieology deserves a 5 star review.

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

Categories: Alabama, Pizza Street | Leave a comment

Sweet Home Alabama

 

Hey Guys!!

We made it to Alabama!

On our way to Montgomery we stopped by a friend’s house and spent the weekend catching up with them! We met this family in June 2016 during our time in New York and our kids became fast friends. After a week of chit chatting and getting to know them, we jumped at the chance to stop by their home and see them again. They really made us feel at home.

We all went to see the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park where we got to poke around all twelve decks that are open to the public!

 There are all kinds of nooks and crannies to explore on this huge battleship.

What you can’t see in the picture above are the two big boys up on the gun turret too. All of the boys loved getting to really check out the big guns.

Once we climbed around outside, we headed inside. Check out the lockers. One was open so we could see what it might have looked like when the ship was being used.

I love the old pics and other personal items they have on the door of the locker.

I had to share this picture of a food tray in the infirmary. Check out the Nestle’s wrapper! It looks so different that what we see now.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many valve wheels to turn in one place! I’m not gonna lie…I might have tried to turn more than a few. Maybe. *wink, wink*

What did I tell you? Valve wheels everywhere!! And buttons. Lots of buttons. I may or may not have pushed a few of those too. Shhhh…..

Besides the battleship, the park also had several aircraft. The coolest one (in my opinion) was the A-12 Blackbird spy plane. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a decent picture of it. Sorry. You’ll just have to take my word for it…it was very cool.

If the battleship and the aircraft weren’t enough, there was even a submarine we could explore! This was our first sub exploration and it was awesome!

The USS Drum is the oldest submarine on public display.

It was set up to look like it might have during it’s time in service. I love seeing all of the old items.

And added to the wheels and the buttons…levers. Tons of them! We kind of felt like kids on a playground.

I got a workout just going through all of the doors. They don’t look that bad, but when you’ve got short stubby legs and a big camera around your neck…well, I’m not the most graceful.

We had dinner that night at Ed’s Seafood Shed. Gotta have seafood when you’re in the Gulf Shores area, right? The food was fantastic, the view was ah-mazing, and the company wonderful! We had the best time visiting with our friends and we can’t wait for our next adventure together!

See y’all down the road!

Categories: Alabama, EasternLoop2016, Foodie Find | 2 Comments

Tallahassee, FL

Hey Guys!! We spent a week in the Tallahassee area of Florida.

The whole point of this stop was to see the State Capitol Building.

The Old and the New Capitol Buildings are right next to each other in Tallahassee.

 The Old one has a very pretty dome, but the New one doesn’t even have a dome.

The Old SCB has been turned into a museum. We were able to go into both the House and Senate chambers and look around. It was pretty neat.

In the New SCB we had to peak through the windows at both the Senate and House chambers. That was kind of a bummer. Usually, the ceilings in the House and Senate chambers are totally picture worthy. We’ve seen everything from murals to huge chandeliers to stained glass domes! So, I’m always curious to see inside the House and Senate chambers.

The Old SCB had some fun picture opps!

The New SCB had an art gallery and

a 360 degree view on floor 22!

The RV Park we stayed at had some huge live oaks trees! They were amazing!

And…we even got to eat at a Whataburger! Woot, Woot!! We look forward to being back in Whataburger country all year! Yum!!

See y’all down the road!!

Categories: Capitol Building, EasternLoop2016, Florida | Leave a comment

Lake Louisa State Park

Hey Guys!! We stayed at the Lake Louisa State Park in the Orlando area for one week.

Guys…this park…

There are three lakes that make up this park. There’s a beach on one of them with a swimming area. I’m not sure I would swim there…there are gator signs around, but there’s also a great playground and picnic area.

There are docks that you can fish off of. We walked to this one often. There are stairs that lead down into the water, but again…gators.

There are some very nice sized sites at Lake Louisa State Park. We had to site hop throughout the week because the place was booked and we stayed here spur-of-the-moment. This park books up a year in advance. If you’re going to go to Disney or Universal…this is a great place to stay. At only around $30 a night it’s quite a bit cheaper than staying in a hotel.

There are tons of tangerine trees around the park. We went on a walk and passed a couple of guys who had bags full of tangerines so we thought we’d be cool and grab some tangerines for ourselves…they were the most sour…we spit them out. I couldn’t keep it in my mouth! Bleh!!! I don’t know what those two guys were doing with all of the ones they picked. Maybe they knew which ones to pick and we got ones that weren’t ready?

One of the coolest things about this park is that you can rent canoes. We took the opportunity to teach the boys how to paddle a canoe. I kept an eye out for any weird looking logs…aka…gators. I didn’t see any, but we avoided the areas we thought they would most likely be during that time.

I did take my camera out on the canoe to get a shot of the cypress trees in the water.

We found an awesome pizza place right down the road. Littlest told you all about it in his last Pizza Street post. If you missed it go check it out here.

We didn’t really do much the week we were there. Hung around the lake, had pizza, and stopped by an RV Dealer to check out what was new. We’re not in the market for a new RV, we just like to keep up on all the changes.

Seriously Guys…if you’re in the Orlando area for any reason check out Lake Louisa State Park. We will definitely stay there again!

See y’all down the road!

Categories: EasternLoop2016, Florida, Foodie Find, State Park | Leave a comment