Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sightseeing In And Around The Baton Rouge/Port Allen, LA Area

We left the hotel around 10:00 am this morning to do some sightseeing. I had seen on the hotel's website that it was close to the Mississippi River Outlook. I tried to google it and couldn't find anything about it. After we had breakfast, I asked the desk clerk about it. She told me how to find it which happened to be a couple of miles from the hotel. We drove down there first and took pictures. Court Street which runs along the side of the hotel property deadends at the river outlook. There is a really nice landscaped walkway up to the top of the outlook. The Mississippi is a very wide river. There wasn't any river traffic going on at the time. From there we drove over to the Tourist Information Office which is close to the hotel too. They gave us all kinds of information of places to visit.

I really wanted to see some of the plantations that were situated along the river. The only one we toured was Magnolia Mound Plantation which is in Baton Rouge. It is actually maintained by the Parks and Recreation District of Baton Rouge. A fine gentleman by the name of Roy gave us a tour. He had just done a tour with 58 school children. The plantation itself is quite old. We weren't allowed to take any pictures inside the home because it is designated as a museum. The cypress wooden floors are original and although the furniture is not original, it is furniture that would be found in a home during the time period of the plantation. I will post more information about the plantation later, I forgot to bring the brochure with me to the breakfast room.

After the tour, we were able to walk around the grounds and take pictures. I had forgotten to recharge my camera. Gerry took alot of pictures so will have to download his pictures later.

Hi Again! It is Wednesday evening and we are in Houston, TX. Gerry found me in the breakfast area last night at Port Allen and asked if I wanted to download the pictures he had taken onto my computer. He had over 200 pictures on his camera so I got them downloaded onto my computer which took quite a while to do. After I finished we went to get something to eat.

So I am back on. We have a much nicer room tonight at an Econo Lodge. There is a table big enough for each of us to use our laptops. Gerry is doing some laundry.

Regarding the plantation house we saw yesterday, four rooms of the original home were built in 1791. The house was expanded to its present size at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is surrounded by many aged live oaks and has retained its Creole plan and character for over 200 years.

The total acreage of the plantation once consisted of 900 acres. Sixteen acres remain of the original acreage.

After we left there, we drove into downtown Baton Rouge to visit the USS Kidd that is moored on the Mississippi River. The Kidd is named after RAdmiral Isaac Kidd, Sr. who commanded the USS Arizona when it was bombed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It has been completely restored to its former glory and is part of the Louisiana Veterans War Memorial. Gerry thoroughly enjoyed exploring the ship.

We were hungry and went looking for something to eat. We started driving north on the river road and then start a street sign that said "Scenic Highway". We drove for several miles and were getting discouraged because not only did we not find anywhere to stop for lunch, the street didn't look very scenic. We turned off on a side street and found ourselves driving through a college campus. We got back out to the main road and kept driving north. After we had driven several miles, we saw a place set back off the road quite a ways. It had a huge banner hanging on the front saying "Hot Lunches Served" so we made a U-turn and drove back to it. The menu was posted outside and you walked up to a window to order. I had fried fish that came with fries and 2 side dishes so I got green beans and broccoli and rice. Gerry had BBQ ribs that came with baked beans and corn bread dressing and black eyed peas for his sides. We sat on the porch and ate. The food was fantastic!! We continued driving until we got St. Francisville. There are some plantations there, however Gerry saw a sign that said "Ferry Straight Ahead". We decided to investigate, however when we got down the road a little ways, the road was blocked and there was one car waiting. Gerry got out to talk to the guy that was outside his car. It seems the Mississippi River had flooded the surrounding area. Several homes were sitting in several feet of water and the road was flooded up ahead. At the end of the road was where the ferry was. The ferry had come in and soon as the cars that were on the ferry came off and passed by, then we were allowed to go the rest of the way to the ferry. We drove onto the ferry and it took us to the other side of the river in just a few minutes. The guy that Gerry was talking to told him it was the first time in 35 years he had ever seen the river as high as it was in that location.

We had no idea where we were so just kept following the road until we came to a junction and saw LA 1 and knew that road came out in Port Allen. It was a beautiful drive through there and after driving on the two lane road for several miles, we came to a divided highway and drove back to the hotel.

Unfortunately, I did not get to see anymore plantations.

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