Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana travel’

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In early September, my middle daughter gave birth to precious Thomas. She asked me, and I quickly agreed to travel with her to Monroe in North Louisiana for a leadership program meeting with the Louisiana Tourism Association. She is still on maternity leave, but she didn’t want to miss this meeting. What’s more important than being grandma? So I took a few days off to go with her.

I thought I would be stuck in a hotel room, that I may get some reading, writing, and lesson planning done. I was pleasantly surprised by a park connected to the parking lot of the hotel. With the baby in the stroller, we headed out to the trail.

The beauty of this fall day greeted me with a cool breeze and sunlight through the trees.

Red spider lilies dotted the path.

Baby Thomas slept through the outdoor adventure, the first of many to come.

A lone egret looked at its reflection in the lily-covered swamp.

I read the kiosk to learn about this beautiful, wild park. For 50 years, the area had been a sand and gravel pit. Later, many residents used it as a dumping ground. What do you do with such an eyesore? The city of West Monroe excavated the trash and created a wild space, restoring the area to wetlands that accomplish a number of goals, controlling flooding as well as providing the community with a beautiful place of nature to enjoy. Not to mention, a place of peace for a grandma and baby grandson.

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

This weekend we welcomed strangers into our home.  They are artists from New Hampshire and Florida, two best friends who learned to paint together and now travel all over the U.S. to different Plein Air painting competitions.

The Shadows on the Teche, a local historical plantation home, has a competition going on this week.  Months ago we were asked to host two visiting artists, so Patricia and Deb arrived Saturday afternoon, total newbies to our area.

I am enjoying seeing the beauty of our home through their eyes.  Sunday afternoon we took them for a drive to scout out areas to paint in.

En Plein Air is a French term for painting in the wild, outdoors.  I have visions of creating an en plein air event for poets.  Poets could partner with painters and write while the artist paints.  Who’s game?

I told Patricia and Deb to watch out because I will be writing about them.  I look forward to seeing the art they produce and talking about art all week.  The final show and auction will be Friday night.  To learn more about the event, go to The Shadows on the Teche web page. 


En Plein Air painting of Grandmother oak in my backyard. (Patricia Sweet, artist.)

A peacock poses for his painting at Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens.

Shrimp boat in Delcambre may be a prime poser for traveling artists.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.


I started this week in Chicago and ended closer to home in New Orleans. I celebrate special times with family. When my sister texted me on Tuesday that she would be in New Orleans this week, I made plans to go. Not only did I want to spend time with her family, I secretly hoped I would get some of her mother-in-law’s amazing Indian food. Friday’s brunch was dosa, A South Indian filled pancake. Yum! And she filled her Lazy Susan with fruit, mango salad, and chutney. A savory and sweet feast. (Sorry, no pictures. I was too busy eating.)


Yes, that’s a real alligator. Before I arrived, my sister’s family went on a swamp tour. The guides encourage alligators out of the water with treats of marshmallows and hotdogs. Beth took this amazing close-up right from the boat.

Blues brothers

One of the highlights of our French Quarter visit was a tour of the House of Blues. Tinka, my brother-in-law, wanted to show his kids this famous venue. We didn’t expect to get a tour, but the hostess offered, so we jumped at the chance. The place is full of good vibes beginning with the God Wall. This wall hangs directly above the stage celebrating all religions. Our guide told us that the God Wall is central to their shared philosophy of tolerance and kindness. One House of Blues motto is “Help Ever*Hurt Never.” I wanted that on a bumper sticker but had to be satisfied with a t-shirt.

House of Blues God Wall

House of Blues God Wall

I celebrate summer, time to travel and be with family. This is Jack’s collage of our day. I didn’t mention beignets, a must stop in The Quarter. I love that Jack wanted a picture with me at Cafe du Monde. I’m not the only one celebrating this special time.

Jack's nola collage

French Quarter carriage driver waters down his mule.

French Quarter carriage driver waters down his mule.

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