Since our sweet grandparents passed, Sydney & I don’t go to Louisiana as often as we used to. We may not make the trip for years at a time. But all of a sudden we have plans to visit five times in one year.
New Orleans in the Spring, a family wedding in Baton Rouge and a favorite band in New Orleans in the heat of August, an LSU game (Geaux Tigers!), and the Taylor Swift concert at the Superdome for Sydney.
Sydney & I consider it home, even though I lived there for only two years in elementary school and Sydney has only ever visited! (Granted, it was for weeks at a time every summer of her youth.)
When our cousin’s oldest son invited us to his wedding, we jumped at the chance to head back to Baton Rouge to hang with the family and visit our old haunts. First stop, always, is lunch at Randy Montalbano’s.
When it’s crawfish season, order the crawfish. When it’s not, order literally anything else. It’s all good.
Sydney & I are great at getting sentimental and sappy when we’re with our family, so of course we forced everyone to cram into the car and drive by BB & Big Papa’s old house. It has new owners now (how dare they take down the railing?!) and doesn’t seem as loved as when our grandparents lived there, but it was good to see it just the same.
Then it was off to Mom’s alma mater to meet the newest Mike the Tiger, Mike VII.
Did I mention it was August in the South? Mike was just as wilted as Sydney & me.
We clean up nicely, though! And just in time for Gabe & Taylor’s wedding.
Bill, Sydney & me with our cousins Jennie (mother of the groom, in blue) & Melissa (in burgundy).
All of us cousins joined by Mom and her twin brother, our Uncle Doug.
Gabe & Taylor’s wedding was gorgeous. We were at Capitol Park Museum overlooking Baton Rouge’s capitol. And you couldn’t find a couple more in love.
Just two short weeks later, Judd & I headed back to Louisiana. This time to see our favorite blues musician, Tab Benoit, play at the House of Blues.
We stayed at Bienville House, a boutique hotel across the street from HOB. Even though it was still August and sweltering, we strolled New Orleans and took in all the sights and sounds of one of my top-five towns.
I first ate at Cochon in April when I visited with Mom & Sydney, and had the best meal of my life (read the post here). This time I paused long enough for pictures! Besides, it was what all the hipsters around us were doing.
Their oyster & bacon sandwich is a buttery, flavorful dream. Packed with yellow tomatoes, fried oysters, bacon cured and sliced in-house. I could go on and on. This time I paired it with a little
hair of the dog Rosé and it went down quite nicely.
Another three weeks later, another Saturday night in Louisiana. This time in Death Valley.
On our way home from Gabe & Taylor’s wedding in August, we bought tickets to LSU’s first home game against Southeastern Louisiana. Not only because they were the only game tickets we could afford, but also because it would be our cousin’s daughter’s first time cheering for LSU.
In fact, many of the family showed up to tailgate and watch Jensen. I don’t know if you’ve ever tailgated at LSU, but we tailgate harder than most teams play.
Jensen is holding the E. Geaux Tigers!
The Tigers won 31-0, and as for our visits to Louisiana this year, we’re 4-0 with one to geaux. There’s nothing like a Louisiana Saturday Night.