How great would it be
To be invited to experience your home town through a fresh, visitors lens?
Oh wait! I was invited to visit Baton Rouge as a guest! A tourist. A traveler. An explorer. I had the rare opportunity of seeing home from a different perspective.
And that is just refreshing, isn’t it?
I think everyone has the tendency to take the every day for granted: their home, their family, their job, their friends, their home town….
It’s easy to do. We become complacent. A rare few explore their own backyards. What is that controversial saying? Staycation? (Some people love it; some hate it.
Traveling with the kid…. for the first time
It was also the first time for us to travel with our daughter! And she was only two months old.
Don’t let the seasoned traveler aura fool you. I was terrified to travel with Baby E!
Maybe that’s a bit dramatic. I was a little apprehensive.
Luckily, our first ever flight was a quick, two-ish hour direct one from Nashville to New Orleans (then a 1.5 hour drive to Baton Rouge). Baby girl did GREAT! I must say that it definitely helps to have the support of your spouse (or mother or friend…) both for moral/emotional and physical help.
I was so scared that I was going to be one of those women on the plane. You know, the one with the screaming baby?
But Baby E made me realize I was just being silly, and I needed to get over myself and my insecurities. She cried for a total of probably 30 seconds. Everyone was so nice and friendly, and they even smiled when she cried. Because let’s face it, everyone loves babies (well, most people do)
Back to the home town visit.
The best Baton Rouge itinerary
What does a perfect day in Baton Rouge look like?
How about starting off shopping for unique antiques, arts and gifts, then having a delectable bunch, heading to a cool, cultural museum, then finishing off with a tasting at a spice shop. YES, please.
How did I not know about this treasure trove of Louisiana art and artifacts?
Mosaic Garden had the neatest things, from local art to toys to kitchen supplies. I picked up the coolest Louisiana dish towels for my sister (would also be great wedding or host gifts!) and some fun stuffed animals for my nieces!
As soon as I stepped in the door, I knew I needed more than the remaining 20 minutes in our schedule to plunder all the booty. I picked up an oyster shell candle for my sister’s birthday. There were so many great gift ideas!
I made a note to myself: come back to Circa 1857 over Thanksgiving to pick up Christmas gifts. So many neat antiques and Louisiana goodies!
Oh, and there’s a cute cafe in the back of the store if you need a little pick-me-up.
Of course, all of that shopping works up an appetite. Bistro Byronz, a newer restaurant on the Baton Rouge food scene, is one of my favorites for brunch and lunch.
You can’t go wrong with the Pain Perdu (french toast). The bread pudding bites are sinful, and I always get the blue cheese chips.
Red Stick Spice Company
Topping off the perfect day in “BR” – we headed to the Red Stick Spice Company, where we sampled spices, olive oils, vinegars, and food from a cooking demonstration.
We tasted pastalaya and a strawberry pepper jelly salad.
Pastalaya is one of those fun Louisiana dishes. It’s basically jambalaya made with pasta instead of rice.
I loved the dark chocolate balsamic so had to get some for myself. It makes bread taste like candy!
They also have an amazing assortment of loose teas, which I couldn’t keep away from.
You can smell anything in the store that you want, as well.
The neat thing about this fun-filled day in my home town of Baton Rouge is that I had never heard of any of the places that we went (save for Bistro Byronz- because I always have to check out the newest restaurants when I’m in town).
It’s such a treat to tour your city and discover new little treasures, culinary or otherwise.
Are you getting out and exploring your city? Maybe you should make a plan to do so! Put together an itinerary of places you would want to bring visitors or check out for yourself, and go for it!!
I was a guest of Visit Baton Rouge and received complimentary entrance to the Capitol Park Museum, a complimentary meal at Bistro Byronz, and a travel stipend . All opinions stated herein are my own.