Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Pentagon and Capitol But Not Where You Think

Livingston, Louisiana
Lakeside RV Park

When we left Betty's yesterday the weather forecast was for rain.  I wanted to see some things in Baton Rouge so we headed over to that area.  When I saw this RV park had concrete sites, I decided if we were in for rain, it was better to be on concrete than soft mud.  Of course when you plan for rain, it doesn't happen.  I felt like we just took the bridge from Abbeville to Baton Rouge.  There seemed to be more miles of bridges than roadway.  

It was a cloudy day, but we never did have any rain until late last night.  We arrived around 11:00 am and did nothing, absolutely nothing except laundry.  We were so busy at Betty's that we needed a "nothing" day."  

There was a lot we wanted to see and do today, so we left this beautiful park around 8:30 am.  It was a short drive to downtown Baton Rouge.  Traffic wasn't bad at all.  

Our first stop was the Louisiana State Capitol.  I was driving and Bill was trying to find a place to park the truck.  All the parking lots were for employees.  Bill found a spot along the water where I had to parallel park.  It's been a while since I've tried to get the truck in a small spot.  

It was cloudy now and I knew we had a long walk to the Capitol.  I brought an umbrella but I don't think it's been used since we've been RVing.  I really couldn't figure how to get it up, there was a button to push I found out later.  Of course as soon as I finally got it up, it quit sprinkling.

I have to say I was very disappointed with our visit to the Capitol.  It was self guided but even the brochure they gave you was lacking in information.  Huey Long had it built during the Great Depression.  Other than it being the site of Huey's assassination, and he was buried on the grounds there was nothing about the history of the state.  
This was memorabilia from the assassination.  We rode the elevator up to the 24th floor and took the other elevator to the tower.  This is the tallest state capitol in the United States.  

This is the Pentagon Barracks our next stop.

Yes, this is the Mississippi and we are on the eastern side of the river.
The statue in the middle of the grounds is where Huey Long is buried.

As we left the Capitol we walked over to the Pentagon Barracks.  
It had been restored at one time.
It looks like they are apartments today.
Here's Huey Long's grave.  The statue has him facing the Capitol.

A short walk away is the Arsenal Museum.  Now we're getting some history!  

Did I mention this was a free museum?  They didn't even have a donation box.
In the Arsenal as well as the Capitol these flags are displayed.  

The basement is three and half feet deep and they placed charcoal there to keep the dampness away from the powder.

The docent gave us his theory about Huey Long.  He was great and very knowledgeable.  He told us we needed to check out the Indian Mound.  I didn't have that on our list of things to see.

We climbed up the Indian Mound.  I didn't take a photo of how steep it was.

I have no idea how far we walked but it was a long walk.  

The docent at the arsenal told us we should tour the Capitol Museum and the Old State Capitol museum.  He called the Old State Capitol to see if we could park in the employees lot.  They said "yes" but unfortunately, we couldn't figure out where their lot was located.  

I was driving through downtown Baton Rouge.  I must say the traffic wasn't bad, but you had to be careful because most streets were one ways.  

I found another parking spot on the street and parallel parked again.  Did I mention that they didn't have parking meters?  

The Old State Capitol made up for the present day Capitol.  We were immediately greeted by friendly people.  They gave us a laminated sheet to follow.  Then they asked if we wanted to listen to the audio tour as we walked through.  This was a free tour and the audio equipment was free.  We didn't have to show ID, or leave a deposit.  

 The building is gorgeous.  

It doesn't look like much from this photo but it gets better and better.
One of the rooms had an exhibit with teleprompters.  I never realized when I saw the plastic looking squares that they were teleprompters.  It was surprising that the little piece of plastic had all the words written out and you couldn't see them from the other side.  

Bill tried it but wasn't as impressed since he already knew how they worked.
Huey Long knew how to spend money--from 11 million to over 100 million during his time.  Sounds like a politician to me.

There was a exhibit on the assassination and both theories. I believe it was his bodyguards who killed him.  Do you think this was the beginning of political cover-ups?

 The bullets didn't match.
Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.
Frankly, I feel this is a much more elegant Capitol than the newer one.

The colors were much more vibrant than this photo shows.

There was some sort of meeting going on upstairs so we didn't see all the rooms.

This flag flew here at the Old State Capitol.
We walked a few blocks and saw this view.  
This is Red Stick Plaza and public dock.  

They really know how to take advantage of the riverbanks.  

The USS Kidd was also on my list of things to see today.

Next to the destroyer was a casino so we thought we'd stop and get something to eat.  We both needed to get off our feet.  

When we entered the casino there was this huge ramp that goes down to the paddle wheeler that is the casino.  I was ready to forget it until I saw golf carts shuttling people up and down the ramp.  We rode down the ramp on the golf cart at an incredible speed.  We went inside and all they had was a snack bar.  I said I'd pass, I wanted a place to sit down and relax.

I knew I was pushing the envelope on the walking that we've done.  I really wanted to do the ship, but I knew I wouldn't be able to climb around it.

Then we saw there was a two story museum that was included.  No way did either of us have the energy to do that.  

Bill took these photos for John Beckman who is a Coast Guard veteran.

At this point it was getting late and we wanted to avoid rush hour traffic.  We headed back home and arrived around 4 pm.  I jokingly said maybe we should get our swimsuits on and get some exercise in the pool.  I got "the look". 

Turtle Safely........

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