Lafayette Louisiana travel

Day 4: Louisiana Doesn’t Work On A Sunday, But I Do

Louisiana

I honestly did not expect to enjoying doing work as much as I do. My days are mostly working and then a couple hours of exploring. It works out best in my opinion, really hard to get bored or sad that way.

So on Sunday, I decided to have a Louisiana day. Church, brunch, chill (or work at a relaxing pace).

The biggest impact came early in the morning, something told me to go to church. Mind you, I have not been other than Christmas since the day I turned 18. I was raised in a very Catholic household including Catholic school, Sunday’s spent all day at the church, youth involvement, choir involvement, mentoring, and whatever other minor thing that comes with Catholicism. I had noticed that a key thing to do in Lafayette was to visit St. John’s Catholic Church. So I went.

There will always be a soft spot for cathedrals. Just the architecture and glass windows makes me want mediate over every bad decision of my life. But this was me just experiencing the mass. Before, I was always forced and what the priest seemed irrelevant and stuffy at best.

Actually, the priest started off by talking about the latest scandal in Pennsylvania. The cases of molestation from inside the church. It was one of the most beautiful homilies that I have seen. This young priest started off saying he was re-thinking his job in the church. That this was disgusting and he was angry at the church, at the priests, at the whole situations. It was candid and truthful. Something I had not expected from someone in the Catholic church, call me a cynic.

After that, my day went mostly to working and trying some foods. Prejean’s in Lafayette was not all it’s cracked up to be. But I did spend some time downtown shooting which you can check out here.

So Shark Tank and I had a good 10 hour run. Sat there with it on the background and I was just plugging away at writing. After a few hours, my hostel host came in a hung out with me for awhile. He is the professor at the local college and travels with the AirBnB money. He told me about a bunch of places to stop by and his travels around the world. He reminded me of a Cajun Mark Walhberg to be honest. One of the places he recommended was the Mountain Light Sanctuary, which I totally booked right then. It is in the forests of North Carolina and I am staying in a bungalow with a babbling creek and forest right beside me. Can you tell I am excited. But if you are interested in some good ideas for hostels and stuff check out his travel blog.

I had my first experience with my weird, deathly-fearful of the night. Growing up, my family thought the best way to teach morality lessons (besides the church) was to basically tell horror stories to a child. Those stories have kept me in check more than once but they also attributed to my unhealthy fear of the night.

Last night, alone in the hostel, I freaked myself out. I did not even have one of those hair-raising or intuitive moments, nope. It was just being alone in an unknown household. Hopefully along this trip I can get rid of that debilitating fear but keep the healthy respect of any supernatural side.

Let’s see how New Orleans goes….

Day 3: Lafayette, Isn’t That The Guy From True Blood

Louisiana

I started off in Gibsland, Louisiana. Let me tell you, I was ready to leave. The quiet was great but the mixture of moisture, slight twinge of racism made me ready to leave.

The next city I went too, was a memory lane trip. Monroe, Louisiana. It is the most known for Duck Dynasty. Need more than that name and the fact it’s in Louisiana, check out this video of the semi-illiterate uncle. 

I spent my 1st-5th grade here, but only 4 years. I was able to skip 4th grade (a small fun fact that most people don’t know about me).  The only place I could still navigate to was the Catholic private school I went to.  Leftover Catholic guilt, a special place in my heart; who knows. Our Lady of Fatima, is a tiny school that still looks like it could be in a Tarentino movie. I tried to walk into the church to offer some sort of balance for all the Eucharistic wafers I used to eat there while alter serving, but the doors were locked. All I was able to see was the statues that I took my First Communion pictures on. Maybe I will upload them later on because this girl was an adorable Mexican child.

I decided after, that it was time to leave Monroe. There really was nothing left for and I don’t really give a “duck” about it..

Moving on from my weird childhood experiences, I drove to Lafayette. Let me tell you, this is a beautiful drive with some sad sights. A lot of ghost towns and going through Alexandria (my surname) was what death looks like for a city. Is this why I am an emo girl?

Arriving to the great Lafayette, movies are filmed here, zydeco was born here. But I need to start lowering my expectations with cities I suppose. It’s hot and humid. I tried to go through downtown and take pictures and although beautifully laid out, it was not the metro hotspot I was expecting.

It did provide a good time to catch up on work but as for a culturally hub, it was a let down.

Something that was not a letdown, the hostel I stayed at (www.cajunhostel.com). My first experience with a hostel and I felt wary. I’ve seen the movie “Hostel” and read about Natalee Holloway. But this experience was clean, it smelled like a bakery and I ended up having the room to myself. There was another couple staying in the room besides me and other than hearing them either fighting or having intense sex (or both), they were private and British. The only details I really got out of them.

It was a quiet day with minimal interactions. I love those days, call me an introvert.  

 

Day 2: Ron Swanson is from North Louisiana

Louisiana

*Side note: the man from yesterday was not as pure of heart as I thought. I woke up with a ‘hey beautiful, hope you’re doing well babe’ text. He then proceeded to text me all day long with no response about him golfing and how he wanted pictures of me because he thought I was catfishing him.*

Second day’s seem to be infinitely better. Like in high school, on your second day that is when you get the feel of things. Like your new teachers, the friends you could make, and if you really needed that sparkle pen set.

That is kind of how it was for me. I jumped in and now, I felt like I could handle anything. Still camping in northern Louisiana in Minden. Found this amazing spot out there called Beaver Lake. If anyone wants to go there, I highly suggest it. Because A freaking 1.

bonnie&clyde

Camping is $9.50 with a pass, and you wake up on a lake (hopefully not as humid as I went). I did yoga in the morning and my whole pre-mediation that puts me in the right headspace. This seems kind of odd, I know but it has helped me focus and pull my thoughts together. I visited the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum, which was awesome. A little pricey for my taste but it went to Gibsland Historical Foundation.

 I will through my ass in a circle for any historical foundation.

I found a cute little dinner, Bon Temps, in a gas station. The line was out the door and no seating. I ended up having to sit at the end of a table with some cool guys. They didn’t say much the moment I sat down but posi vibes, right.

The rest of the day was devoted to working. This means me moving about 100 times in 7 hours because I can never sit and work. At one of these points I was outside my tent, working on a newsletter, when this guy came up to me and just sat right there. Now, I am from Texas and shyness is strange to me but this was different.

He starts talking as if we know each other and honestly, he was an interesting man. He told me how he put his kid’s through LSU and they are finally understanding what it means to not be “sucklin his teat” (his words). And then he asked if I was political.

I could feel myself shrinking but said yes, I keep up pretty well.

“Oh, well I’m guessing you’re one of them liberals”.

“Yes sir, I would consider myself that.”

We then had a thirty minute conversation about our beliefs mostly politically. It ranged from government handouts, welfare programs, to immigrant policies. We never yelled and we both made concessions. At the same time, I did have to steer conversation away when it became a stalemate, like when we talked about ICE.

But by the end of the conversation,

“You’re too smart to be a liberal. Are you sure you won’t consider being a Republican?”

“No sir, I have to many differences to ever be considered that.”

He then invited me for supper at his camper, with his family and said goodnight.

Then about an hour later, the park ranger pulls into my campground driveway and comments on my cooking. Veggie burgers, broccoli, and potatoes.

He kept saying, “I’m a meat and potatoes only type of man.”

The questions weren’t long and he did not stay there for awhile but he did have a lasting impact.

“Where you going?”

“Heading up to New York right now.”

“I could never go there.”

“You want to know why?”

“Because of all them damn fagg*** living up there. I couldn’t handle watching them with purses on their arms.”

I smiled and said, “Well, I am looking forward to going up there. I find Northerners to be more accepting.”

Turning my back, I busied myself with some cooking. I just could not get over the difference in these two men. Both obviously Southern, both about the same education level, but one who was respectful and the other who was a park ranger. Wild is all I could say.