Monday, January 31, 2011

Harlem Globetrotters

Just this past Friday night (2-11-2011) I was able to take my son Tyler to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I have long been an fan of this traveling basketball team of skilled players and comedians. I just loved to see these guys perform when I was a a kid. They had a cartoon that I used to watch. I remember believing that they never missed a shot because they never did on the cartoon. Anyway, Tyler has always been a big basketball fan and I knew he would enjoy this if we went and I was right.

After a dinner at our local Raisin' Canes here in Denham Springs we hit the highway and got off on the Government exit at about 6:15. Plenty of time to make it into the parking garage right? Wrong! I was very frustrated at the lack of progress we made in the right hand lane to try to make it up to the parking garage. I don't know what the policemen were doing but it was 7:15 before we made it into the garage and the show had started at 7:00. Of course to make things worse, the construction caused us to go way around out of our way to make it to the entrance. Worse yet, my tickets were at the will call window. This should have just taken a minute but the will call window was the same as a regular ticket window which had plenty of people waiting to buy tickets at the last minute. The mistake was not leaving earlier I guess and certainly coming in a different road would have been better. It was very frustrating and we ended up finally in our seats after missing most of the first quarter.

Despite these troubles, once seated and settled down and seated we had a nice time. Our seats were down low on the side so they were pretty good. W had to boot some people out of one of them when we got there. Anyway, Tyler was truly amazed at all the things that the Harlem Globetrotters were able to do. The high flying dunks and amazing dribbling skills were thrilling to watch. The cast of characters though different from when I was a kid was essentially the same winning formula that I remember. The Globetrotters play a game against the Generals and stop every once in a while for a comedy skit of some sort during the game involving the referees or the fans. It is good family fun and I enjoyed this time with my son. He's getting to be older now and I am treasuring all these moments that I can with him. We both had a good time seeing the Harlem Globetrotters in Baton Rouge and I would sure recommend it as a fun thing to do in Baton Rouge for you and your family the next time they are in town. Just be sure to leave early enough.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baton Rouge Zoo

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Trip to the Baton Rouge Zoo

Without a doubt, one of my favorite things to do is take my children to the Baton Rouge zoo. Above is a more recent picture of the kids looking at the giraffes. My daughter just loves the giraffes. On one of our first trips there we rode the train for first time. The kids liked it but Haley said it was loud. My wife and I usually get the family membership that the zoo offers for about $35.oo per year. This enables us to go as many times as we want during the year for a one time fee. You must present a picture ID when you use the card to prevent fraudulent use of the zoo pass card as it is sent to you in the mail. I guess people will even try to scam the zoo these days. Anyway, we've found it to be a great value for our family. If you live in the Baton Rouge area and have kids, I recommend the zoo annual membership program for sure.

Below is a picture of me and the kids as we get ready to ride the zoo train. You can really tell that my daughter has grown up a lot since this train ride.

There is a brand new Tiger exhibit at the zoo and new rest rooms and other renovations under way. There is an aquarium and reptile exhibit towards the back of the zoo. It's excellent and showcases many of the fish native to Louisiana's fresh and salt waters. A bonus of touring this building is that it has cool air conditioning to take a break from the heat outside on this hot summer day.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baton Rouge Old State Capitol

Tyler and I went to another field trip this past week. We went to see the Louisiana old state capitol building. This was the original capitol building in Baton Rouge before Huey Long built the tallest one that I've also shown you pictures of on this site.

Anyway, Tyler and I met this nice lady Susan who was a tour guide for the building. I told her I am a teacher by profession so she was happy to show us around a bit downstairs for a brief private tour.

One of the the most breathtaking aspects to the newly renovated Louisiana old state capitol building is the view of the stained glass windows in the ceiling at the top of the staircase. Susan informed me that this is not original to the building but it sure looks like it was a good idea to add it. It is quite a sight.

We went around downstairs where we were able to stand at a political podium and press a button to see speeches of former governors of the state of Louisiana. This was a well done exhibit and added a nice realistic touch.

Down the hallway was for sure one of my favorite parts of out trip to the Louisiana old state capitol building. It was the animated Huey Long statue. When you walk into the room the motion detectors pick up that a person is in the room and the lights dim and the lights come up on Huey over in the corner and he begins to talk about his political achievements and all sorts of amusing things. It's most impressive and if you like Huey Long, you'll really love this moving and talking statue. Of course Huey Long was a former Louisiana governor during the depression and later became a United States senator. Many observers felt his popularity at the time was enough for him to run for president and possibly win. Here's me in front of the Huey statue below. Tyler took this picture. He likes to take pictures when I let him.

Huey Long was assassinated at the age of 42 under somewhat suspicious circumstances. The official story was that Dr. Carl Weis shot him over being upset about Huey having his father-in-law's judicial district redrawn to take him out of power. It really doesn't make a lot of sense why this reputable man would do something like this. Anyway, here's the gun that was later recovered that shot the bullet that ended up killing Huey Long.

Though the majority of the exhibits were downstairs, we did go upstairs to see a few things. There was a large open reception room where I believe many parties, wedding receptions and things like that have taken place. Indeed, a beautiful place to have a wedding or reception. It was really nice to see the sun shining through the stained glass window in this room.

We also saw a nice portrait of former governor Mike Foster hanging upstairs. The painting also depicts Foster's grandfather in the background. He was Louisiana Governor Murphy James Foster who served from 1896-1900. Governor Mike Foster was the one who helped get the renovations done to the Louisiana old state capitol building and turn it into a museum. Foster was governor for two terms beginning in the mid 1990's.

Above is a picture of Tyler on the winding staircase. He thought that was really cool. I was a little scared he would fall down the stairs so I urged him to hold onto the railing.

We made our way back downstairs and went to the gift shop. Tyler got a really long pencil and I got a political button with a Huey Long slogan on it, "Every Man a King." I also got a Huey Long bobble head doll to bring to my class. I couldn't resist it and I was thinking my students would get a kick out of it. We had a great trip to the Louisiana old state capitol building. It is something everyone should see.

Information:Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM Sunday 12:00 Noon - 4:00 PM-- Admission is free

Contact Information: Call 225-342-0500 or 800-488-2968 to schedule a tour or event

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

LSU Baseball

Another good thing to do in Baton Rouge is to go to an LSU baseball game. The new Alex Box Stadium at LSU has got to be one of the nicest college baseball fields in the country. The fact the the LSU baseball team has been one of the most dominant teams there is winning a total of six national championships since the 1990's is reason to believe that the Tigers will always put on a good show.

Last night (4-17-10), my son Tyler and I were able to find someone that had two tickets for sale to the the LSU versus Alabama game. This was my first trip to the new baseball facility at LSU and my son's first game ever. We got tickets out in the left field bleachers and were packed in there pretty tight. Luckily the seats to the side of were empty so that help give us a little spare room. The cost of these tickets was $10 a piece. There is also a section that is for standing room only and at least last night, that area looked packed. It turns out last night's 9 to 7 victory for the Tigers had a record crowd turnout and we were happy to be a part of it. It was also a special day in that former LSU baseball great Ben McDonald was honored and his number 19 was put up on a wall of honor along with former LSU head baseball coach Skip Bertman's number 15.

The game was fun and a real family friendly environment. We made the most of any down time during the game by playing with our iphones and talking about our favorite apps with the fans seated around us. One of the coolest things was that I had the lady behind us take the picture you see above on this page. I then e-mailed the photo to crowdcameo.com and later the picture of Tyler and I was up on the giant TV screen in left field between innings. I just missed seeing it but Tyler was looking back over his shoulder and saw that our picture made it up on the big screen for the whole crowd to see. I thought that was pretty cool and a good way to get the fans involved through technology.

If you are looking for something to do in Baton Rouge, going to an LSU baseball game is a really good thing to do. It's not that expensive and with a little effort, you can find some tickets. We are not huge baseball fans so even if you are a casual fan, I'm certain that you'll have a nice time out at LSU's Alex Box stadium.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

New State Capitol Building

There are many Baton Rouge things to do for fun and entertainment. It all depends on what you're in the mood for.

Baton Rouge things to do could include a trip to our state capitol building downtown. My son Tyler and I took a day trip to see the Louisiana State Capitol building in downtown Baton Rouge when he was about 7 or 8. We had a fine morning on that hot summer day. It had been quite a while since I had been there and Tyler had never been. We took pictures on the steps of the capitol and inside the impressive foyer entrance. We also road the elevator 27 floors the top of the building to the observation deck. We got some great pictures overlooking downtown and the Mississippi River.

There's a picture of Tyler on the observation deck of the capitol towards the top right column on this page. He was squinting because the sun was in his eyes but he thought it was cool to be up so high, 27 floors. This is the largest state capitol in the United States.

After going to the top we explored the first floor better and got to stand at the entrance to the House of Representatives chamber to the right side of the first floor. I tried to explain to him about how laws were made but he said the classic, "I don't get it."

The photo below is Tyler in front of the first floor Huey Long exhibit. This is the location where Huey was assassinated. Many people have said that Huey could have well been president one day. We had a good little trip and I suggest going to see the new state capitol building as a fun thing to do in Baton Rouge.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Bayou Country Superfest

My family and friends attended the Bayou Country Superfest concert held this past weekend ( 5-29 & 5-30-2010) held in Baton Rouge's very own Tiger Stadium on the LSU campus. We had a great time to say the least. This mega concert had about 45,000 people in attendance for the star studded two day event. It was a major success according to the concert promoters and local Baton Rouge business leaders. Local hotels and restaurants also reported to be packed all weekend long to accommodate many out of town guests that came to the extravaganza. It was great to Baton Rouge be able to out on such an event that brought some positive publicity to the local community.

Saturday night at the Bayou Country Superfest Kellie Pickler singing all her popular songs including "red High Heels" and "Didn't you know how much I loved you?". She did a lot better that I thought she would. Next the super talented Kieth Urban played wearing and LSU t-shirt to the delight of many Tiger fans in attendance. In my opinion he should have been the headliner that night. He is just superbly talented. He sang just about any and all of his popular songs and his guitar skills were most impressive. Finally, the headliner was Taylor Swift. I can promise you that my daughter Haley and her little friend were very excited about this and both of them looked really cute in their yellow Taylor Swift t-shirts and cow girl hats. Taylor Swift is a beautiful young lady and she sang most of her hits and did a lot of talking about boys and how they shouldn't do bad things if they don't want her to write songs about them. Some of her stuff was more geared towards the youngsters in the crowd and they seemed to love every bit of her act. It was a great way to end the first night of the concert.

The next day of the Bayou Country Superfest we got out to the stadium around 1:PM as we had the day before and parked on the grass lots where the old golf course used to be again. It was a pretty good spot and we opened up the back of the SUV's and got the tent and chairs out and cranked up the LSU baseball game for a while and later my Kenny Chesney CD's. The first act started again around 4:00. The last few artists were Jason Aldean and he sang his hit "Big Green Tractor". Jake Owen allowed a couple from the audience up on stage and a young man asked his girlfriend to marry him. She said "yes" and then they had their first dance on stage to "Don't you think I can't love you" which the crowd really enjoyed. Later the biggest selling duo in country music history, Brooks and Dunn, put on a farewell performance featuring all kinds of great hits by the pair. They were very talented and well received by the crowd at the Bayou Country Superfest. Finally, the act we or at least me, had all been waiting for Kenny Chesney appeared on stage. He was great and the fans were loving it. He sang songs like "Summertime" which is perhaps my favorite, and "Beer in Mexico," "Young" and "I go back". His encore was "She thinks my tractor's sexy" and it was a great time singing along to all the songs.

The Bayou Country Superfest was a great concert event and the people of Baton Rouge, LSU, the concert organizers, the entertainers and of course the fans all seemed to really enjoy and be happy to be a part of such a great event for the Baton Rouge area. I'm already looking forward to next year's concert.