Friday, April 24, 2009

Shreveport, LA 4/15-16/09

We’ve never been to Louisiana, so I was really looking forward to spending some time in Shreveport. The campground was a fairly nice size, and we weren’t put off at all by the gator statue in front of the office! What you may not be able to see is that the sign reads, "Welcome friends"!

Each site had their own metal patio set consisting of a table and four chairs. That was a nice change from a picnic table! Of course, sometimes we don’t even get that! Our first day in Shreveport was spent getting a feel for the area, doing some research on things to do, and planning our next day.

Our first stop of the day was the Holy Trinity Catholic Church. You can see just how pretty it is from the outside. We were dismayed to find the church locked. That is such a rarity. We tried all the doors, but no luck. Finally Jim knocked on the office door and the janitor said he’d open the church up for us. We were able to see the main altar that was made of Italian marble and the more than 60 stained glass windows.

The city of Shreveport offers many free things to do. Riverview Park was our first destination in downtown Shreveport. This park is located on the banks of the Red River. It has several water fountains, a 300-foot-long floating boat dock, and a waterfall that cascades down multi-tiered rock steps.

Right next to the park is the Barnwell Garden and Art Center, which is also free. The current exhibition is called, “Simply Terry”, consisting of water colored paintings done by a woman named Terry Hershey, who died last September at the age of 101! All but a handful of her paintings were for sale. I fell in love with a few that I would have purchased in an instant if a) I had the money and b) I had a house to hang them!

We ate lunch at Ralph & Kacoo’s, on the recommendation of the woman from the art museum. I wanted to taste the local flavors. First we dined on fried green tomatoes, a Southern delicacy. They were good, although I’ve got to admit, I’d put near eat anything that was deep fried! The tomatoes are deep fried, then a little bit of a cream sauce is dribbled over them, with chunks of crab meat on top. Delish!

The main course …. Why crawfish of course! Never had them before, so I ordered the crawfish special which consisted of deep fried crawfish with fries AND crawfish etouffee over rice. Etoufee is a stew with crawfish, vegetables, and seasonings. The crawfish tasted like shrimp to me. Thankfully they were removed from their hard little red bodies before being deep fried. The etoufee wasn’t bad, had a little bit of a bite to it.

The dessert was decadent – caramel cheesecake with Godiva chocolate – to die for! Mmmmm…..

With full bellies, we drove around Bossier City which is located across the river from Shreveport. We were in search of some murals in the heart of the city. The most spectacular one is called Live Oak Avenue, a beautiful rendition of an actual place, Oak Alley Plantation.

The mural was located right next to the Bossier City Metal Art Zoo. This tiny little area features animals made from scrap metal and odds and ends, then painted with bright colors. Very eclectic!

We found the statue of Elvis on Elvis Presley Avenue in front of the Municipal Auditorium, where the King performed on the “Louisiana Hayride” (radio broadcast) for the first time in October 1954.

Heading back to the campground, we sat outside on our nice patio set in the cool breeze enjoying a cold one!

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