Moving to the Red Stick and Loving It
Do you have a list of nevers? Those things that you’ll never do? One of my big ones was moving to another town mid-school year. I was absolutely never going to do it, both as an educator and as a mama to two school-age boys. But then a door opened for our family, and we moved to Baton Rouge last fall, smack in the middle of the school year. Remarkably, and thankfully, it was just a matter of weeks before I fell in love with our new town.
I had some initial first impressions during our first year. Here are some of the reasons that we love living in the Red Stick, and what stood out to me most as a new member of the community, and why Baton Rouge is a great place to raise a family.
Palm Trees and Monograms
Baton Rouge is the perfect mix of southern hospitality and a semi-tropical, relaxed yet festive culture. I’ve lived in two other southern states, and the friendly, warm-hearted nature of people I meet at church, at school, in our neighborhood, and in the grocery store is consistent. People meet your eye with a smile, and good manners are in abundance. And you can find those gorgeous southern monograms all over, from smocked dresses to wall-hangings. The palm trees in the neighborhoods just make me happy. It reminds me that I’m relatively close to the ocean, and that life is worth savoring.
A Vibrant University Town
I’ve always wanted to live in a University town, and LSU boasts all the best university qualities. The college dynamic adds a youthfulness to Baton Rouge, as well as a striving for knowledge and excellence. There is an openness to new people moving here that is enhanced by the University culture, and people welcomed our family from the beginning.
Incredible Restaurants with a Cajun flair
There are so many amazing restaurants here that I can’t imagine how many years it will take for me to try them all! We love the traditional Cajun food, as well as the other local restaurants. We’ve been able to find any kind of restaurant that we’re looking for with creative and unique menus.
Mardi Gras Season
After Christmas, I prepared myself for some down time that might be a little slow. Although the rest of the school year was going strong, I’m used to it being a time when the calendar is less full and there is some post-holiday boredom. Not this year! January rolled around and here came King Cakes in every grocery store and bakery with endless incredible flavors. Then there were the parades and parties, which my family adores. My boys came home from parades with bags of toys, stuffed animals, toy musical instruments, plastic cups and beads. My ten year old said, “The people here know how to have fun, and the name of that fun is parade!”
Festivities for families every weekend
There’s something fun to do every weekend in Baton Rouge. From festivals downtown to children’s activities at the BREC parks and at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum to restaurant week, if you want to get out and have an adventure with the family, there are new opportunities throughout the whole year. With a five year old and a ten year old, I’ve found that the activities and festivals appeal to wide age ranges. There is a passion for living and celebrating life here that is contagious.
One of my favorite things about being a mom is when the things I never imagined I would do turn out to be some of the best adventures. The schools and our church welcomed us to Baton Rouge immediately, which made the transition for our boys and our whole family so much easier. When we moved into our house, our neighbors came by to ride bikes with our boys and bring us lemonade pie.