Friday, March 9, 2012

Adventures in the Bayou State, Part I

View of thunderclouds from the hotel's eighth floor.
After a short stopover in Houston, yesterday, Thursday, March 10, 2010, I arrived in Baton Rouge with my sister Heather and other members of the West Coast Taekwondo school. I don’t mind Louisiana. The problem is getting there. I had to laugh when I overheard a couple behind me about the lab rat vibes they were getting wandering through the security line at the Ontario airport. With a stomach-churning long descent to George Bush International and a bumpy propeller-plane ride to Baton Rouge, I was glad to finally arrive at the hotel.

The Renaissance gives full meaning to the term “eclectic” decor. Furniture and artwork regardless of style – country, traditional, contemporary – blend together so naturally. The colors produce a much warmer look than is typical of hotel lobbies. And whose idea was it to paint a Creole dictionary on the bathroom wall?

Conveniently located close by is the Mall of Louisiana, where everyone spent the evening “exploring.” For dinner, I tasted the Caribbean Jerk Chicken sandwich with French bread at the Voo Doo BBQ & Grill. Oddly enough, the chicken was rather bland. The BBQ sauce, however, was scorching spicy hot. Later for dessert, I had Chocolate Swiss ice cream mixed with M&Ms at the Marble Slab Creamery. A local kid behind me in line told me to get the “Superman” flavor. Luckily, they don’t sell that one. No, I’m not much of an adventurous eater, but I try.

Mall carousel.
Before heading back to the hotel, the kids – and I’m using the term loosely, of course – took a spin on the old-fashioned carousel. This morning, my sister and I had some “sister time” and ate breakfast at the 24-hour Waffle House. I plan to do some sightseeing later. Everyone else will be preparing for the Taekwondo United tournament.