Louisiana Thingamabobs and Baton Rouge

Our long and winding Louisiana photoremedy tour–featuring photos collected during a short January trip to Cajun and Creole Country–winds down today with a quick look at the Baton Rouge area and with a hodgepodge collection of items that I affectionately call “thingamabobs.”thingamabob 3j

Baton Rouge, located on the Mississippi River in central Louisiana, is a college town full of bright colors, rich history, cool trees, and deep religious roots. I was able to capture a bit of this during our all-too-short trip through the city.

Corsair II Jet at the Louisiana Memorial Plaza

Corsair II Jet at the Louisiana Memorial Plaza

LSU Christ the King Church

LSU Christ the King Church

Our final collection for the Louisiana series features many of the colorful and interesting items–I affectionately call thingamabobs–captured when I zoomed in and took a closer look at items most people generally walk by without noticing. I’m not sure I’m using thingamabobs correctly, but it was how Mary and I referred to these items as we traveled along. We primarily used the word when I coaxed Mary into looking at photos on my Canon viewfinder. At this point, I’d say something like, “Hey, check out this thingamabob!” In this case, the focus of my thingamabob search was door-related items that, in a small–but significant–way, represented the color and culture of their communities.

thingamabob 5jI love “looking for thingamabobs-style photoremedy” because it always serves as a reminder of my belief that God does not overlook the little details that make each person, creation, and place special. How many potential thingamabobs can you find in the photo below?

Oak Alley Plantation - Vacherie, Louisiana

Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, Louisiana

We hope you enjoyed a few tales of our photoremedy Louisiana pursuits – Mary and I were thrilled to experience the bright colors, fiery spices, historic places, unique people, and unbridled fun so often featured in the Pelican State.

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Houmas House Plantation

Located along one of the many scenic Mississippi River curves south of Baton Rouge lies what is often referred to as the Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road. The Houmas House Plantation and Gardens is a destination for both tourists and locals.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

The one time sugar plantation, originally owned by the indigenous Houmas Indians when they were given a land grant to occupy the fertile plain between the river and Lake Maurepas to the north, now features a myriad of attributes that keep visitors coming (and coming back). On its grounds are an historic inn, beautiful gardens and statues, spectacular oaks trees, several themed restaurants, wedding amenities, guided tours, and motion picture history.

There are even rumors of a couple of ghostly spirits that have reportedly been witnessed by mature, sober adults.

Houmas House proved to be one of our top Louisiana photoremedy destinations. We didn’t encounter any ghosts, but we saw enough to understand why someone would want to return to this magnificent destination.Houmas House Dress 1j fap

Photoremedy is primarily based on the role that photography has played in helping Greg W. Gilstrap attempt to combat ongoing chronic pain issues that stem from his degenerative cervical and lumbar spine challenges. It is designed to encourage others fighting chronic pain (and other illnesses) to consider pursuing the benefits associated with what is popularly known as art therapy. It’s important to note that many of the photos Greg takes and develops frequently blur the lines between traditional art and contemporary photography, much as art therapy often blurs the lines between traditional and alternative forms of medicine.

Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation - Vacherie, Louisiana

Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, Louisiana

Known as the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road,” the Oak Alley Plantation is one of the most iconic representations of its type in the American South. Famous for a memorable Antebellum Mansion and a canopied path created by a more than 800 meter long double row of live oak trees, Oak Alley has been featured in movies and television shows ranging from Knight Rider and Primary Colors to the Young and the Restless and Django Unchained. Mary went on the OA guided indoor tour, while I grabbed my camera and enjoyed the beautiful outdoor weather and blissful photoremedy on the grounds of this spectacular National Historic Landmark. Highlights included:

Spectacular Mansion ViewsOak Alley 1j

Somber Slave Quarter Shots (also featured in our February 8, 2015 post)

 Unique Trees and Vegetation

Hometown Cajun  Food (B & C Seafood)

Riverside Market and Cajun Seafood - Vacherie, Louisiana

Riverside Market and Cajun Seafood – Vacherie, Louisiana

I later learned that Oak Alley is known for its famous mint juleps. I’m not sure how we missed that, but it’s good to know we now have another reason to return to Louisiana!

Laura Plantation

Northwest of the magnificent New Orleans metropolitan area, mostly located along the fertile banks of the expansive Mississippi River, lie a number of lovingly restored historic mansions and plantation grounds. During our Louisiana trip this year, Mary and I were able to wade in the culture, history, and captivating photoremedy of this breathtaking region.

Laura Plantation - near Vacherie, Louisiana,

Laura Plantation – Near Vacherie, Louisiana

Our travels took us to three spectacular holdings. Our first stop was Laura Plantation – a restored historic Creole plantation near Vacherie, Louisiana. The photo opportunities–and guided tour–at Laura featured stories associated with the following.

The Plantation House

Laura Plantation

Laura Plantation

The End of Slavery

Laura’s Appointments, Trinkets, and Amenities

The Plantation Grounds and Other Structures

Our next post in this series will feature the famous antebellum mansion and historic grounds of Oak Alley Plantation.

Oak Alley Plantation in  Vacherie, Louisian

Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana


New Orleans French Quarter: The Incomplete Edition

This promises to be one of the most incomplete New Orleans French Quarter–also known as the Vieux Carré–photo essays ever constructed.French Quarter Guitar 1j

There’s nothing here about Bourbon Street at night. Because Mary and I didn’t walk around with eyes glued to a map or with ears focused on a live tourist guide, I have no idea if the photos below are officially from the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Royal Street, the French Market, or Downtown New Orleans.

Despite all of the deficiencies mentioned above, I adore visiting New Orleans and I loved working on this post. New Orleans is, after all, more than just one of the most unique North American Cities. It’s one of the world’s most intriguing, diverse destinations. From spicy and spiritual to Cajun and Creole, New Orleans is both historic and contemporary.St. Peter 1j

Masquerade mask b&w j

Lithuanian-American writer Ruta Sepetys offers one of the best short explanations of what makes the Big Easy so interesting. “Its cultural diversity is woven into the food, the music, the architecture – even the local superstitions, Sepetys has been quoted as saying. “It’s a sensory experience on all levels and there’s a story lurking around every corner.”

Mary and I stopped long enough to capture images of each other while near the French Market. It is important to note that the photo of Mary did not need much “touch up.” The picture of me, however, took a long time to develop. We snapped the photos just after having the famous chicory coffee and powdered sugar covered beignets at Café du Monde. To no surprise to those who know me, it took a very long time to electronically remove the “more than significant’ amount of powdered sugar that covered my black jacket. Yes, the beignets were wonderful; we were in such a hurry to devour them that I forgot to take any Café du Monde photos.

I guess that means we will have to go back!