And one last Louisiana post

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We woke up this morning to a horrible rainstorm and hurriedly got ready to go amidst lots of tornado warnings and the kids asking “Will a tornado come and hit us?”

 

YES!  And it’s going to fly us far away!  Okay, I didn’t really say that, but there was times I was tempted to answer like that.

 

There were several times as we drove that nearly stopped for the rain, but just as I said let’s find a safe place it’d let up for a while.

 

Ummmm……  That would be a video of the tornado that came through the town today after we left.  My aunt just shared it with me.

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After it had cleared up a bunch we stopped in Ruston for the Northern Louisiana Military Museum.  The boys LOVED it.  They walked excitedly from case to case asking about all the different soldier paraphernalia to find out what it was.

 

 

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I think my favorite display was the chaplain display they had for World War 2

 

It just cracked me up to see this nice calm chaplain praying in the scene and then this sign.

Yes, I have a screwy sense of humor sometimes.  Okay, often.

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But, the high point for the kiddos was getting to actually touch and climb on some of the old military vehicles.  You know old tanks, helicopters, all sorts of decommissioned stuff.  What could make a better playground than things used for blowing stuff up?

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From there we drove an hour or so to find the Gator and Friends Exotic animal zoo.  We had tried going out there on our way to Mississippi and it was closed, but it was going to open up again on Wednesday or something like that.  We went on in and wandered around feeding as many different animals as would come up to us.

 

Princess cracked me up, before she would feed anything she’d wait for her brothers to feed them, and then say, “Brothers did your hand get dirty?”  And only if it didn’t get dirty would she feed the silly animals.  That’s that last picture, Princess proudly holding her hand up and showing that it didn’t get dirty.

And the most amazing part?  Before leaving we each got to hold an alligator.  When we asked about it, he pulled out this burlap sack and I thought he was going to bring out a gag or something so I was expecting something to jump out at us, but it wasn’t…….

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By the time he got to Mom and myself that guy was feeling feisty.  And as you can see in my picture his tail was lashing around and he was tired of being held.  Of course as soon as the guy that worked there picked him up he calmed right down.

 

Go figure.

We’ve crossed another state border

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But of course we had to stop at the Monroe zoo, which is AWESOME.  If you’re ever in Monroe, LA and you have a few hours to spare stop in and wander around.  It’s the perfect size for little guys, and it has a super neat train and boat ride, which sadly weren’t working when we went there.

 

 

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The coolest part for the teacher in me was their “Small World” exhibit.  I know that’s not what they called it, but it had great explanations for how different insects make their sounds, and all sorts of other hands on ways to learn about insects.

 

My kids loved the nocturnal animals exhibit because they got to see all of the bats and other night animals.  Batman is currently quite obsessed with bats (which is ironic considering his nickname).

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We traveled on for all of an hour and crossed the Mississippi.  Incidentally, I accidentally put the wrong initials in my phone to check the distance and was quite shocked to learn we had 19 hours to go, and then realized it was taking me up to Michigan……

 

I didn’t get my usual picture at the state line, but instead got a picture of us in front of the river.  The kids were suitably impressed by the size of the river.

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We stopped in Vicksburg at the Coca-Cola museum there.  Coke was first put in  a bottle by the drug store there, and they helped with a lot of the early advertising campaigns.  Batman, who loves Coke, was quite happy to go through there and pose in front of the Santa coke ads.  And by the way keep an eye out next week for a post about Coca-Cola and Georgia (it was invented in Georgia, so it was one of our Georgia activities).  Batman was very disappointed he did not get to drink a Coke from the Coke Museum.  Poor guy.

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Of course the kids favorite thing about Vicksburg is an awesome park that is a block South of the Coke Museum.  I mean look at it.  It’s got a couple of awesome playscapes, wonderful water play area, and there’s a whole art area that I didn’t get a picture of.  Or, as my kids called it “Mommy, that’s the labyrinth.”

 

And now we’re in Jackson, MS and at our hotel for the night we’re about to leave and go to my grandparents house.  I can’t wait to see everyone.

Our progress so far

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Well, it was a bit of a rocky start yesterday as we had lots of forgotten items and false starts, but we finally got off and driving.

And then after about 15 minutes Superman started the dreaded question, “Are we to the hotel yet?”
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And then it morphed into his own personal quest to point out to us every hotel we passed.  “MOM!  You missed the hotel,” sounding more and more aggrieved as we passed each successive hotel.  It got even worse when it started to get dark.  He was somewhat mollified by the idea of we were looking for a hotel with a pool.  Until we drove by one of those…….

But eventually we stopped for the night and we did swim in the morning.  And then drove for all of 30 minutes before we stopped at a McDonalds to make sure of where the road we were on split off from where we were going.  But, as you can see from the first picture, it was three very happy kids at that McDonalds running around while Mom and I drank our drinks and studied maps.

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Mom and I happily took turns getting pictures at the state welcome sign.  Yes, it’s a silly tradition, but it’s a fun one.

And then we were totally confused as a couple pulled up and asked us if we were looking for the clue too.  Apparently there’s some sort of treasure hunt going on in this parish for prize cash.

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We did our usual stop at the Welcome Center, and the kids had a LOT of fun picking out brochures.  We tried to stop at the first place they’d found only to discover it wasn’t open on Mondays, and the same was true for the next several ideas we had………

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I’ve decided for this duration to leave off the watermarks because it takes too much time on my slow laptop, and besides I really doubt anyone is going to try and steal my travel pictures.

We finally found a museum that was open, but it was more of a Mommy type of museum.

The boys had fun running from diorama to diorama counting the people in it, and I enjoyed taking pictures of all the things that happened in Louisiana state history, mainly focusing on agriculture and production.  Either way I took a slew of pictures planning on making it into a book about Louisiana.
IMG_0973 So, if you’re ever driving through Shreveport I totally recommend the Louisiana State Historical Museum.  It was built as part of the WPA, and had all sorts of interesting history.

Ahhhh, fun history museums.  It’ll be even better when my kids have the patience to look at them.  But, now I’ve got lots of ideas for my unit on Louisiana………  Farming stuff, lots of farming stuff.

Oh, and I’ve figured out another great idea for traveling with kids:

Raid the library for books on CD, in particular Hank the Cow Dog.  I’ve mentioned before our love of Adventures in Odyssey.  Now, we’ve got a new one to add to our mix.

Oh, and those single serve things you add to water bottles.  I bought some of the Target ones on clearance last year.  Admittedly (and Jeff caught me on this) more because the box they come in is cool, than for the contents.  They loved watching the water change color and the mix of it all as it went down.  Great little mini-science lesson on diffusion.

We’re continuing to learn as well, They each read me or Mom a book in the morning and at night.  I want to add in at lunch, but haven’t yet.

Now, I’m off to read for a little before going to bed, and hopefully the kids will fall asleep soon.  I swear it’s like they don’t need to sleep.

And as a final thought, in case anyone thought it was restful sleeping in a Queen size bed with 2 six year olds, think again.  At one point I think we formed an H in the bed, and at another point I think Superman was spinning in the bed, and Batman had about 2 feet of bed on the other side of him while I was making do with a piddly six inches.