Day six - Neil has the most Louisianan day so far and it all starts in the State Capitol....Baton Rouge.
We start with a visit to the state Capitol building, built by Huey P Long to replace the old State Capitol, as Huey wanted to erase the memories of those that attempted to have him removed from office. As State Capitol buildings go this is pretty rare, only two State Capitols do not have the traditional domed roof the other being the considerably less famous one in Nebraska. Huey was destined for the Whitehouse but conspiracy theorists will tell you his run to office and indeed life was ended upon the order of one Franklin Roosevelt - this as I say is just 1 theory. What we do know is that the modern world as we know it would have been a very different place had Huey made it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.
It's no coincidence my love for the state, known on the states vehicle registration plates as 'Sportsman's Paradise' and a special Mecca like passion, is reserved for Tiger Stadium, the sheer size of this place is phenomenal and mind blowing when you consider it's a University Stadium that will soon hold 102,000 screaming football mad LSU fans. My visit is just to be a drive by to see the place, but this soon becomes a hugely privileged trip to the inner sanctum as the players report for spring training!! My jaw drops to the floor like a kid in the worlds biggest toy store when none other that Karl 'the mailman' Malone former NBA, 14 time All Star, 2 time league MVP of the LA Lakers and Utah Jazz joins me on the sidelines - only in this sports mad state would this man draw no attention watching his boy train.
A sadly too brief visit through the neighbourhoods reveals another essential aspect of life in Louisiana, we all know Mardi Gras and it's parades but the sea of green at the St Patricks parade is a site to behold too.
On my way from the parade some more of what makes Louisiana the place it is makes itself known to me.....Tonys Seafood Market where 'everyone' comes across the area and also the home of Fish Fry Spices Company.
The final call for the day and my home for this evening is the beautifully appointed Houmas House, the jealousy my colleagues expressed before my trip when they heard I was staying here is certainly warranted. Houmas House boasts quite literally priceless artefacts including a solid silver statue of Honest Abe Lincoln created by the very same artist that gave us Mount Rushmore and a clock previously owned by Marie Antoinette just to name two! Whilst living my plantation life it would seem crazy not to enjoy an indulgent and delicious dinner, well 10 course dinner in using delicacies such as caviar and foie gras is the only way to go. Our host for the evening is the charismatic Mr Kevin Kelly - owner of this great home, the man has so many stories many of which cannot be repeated on these pages but safe to say the man knows all the gossip and scandal that makes Louisiana the delightfully alluring state that it is.
For further information on any of these places of interest, or help planning your Louisiana roadtrip email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 652 8251.