Jolly Old St. Natchitoches

Ready to take on Christmas in Natchitoches in short sleeves?! It was so warm during our visit, I contemplated purchasing flip flops, and I definitely lost that scarf.
Ready to take on Christmas in Natchitoches in short sleeves?! It was so warm during our visit, I contemplated purchasing flip flops, and I definitely lost that scarf.

Another highlight of my holiday season was our little getaway to Natchitoches, Louisiana.  Last year, a friend of mine who visits every year was talking about it in the office, and I immediately posted a Youtube video on Kelly’s page with a “We have to go here” message attached.  Fortunately, Kelly’s family saw our posts, and in December of 2015 they gave us a gift certificate to Andre’s Riverview Bed & Breakfast.

A stay at this beautiful bed and breakfast was one of the best gifts we've received as a couple!
A stay at this beautiful bed and breakfast was one of the best gifts we’ve received as a couple!  We were on the third floor, and we so enjoyed our stay here.  It was very relaxing, and the location couldn’t be  more convenient.  We were able to walk to everything in town.

The more I researched about this quaint historical town, the more I was desperate to visit, but fortunately, we were able to hold off going until they put out their famous Christmas lights.  Starting the work in September, Natchitoches decks itself out every year for Christmas with over 300,000 lights and 100 displays along the Cane River Lake.  They host a huge yearly Christmas Festival, and they also do several nights of fireworks throughout the season.  We missed both of those, but it was still wonderful to spend a few days taking in all the lights and listening to the Christmas music piped all over historic downtown.  The weather was balmy which made it perfect for exploring the city on foot, and when it got a little chilly in the evening, Kelly took me on a carriage ride to view the lights.

We had a perfect view of the Christmas lights on the bridge over Cane River Lake from the place we stayed. This was the scene that greeted us the first evening we arrived at Andre's.
We had a perfect view of the Christmas lights on the bridge over Cane River Lake from the place we stayed. This was the scene that greeted us the first evening we arrived at Andre’s.

Natchitoches is also famous for being the setting of the great movie, Steel Magnolias.  It was fun to see so many locations featured in the movie in person.  As portrayed in the film, the people there are so friendly.  I felt wonderfully welcomed.  During our historic walking tour of the city, we were able to learn more about the locals, their views on the movie, what’s changed since it was filmed there, and what they love and loathe about so many tourists frequently descending on their town.

We stopped by to see the famous Steel Magnolia House which is now a bed and breakfast along with several other spots featured in the 1989 film.
We stopped by to see the famous Steel Magnolia House which is now a bed and breakfast along with several other spots featured in the 1989 film.

After spending so much time walking around in the Louisiana heat, of course we had to cancel out all that exercise!  Natchitoches has the perfect food to do just that, and we eagerly indulged in many a meat and crawfish pie at Lasyone’s.  I was surprised that I preferred the meat pie to the crawfish pie, but let me tell you, I’d happily eat either.  They were warm, spicy, flaky perfection.  I had heard so much about meat pies when we told anyone we were visiting Natchitoches, but how come no one ever told me about Lasyone’s Louisiana Hot Spiced Tea?!  It was so yummy.  It tasted sweet, citrusy, and I might’ve been more taken with that than the meat pies.  After my first sip, I wanted to say, “Can you just leave a pitcher of this on the table?”  It tasted like Christmas.

Breakfast at Lasyone's
Breakfast at Lasyone’s

One of my favorite places to search for on trips we take are historic cemeteries.  While it may seem strange to some, I’m comforted by the fact that in other countries, many people have picnics in the cemetery.  They are almost utilized more like a park, and I think a great old cemetery is beautiful to stroll through.  Also, I was a former goth in my youth so you know, old habits. Haha!  I always joke that a trip with Sarah isn’t complete unless we find the local cemetery.  Fortunately, Natchitoches has the American Cemetery.  It is touted as being “the oldest cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase” and was established in 1737.

I love the older headstones. Even when time has caused them to break, I find them to be beautiful.
I love the older headstones. Even when time has caused them to break, I find them to be beautiful.
While I prefer the history and look of the older headstones, I can't deny that this more modern one won me over. There is a lot of love here, huh?
While I prefer the history and look of the older headstones, I can’t deny that this more modern one won me over. There is a lot of love here, huh?

My personal favorite thing about the city was just slowing down after fall semester and life in general and spending time with Kelly.  I’m so glad that we have so many similar interests and that we both enjoy travelling as much as we do.  Christmas can get hectic with visiting everyone else so taking some time to be alone was wonderful.  I hope we go back to Natchitoches someday, but if not, I’m confident we’ll find other cities to explore.  We’ve already got a trip to Las Vegas on the agenda for spring!

Strolling through Natchitoches with the love of my life
Strolling through Natchitoches with the love of my life
This was the view from our balcony on the last night we spent in Natchitoches. Dusk on the Cane River is stunning and what could be a better end to our visit?
This was the view from our balcony on the last night we spent in Natchitoches. Dusk on the Cane River is stunning and what could be a better end to our visit?

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