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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!