Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baton Rouge

Two weeks ago, Adrienne and I headed on our last big "girls only" roadtrip before she has her baby. Usually we head to Atlanta to see Britney Spears and do some shopping, but this time we decided to go somewhere we've never been before--Baton Rouge, La.

Why Baton Rouge, you ask? Well, it's an amazing city, the state capital of Louisiana, home to lovely Civil War-era architecture, rich with history and also heavy with upscale shopping centers, great restaurants and really pre--

Oh, who am I kidding? Baton Rouge is where they're filming the next installment of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn. All those other things I mention? They were more like perks, like wonderful sugary icing on a very delicious--probably blood-red velvet--cake. (Did you see the Twilight reference in that metaphor? I guess if I have to ask, it's not a very good metaphor.) If Breaking Dawn hadn't been there, neither would we.

Still, it's really good that Baton Rouge has all that other stuff because we didn't see a single Twilight star. But more on that in a minute.

The trip itself was pretty uneventful, except for a major traffic jam on I-10 in Mississippi....

....and a small freakout when we got off onto I-12 and the Garmin told us we still had 85 miles left until BR. We had already been in the car for about 100 years at this point.

When we finally made it, all we wanted to do was eat at an authentic Cajun/Creole (I have no idea which is which, I just know if it has crawfish on it, it must be Louisiana food) restaurant. We had NO CLUE where to eat, so we spent about 30 minutes trying to find a restaurant that I read about on the internet. When we finally found it, it turned out to be the Cajun equivalent of a Cracker Barrel.

I am still ashamed of making Adrienne eat there. But if we had stayed a little longer, apparently there would have been dancing on the tables, which is actually kind of cool, if not a little un-hygenic. Ok, a lot un-hygenic.

The rest of the weekend was filled with shopping, shopping, SHOPPING and visiting Raleigh Studios at the Celtic Media Center. Louisiana is on its way to becoming the "Hollywood of the South" and they are making lots of movies here. Breaking Dawn is the biggest one so far, but they are also filming a movie right now called "Battleship", based on the board game, which stars Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch and Rhianna. It was really interesting to see all the "Hollywood stuff", especially so close to home--this is not something you see every day when you're from Alabama.

Like I said, we didn't see any Twilight stars, but we came really close. While Nikki Reed and Liz Reaser were at the Mall of Louisiana around 5:30pm on Saturday, we were directly across the street in our hotel room resting and watching tv--because we had been at the mall earlier that day. In fact, while we were riding around looking for somewhere else to go around 4pm, we thought about going to a movie but decided against it--who goes to a movie on vacation???--so we ducked into a few more shops and then headed back to the hotel. Guess who was at the movies? Kellen Lutz. Guess what time? 4pm. Sigh.

Oh, well. Better to have been thisclose than for them to be completely out of town while we were there.

Some pictures from our trip:

The soundstage where Breaking Dawn is supposedly filming

Main entrance into Celtic Media Centre

A movie set--it looks like an old Western or downtown scene--probably not for BD

Another set

How cool! Can't wait to see whatever movie this was for! Apparently there was a pool in there, too.

Giant greenscreen area--we thought at the time it was for Battleship, and I think I've heard recently that we were right!

Louisiana state capitol--the tallest capitol in America

The old state capitol

The old governor's mansion

The Capitol Center Hilton in downtown BR. It is on the National Historic Register of Hotels. Also where Rob and Kristen stayed before they began filming BD.

Adrienne and the old state capitol


Adrienne on the beautiful staircase in the old capitol.

Again, me.

Beautiful stained glass dome in the capitol.

Hall of Governors, where they have portraits of every LA govenor.

Adrienne and the Victorian Christmas tree.

And lastly...me.

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