Woohoo! You read that right, we checked off yet another state on our 50 states before our 50th wedding anniversary bucket list. We didn’t think we’d check off more than one state this year. We originally planned just our North Carolina trip, but then my cousin Brandon got engaged! He has been living in LA for the last few years, and we were so excited and honored to be invited to his big day. Fast forward a few months, Beckham was asked to be the ring bearer! We were thrilled to visit a new state, be around family, and celebrate all weekend long.

Brandon and his wife, Jasmine, are just the sweetest couple. They had some fun activities planned for their wedding that I had never heard of before – but LOVED!! We were invited to a worship night a few nights before the wedding. We unfortunately had to miss that due to our arrival time, but we loved going to an out-of-town family breakfast. It was so special to get time with the bride and groom just the day before their wedding. The wedding was perfect! I didn’t take many photos because I was just there in the moment…and making sure Beckham did his ring bearer duties to the fullest extend.

The wedding and our full weekend was spent in Lafayette, LA. It was a bit roasty toasty as I say, but it didn’t rain on any of the wedding activities, so we’ll call it a win! I’m not sure what all of Louisiana is like, but Lafayette has good food! I am not into spicy food, but I found so many amazing things to eat while we were there. My cousin also shared a list of suggestions with us, and we checked quite a few off! Our favorite was Pop’s Poboys. We had never eaten a poboy, and it was so good! We will definitely eat them again when we’re in Louisiana. Hayden tried gumbo for the first time, and also enjoyed several other cajun items. I, on the other hand, took a more neutral route with the food, but it was still so good!!

We enjoyed visiting the Farmer’s Market at Moncus Park (+ they have an incredible playground), and of course, visited some local coffee shops. Reve coffee shop was in an extremely cute area. We also stayed at a Home2Suites. It was our first time, and y’all I’m sold!! If you have littles, you need to do. We ended up getting a 1 bedroom unit. It was perfect. We could put Beckham to bed and enjoy time with our extended family in our “living room.” I highly recommend!!! We wanted to go on an air boat ride, but with the wedding schedule and Beckham being so young, we figured we’d try again next time.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay! The 10 hour drive turned into a 12.5 hour drive, but we stopped nearly every 2-3 hours for a quick run or bite to eat. We tried to find a good park along the way, but honestly it was a total bust – I found a rather questionable park that we ended up crossing off our itinerary quickly when we drove by. It’s so hard to find safe places to stop with littles along the way for them to run around. I will say we stopped in “Boomland” in southern Missouri, and it was HUGE and a great indoor and outdoor area to run around for kids. It’s a store – so no playground equipment. However, if your littles need to get their wiggles out – this is the place. We also told Beckham on the way down the last stop before our hotel was to get ice cream. I think that was a good motivation piece! 😉

Here are a few photos!! We have no plans as to where to go next year. Beckham is learning his states from our map in our kitchen and keeps pointing and saying “Kansas.” So who knows, maybe that will be next!

September 13, 2022

Louisiana, check! 50 States Bucket List Family Trip

Haley Nicole

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