Betty, Anne and I were tourists in our own town today. It all started when we went to downtown Baton Rouge to take Easter pictures with Annie. She took pictures with four cute and cuddly bunnies, and then Betty and I jumped into the mix. Only one bunny peed while we were there, which makes our photo session a great success.
Once the photo session ended, we thought we'd go exploring downtown Baton Rouge. We tried going to the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum (LASM) but it didn't open for a few hours, so instead we decided to go to levee.
Baton Rouge means "Red Stick" in French, and is named after a large red cypress stick that used to be the dividing line between the Houma and Bayou Goula tribal hunting grounds. There's still a giant red concrete pole in downtown Baton Rouge... it doesn't separate tribal hunting grounds anymore, but does divide the free parking from the pay-for-parking areas. And of course, every time I see it, I can't help but to call out, "Does that make you horny, baby?!?"
Downtown Baton Rouge is also home to the USS Kidd, which is a Destroyer. You know what Destroyers are - they're the ships that were two or three pins in that game Battleship that were always hard to hit.
On our way to the USS Kidd we stopped at the Shaw Center, which Betty and I refer to as the "Baton Rouge Bellagio" because it has a couple of fountains on the sidewalk and also because I lose money every time I walk by Capitol City Grill. It's just so tasty!
I had never been on the USS Kidd before. Or I should say, I don't remember ever going. My mom said that she took me on a field trip in the second grade. Anyway, I knew that I loved this thing the first moment I saw it, because it was flying the Jolly Roger.
Once inside the Kidd, there were a few things that I absolutely had to do. First, I had to do the Titanic / King of the World thing at the front of the ship.
Second, I had to lay in the bunks. The main goal was to get Betty in there with me, and then to use my line, "It's not the size of the boat but the motion in the ocean," but she said that the boat was docked so there would be no motion, plus it was docked on a river and not an ocean. So then I insisted that it really is about the size of the boat, but apparently Destroyers are one of the smaller ships, so that ended our conversation.
And finally, I had to play with all the stuff that wasn't bolted down.
As a man, I had no choice but to stare in awe at the guns. When we got to the front of the ship, I kept singing Big Gun by AC/DC every time I saw the big gun on the deck. The other tourists were impressed by my air guitar and Angus Young impersonation.
Anne and I had a Father/Daughter bonding experience, as we sat down alongside one of the guns and aimed it at our favorite Baton Rouge landmarks. We did the countdown together: "Ready?"
I've always hated the Mississippi Bridge, mainly due to the traffic. I held the gun steady while Anne pulled the trigger. We didn't feel bad for imagining destroying the Mississippi Bridge, mainly because we knew we were using a gun made by GE. Buy American!
That concluded our morning in downtown Baton Rouge. If you have any good tourist advice for a person who has lived in or around Baton Rouge for ten years, please leave a comment!
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