On the Road Again to Natchitoches, La.
March 20th, 2004 7:30 A.M. was the beginning of Spring Vintage Vacation to Natchitoches, La. The Vacationers met at McDonald’s in Minden early for breakfast. The regulars at McD’s were treated to a little something extra that Saturday morning. A view of some great Street Rods, Antique, Classic Cars and Trucks is something you don’t see every Saturday in Minden. We revved up our engines at 8.00 A.M. and headed to the Webster Parish Library Smithsonian Exhibit “Yesterday’s Tomorrows”. The folks at the Exhibit were glad to show us this unique traveling exhibit. The exhibit gives you a chance to see what people in the past thought the world would be like in the future and from the looks of things they weren’t far off on their predictions.
We were on the road by 8:30 A.M., headed down the back-roads to Natchitoches. More than a few folks stop, look and wave, as our parade of about 30 “Pride and Joys” raced on to our destination. We had places to go and people to meet.
As we crossed the bridge in Coushatta, La. we stopped to pick up a few Vacationers from the Shreveport side. A 1950 Dodge Yellow Cab is not what you see everyday unless you travel with our group. We took a quick pit-stop and took off again with the Yellow Cab at the front leading the way.
The weather was great and the ride smooth on the back-roads of Louisiana. We passed the Alligator Farm and a few folks in the ditches searching for the “Louisiana Mudbugs”. We made it to the downtown area where the city had reserved our parking spots on the Cane River Front. The streets were lined with tourist for the Natchitoches annual Bloomin’ on the Bricks and the Louisiana Cemetery Tour. As we drove down the brick streets we made our own parade. Everyone stopped to look and wave and we obliged them with the honks of our rides of yesteryear.
Everyone may not own an old car but everyone sure seems to love to look at them! That was evident once we got parked and lined up along the beautiful Cane River. All the chrome was a sight to behold, as we attracted a pretty good crowd of lookers!
We did a little spit shine on our rides, before we gathered up for our first destination. Lasyone’s “Home of the Famous Natchitoches Meat Pies” welcomed about forty or fifty of us for the lunch bunch. Car and nostalgia trivia questions were called out and gifts given to everyone. From a Roy Rodgers game to Sci-Fi DVD’s we had gifts from all eras.
The next thing on our agenda was the American Cemetery Tour (the oldest Cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase). This was something great to see and so much Louisiana History to be learned. The actors portraying the past citizen’s of Natchitoches and the Steel Magnolia women did an excellent job. The vacationers that had never been to this type of tour loved it. One day I hope I can organize a tour for the Minden Cemetery. So much of Minden’s History is being forgotten. More on a Minden tour later.
After the tour we made it back to the river and finally made it to our various accommodations for the night. My group made a great choice, for our B&B, the Laureate House. This home built in 1840 is a piece of history in itself. Our Hostess Ms. Lou Ropp was so very gracious; we had the home to ourselves. Many of the other vacation group had the opportunity to stay at some of the other beautiful B&B’s in Natchitoches. We all have a wonderful time sleeping historically, on our trips, as I like to call it.
We took a little break then went back down on the river to meet the gang for our Dinner at the Mariner Restaurant on beautiful Sibley Lake. The Mariner was expecting us and had the outside deck set up in our honor. We fought a few mosquitoes for a while, but we finally figured out we should turn down the lights. Duh!!
We had picked up a few more vacationers for our dinner group. We all talked about the day’s events and how everyone had been doing since our last trip in November to Jefferson, Texas. We also talked about where we were going on our next Vacation. You see this group is made up of car clubs from all over and just friends and neighbors that love a little adventure in travel. We don’t know each other very well but every trip we take we become better acquainted. We become more like a family that loves cars and likes to have a good time!
Sunday morning we awoke to fresh coffee and the best French toast ever, served by our hostess. We quickly got ready for the day and loaded our car and took a few more pictures opportunities. We meet what was left of the group at 11:30 on the River Front.
We were headed to the beautiful Mel Rose Plantation. We only had one roadside seminar (minor breakdown) on the way. We toured Mel Rose and took more pictures and of course spent more money at the gift shop before we left and headed our separate ways.
Next trip is November 6th & 7th to Old Washington, Arkansas. If you would like to join us next time for a Vintage Vacation email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to have you come along for the ride!