We left the Trace heading toward Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Our friends from Our Wild Abandon had virtually introduced us to Penni and Dave, who had invited us to stay with them. The drive was only about 130 miles so we had plenty of time. We had made our way down the Trace eating and stopping by all the amazing historical spots the trace has to offer. It wasn't too long before we were in Louisiana. We had heard amazing things about St. Francisville, LA. They small Southern town is littered with old plantations, some even haunted. As we headed down the beautiful Hwy 61 the scenery changed and we were soon surrounded by beautiful trees. As we entered St. Francisville we looked right to a tunnel of trees and a beautiful gate, we wiped the Frolic around and entered. There was an older man at the gate who told us this place was called Afton Villa, an old plantation that had burned to the ground and was made into a beautiful garden.
We were so curious we thought nothing of paying the $10 entry fee, we needed to see what lay beyond the tunnel of trees. As we came down the path I began to feel I had entered a secret garden. I had never seen such a place, not even in New Orleans did I feel so Southern. As you look around the beautiful gardens you really can picture what life was like when the house still stood.
We were very excited to be back in Louisiana. We had come for my birthday in December when we were staying in Alabama and had gotten just a taste of what they place was about. We were excited to see another part of big L.A. We knew nothing of Baton Rouge, we barely knew who we were staying with but we were excited. This is the kind of adventure we have grown to love and a way of life we have grown accustom to. We had messaged Penni our host to let her know we were on our way for we were making a good time and were approaching Baton Rouge fast.
When we finally come down here small little tree lined street we saw the cutest lil lady waving her arms about, that must be our host Penni. She guided us to her drive and unlocked the gate to her yard where we would be parking. Now I thought I had been to the most magical place just hours before at Afton Villa till those doors swung open. Beyond the doors of Pennis gate where the most amazing collection of vintage trailers, a pink vintage VW bus, and the cutest backyard I have ever seen.
She gave us the tour, pointing out all her trinkets and ideas of just what else she would like to do. She explained that the porch we were now sitting on was also a stage, and in the summer, she has what she calls Bee Nice concerts. She has invited musicians to perform here and opens this magical place to the public during the summer.
Instantly we felt her wonderful energy and knew we were at the right place. We messaged our friends from OWA and let them know we had made it and already loved Penni. We had only planned to stay the night but Penni offered us a place to stay a little longer if we would like to explore.
We settled in and began to explore Baton Rouge. It was hard to leave Penni's yard, her lil oasis had everything I would want and I for sure add some things to my list of our future home. First an outdoor shower! A shower when traveling is always an amazing thing but an outdoor shower with a stain glass lamp shade over a rain shower head is absolute heaven. Second her deck/stage was an amazing place to sit and read or a great place for me and Hank to practice our yoga poses.
We made our way around Baton Rouge stopping at local vintage stores and dive bars and even made a historical stop off at the old Baton Rouge state capital. (I will list some of our favorites below here.) We also had to make a stop for beignets and Cafe Au Lait at the Coffee Call.
It was going to be hard to leave Penni and Dave's, they have a wonderful home and are people that just make you feel at home like you have known them for years. We said goodbye and pointed the Frolic west. We had more road to travel and Texas was calling our name. I do hope I get to go back to Baton Rouge soon if only to give Penni one great big hug.