Pre-Departure

30 Louisiana Facts for 30 Traveling Minnesotans

by:  Katie Winslow

louisiana flag

  1. The Battle of New Orleans, which made Andrew Jackson a national hero, was fought two weeks after the War of 1812 had ended and more than a month before the news of the war’s end had reached Louisiana.
  2. The state capitol is Baton Rouge
  3. Louisiana has the tallest state capitol building in the United States; the building is 450 feet tall with 34 floors.
  4. The largest city is New Orleans. Baron Rouge is the second.
  5. Louisiana is the only state in the union that does not have counties. Its political subdivisions are called parishes. There are 64.
  6. Breaux Bridge is known as the “Crawfish Capital of the World”.
  7. Jennings is called the “Garden Spot of Louisiana” for its rich and productive farmland.
  8. Winnsboro, the “Stars and Stripes Capital of Louisiana”, is one of the most patriotic cities in America. On Memorial Day, July 4th, Veteran’s Day, Labor Day, and other special occasions, approximately 350 American flags fly proudly along highway 15.
  9. Major industries include agriculture in the form of rice, cotton, and soybeans. Salt production, oil and natural gas as well as fishing.
  10. Other Agricultural commodities include: cattle, sugarcane, poultry, eggs, and dairy.
  11. State Motto: Union Justice and Confidence
  12. Louisiana was the 18th state. They joined on April 30, 1812
  13. The sate flower is the Magnolia
  14. Famous people that came from Louisiana include but are not limited to: Louis Armstrong, Jerry Lee Lewis, Huey P. Long, G. Beene, Truman Capote, Michael De Bakey, Bryant Gumbel, and Kordell Stewart.
  15. Nicknamed the Pelican state
  16. The state drink is Milk!
  17. In Louisiana, biting someone with your natural teeth is considered a simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth is considered an aggravated assault.
  18. Louisiana State Colors: Gold, white and blue
  19. The highest elevation is Driskill Mountain in Bienville Parish at 535 feet above sea level
  20. Louisiana Governor is Bobby Jindal of the Republican Party
  21. State bird: Pelican
  22. Louisiana was named in Honor of Louis XIV of France
  23. Louisiana’s neighboring states are Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi
  24. Louisiana has two senators David Vitter (R) and Mary Landrieu (D). They are also represented by six U.S. Representatives.
  25. State Tree: Bald Cypress
  26. Yearly precipitation: 48 inches
  27. The Mississippi River isn’t the state’s only major water way. The Red, Quachita and Sabine Rivers are also big and of course the Gulf of Mexico.
  28. State animal: Louisiana Black Bear
  29. State Insect: Honeybee
  30. From the Minnesota State Capitol to the Louisiana State Capitol it is approximately 1,177 miles or 17 hours and 45 minutes. I’m sure glad we are flying!

Spring Break Packing Tips

by:  Rachel Rostad

When it comes to packing, I have never been good at packing light. I always tend to bring anything that I could ever possibly need. You never know when you might have to go hiking through the mountains or if a blizzard will hit. Or maybe I will take up yoga when I’m at the hotel, so I should definitely bring several different sets of work out clothes. All of these ideas run through my head and I end up with way more than I would ever need for a weekend trip. And don’t even get me started with all the shoes that I think that I will need.

Because of my bad habits, I decided that it would be a good idea to learn some tips on how to pack efficiently.

packing-a-suitcase

1. Do your homework. Call the hotel, motel, friend’s house where you’re staying and ask the following: do they have a hairdryer, iron, ironing board, beach towels, bathrobes, sand toys—basically anything that’s bulky and that you’d rather leave at home? If the answer is yes, do not under any circumstances bring your own.

2. Check temperatures and events at your destination. Only pack what corresponds—do not bring “just in case” clothes.

3. Choose a central color to pack around. A neutral such as brown, black, or tan is a good place to start, then bring accessories and accent pieces that go with this color palette.

4. The numbers game. A good rule of thumb for trips less than one week is one shirt per day, one layering jacket or sweater, one bottom per every two days (but never less than two pairs of pants), no more than two pairs of shoes (one you wear and one you pack), underwear for every day, and seasonal additions, like a bathing suit.

5. Wash it out. If you’re traveling for more than a week, follow the same numbers as above and plan on washing clothes instead of bringing more. If you’re in a country with a good exchange rate, or aren’t on a tight budget, take advantage of the hotel laundry service or dry cleaning. Otherwise, bring individual packets of Woolite and a travel stain-treatment stick (Tide to Go is the best one).

6. Write it down. Make detailed lists of everything you plan to bring. That way you can easily see if you’ve allotted six pairs of pants for a four-day trip. Be honest, note everything—including socks and underwear—and then stick to your list when packing.

7. Downsize toiletries. Pick up travel-size versions of your favorite products whenever you see them, not just when you’re getting ready to travel. If you can’t find miniatures, buy small plastic bottles and decant from larger products.

8. Wear your heaviest shoes, sweater, and jacket. That way, you don’t have to pack them.

9. Pack outside your bag. Before you actually pack your suitcase, pile everything you plan to bring on your bed or dresser. This is your opportunity to eye your clothes and cull a few more items. If you pack directly into your suitcase, you’ll be tempted to throw in a few extra items (trust us, you will). Once you’ve made the final edit, pack only what’s in front of you. If you’ve followed our advice, your suitcase should now be a lean, mean, traveling machine.

Other tips that I have noticed are things like rolling your clothes and putting them in your suitcase instead of folding them. It prevents wrinkling and leaves more room for other things. Also packing a suitcase so that it is not crammed full will keep the clothes from wrinkling as well. It as also a good idea to consider how much you value the items you are packing into your suitcase. Airlines mislaid 42.4 million suitcases last year, reason enough never to put anything you would hate to lose in your checked luggage.

Headed to Louisiana for Spring Break

by:  Hannah Wilts

As spring break nears, here at the University of Minnesota, we Agricultural Education Club members are getting antsy. We will be leaving on Friday to learn about Southern Agriculture specifically in Louisiana. Our group of 28 students, ranging from freshman to seniors, and two instructors will be traveling from Friday the 15th to next Wednesday the 20th. We are road tripping around Louisiana to expand our knowledge of agriculture and have a break from the traditional classrooms and lecture halls. Louisiana Fun Facts

It will be great to take a break from our snow and ice covered sidewalks and head where the weather is much warmer and where we won’t need to wear jackets. It will be a great chance for us Minnesotan to go from the Northern United States all the way down to the Southern border of the United States.

During the trip we will be touring cotton plantations, a sugar plantation, Avery Island where pepper plants are grown for Tabasco Sauce, and even meeting up to tour and visit with students at Louisiana State University.

Louisiana mapI am most excited to see the where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. After crossing the mouth of the Mississippi for years at Itasca State Park, it will be neat to see where it ends and where an import port for agricultural commodities in the U. S. According to Louisiana Ag in the Classroom, Louisiana has 5000 miles of navigable waterways with the Mississippi River being an important factor. The agricultural grains from the Midwest count on being able to ship the grain down the river and it will cool to be up close to the river that travels from our home in Minnesota to New Orleans, LA.

There will be more awesome experiences to keep up with and see as our group of University of Minnesota students travel to Louisiana. Look for more blogs with updates throughout the trip!

Well I’m off to the Bayou! See ya!

Resources Used:

Louisiana Photo: http://www.czechresource.com/louisiana_overview.html. Retrieved March 14, 2013

Louisiana Ag in the Classroom Facts: http://www.agclassroom.org/kids/stats/louisiana.pdf. Retrieved March 14, 2013.

Read more Spring Break adventures…

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