After Aaron and I had been dating for a month, I had met his entire family.
Grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins…everybody!
My family, on the other hand, lives 10 hours away in South Louisiana.
Over the course of 3 years, Aaron had only met my grandparents and two aunts.
So when we got engaged we agreed that we’d make the trip down south before the wedding so that Aaron could meet all my family and experience my home state.
We planned a trip for fall break, loaded up the car and took off for a quick 4 days in Cajun Country.
Since it was Aaron’s first trip to Louisiana, both sides of the family planned to fit in as many aspects of Cajun culture as they could.
My mom’s family is from the little bayou town of Pierre Part.
My grandfather was one of Troy’s grade school teachers so he arranged for us to go meet him.
The best thing about bringing Aaron to Louisiana was that I got to play tourist a little too. There were so many aspects of my heritage that I have a new appreciation for after hearing the history behind them.
My grandparents went all out and scheduled a day full of sightseeing for Aaron including everything from a boat ride on the bayou to playing with baby alligators!
Part of our tour included the farm land in the area. Being the agriculture obsessed people we are, Aaron and I jumped at the chance to talk ag with my grandfather and uncle.
It was an eye opening experience for Aaron since he’d never been somewhere that didn’t grow corn!
Instead, the fields were covered in sugar cane and cane grinding was in full swing.
Grinding is the harvesting season for sugar cane farms. Cane is cut out of the fields and brought to a mill that grinds it into a consumable form of sugar.
When the roots are left intact, a farmer can get another cutting off of a field of sugar cane the next year.
On our way to visit my dad’s side of the family we stopped in Baton Rouge to visit another integral part of Cajun culture: Louisiana State University.
I knew Aaron and I were meant to be when I asked him who his favorite college football team was and he said, “Football? I don’t really have one.”
Since I grew up in Kentucky, I was not surprised by this. I had experienced many a March in the “Big Blue Nation” and everything that goes along with the state religion: UK basketball.
During football season, Kentuckians just bide their time waiting for basketball to start again. Aaron had never experienced a real SEC football school.
I quickly introduced him to LSU fan hood, taught him how to spell “geaux” and that real men wore purple.
I knew our trip to Louisiana wouldn’t be complete without taking him to Tiger Stadium and meeting Mike the Tiger.
While visiting my dad’s side of the family, we ate way too much Cajun food.
My grandmother made gumbo one day and my uncle made jambalaya the next night for the football game.
I was so glad that Aaron got to experience an LSU game with real fans. Even though it was an away game, we still had way too much fun yelling at the t.v. and watching our Tigers beat Florida.
It was a quick trip and a lot for my Kentucky fiance to take in but he did a great job. I loved getting to show off my heritage and introduce him to all my relatives.
I think he might have even enjoyed himself a little, especially since he’s already trying to convince our friends that we should all take a trip down there for a home game sometime.