According to Google Maps, we traveled 528 miles, and drove for 11 hours and 58 minutes during our week in Louisiana while avoiding highways.
Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Roadside Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Louisiana over the past week.
Famous Person: Fats Domino
Famous Food: Gumbo, Po’ boy, & Beignets
Roadside Attraction: Mardi Gras World (Cancelled)
State Capitol/Museum: Baton Rouge
National Park: Kisatchie National Forest
Historic Location: Laura Plantation
Can't miss attraction: French Quarter
Made in the USA Tour: Avery Island Tabasco Sauce
Please view our previous blog posts for the past week for further explanations of our experiences in Louisiana
A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:
Gas $ 111.00
$ 2.25 gal. in New Orleans, LA was the lowest price paid.
$ 2.37 gal. in Opelousas, LA was highest price paid.
We did great in this catagory
We did great in this category
Dining out $105.00
Moes $15.00 (Unbudgeted but yummy)
Seed $52.00 (Budgeted and delicious)
Starbucks $2.00 (Tea x1 in exchange for free wifi)
Chinese $18.00 (Unbudgeted late night lo main)
Costco pizza $7.00 (3 slices of average pizza)
Gumbo Shop $11.00 (Budgeted 2 cup of gumbo)
We did better than usual, but are still eating out way to much.
Redbox $8.00 (Movies x4)
Tabasco Plant $11.00 (Budgeted admission x2)
Laura Plantation $46.00 (Budgeted admission x2)
We did great in this category again!
Walmart $0.00 (Slept in parking lot x7 nights)
We continue to do great in this category
Parking $42.00 (Overpriced parking in New Orleans)
The most expensive parking of our entire cross country trip!
Louisiana Expenses Grand Total: $ 440.00
(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )
Is Louisiana Our New Home State?
Here are the rules:
Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.
“Tourism, film industry, agriculture, chemical plants, refineries, and the 4th largest port in the world are the pillars of the state’s economy. Unfortunately, the aforementioned does not equate to sufficient economic diversification”
“Louisiana’s per capita income is $30,952 ranking 41st in the US, and at 5.3% the state’s unemployment rate is 20% higher than the national average! Not good!!!”
Economy score: 1
Cost of Living:
“Louisiana’s 6% income tax and 11% sales tax after local surcharges is a real turn off. On a more positive note, the state has the 3rd lowest property taxes in the nation.
“As of 2017, compared to the national average: Housing is 20% cheaper, food was 5% cheaper, and gas is 10% cheaper in Louisiana!”
Cost of living score: 8.5
Quality of life:
“Ike, Rita, Nate, Lili, Juan, Isaac, Ida, Alison, Babe, Bertha, Danny, Arleen, Cindy Camille, Carmen, Bob, Bonnie, Audrey, Chris and of course Katrina, are just a few of the hurricanes which have devastated Louisiana over the past century. I could tolerate the occasional storm every few years, but evacuating from approaching storm fronts multiple times a year could get very old very fast!”
Louisiana was the dirtiest state we have encountered, and all across the state litter was everywhere! Louisiana’s violent crime rate is 5.66 significantly higher than the than the national average of 3.8. Even more disturbing, Louisiana has had the highest murder rate in the nation every year for the past 28 years! This is totally unacceptable in our potential new home state!!!”
Quality of life score: 1
“Music is not just a form of entertainment in Louisiana, Cajun, Creole, and Blue’s music is a way of life, and woven into the fabric of their society! New Orleans is the birth place of Jazz! Louisiana knows how to party!"
“Louisiana is a state rich in culture, cuisine and tradition. They have a parade or festival to celebrate almost everything. Albeit challenging to find vegetarian options, the food was absolutely spectacular!”
Culture Score: 7
“From the coastal marshes, to the long leaf pine trees, Louisiana possessed a beauty truly unique to itself! Many of the roads were built raised above the swamps, and all were well maintained, easy to drive, and I encountered no traffic”
“Unless you live in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandrea, or New Orleans, access to goods and services are very limited. Throughout the entire state, poverty was rampid, trash and graffiti were everywhere, and wherever we looked in Louisiana, we saw buildings abandoned and collapsing!”
Environment Score: 4
The verdict is in:
The final score for Louisiana was 4.3, and it will NOT be our new home state! Nate already used his wild card option, and Lori opted not to used hers on this state.
Below are the current standings:
Texas 7.3 (NATE’S WILD CARD)
South Dakota 7.1
North Dakota 6.9
West Virginia 6.0
New Mexico 4.5