We awoke before 5:00 a.m. this morning and got on Rt. 171 north. Thick fog shrouded the darkness of pre-dawn. Until today, I'd never been farther north in Louisiana than DeRidder. We ambled through small towns, Rosepine, Leesville, Fort Polk, Anacoco, Many (manny), names familiar to me only from watching local weather forecasts. They call this "hill country" and indeed, there are rolling hills, very different from parishes closer to the coast.
It was Exploration Day at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA). Eric is considering attending this high school. The biggest question is whether he should start there his sophomore or junior year. LSMSA is a public state high school nestled against Northwestern State University in the charming little town of Natchitoches, pronounced (trust me) NACK-a-dish. Being a public school, there's no tuition, but we'd pay room and board. Eric is a perfect candidate for LSMSA; self-motivated, mature, independent, bright, social. Both academically and extra-curricularly (is that a word?), LSMSA has so much more to offer a kid like Eric than a traditional public high school. He'd be challenged academically, and also have outlets for his trumpet, voice, and acting talents. It's truly more like college, just a few years earlier. And the fact that it's like college is also the biggest drawback. It's a bit over two hours drive away. He'd live in a dormitory. They have one three-day weekend a month to come home, plus the usual holiday breaks. Of course, where else but in Louisiana do you get a week off for Mardi Gras? But are Bob, Andrew, and I ready to send Eric out into the world?
Natchitoches is famous for its meat pies. They're shaped like large pierogies, made of pastry dough and filled with seasoned meat. In Mexico, they'd be called empanadas. We picked up a few to go for the ride home. Sorry, no photos. I forgot my camera this morning.