Baton Rouge Marathon and New Orleans

This past weekend I ran my 11th marathon (Louisiana Marathon) for kids and schools. We raised almost $2000 and we are very close to a total of $125,000 raised for schools in only 2 years! Thank you SO MUCH everyone for your support, donations and much love. ❤

The marathon was beautiful and very well organized. The food, music and southern hospitality make this marathon one of a kind. The course is flat (perfect for a PR), low temps at the start and nice warm breezy weather at the end.
The race starts at the Louisiana State Capitol, which is the tallest state capitol in the country. The course runs down towards the Mississippi river road and then it takes you to the first oak tree line on northern boulevard, which is simply stunning. I never knew that Louisiana state is so rich in pine forests and spectacular species of oaks. The course also takes you thorough the heart of LSU campus which is so beautiful, you pass by the famous LSU Tiger Stadium as well. You get to run by so many lakes, historical districts and see a few types of birds that are indigenous to the area. It’s a really pretty course packed with wonderful supporters, families who are out there cheering for you, giving lots of food, water, mimosas, and beers out. 🙂

Here are a few pictures I took on my cellphone.

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Beautiful oak tree line!

bannersAmazing support!

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Finally got my beer 😉 and it was good timing. I think this was around mile 18.

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❤

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LSU campus and Tiger Stadium

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I was so happy at the end. It was a nice race for me, easy without any stress or injuries. My goal was to finish, raise money and enjoy the experience! And so I did. ❤

On Saturday, before the marathon, I explored a little bit Baton Rouge. My favorite place was seeing the USS Kidd. What a fantastic historic and educational place!  Almost 40 Navy men died on this ship as an aftermath of the Japanese kamikaze shelling. It is located along the Mississippi River  with a beautiful view of the downtown area. At points, I got really emotional – it is a time to reflect on the sacrifice of our patriots to keep our country safe. ❤
Here are some pictures from the ship.

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Took a selfie of USS Kidd and I.
I also bought myself a cute sailor cap and a history book about WWII. I can’t wait to read it.
It’s called “The Sandscrapers” by Griffin Garnett

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The kitchen.

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This was one BIG ladle! Bigger than my head.

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Eating area.

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Captain’s room.

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Sleeping quarters.

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Ammunition.

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After the marathon, I took the bus to New Orleans. I wanted to explore the French Quarter, enjoy some beignets at the famous Cafe du Monde and have some chargrilled oysters at Acme.

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I enjoyed my time at Cafe du Monde very much. Andrew Solomon’s book, “Far & Away”, fitted perfectly the moment. It’s a beautiful collection of essays that chronicles a life’s journey to the nexus of hope.

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I loved Gabriela! She has been working for Cafe du Monde for more than 18 years. When I asked her why does she think the beignets are so tasty, she said because they are made with love. 🙂 ❤

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Chargrilled oysters at Acme. One of the best dishes I’ve ever had. 🙂 It was so good!

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The beautiful Jackson Square in French Quarter right by Cafe du Monde. It is a historic park that was declared a National Historic Landmark. It’s a beautiful park full of artists, street performers and musicians.

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General Andrew Jackson – served as the 7th President of the United States.

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Beautiful! ❤

I really enjoyed my time in Louisiana! The marathon was really wonderful. Thank you to all the volunteers and families that came out to cheer us.  It’s really true when they say that if you ever lose hope in humanity, you should go out and watch a marathon! The atmosphere is so inspiring. You feel love coming from all sides. The camaraderie and kindness for each other is humbling and truly beautiful. ❤

Thank you to my donors, friends and family for your support, encouragement and so much love. ❤ ❤ ❤