top of page

OUR SOUTHERN EXIT: Good-Bye, Louisiana.

October 2022: Our journey out of southeast Louisiana after living there as a transplant for 15 years.

A Race Against Snow and Age.

My son was at his annual trip Cruisin’ The Coast trip the first week in October. We said our good-byes when he left, as I would be leaving his house while he was in Mississippi. I did not have a concrete deadline, but it was my goal to make it to Washington before snow started falling on the various mountain passes along the way. My husband and I also wanted to be together to celebrate my 50th birthday at the end of the month.

The first fill up of many!

At noon on October 7, 2022, I stopped for gas one last time while leaving Gonzales. From there, I went to Daryl & Son’s Framing in Baton Rouge to drop off a few dozen art pieces for framing. It took about two hours to select all of the mats and frames, but it was a critical task for a big client project prior to leaving. If there’s one thing to know about me – I will do everything I can to maximize my time. It was a relief to be making this trek on my own timeline without the pressure of catching planes, etc.

My last goal for day one was to arrive at my in-laws in Texas that first night. From there, I would take it one day at a time and stop when I needed to. They had a wonderful meal waiting for me, despite my late-night arrival. What a blessing! I verified my route with my father-in-law and left the next morning.

Can't beat a home cooked meal!

I knew this would likely be my last chance to stop and visit Magnolia, the Silos, etc. in Waco, Texas. After all of our years in Louisiana, we just never made it over there. It would have been a fun trip with my husband, but I navigated it fairly well on my own. But it was so hot. October definitely doesn’t mean “Fall” in the south. That’s one thing I do not miss! Seeing everything in person was pretty cool. My first thought when I saw the Silos was, “huh, smaller than I expected.” I may not be a farmhouse style kind of girl, but I have enjoyed the wholesome Chip & Jo dynamic since they entered the scene. I am glad I was able to carve out a couple hours to experience it. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. They were even filming a baking competition at the time. Oh, and I definitely stood in line for an assortment of cupcakes at the Silos Baking Company. Gotta have road trip snacks, right?! I even managed one awkward selfie to prove I was there, lol!

My quick trip to Magnolia.

A few hours north was my next stop – Ikea. I had loosely scheduled a pick up cuz, you know, I’ve got to maximize my time. Ikea is weird, though. There’s a store a few hours from our new home in Washington but they wouldn’t ship some outdoor chairs that I wanted. And their availability comes and goes so pick up wasn’t even an option. I found a location along my route that did have them! Of course, I measured ahead of time and left a gap in my van for the stack of four to fit perfectly. The guy who brought them out was sure they wouldn’t fit. But, as you can see . . .

I also felt like I was smuggling plastic grocery bags. To all of my Louisiana friends, don’t take them for granted! Up here in Washington, they charge you 8 cents per bag (paper or plastic). (Walmart won't even offer them anymore. Their old grocery bag racks just sit there empty). So, as I was packing up my workshop, I saved as many as I could because we actually reuse them for various things all the time. Don’t get me started on that subject.

There is something quite peaceful, freeing and awe-inspiring about driving cross country alone. Of course, I did as my son told me in a text: “Be safe! Don’t talk to strangers and always lock your doors.” :) I was careful about how late I drove, so that I wouldn’t be too vulnerable after midnight. I typically stopped at grocery stores, as opposed to rest stops if I could help it. I topped off the tank between 1/2 and 1/4. And I checked in with the hubs so he would know where I was throughout my trek. There were a few harrowing spots where it was dark and there was major road construction and a couple city drives that frazzled me. But overall, the absolutely beautiful scenery that I witnessed every day was a calming reminder of just how amazing God is. None of this accidentally happened. We can get so focused on our little bubbles that we tune out the big picture of God’s creation. I am so grateful for the 6 days I spent driving alone through 9 states. Problems felt smaller, challenges not as big, and dreams seemed more achievable. Highly recommend.

My view for over an hour while traffic was stopped. Good thing I had just filled up!

I pulled into the Tri-Cities late on October 12 and met my husband for a quick dinner while he was on shift. He was a sight for sore eyes! I made it before the snowfall and two weeks before my birthday. Whew! We have vowed to never move separately/over time again. I know you're not supposed to say "never," but we definitely do not want to repeat 2022.

My handsome dinner date!

Back to unpacking! Remember the fire? Well, I still had to finish unpacking from that. And the final two U-Boxes arrived with all of my office stuff and the remainder of our belongings. This felt like the longest pack and move ever! But it felt so good to be HOME!

My 50th Birthday!

We moved back to Washington to be near my family. But it's important to note we are still 4 hours away from each other with a mountain pass in between. That means we won’t visit much during the winter months (late October is sometimes pushing it). Jason whisked me over the mountains for a surprise celebration with my sister and brother-in-law. Dinner and the views were amazing! We stayed the night and got to see my parents the next day. It was such a treat! After being away for 15 years, these are the things I had greatly missed, but I never allowed myself to dwell on. Ok, that’s another rabbit hole I won’t go down.

What a nice break from the craziness of the year.

There you go! November and December were spent unpacking, settling in and becoming familiar with our new home and surroundings. My husband and I were relieved to finally be together permanently without all of the back and forth. Life was good. We had close friends who moved here a couple years before us. We celebrated Thanksgiving together and I was enjoying weekly coffee dates to reconnect. There was snow for most of December, which we loved! We had to learn about shoveling techniques and salt. I got my new driver's license and registered my van. I was in full project mode, making our house a home. I refinished a couple thrifted pieces of furniture, baked Christmas cookies and organized to my heart's content. A local handyman and his crew installed some custom built-ins that I designed for my home office.

I projected re-launching my business in the Tri-Cities by mid-2023. Rest was no longer elusive. Everything was falling into place.

Until . . . four days into the new year the rug was pulled out from under us, making us question and regret everything we had just gone through over the last twelve months.

The Leaving Louisiana series has come to an end. Thank you for following along with our journey out of the south. My purpose was to chronicle the crazy, fast-faced and unexpected move out of Louisiana after 15 years. We thought we would live there for 2 years and then move back to Washington. But God, time, circumstances, cost of living and opportunity just never allowed it to happen on our time. Good-bye to everyone I never had a chance to say it to. Our son still lives there, so part of our heart will always be in Louisiana, despite our yearning to leave the humid state we could never fully blend into. I have so much to be thankful for from that time in our lives. It will always be part of me.


Did you miss HOW it all started? Click here to read the first in the Leaving Louisiana series.

Click here to find out WHY we moved.

I may pick up the journey in a new series in the future. Stay tuned!


Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page