Wooten Weekend – Balloon Festival & Angola Rodeo

The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com.Matthew and I recently went to The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race and the Angola Rodeo with our friends, the Wootens. Matthew and I both love their daughters Ava and Ila dearly and we enjoyed hanging out and spending time with them over the weekend. I took a ton of photos, of course, so I thought I’d share a bit about our fun weekend.The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com.We traveled to Natchez early Saturday morning and planned to enjoy the festival while waiting on the balloons to fly. We checked out the craft vendors, ate carnival food, flew kites, and listened to live music. We rode rides with the kids. (When I say “we,” I mean Matthew and the others. This girl does not ride rides…motion sickness and migraine city for me. Matthew actually waited in line for over an hour to ride the Ferris wheel with Ava…so sweet!)

Unfortunately, the balloons didn’t get to fly even once because it was too windy. Not even once! Of course, it was for the safety of the operators. However, it was a bummer to not get to see the balloons at all. Maybe next year!The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race with the Wootens. Read more at pamelapetrus.com.After wrapping up at the balloon fest and having dinner at The Camp, we drove down to St. Francisville to stay for the night. If you’re not familiar with Louisiana, St. Francisvillle is home to a multitude of very old plantation homes, many of which have been converted into bed & breakfasts. Just imagine tree-lined driveways, glorious, old homes, and acres of beautiful scenery. Matthew and I stayed at Greenwood Plantation  and although we didn’t get to stay in the plantation home, we did get a quick tour before heading to the rodeo. I loved seeing the large rooms full of old furniture and an abundance of character. The trees out front were simply lovely and I could have spent hours walking about. If you’d like to take a step back in time, I highly recommend a visit to the St. Francisvillle area!Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville. Read more at pamelapetrus.com.Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville. Read more at pamelapetrus.com. Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville. Read more at pamelapetrus.com.On Sunday, we attended the famous Angola Rodeo, and I was nothing short of blown away. That rodeo is quite an operation! I had mixed feelings about the concept of a prison rodeo. However, the fact that this large institution completely supports itself, grows its own food and livestock, and even helps provides sustenance to other prisons, is simply amazing. I left the rodeo completely intrigued and spent most of the ride home looking up facts about the Angola system. I could literally write a book report on it at this point!

All in all, it was a very fun weekend. Matthew and I enjoyed spending time with our dear friends and came home rather exhausted. Since we didn’t get to see the balloons, I’m thinking we’ll have to plan to return next year! Maybe you can join us!

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