Ft. Polk

The Hubs and I moved to Louisiana almost two years ago. Gosh, I cannot believe it has been that long… We requested the transfer with his job because we wanted to be closer to our grandkids and, with retirement looming on the horizon, we wanted to be some place warm.

Truth be told, though, I really never thought this would be our forever home.When we separated from the Army and moved to Pennsylvania, I thought that was it. That we’d never make it back down here again. Funny how we ended up coming nearly full circle.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I grew up in Italy, so I didn’t know much about the U.S., so when it was time for me to graduate from high school, I literally based my college choice on two things:

  • What I saw on TV
  • Who offered me a scholarship

At the time, my favorite show was A Different World, a spin-off of The Cosby Show. A Different World was about Denise Huxtable’s experiences as a student at Hillman University, a fictional HBCU {Historically Black College and University}. I was fascinated. I wanted that experience.

So I applied to Dillard University, was accepted, and offered a scholarship. Dillard University is an HBCU right in the heart of New Orleans. I loved it. I loved New Orleans…

New Orleans made me feel alive. It also overwhelmed me. There was just so much of everything. The food was amazing. The people were friendly. And, when you’re young, the drinks are free. I ended up not graduating from Dillard but I have memories to last me a lifetime.

I experienced my first step show {a dance performed by Black Greek organizations}. I snuck into a hotel and watched my friend’s sister’s cotillion. And I participated in a Second Line.

My biggest regret is that I didn’t know the power of the camera. Granted, this was pre-digital age, so I probably wouldn’t have access to all of the photos anyway. Most of my photos were lost during our various moves. But, on the bright side, I was truly living in the moment.

Skip ahead a few years and I ended up getting stationed at Ft. Polk, Louisiana with the U.S. Army. That is where I met The Hubs. Twenty-six years ago.

Waiiiit…. I’ve lost all focus. This post is supposed to be about Louisiana. So, let’s get to it:

The Weather

Rain {living outside the stacks}
Louisiana is hot and humid. I joke and say that for every sunny day, we have to pay with three rainy days. It’s not so much a joke as a cold hard fact. It rains a lot here. In fact, I’m thinking it may be time to invest in some cute rain boots.

The winters are mild. I mean, we have days when we have to seriously bundle up because yikes! But, for the most part, I can usually get away with a heavy sweater and a couple of layers. I’m OK with this. I can’t handle the cold.

The one thing I was not prepared for was the number of tornado warnings we get. I mean, when we were stationed at Ft. Polk, I don’t remember us ever having to take shelter… I asked The Hubs and he said he doesn’t really remember it either. I’m wondering if we blocked it out?

The Food

Crawfish {living outside the stacks}

Ice Cream

I have not had a bad meal since I moved here. When I was first stationed at Ft. Polk, I used to buy crawfish by the pounds – yes, I said pounds – from the back of this guy’s pick up truck {that sounds so much sketchier than it is because Louisiana}. Anyway, the crawfish came with boiled corn on the cob and potatoes. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever had. When my toddler was old enough, I taught her how to peel her own because I got tired of peeling them for her. LOL

I’m not a big catfish fan, but I will eat it from a local restaurant called DeBarge’s. It just has this “something’ to it that makes my mouth water even while typing out this sentence.

The Vibe

Tamp n Grind {living outside the stacks}
Music in New Orleans
Like most places, every part of Louisiana has it’s own vibe. New Orleans will always be the place where I fell in love with the mysterious side of life. It was dark but vibrant, overwhelming but just enough… I wish that I could put into words the way that New Orleans makes me feel. I mean, it’s different, you know post-Katrina. But there’s still that something that I felt as a young college student roaming the streets with my friends.

Graffiti Wall


Alexandria, where we currently live, is much more laid back. It’s very small town. The people are friendly. Everyone calls me “Miss Dani” which is still so funny to me. I’m used to being called simply “Dani” or “Daenel”.

And the accents. There are times when I have to have people repeat stuff because I’m like what? Depending upon where I am, the person sounds like they’re from New York by way of France with a pit stop in the Caribbean. I love it.

Have you ever been to Louisiana?


Welcome to the monthly edition of Where Bloggers Live. It’s kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…Bloggers! Who doesn’t like to peek behind the scenes and see inside people’s homes? Over the next few months, a group of seven bloggers will be sharing their work spaces, their homes, towns and more!

I should note – because this is super important – the creative brain behind this project is Bettye at Fashion Schlub! Love her!

where bloggers live feb 2020

Make sure you visit everyone to see where the magic happens!

Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Em at Dust and Doghair
Iris at Iris’s Original Ramblings
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Julia at When the Girls Rule
Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After


Come back next month to learn more about where I live.


Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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