City Social Magazine

MAR-APR 2018

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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8 R E A D U S o N L I N E A T W W W . C I T Y S o C I A L . C o M 8 Flights of Fancy: BTR Travelers Take to the Skies in Search of Authentic Experiences and Unique Cuisine With direct flights to Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Charlotte—and short hops to hundreds of other destinations—it's obvious why Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport connects with local executives, entrepreneurs, world travelers and weekend escape artists. To learn more, we spoke to some of our most illustrious locals about their favorite destinations. Marie Constantin, Marie Constantin Photography Wherever she travels, world-famous photographer Marie Constantin prefers living like a local by walking off the beaten path, browsing the marketplaces, buying fresh foods from street vendors and then returning home to prepare local dishes. "One time in Kolkata, India, we bought some grains, picked out the stones and twigs, then walked to the grinder to have it made into flour. That evening, we made Chapatis (an unleavened flatbread) over a fire on a flat skillet. Now that's living farm-to-table!" In the mornings, Marie likes to go out on her own to find a mom-and-pop café for some good coffee and an authentic breakfast. With her winning smile and friendly demeanor, she's able to strike up a conversation with the locals and learn a bit more about their world. Another great way to get a feel for the local color and culture is to sign up for a humanitarian trip, which can offer unique and memorable experiences for teens, single adults and even the whole family. Constantin's three trips to Haiti with the sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady was immersed her in the language and culture of the Haitian people; it gave her an up-close understanding of their gentility and generosity. "I came home appreciating how important it is to share your skills with others. In the case of Haiti, the sisters shared their skills and empowered the Haitians to build a health and education system," Constantin recollects. Constantin is focused on saving time and money, especially when she travels internationally. "The airport is seven miles from my house. By flying BTR, I can take a 6 a.m. flight, but still sleep in longer without the worry of missing a flight due to traffic." She's recently travelled from BTR to Dallas, San Francisco, Haiti, Singapore and Kolkata, India. "I don't want to begin any trip feeling stressed," says the Manship School of Journalism Hall of Fame inductee. "That's why I fly BTR. The routes to other airports involve long, elevated bridges where slow-downs and complete shutdowns are common. By flying out of BTR, I can take back that time and spare myself all the risks. I even treat myself to a 7-minute, $13 Uber ride from my home." Constantin admits she's gone to the airport when she wasn't arriving, departing, or even retrieving friends or family from out of town. "One year I drove to BTR to do some Christmas shopping for out-of-state family because they have a good selection of Louisiana products. Our airport feels modern, it's comfortable and the shop is full of nice Louisiana mementos." If you're lucky enough to get on a plane with Marie, she'll lean over from her aisle seat and strike up a conversation. "Once we're airborne, I order a chardonnay and get to know the person next to me." No rest for this world traveler! Napa Valley Vineyards: In January 2018, Marie Constantin and niece, Wendy Jacque, discover life is a Cabernet at the Pine Ridge Vineyard. Washington Mardi Gras, D.C.: Along with a plane-full of Washington Mardi Gras Queens, Gabrielle Ann Guilbeau, Louisiana Cattle Festival Queen, traveled to the Mystick Krewe of Louisianans Mardi Gras Ball. For more than 75 years, Louisiana's political, cultural and social influencers have traveled to D.C. for 3 days of socials, culminating in the Presentations of the King, Queen and Princesses, as well as Official State Queens at the Saturday Night ball. Tips for Staying Healthy While Travelling from Marie Constantin Incorporate excursions and destinations that make you walk more than usual. Bring over-the-counter medications, and even antibiotics, in case you get sick. Drink bottled water, beer and wine, not tap water. Don't eat salads or uncooked vegetables. Bananas and oranges are great—the skin protects you from contaminants.

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