Two reasons to love Louisiana: lots of unique culture (Cajun/Creole) and its beauty. The night we got to Lafayette we ate at Prejean’s, a Cajun restaurant where we had a variety of crawfish dishes and listened to live Cajun music. It was enjoyable on both counts. Saturday morning we went on a swamp boat tour. The swamp was alive with beautiful birds, like egrets and herons, turtles, and alligators too. That evening was another cultural experience: laundry at the Wash-A-Teria. What better way to spend a Saturday night?
Sunday morning we enjoyed an excellent Christmas program at Lafayette Ward. On Monday we went to New Iberia to tour the oldest rice mill operating in the US. We also went to Avery Island where Tabasco sauce is made. The factory tour was closed for Christmas Eve, but we toured the beautiful gardens there with magnolias, bamboo, and a wide variety of plants.
Christmas Day we skyped with the kids and grandkids, then we went for a drive to St. Martinville. It is a quaint town on the Bayou Teche that was made famous in the epic poem “Evangeline” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The Acadian people (Cajuns) had been exiled to this area from Nova Scotia in 1755, bringing their French/Canadian culture. We also drove past sugar plantations and crossed many bayous.
Wednesday we went to Vermillionville, a collection of 18th century homes that recreate life in early Acadiana. Docents explain the history and culture of the area. We got back to home-sweet-trailer before the pounding rains began. The weather fronts that come through are much more severe than we Californians are used to, with strong winds and rain that pass through quickly.
|turtles basking in the sun|
|Alligator looking at the tourists|
|the mighty Mississippi|
|Old Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge|
Thursday we drove to Baton Rouge. A good portion of the drive is on raised highway because of the swamps of the Atchafalaya Basin. Coming into Baton Rouge we crossed the bridge over the Mississippi River, quite a sight to see. One feature that stands out here are the beautiful old oak trees that sometimes make a complete canopy over the streets. We drove through the pretty LSU campus to arrive at our destination, a campground at a pristine equestrian center. Today we toured the Old Governor’s Mansion, built in 1929 by Governor Huey Long. He had it designed to resemble the White House. We also took a stroll through the Mall of Louisiana, which is much like the mall of anywhere else. But dinner at the VooDoo BBQ Grill had some food not like anywhere else. Tomorrow we’re off to the Big Easy – New Orleans, to enjoy another week of Louisiana adventures.