Monthly Archives: April 2016

DANGER, WILL ROBINSON, DANGER

April, 2016

If you’ve been following our blog, you know we’ve had our share of dangerous moments ¬†(See GUNS N” ROSEBURGS). ¬†Since then, all was fine and dandy until today – Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Tim always uses the app, Gas Buddy, to find the best prices for gas in the area.

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If you haven’t used it, you might want to check it out. ¬†For any location it will list the gas stations in your area, ¬†including ¬†prices, and¬†the number of miles you have to travel to get there. ¬†But back to the story. ¬†We needed gas, and as usual, Tim checked Gas Buddy. ¬†He found a station about 2 miles from where we were, with gas 10-20 cents per gallon less expensive than everyone else. Is it worth It? ¬†Heck yes, if you put on as many miles as we do. ¬†As we entered Pine Bluff, ¬†(we knew because of the “Welcome To Pine Bluff” sign),

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it was apparent that this was a town that had seen better days.  Beautiful but dilapidated homes, and closed shops.

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A bit farther along, we determined that maybe we shouldn’t be here. ¬†Hmmm. ¬†A few blocks away was our destination. ¬†How bad could it be, right? ¬†When we pulled into the station, a car was blocking the gas pump. ¬†Not buying gas, but just kind of sitting there. ¬†Tim thought better of honking the horn as if to say, “move on”. ¬†But then, right before our eyes, there was a very real drug deal.¬†A thirtyish, ¬†rough looking man leaned into the passenger window, and gave the driver something. ¬†When he emerged, he had a large wad of ¬†bills.

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If you don’t recognize this guy, watch “Breaking Bad”.

We filled our tank, all the while continuing to survey our area to make sure we weren’t in any imminent danger. ¬†Then, a car boxed us in from the front. ¬†The car next to us finished pumping, but didn’t move, and the people inside were staring at us. ¬†Tim anticipated a hold-up. ¬†We were blocked in and agreed that the hairs on the back of our necks were standing at attention. ¬†Finally, Tim honked, and motioned for a car to move so we could get out. ¬†When you are in a situation like that, believe me, you do not HONK, you very¬†politely beep.¬† Thankfully, the car moved, and so did we – quickly! ¬†As we moved, we saw the drug buyer’s car pulled to the side of the station. ¬†The driver was now slumped over the wheel. ¬†With mixed emotions, we pulled out of the lot. ¬†I immediately checked out the Internet for the crime rate for Pine Bluff, Arkansas. ¬†OMG! ¬†This tiny little town of 49,000 has the second highest crime rate in America, second only to Detroit, Michigan, with a population of about 700,000, in 2014. ¬†We couldn’t get out of Pine Bluff fast enough!!! ¬†Maybe in the future we should check crime rate statistics in unknown towns before following Gas Buddy. ¬†Or suggest that Gas Buddy add crime rates to their list of info. ¬†What a world…

Currently, we are in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the former retreat for celebrities, movie stars, and gangsters. ¬†In fact, we ate lunch at Al Capone’s favorite saloon, the Ohio Club. ¬†I¬†had a Bloody Mary that sported 2 different cheeses, pickle, salami,¬†jalape√Īo pepper, 2 olives, a cucumber ¬†slice, a wedge of lime and a wedge of lemon. ¬†And yes, it was fab! ¬†Please note, the table is an authentic roulette¬†wheel.

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Hot Springs is now a National Park, with it’s visitor center located in one of the old hotel/bathouses. ¬†The park we’ve chosen for the weekend is called Catherine’s Landing – an RVC Destination.¬†(see Review). ¬†It’s pretty darn nice. ¬†Given all of the rain we’ve had, it was great to have a concrete, level pad, that sits high and dry – and seems to be in a nice, quiet (and safe) area.

Today was my birthday Рaside from being another year older, it was a great day.  Even though we lived on a sailboat for about 10 years, I have never been on a pontoon boat Рuntil today.  Tim rented a boat for us to enjoy Catherine Lake, here in Arkansas.  I packed a lunch, and we explored the lake for a few hours.  So peaceful and quiet.  I loved being on the water again.

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We also did FaceTime with our three grandsons.  Shout out to Timmy, Danny, and Matt.  We were able to show them the lake, with us riding across the water.

I bought  cupcakes at Fat Bottomed Girl Cupcakes.

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They were delish, with flavors like Creme Br√Ľl√©e, Chocolate Turtle, and Salted Caramel – how could I go wrong? ¬†I have to scoot. ¬†We’re going out for dinner, then early to bed.

OK, so now we’re driving along in Oklahoma, and we’re getting news from every radio station, that says a fierce storm is brewing, a dangerous storm, and we needed to be prepared to take shelter. ¬†I called a few RV parks, and each one said we’d be better off just staying right where we are. ¬†Unfortunately, we are ON THE ROAD ! This is a forecast of the storm that is about to hit.

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In the bottom right corner it says, Grand Casino. ¬†It’s the casino we drove into ¬†20 minutes later, because they had an RV park. ¬†As the skies darkened, we picked up the pace. ¬†We drove to the casino hoping to snag an RV site, but after speaking with the hotel manager about the storm coming our way, we decided to take a hotel room. ¬†We unhitched the trailer, and put the truck in a parking garage. ¬†Truck – safe. ¬†Us – safe. ¬†Trailer – good luck little buddy. ¬† We didn’t know what to expect.

When we woke up the next morning, the sun was shining, and our vehicles were safe. ¬†Others. not so much…

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Whew, ¬†close call…

Two nights later, we’re in Amarillo, Texas. ¬†When we checked into Oasis RV Resort, the woman told us not to unhitch, that a huge storm was coming, and the trailer would need the weight of the truck for stability and safety !!! ¬†Is this a cruel joke???? ¬†What the heck is going on? ¬†The skies are blue, and all seemed well, but we did as we were told. ¬†At about midnight, we woke up to hail banging on the roof and windows of the trailer.

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The trailer¬†was shaking quite a bit. ¬†I thought we were in an amusement park, only this was no fun at all. ¬†We hardly slept a wink, waiting for the tornado siren to signal us to move into the safety shelters. ¬†This morning, we woke up to a strange grayness. ¬†Not raining, but not sunny. ¬†We’ve decided to go about our business today as usual. ¬†Cadillac Ranch, an RV museum, and The Big Texan for dinner. ¬†Our only¬†decision is whether we would like to be picked up in this complimentary limousine and taken to the restaurant.

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We’ll take our chances and ¬†drive…

Note – ¬†“Danger, Will Robinson”, ¬†is a line from¬†“Lost in Space”,¬†¬†a science-fiction TV series that followed the adventures of the Robinson family, their pilot, and a stowaway, ¬†as they tried to get back to Earth after an accident. ¬†It ran from 1965 until 1968.

PRAISE DA’ LARD

April, 2016

I’ve been trying to plan a route west that would be interesting ¬†and new for us. ¬†First stop after leaving the Florida Panhandle, none other than Hattiesburg, Mississippi. ¬†We found a very lovely campground for an overnight stay. ¬†Our site overlooked a pond where many ducks made their home. ¬†We also found a giant, giant watermelon, which has seen better days. ¬†But still, it deserved a hug.

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From Hattiesburg, we headed west, but I found a scenic route that dipped into Louisiana, and then back into Mississippi. ¬† (Note: ¬†I guess I could just use the abbreviation, MS, but then I just wouldn’t get the pleasure of spelling Miss-iss-ipp-i ¬†in the sing-song style I was taught in school. ) This route took us through lots of wooded areas. As we turned north on 61, I yelled, “turn around”. ¬†I had just spotted a little shop with the greatest name ever – “Praise Da’ Lard”. ¬†First off, in this land of so many houses of worship, I had to wonder if business would suffer if ¬†people thought it was sacrllegious. ¬†No matter to me – a cute name is a cute name. ¬†Now I’ve been in stores that sell Boudin and Cracklin – but never one that sell just cracklin- nothing else – just cracklin – hence the name with emphasis on Lard. ¬†Of course I bought a bag – fresh – and it was mmm mmm good! ¬† Let me tell you a little about cracklin, in case you’re uninformed – as I was. First of all, it can be spelled crackling, or cracklin, either way is correct. ¬†A cracklin is a fried piece of pork fat with a small amount of attached skin, and meat, ¬†and is generally considered to be part of soul food or Cajun cuisine.

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And after frying, it usually looks like this. ¬†If you like crispy pork skin, or pork rinds, you’ll probably like these.

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 As we got close  to Natchez, MS,  we passed many beautiful antebellum plantations.  Many of them are restored, and can be toured for a nominal fee.  The houses and grounds are lovely.  

Just before entering Natchez, ¬†we stumbled across this masterpiece – “Mammy’s Cupboard”.

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Mammy was built by Henry Gaude in 1939-40. Henry had a gas station, and wanted a roadhouse that would capitalize on the craze for Gone With the Wind. One story is that Mammy was designed as a white Southern belle – ¬†and Mammy’s shape does seem more Scarlett O’Hara than Hattie McDaniel. Henry then “transformed the big lady to black from white because black was better than white in the road-food visual shorthand of 1940 Natchez, conveying ideas of nurturing and nourishment”. ¬†As the years passed, Mammy fell from grace. She was nearly bulldozed in 1979 for a widening of Highway 61, but was saved by early roadside preservationists. Old photos of Mammy show that around this time her skin began to lighten, with each subsequent repainting. ¬†(info provided by Roadsideamerica.com) ¬†She continues to be the subject of cultural debate, but also continues to serve lunch a few days per week from 11am ¬†until 2pm. ¬†We hope to dine in Mammy’s skirt for lunch tomorrow.

We found a wonderful place to stay, River View RV Park and Resort (See Campground Reviews) ,  right on the Mississippi River, in Vidalia, Louisiana  (note:  Vidalia Onions are grown in GA, not LA),  from which we can easily travel across the river to Natchez MS.

We drove around Downtown Natchez, which reportedly has about 1,000 homes of distinction. ¬†Not all are mansions, but they are all architecturally interesting, and beautiful in their own way. ¬†We did come upon this house, and it’s not a store. ¬†I guess the owners really dig lawn decor. ¬†I need not add more…

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More typical is this ornate  Victorian beauty:

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Many years ago, we lived in a house across the street from a Victorian. ¬†The owner refurbished all of the fancy wood trim, which he called, “boom-boom”. ¬†Since that day, Tim and I refer to all ornate wood trim, of course, as boom-boom. ¬†I tell you that little story because I want you to know that we saw houses with tons of boom-boom – and they are fabu. ¬†The upkeep must be very difficult, and very expensive, but it sure is pretty to ooh and aah over.

Check out these two plantation homes – there are many, many more.

This first one is DUNLEITH

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And this is LONGWOOD

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Unfortunately, there is a side of Natchez that is not so pretty. ¬†It was a hub of slave trading. ¬†We stopped at¬†Fork In The Road yesterday. ¬†It is a small, empty lot with signs explaining that this very spot was used for”displaying” slaves that were for sale. It is deeply moving, and very, very sad. ¬†I don’t think this spot is given enough recognition. ¬†It was a shameful ¬†time in our history. ¬†Everyone, no matter your heritage, should stop to see this spot, should you be in the area, to remind ourselves that slavery was, and continues to be, horrific. ¬†Please take a little time to click and enlarge the next two pictures, and try to read them – sad but educational.

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We woke up this morning, and decided to walk the Mississippi River levee. ¬†I have to be honest, we haven’t exercised lately. ¬†In fact, I bought these plates that express my feelings.

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But to  be ready for our Utah trip, I have to get started.  So here I am after hiking on the levee.

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That’s my walking stick I’m clutching for dear life…

After “working out”, we toured Natchez a bit more, and found ourselves at Old South Winery.

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 There, three generations have been making wine from Muscadine grapes.  The tasting was complimentary, and Scott made the experience memorable, as he took a drink with each of our 10 tastes.  We enjoyed a lively discussion related to politics Рsouthern conservatism vs northern liberalism.  It was really fun and interesting.  And yes, we did purchase a few bottles of delicious wine.

On to Fat Mama’s Tamales.

This is a tile in the sidewalk.

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And this is where you go after a few Margaritas.

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I ¬†like¬†tamales, but we really went for the advertised “Knock You Naked” Margaritas. ¬†Well, they tasted real good and if you drank two – you would not be able to drive home. ¬†Naked? ¬†Thank God no! ¬†Time to go home for the evening. ¬†But I’ll be up to walk the levee in the morning…

SOUTHERN COMFORT

April, 2016

Before leaving Lafayette, LA,  we wanted to see The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

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This magnificent structure, originally called l’√Čglise St-Jean du Vermilion, is a historic Roman Catholic cathedral. It was the first church in the Lafayette Parish, founded in 1821 on property donated by Jean Mouton. ¬†This structure was completed in 1916 in the Romanesque Revival style, and it is absolutely a wonder to behold.¬†The Cathedral features a museum with memorabilia and exhibits about the history of the Cathedral and the parish. On the property of the cathedral lies a structure that competes in magnificence.

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The ancient, majestic tree stands sentinel to the Cathedral. Many speculate that the first pastor, Michel Bernard Barriere, selected the specific plot of land for the church parish due to the grand oak tree, which would have been 275 years old at that time (1821). This mammoth oak, located to the right of the church, is the third oldest member of the Live Oak Society, an organization dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of mature live oak trees in the United States. The near five-century-old tree measures 9 feet in diameter, with a circumference of 28 feet 8 inches; it stands approximately 126 high with a spread of 210 feet across. This last measure was taken on May 30, 2008.  If you look closely, you can see the struts that were erected at strategic places to hold the heavy limbs, that hopefully prevent them from breaking off.  This tree is a must-see.  You kind of just stand there in awe.

Our last day in Cajun County was everything we ever expected and wanted. We were turned on to a place called Whiskey River.

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Just getting there was fun. We had to drive up to the top of the levee, and drive  the gravel road on top.  We were pretty sure we had gotten lost and were on the wrong road. In the distance, we saw cars ahead, so we kept going. On the other side of the levee, down at the edge of the swamp, was an old wooden dance hall РWhiskey River.

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No food is served inside, only drinks. But there was a food truck outside for anyone who was hungry. Inside Рoh my. It was fantastic. There was a $10 cover Рso worth it. The floor was packed with people talking and dancing. Many of it was in Cajun Creole, and we couldn’t understand a word. Quite frankly, with such heavy accents, we could barely understand when they spoke English. The music was great and the musicians? None other than my favorites, Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns.

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Me with Jamie

Tim and I had a blast, and we even managed to dance a two-step with the crowd. Outside was another thing that blew me away. I wanted to see real people in real swamp houses, kind of like the opening sequence to the TV show ‚ÄúTrue Blood‚ÄĚ. And right there, across from Whiskey River, was just what I wanted to see. People sitting on the front porch of their cabins, just sitting and fishing.

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Sooooooooo cool! If it weren’t for the mosquitoes, I think I could stay awhile.

And did I mention there are Drive-Thru Daiquiri Stores ???

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I keep thinking it’s a speed trap !!!

We said goodbye to Louisiana, moving on to Florida. But first we drove  through a small piece of Alabama on our way.  The welcome sign for Alabama is, for me,  the greatest one.

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The part of Alabama we drove through was so completely unexpected. Gigantic homes, sitting on large horse ranches,¬†reminiscent of Kentucky horse farms. ¬†Except that the ranches /farms in Alabama were a stone’s throw from the Gulf. ¬†Waaay cool! ¬†Our route took us through the town of Fairhope.

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A pretty little town, with flowers, upscale restaurants and shops Р just beautiful. A town anyone would be proud to call home.

FLORA BAMA¬† – No fanfare – no signs, just a pedestrian crosswalk and a sign that says FLORA BAMA, the boundary between Alabama and Florida. ¬†Once in Florida, we headed for Pensacola Beach. ¬†Before we turn around and head west again, we wanted to see part of the Florida Panhandle, ¬†a place we had never been, and ¬†wanted to visit.¬†Tons of RV resorts and campgrounds, but Tim found a beautiful campground for us in Gulf Islands National Seashore – Fort Pickens. It is a strand of dazzling white sand beaches, wild and pristine, nestled between the Gulf Coast and Pensacola Bay. ¬†When we arrived, the sign said, “Campground Full”. ¬†There was a ranger on duty, so we asked if there was any space at all for us, even for one night. ¬†He found a spot for three nights – Lucky Us! ( See review for Gulf Islands National Seashore – Fort Pickens Campground)

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We pretty much had the beach to ourselves…

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My guy enjoying the beach.

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In the campground,we met a couple who turned us on to a free concert that was being held on the beach in the middle of town. (Shout out to Jim and Bob)  We got ready, and off we went. The featured act was the Emerald Coast Blues Boys.

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I’m Ready for anything!

Once the music started, everyone was up and dancing non-stop. We weren’t sure what to expect, but the group was pretty darned good. Actually, the 8-piece band was great.

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Panorama of the beach and stage after sunset.  (Click pic to enlarge)

After the show, we headed for Crabs We Got Em’, a restaurant a few doors away.  Mmmm, mmmm, good.  Check out our review in the Food Pages.

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We woke up the next morning to teeming rain. Gotta‚Äô have a few of those days, right? So today we‚Äôre just going to hang out in our little ‚Äúhouse‚ÄĚ, and read and relax. ¬† Next day – uh oh – rain again. ¬†We decided to take a drive to Panama City Beach. ¬†It was not what we expected. ¬†It is totally built up – with tons of shops, piers with amusement rides, and many high rise buildings.

We passed through a planned community called Seaside.  It was pretty spectacular, with beautiful pastel homes, and a town square with about eight vintage Airstreams used as food carts.

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The post office is small but unique. ¬†It isn’t really a post office per se, it’s a place to mail letters that get picked up once per day- no windows or employees.

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This building is actually a “mailbox”.

On the way home from Panama City Beach, we stopped in Peg Leg Pete’s for dinner. ¬†(See review in food section). ¬†It was another great meal.

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We’ll be in Fort Pickens for another night, then we’re off and running. We have to meet our cousins, Joyce and Sarah, in Utah. Together, we’re going to explore the national parks there. But that’s a long way off. We have miles of adventure before we get there.

See you in Mississippi…

 

I’M AS CORNY AS KANSAS IN AUGUST…

April, 2016

We’re not in Kansas, and I don’t see any corn stalks, but my dogs sure are ¬†‘barkin’. ¬†Corns on my left foot, and corns on my right foot – what’s going’ on? ¬†I haven’t worn shoes for 7 months – so how is it that I have corns? ¬†Painful corns!!!

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Ugly right? ¬†I know – but just be grateful it’s on my toe(s) and not yours!¬†¬†Isn’t that an ugly word for a foot ailment? I mean, come on, corns? ¬†OK – I checked. ¬†The medical term is “clavus”. ¬†I think clavus is slightly better than corn, because I would bet that most people, even those with “clavi” (plural of clavus), don’t know what that is – or that they have them. ¬†As an aside, Tim told me I shouldn’t put this pic here because it’s gross and would turn readers off – I say, we’re all adults here, right? ¬†right? ¬†hello? ¬†you still here?

I’m glad we’re in Lafayette, LA, the ¬†fourth largest city in the state. ¬†It’s the capital of Cajun Country. ¬†Thats important, because with all of these folks “foot-shufflin” and Cajun-style two-stepping, surely I’m not the only one with corns. ¬†And I intend to hunt down a Podiatrist while Tim’s having that Air Conditioner repaired.

Breaux Bridge, LA, the Crawfish Capital of the World.  Figured we had to try some crawfish.  The locals recommended a restaurant called Crawfish Town, USA.  I had the Crawfish Festival.  Check out this  plate.

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Seafood Gumbo, Boiled Crawfish, Crawfish Etouffe, Fried Crawfish Tails (my fave), Crawfish Pie, and Crawfish Balls. Let’s just say, I miss my Blue Crabs from Maryland with Old Bay. ¬†I may try once more – but maybe not.

We also tried Pont Breaux (the French translation of Breaux Bridge), a Cajun restaurant with good food and music – Cajun of course. ¬†If there’s an accordion going on, you’re on the right track. ¬†Most people were up on their feet dancing and having a ball. ¬†Everyone seemed to know each other, and when they passed our table they would ask, “C’est bon”? ¬†Unfortunately, the only French I know is from 4th grade, so we could only smile and say “Oui”! ¬†(Tim’s only recollection from French class is “Je ne comprend pas”[translation: ¬†“I don’t understand.”])

Fortunately, we were able to watch the Villanova national championship game on a big screen here in Pioneer RV Park. ¬†Tim and I are both graduates of Villanova, and lived down the street from Villanova University as adults. ¬†I’m not a fan of games that are “nail biters”, but needless to say, we were beyond thrilled that they won.

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According to research, the number one attraction in Lafayette, LA, is Vermilionville Living History & Folk Life Park . ¬†It’s a remake of ¬†Cajun village life ¬†from the middle 1700s ¬†to mid 1800s. I almost passed on it because I thought it would be too”hokey”. ¬†Wrong. ¬†It was delightful. ¬†There are seven historic houses on the property, complete with furnishings. What is so cool, is that they are not models, they are the actual houses that were moved to their current sites, complete with original furnishings. ¬†Each house has a docent who can answer pretty much any question you may have about that particular house or the village in general. ¬†In addition to the houses, there is a healing garden, a church, and a school. ¬†These faith healers were called “traiteurs”, or treaters. ¬†Folks are everywhere doing things like planting cotton and playing music. ¬†When locals had to cross a waterway to get from their property to another, a self-pulled barge was used. ¬†Here’s a pic of Tim, after just dropping me off.

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They also have a restaurant that sells simple Cajun foods,¬†“La Cuisine de Maman”.

Avery Island boasts the Tabasco Factory.  We took a self-guided tour Рmy favorite kind.  We went through the barrels, bottling, capping, and labeling processes.  There was also a gift shop, and museum of artifacts related to the Edmund McIlhenny family, and to Tabasco sauce.  But this is my favorite photo.

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Also on Avery Island, we were treated to a garden built by Mr. McIlhenny called Jungle Gardens. ¬†Now, for me, that name is a bit of a turn-off. ¬†Again, so glad we decided to take the self-guided driving tour. ¬†It is a beautifully planted and manicured 170 acres. ¬†There are a few gems worth mentioning. ¬†There is a Buddha statue sitting on a lotus flower made from wood and copper. ¬†It ¬†is perched on a rock mound with a lagoon in front of it. ¬†The story goes that a friend found this 1,000 year old statue stashed in a Manhattan storage space, and brought it for Mr. McIlhenny because he had the ground that would frame it beautifully. ¬†A bit of an odd story…but ok.

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My very favorite was  Bird City.  Check out this picture and enlarge it if you are able.  The white dots are Snowy Egrets.

 

 

 

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Mr. McIlhenny built these docks out of bamboo. ¬†He built in the middle of a lagoon knowing the alligators would keep other predators from the nests. ¬†So here we have literally thousands of Snowy Egrets that come to roost every year. ¬†Look closely and you’ll see that each adult has a few babies either next to or under her. ¬†Magnificent.

We’ll be in Cajun Country for a while longer, but I want to end this post the way I began. ¬†I have an appointment with a Podiatrist tomorrow morning at 10:15 am. ¬†I’m nervous just talking about it. ¬†So, that said, I’ll see you next post. ¬†And perhaps – I’ll show you the after pictures. ¬†C’est bon? ¬†(Tim sighs, “Sacr√© Bleu!”)

“LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER”

April 1, 2016

We finally made it out of Texas !!! ¬†We are in Louisiana. ¬†For the uninitiated, the title means “Let The Good Times Roll”. (Joan, I’d love to hear you say that one…) ¬†Our first stop was Lake Charles. ¬†A strange place , really. ¬†The number one attraction, according to TripAdvisor is CASINOS. ¬†There are at least 12 casinos, with three of them being premiere properties. ¬†The Golden Nugget, L’Auberge, and Isle of Capri.

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GOLDEN NUGGET

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L’AUBERGE

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ISLE OF CAPRI

I can speak from experience, The Golden Nugget is brand new and beautiful, boasting over 1600 slot machines, plus table games. ¬†Plus, they have 11 dining venues. ¬†And, it’s where I made my donation.

Three architectural neighborhoods are visit worthy. ¬†Margaret Place, Charpentier, and the true creme de la creme – Shell Beach Boulevard. ¬†A line of beautiful mansions on one side of Lake Charles, each with a boat house directly across the street from the residence. ¬†The boat houses often mimic the architecture of the homes. ¬†Splendid. ¬†Below is a picture not ¬†homes, but of private boat houses. ¬†Wouldn’t that be nice? ¬†Play on the river, come back and tie up your boat, perhaps have a cocktail before sunset, then walk across the street to your home…

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HOLLY BEACH was a neat thing to see. ¬†It was demolished twice – once for Hurricane Rita in 2005, and again during Hurricane Irene in 2011. ¬†But people never seem to learn from their mistakes. ¬†Currently, they are again building like there’s no tomorrow. ¬†Check out these hurricane ¬†before and after pics.

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The evacuation process for a hurricane alone is cray cray!

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Maybe that’s why you can buy beachfront lots (like at the water’s edge) for $40,000. ¬†We even considered it. ¬†Who doesn’t want a little slice of paradise on the Gulf Coast, where you can build what you like…

Coushatta Casino (Red Shoes) RV Park, in Kinder, LA,  is our next stop.

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¬†It is called Red Shoes RV Resort, because it’s named after¬†the influential Coushatta chief Stilapihkachatta, or ‚ÄúRed Shoes‚ÄĚ.

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¬†It’s a great park, and you can check it out in Campground Reviews. ¬†Heaven help me – there are over 2,800 slot machines! ¬† Just to give¬†you idea of the size of this place, The Bellagio in Las Vegas has about 2,300 slots, and the Borgata in Atlantic City has approximately ¬†2,321 games. ¬† ¬†Tim may have to peel each of my fingers, no, my entire body away from this place.

We heard another KABOOM! ¬†today. ¬†Unfortunately, it wasn’t fireworks. ¬†Our air conditioner may be “on the fritz” or dead. ¬†The entire Casita shook. ¬†Uh-oh! ¬†I’ll keep you posted, cause’ I can’t do heat and humidity without my A/C.

The Kinder Sauce Piquant Festival took place this weekend at Coushatta.  The obligatory midway and carnival foods were available.

midway

The best? ¬†We bought tickets for a 6 -hour music extravaganza. ¬†We had a wonderful time listening and dancing. ¬†On tap – Camilla Rae, ¬†B.B. & Company, Charley Rivers and Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns. ¬†What is truly amazing is the talent. ¬†The musician who played saxophone and acoustic guitar in B. B. & Company, Don Rollins, wrote “It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere”, recorded by Alan Jackson and, most notably for us, Jimmy Buffett. ¬†He won a Grammy for Best Country Song of The year, in 2003. ¬†Oh – and one more thing – Tim and I tasted “corn dogs” for the first time. ¬†I can’t say I have to have another one ¬†– but I might.

The day before leaving, we went to the Bayou Rum Distillery for tastings  Рyum!

rum

See you in Cajun Country…