Friday, December 7, 2012

Lafayette, Louisiana

Today is Monday, December 3, 2012.  After two weeks of quiet and solitude I was feeling pretty good as I drove south on Hwy 67 heading for Louisiana.  It was a really nice drive to Lafayette, Louisiana, which is about 200 plus miles from San Augustine, Texas.

I found a pretty nice little campground in the middle of the city but, like my last campground, feels like you are in the county.  It is  called Acadiana Campground and is owned by the Parish and only charges $13.00 a night.  No septic at the sites but not a problem as I only plan to stay three nights and have a chance to eat some great Cajun food and visit the Acadian Cultural Center and Vermilionville Living History Museum & Folklife Park.   Pati and I visited here about ten years ago and really enjoyed the area.  It is the heart of Cajun country and the food was very good.  Pati did not like Cajun food at all but I sure made up for what she didn't eat......and I plan to do it again this time.

This evening I am going to eat at a place called Prejean's, the same place we ate previously.  They have an excellent menu of Cajun, gulf seafood, wild game, steaks and chicken.  Very good stuff but have to be careful of the spices.  They claim this is the perfect place to "Laissez Les Bons Temps Rroule" (let the good times roll).  We will see.  It has been raining since I got here but seems to have slacked off a bit so I plan an early dinner.

Big mistake!  I enjoyed my dinner somewhat but should have ordered the catfish. Instead I ordered fried oysters thinking of how much I liked them in Oregon on the coast.  Well....these were baby oysters and mostly breading so not so good.  I will learn by my mistakes but it sure is costly sometimes!  Catfish south, oysters north.

Second mistake....rain.  I mis-judged that too.  It is coming down in buckets with thunder and lightening.  Pretty scary and very loud on the roof of my travel trailer.  I checked on line and we have a flash flood warning in the area now....over two inches in the past hour and more to come.  I think I am ok as my site is elevated a bit.  I keep looking out the door to be sure.  No choice but to ride it out and see what tomorrow brings.  I actually feel bad for the young couple and their young son who are tent camping close by.  I noticed they put a large piece of plastic over their tent so I wish them well and will keep my eye on them.

Well it is Wednesday and I decided to stay another night and go see some of the history of this area.  The rain slacked off but it is cool and overcast.  My tent camping neighbors are fine so I guess they are used to this weather.

Today I visited the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center first and learned a lot about the Acadian people and how they ended up in Louisiana after being banished from their homeland in Nova Scochia.  Very interesting and sad but in the end they prevailed.  I then visited Vermilionville, a Cajun/Creole Heritage and Folklife Park.  It too was very interesting but mainly consisted of refurbished houses and buildings from 1765 through 1890.  The best part of my day was having lunch at their restaurant called La Cuisine de Maman's Cajun & Creole.  I had a bowl of Etouffee with shrimp and dirty rice, crawfish, sweet potato fries, coleslaw and bread pudding.  It was excellent and I had so much that I took half of it home and had it for supper again!  I can sure understand why everyone's "girth" is a bit bigger than average.

I took the picture about half way through the meal .
The meal was great but eating alone really sucks!

Tomorrow I head down along the Cajun Coast and on east to Belle Chase where I plan to stay a week or two at the Naval Air Station RV Park.  More to come.