There was a feeling of conquest when we finally crossed the border into Louisiana. As we all know, Texas prides itself on being BIG…second only to Alaska, a fact a lot of Texans handily forget. But it is big and it feels like you will never reach another state line…ever. Like a mirage, it just keeps getting farther and farther away the faster you move toward it. So when we saw this sign it was a cause for celebration:
|Sorry it’s blurry…we were trying to maintain a speed strong enough to break the hold Texas seemed to have on us.|
Louisiana has it’s own vibe and you feel it pretty much upon entering the state. It’s a mixture of Southern Hospitality and a splash of the French laissez-faire attitude, combined with the Caribbean concept of “Island Time”. Which means it’s perfect…unless you’re in a hurry. At restaurants and bars you will most likely have to flag down the waitstaff to get your bill and then wait for them to feel like processing it.
|Our spot at Maxies…there are a lot of huge Live Oak Trees in the campground as well…but not enough to block our satellite reception!!|
We stayed at a Maxie’s Campground in Broussard near Lafayette (which we soon learned is basically pronounced Laugh-yet as opposed to the town by the same name in California which is pronounce with 3 distinct syllables La-fiy-et). Thanks again to Passport America, we scored a 50 amp site for $12/night. The owner was amazingly friendly (shouldn’t all owners be friendly??) and we were able to have our pick of sites. The only downsides were that there was no wifi (which frankly, we’ve come to grips with the reality that even if a campground offers wifi you will most likely not be able to connect anyway) and it was literally right off the highway…as in, the rigs parked on the right side of the park had a fence, a ditch and then the highway as a backyard. It didn’t bother us much (there is a rush hour at about “it’s still dark out” o’clock) but we were only there for 2 nights.
We did venture out into the area to check out Acadian Cultural Center of Jean Lafitte National Historic Park (there are 6 sections of the park throughout southern Louisiana) and learned about how the Acadians were tragically forced from Nova Scotia, Canada and resettled in Louisiana to become what we now call Cajuns…and the story of Evangeline. All very fascinating and well worth a visit…after all, Louisiana is a very unique place and becomes even more amazing when you learn the history behind it all.
|Yep, we are those people…we take pics of our cocktails…ervery where we go.|
The only other place we visited in the Lafayette area was the Blue Dog Cafe…mainly because of the art. Artist George Rodrigue grew up in nearby New Iberia and spent much of his adult life in Lafayette. He’s also been know to frequent the restaurant, talk with customers and sign autographs. He’s a very charitable guy and the epitome of that ‘Louisiana’ Southern Hospitality. Although we didn’t get to meet him, we did enjoy his restaurant (where you can buy his art or books) and everything we tasted…but especially the Portobella Pizza, honey butter and to-die-for bread pudding (do yourself a favor and just buy some out of the freezer so you can relive the experience over and over). They also make a killer Cosmo (like with a lot of vodka). And, in true to form, it took longer for us to get our check and pay than it did to eat our meal…welcome to Louisiana.