Yesterday, January 7, we hit the books hard. Barry had another busy day as well. We took off at around 2:30 to find the Visitor’s Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. Barry got stuck on the phone for most of the time but the girls and I were able to get a lot of information on what to do in the southern part of the state.
While in Lafayette, we drove by the University of Louisiana. Its buildings (at least those that we saw) aren’t huge like that of most colleges but they definitely reflect the beauty and grace of the south. We would love to see the grounds in the spring.
On our way home we stopped at Don’s Specialty Meats in Scott to try Boudin (a sausage that is made in this area) and cracklins. Both were very different from anything we’ve ever eaten but very good. I also picked up some praline candy for the girls to try (except for Jenna who is allergic to pecans). I’ll let you look at the link to see what the two foods are: http://donsspecialtymeats.com/.
We took the girls to see the third Chipmunks movie: Chipwrecked. It was very cute. At most of the movie theaters that we have seen here in the south, you pay outside and then go inside. Imagine waiting outside to buy a ticket in a long line in Michigan this time of year?
This morning was beautiful. The sky was blue with big puffy clouds. It’s only been in the 70s but it’s very humid. It was the perfect day for sight-seeing. It rained hard later in the day and then cleared up right away.
Jenna was greeted by a little lizard this morning. Now the other two girls want to see one. We hoped to see some alligators today but we didn’t. A National Park Ranger told us that it’s highly unlikely this time of year. It looks like we’ll have to wait until we get to Florida.
Our first stop today was at the Tabasco Plant on Avery Island. We’re thankful for the RVer in Texas who told us not to miss this. It was very interesting!! If you are ever in Louisiana, it really is a must. It only costs a dollar per car to get onto the island and the tour is free. Each of us were given tiny bottles of their 4 most common sauces. After the tour we went to the very unique gift shop that contains all things Tabasco. We tried all kinds of sauces, chili, spreads, and even Tabasco flavored soda and ice cream. There is also a garden on the island that is associated with the plant. This, however, was a little too pricey for our budget.
Our next stop was Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Once again, our studies coincided with our trip as we just studied Lafitte last week. This National Park has six locations. I think we will hit three of them. Today we visited The Acadian Cultural Center which does a great job explaining the Acadian/Cajun history and culture of Louisiana. We often hear the words Cajun or Creole but don’t really know very much about either culture other than music or food. We definitely will understand and enjoy Louisiana much more because of our stop at this park. (http://www.nps.gov/jela/index.htm) (The pictures of the instruments are from this park.)
Eva got another Jr. Park Ranger badge today. She also purchased Buddy Bison, a little stuffed Bison that is part of the National Park Trust. According to the Ranger, this little bison likes to go to national, state and local parks. Children are to take pictures of their bison at the different parks he/she visit and upload them, along with a story, at www.BuddyBison.org. Eva is thrilled about this. I’m thrilled because it encourages writing! I really can’t say enough about the National Parks and all they offer for kids.
Tonight is the New Orlean’s Saints/Detroit Lions game. We saw a lot of Saints jerseys today! Barry made sure he teased a few Saints fans. The grocery store we stopped at tonight had the game on. We heard a lot of ‘whoops’ from the workers! Too bad Barry doesn’t have a Lion’s jersey.