Home Away From Home, Louisiana

Palmetto Island State Park and Shadows on the Teche

What a fun day we’ve had. After a good night’s sleep we woke up to a pretty brisk morning. In fact we even had to turn the heat on for a bit but it quickly warm the coach up.

Does someone actually do this?
Does someone actually do this?
We left a little after 10:00 headed for Palmetto Island State Park which is fairly close by. When we got there we found that due to our “old age” we got in free. We first just rode around in the car and got the lay of the land. Loved seeing the “beware of bears” sign and instructions not to feed the alligators. Like I would!

They have a nice campground there with nearly 100 sites. They’re large, wooded, and private and some are even paved. I think the nightly rate during the winter is $18 and then $22 during the summer for water and electricity. Apparently some people are staying awhile because Jerry noticed the dump wagons near some of the units. Yuk!

We got the bikes off of the car and took a nice long bike ride, the first in a long while. Along the way we saw several armadillos, something we don’t see in NC. They didn’t seem to be bothered by us as they continued eating as we snapped several pictures.

A little rest along the way and yes, it does look like I'm advertising for the American Saddlebred!
A little rest along the way and yes, it does look like I’m advertising for the American Saddlebred!
We’re planning to do some more bike riding in San Antonio but the extremely cold temperatures predicted may change that plan. We rode nearly six miles stopping once at a boat launch to rest a bit. It was so much fun to be back on the bikes. Due to cold weather and holidays we haven’t been able to ride at home so this was a nice bonus.

We came back to the campground, ate lunch, got the meatballs in the crockpot for the happy hour tonight and then headed out to Shadows on the Teche in nearby New Iberia. It is a lovely restored Antebellum home nestled among beautiful old oak trees draped with Spanish moss. I know that the moss is a parasite but it is still pretty and adds so much atmosphere! img_1463The home was built I 1984 and four generations of the family lived there through the Civil war and on into the late 1900’s when there were no more descendants. During the war Union soldiers informed Mary, the wife of the original owner that she would have to leave the home. She staunchly refused so they put her under house arrest saying that she could stay on the second and third floors. The bottom floor was used by the soldiers. Due to her tenacity, when the war was over the soldiers left without burning the home down, an act that was usually perpetrated when the soldiers left. The last surviving member of the family, William Weeks, petitioned for years to get someone to take over the home and finally the National trust for Historic Preservation took it over. William Weeks died the next day. Not only did he leave the home to the Historic Preservation but also left them $175,000 to complete the restoration. The family apparently kept everything from building receipts to clothing and over 17,000 items were discovered in the attic thus giving a clear picture of life in the home.

The gardens are beautiful as is the statuary.
The gardens are beautiful as is the statuary.

Interestingly enough there were two other couples on the tour and they were from Virginia. One of the guys is stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. Small world!

We returned to the campground, got the meatballs and promptly hustled over to the Happy Hour. It really was a fun couple of hours. We visited with another couple that we had met last year, Mary Ann and Bill from Oklahoma and then met a couple who just started full timing two weeks ago and are from Wilmington, NC. Again, small world!

After a couple of hours we went back to the coach and settled in for the night. I did a lot of work on getting blogs entries ready to post when we have good Wi-Fi, if we ever have good Wi-Fi and then turned in. Friday will be a long day!

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