Texas

On to San Antonio

Awoke this morning to a very cold and heavy rain. What a day to be breaking camp. I felt sorry for Jerry having to be outside especially when he had to secure the car to the dolly. Betty came out to help us navigate out of the site. Sites at Betty’s are very close together and cars park in front of their units so it is close. There is no cable and Wi-Fi is iffy but the camaraderie is not to be found anywhere else we’ve been. There is a slight possibility that we may come back through Abbeville on our way home. We’ll see where the trip takes us. Cookie and Jim came out to tell us good-bye. Unfortunately they are leaving Betty’s at the end of the month and won’t be back until March so we won’t get to see them even if we return. As Cookie said we’ll stay in touch by Facebook.

I think both of our GPS’s must have been frozen this morning because I know there is an easier way out of Abbeville than where we went. I really don’t like to travel on roads that are so narrow there are no markings on the pavement. Trust me, we were in the back country and it was a little nerve racking. It took us almost 20 minutes to get to a highway that was navigable. We went under a 14’ bridge and I was just hoping that our height measurement was correct. Apparently it was as we didn’t hit anything. There were a lot of trees with hanging branches but they were not low enough for us to hit them. Just low enough to worry me! On top of all of that there was a strong wind blowing making it even more difficult to drive. Jerry was going to have a difficult day.

When we went out to eat Wednesday night we realized that the tax on our meal was 11%. We found out later that that tax is determined by the municipality but can be no higher than 12%. I don’t know where the tax money in Louisiana is going but I can assure you that it’s not being spent on highways. In all of our travels these are by far the worse highways we have driven on. I read earlier that Michigan had some of the worst roads in the United States but we did not find it that way. In fact last night at Happy Hour there was discussion about the condition of the roads with people asking when they could expect to be on smother highways. The answer was Texas! From Abbeville to Crowley was, let’s just say interesting! Both towns have roundabouts that are pretty challenging for a 40 foot motor home towing a car but it can be done. In Crowley we were finally able to get on Interstate 10, an interstate with four lanes. Yea!!

We entered into Texas around 11:30 and stopped at the Visitor’s Center. We were only there long enough to get a few brochures and take a picture of the Welcome to Texas sign. We probably should have stayed longer. Just a few minutes after we left we ran into a terrific storm – pouring rain, booming thunder and sharp lightning. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a storm of this magnitude when it’s 37 degrees outside. It finally quit raining heavily and storming when we reached Beaumont but the wind continued to blow at over 20 miles an hour. I reminded Jerry that people often stopped when the weather was so bad and we didn’t have to get to San Antonio tonight! Thank the Lord for safe travel thus far as the driving has been very treacherous.

Stopped at 1:20 for gas and lunch at a Flying J in Baytown. Gas was a little higher at $2.15. We left at 1:50 headed for Elmendorf. Love driving down the multi-landed highway seeing warnings to drive carefully, icy conditions may exist. And we came south for January!

We got to Houston and bypassed the downtown area but Houston just keeps going on and on and on. Is it the largest city in Texas? As we were riding through we saw a glass cylindrical building with cars stacked on each floor, a golf driving range encircled with a high net/fence right in the middle of the city, a building advertising Sky jumping (which is the only way I’d do it and then probably not), lots of Texas flag flying and even more American flags. Jerry saw one flag that was so large it was visible for over 5 miles.

We finally got to the Braunig RV Resort just before 6:00. Bad planning on our part and we should have left earlier than we did this morning but it was pouring down rain so we sort of delayed. We ended up setting up in the dark, never a good idea. First we had to take the car off of the dolly and he couldn’t reach the chains with his coat on so there he was in the cold with no coat! By this time the temperature was below freezing and the wind was still blowing. We had a little trouble with the jacks and then when we started putting out the living room slide we realized that we were too close to a pole and it couldn’t go all of the way out so we had to pull up the jacks, reposition the coach and then put the jacks down again but this time they worked perfectly. All of this was done in 32 degree windy weather with a real feel in the 20’s. Poor Jerry had the hardest jobs today but then he always does. I offered to drive but he didn’t want me to drive because of the 20 mile an hour wind. Let me just tell you it was a treacherous drive but the Lord had His hand on us and we do give him honor, praise and thanks.

While he finished doing the outside chores I fixed the spaghetti for dinner. I knew he’d be cold and would want something warm as soon as he got in so I tried to do a little bit to help him out.

Finally got the Wi-Fi booster set up so we have some Internet. It’s spotty but better than just using the campground’s which is very slow – when it works.

By this time we were both exhausted and we just collapsed!

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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!

Home Away From Home, Louisiana

Abbeville Again

Finally a little bit of sunshine on our way to Abbeville. Tonight we will have full hookups! Yea! I guess we are officially boondockers now as we have spent two nights with no hookups and only used the generator long enough to get hot water for showers. Nice to know we can do it.

We left Saraland, Alabama a little after 8:00, took a short ride through Mississippi and then into Louisiana. As soon as we entered Louisiana we stopped at the Welcome enter to use the bathrooms, took a picture in front of the Louisiana sign and then back on the road to Abbeville.

Jerry said he would drive until we stopped to get gas and then I could take over. In the meantime, I canceled dental appointments, checked on a bill for Mom and then paid our bills and reconciled our bank account all while looking at the pretty scenery of Louisiana. The grass surely is greener here! In NC everything is brown now.

We stopped and got gas in Dedham Springs and then headed on to the Atchafalaya Welcome Center for lunch. We were only 40 miles from Abbeville but knew we could either eat then or have a very late lunch. The center is very nice and we could have enjoyed spending more time there. Maybe another trip.

We arrived at Betty’s RV Park around 2:30 and immediately saw Jim, a guy from Washington state that we met last year. Suddenly I heard his wife, Cookie say, “Is that who I think it is?” and out she came with a great big hug. Good to see friends from our visit last year.

We got set up and felt like we suddenly had so much room after being at Walmart with the slides in for two nights. We swept the floor and mopped it and then headed out to see a little bit of Abbeville that we hadn’t seen before and then on to Maurice to get some frozen stuffed potatoes from Hebert’s. They are in the process of remodeling but were still doing business with cash or check. We bought four potatoes and would like to have had more but at $6 each they’re a little pricey.

I had heard about NuNu’s, another specialty meat store so we rode around until we found it. Jerry went in and scoped it out. It’s a country store with a lot of specialty meats, especially sausage but Jerry said the packages were so big that if he didn’t like it he’d be in trouble because he’d surely have to eat it all. We ended up getting nothing but at least we now know what NuNu’s is!

Our next stop was the Villager Café to get their delicious bread. Jerry bought two loaves. We don’t have much freezer room so couldn’t get any more plus I think the price has gone up! We were able to get both loaves in the refrigerator. We’re planning on spaghetti Friday night after we get to San Antonio, over 400 miles from Abbeville so another long day of travel. Fresh bread to go along with the spaghetti will be very welcomed!

We returned to the campground and walked over to the Happy Hour just to see everyone and then out for dinner at Shuck’s. Boy are their candied oysters to die for! Jerry got fried catfish that he said was outstanding and I got the charbroiled oyster sampler. Wow – just wow!

Being back in Abbeville seems so familiar and it’s nice to recognize things we saw last year. We’ve always said that once we visited a place we didn’t want to return because there are so many other places we want to go. Fortunately Abbeville is on the way to Texas because we surely did like coming back. In fact, we may do it again!

Home Away From Home

Find Your Pot of Gold! in Perry, Georgia

Today was the first day of the FMCA Family Reunion and it was a very full day. We had already picked up our registration materials so we kind of had an idea of where we were heading. Jerry’s first session was on Maj Jong! Apparently he learned a lot because it lasted a pretty long time. I headed over to Chris and Jim Guild’s session on Technology for Travelers: Pictures Maps, Movies, and Blogs. Although I had heard some of the things before of course there was more to learn. Today’s class just touched on some of the subjects they will be covering in more depth during the week-end. I really want to play with making a Google map but I surely won’t have any time for that in the next few days.

After our sessions Jerry headed over to a session on how to detail your coach in an hour. He said he learned some very valuable tips and encouraged me to attend a later session on cleaning the inside. I had already planned to go.

We walked over to see the new coach demonstration but actually ended up going to the Newmar section and talking with Matt, the head of customer service for quite a while. We were in a Canyon Star and another guy, Clarence, came in and he too had a Canyon Star so there was quite a lot of idea exchanging. I think Jerry got some good tips.

I left him there and headed to the session on Microwave/Convection Cooking. One of the most relevant things I learned was that everyone else’s convection can preheat in under five minutes. It takes ours forever so I’m guessing something might be wrong there. Oh well.

After the sessions we came back to the coach and sat outside and rested a bit before heading back over to join Jan, Jim and their FMCA group for potluck dinner. What a nice group of people. They’re getting together again on Saturday and asked us to join them again.

After a quick run to the grocery store we came back to a fairly cool coach considering we’ve only got one air conditioner going. It has been cooler today though plus most of the time it’s been overcast so that has helped keep the temp down. Tomorrow is supposed to be even cooler. Let’s hope! All in all so far the weather has been great for a rally.

Home Away From Home

Betty’s RV Park

FullSizeRenderWhat to say about Betty’s RV – well, we came for four days, added one and then ended up staying for eight! As I understand it that’s not how most folks to it though as they usually extend their stay much longer. We were on a fairly tight schedule so we sadly pulled out Sunday morning but not without hugs and good-byes and hearing “hope to see you down the road”.

When I was doing my research both on various park reviews and on IRV2 and rv.net Betty’s RV Park kept cropping up. One reviewer even suggested we re-route in order to stay at Betty’s and how right they were. As several reviewers said “they make you feel like family” and yes indeed they do whether you’ve been there one night, one week or one month.

Betty
Betty
As soon as we arrived someone from North Carolina came up and welcomed us – always good to see a homebody. Every afternoon at 4:30 Betty has Happy Hour where everyone brings something to eat, some fancy and some bought from the local grocery but everyone shares and enjoys and afterwards everyone feels they have had dinner. There’s lots of conversation about where everyone is from and then LOTS of recommendations on where to go and what to eat. I feel like I am eating my way through Louisiana! I must say all recommendations were duly noted and acted upon and were without a doubt right on target.

Our Canadian friend, Lynn
Our Canadian friend, Lynn
We met people from as far away as Canada, Alaska, Washington and California, not to mention Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma and of course the western part of our North Carolina. Betty made everyone feel welcomed and as you entered the Happy Hour she always called you by name so if you couldn’t remember someone’s name her greeting to each person would refresh your memory.
Cookie and Jim from Washington State.  A selfie with no selfie stick is difficult!
Cookie and Jim from Washington State. A selfie with no selfie stick is difficult!

In the late afternoon as everyone is returning after touring or doing necessary chores the questions asked were what did you do and where did you eat? Sometimes we even went out together.

Dan and Merlene from California .  I was trying hard to focus!
Dan and Merlene from California . I was trying hard to focus!
Last week Jerry and I had the pleasure of having lunch with folks from Michigan and North Carolina. Then this Saturday many joined together for Cajun music at a local bar, Touchet’s. We were the only non-locals there but again they acknowledged and welcomed the group from Betty’s. Lots of friendly people in Louisiana!

Earlier in the week Jerry and I had the great pleasure of eating at Shuck’s and we had a nice visit with the owner. He said he was often asked why he didn’t have Happy Hour and he said it was because he couldn’t compete with Betty’s Happy Hour. We ended up missing a couple of the get togethers during the week we were there because of our touring but we tried each day to get back to join in the fun and comradery.

In summation, it’s quite easy to see why Betty’s was selected as one of the top 25 parks in America and also the “Most Fun Small Private RV Park” in the United States. If you get a chance go by and stay for a night – or a month! You’ll feel right at home.

Home Away From Home

Cajun Music

We spent the day getting ready to leave tomorrow for Colfax. We have sort of gotten into a routine or getting the coach cleaned and all clothes and linens washed on the last day of a park stay. That makes the next leg easier so we spent the morning dusting, vacuuming, washing clothes, just the normal clean up. Actually it doesn’t take that long to do it. It’s a lot easier than cleaning a house! Afterward Jerry got the car cleaned out. Things have really accumulated in there during the last two weeks so he got that cleaned and organized. Then we just stood outside in the sunny 70 degree weather and visited with a couple of the guys in the park, one from Oklahoma and one from North Carolina.

On Saturday afternoons in this area they have Cajun music. One week it’s held in Erath and then one week at Tuchet’s or as the sign says “2 √’s”. The only visitors or tourists there were the folks from Betty’s RV and they acknowledged us. This was our first exposure to real Cajun music and I must say it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Most of the time the singer was singing in French so we didn’t understand a lot of it. It was very informal and various people walked on the stage and sang and played at different times. They had a variety of instruments including guitars, a fiddle, an accordion, drums plus some other instruments .

State was playing Miami today so Jerry watched it on his phone for a while and finally just went outside to watch the finish. He came back in and gave me a thumbs up – whew, finally a win.

We left soon after that as we wanted to go back to Hebert’s and get a couple of things. We also needed to stop at the grocery store as we had nothing to take to the Happy Hour. We got a really good cheese cake and came on back to the campground.

Happy Hour started at 5:00 so we went over and stayed for a while but we had planned to go out for dinner on our last evening in Abbeville so we left early. Back to Shuck’s we went.

Candied Oysters from Shucks
Candied Oysters from Shucks
I got Candied Oysters and they were even more delicious tonight than they were earlier in the week. Jerry got crawfish etouffee. I tasted it but didn’t care for it.

When we got back to the park I walked over to the Happy Hour which was still going on to tell everyone good-bye although we’ll probably see most of them in the morning as we’re not planning to leave until 9:30 or so. As I said earlier it’s been great being here. A four day visit turned into eight and apparently that is the norm although they say most people end up staying for a couple of weeks or a month!

Home Away From Home

Alligator Farm!

I stepped a bit out of my comfort zone this morning as we made a trek (and it was a trek) to an alligator farm in Hammond. We should have done this when we were closer to Hammond instead of driving over two hours today but it was well worth the ride. We went to Klieberts Swamp, home of the original “Swamp People” and a gator farm. It was established in 1957 at which time the owner bought about 300 gator eggs and hatched them and as they say, the rest is history. They have gators ranging from 9 to 18 feet but we only saw two large ones as this is not the time of year when they are active – thank goodness! The area is filled with turtles also, several different kinds. We were able to see many of them although when we walked by them some would slide into the water.

When we reached the pond that held the oldest gators the guide went in and we stayed behind the fence. I saw a big log only to realize that it was a really big gator. He tried to get the gator to come up to the edge but he wouldn’t. It was amazing to see the “logs” there and I was glad I was behind the fence although they aren’t very active. We saw one scoot back into the pond and although they are supposedly very slow at this time of year I thought he moved pretty fast!

The last place we stopped had several gators in there, probably 20 or 30 that were from four to eight years old. The tour guide went in to bring one out. It was interesting to watch him go into the pen. Although the gators are very lethargic at his time of year I noticed that he never turned his back on any of them. As he entered I told him to be careful and he thanked me! Most of the gators were out of the water lying on the bank but as soon as he started walking toward them many of them went into the water.

The guide brought one out dragging him by his tale. As soon as he could he taped his jaws shut. He used quite a bit of tape but said he actually only needed to wrap it once. The guide then showed us how to get behind the gator, pull his tail and then walk up his back, getting on our knees, pressing his head down and then holding his mouth while extending his neck so we could sit on it. Yeah – a lot of steps to follow. I let Jerry go first! Needless to say I was a bit apprehensive so the guide helped hold him as I sat on him. He told me to be sure to cover up the tape with my hands so the picture would be good but obviously I didn’t! Wow – just Wow!

When we went in there was a group of school children there and as they went out another guide asked me if I wanted to hold a small gator. Well sure – so I did but he was a young one, probably about one and a half. They also had an Albino Burmese Python. I did not hold that but Jerry did. Yuk! I then noticed that the guide helping us only had his thumb on his right hand as his other fingers had been bitten off!

What an interesting visit. In addition to the gators and turtles they have nutria, goats, chickens, raccoons and other animals. They also have a cream colored gator which is extremely rare.

After the visit we rode down to Berryland RV and walked through some diesel pushers. Why, I don’t know. Jerry said his next RV would be a diesel and I asked him when that would be. He replied when I won the lottery. Since I’ve never bought a ticket I guess that won’t happen. Fortunately we love the motor home we have and have no plans to buy another!

On the trip back we stopped at Hebert’s and bought two stuffed chickens, one with alligator and one with boudin sausage. We also stopped by the Villager Café and bought some of their Langlinais’ French Bread. The loaves are about three feet long!

When we got back to the RV I didn’t have any freezer bags long enough to hold them so Jerry ran down to Robie’s to pick some up while I walked over to the Happy Hour to speak to everyone. They were very interested in our trip to the gator farm. We had a sandwich and called an end to a busy day!

Tomorrow will be busy too as we go to hear some authentic Cajun music in the afternoon plus prepare to pull out on Sunday morning. It’s been a great week and I hate to see it end but it’s time to move on down the road.

Home Away From Home

Vermilionville

We had several things we wanted to do today since we took off yesterday to get clothes washed and do just general housekeeping and quite frankly to take a break from touring. That meant we got out about 10:30 which seems to be the norm for us no matter what time we get up in the morning.

Our first stop was Best Buy in Lafayette where we bought a new selfie stick since our other one broke. This one has a remote so it should be easier to operate than the older one.

We rode down to The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and started to go in but realized that there was a service going on so we quickly exited.

Next we headed to Vermilionville, a living history museum and folk life park opened in 1990. It sits on the bank of the Vermilion River at one time the dirtiest river in America but now thanks to a group of people it is now much cleaner and people can even swim in it at certain times. There are also some edible fish in it. The village has several houses on the grounds, some of them authentic and some reproductions. In the schoolhouse there was a gentleman playing the accordion and talking about days gone by. We went into another house where a lady was quilting. This was an updated home that actually had plumbing that was added some years after it was built. A framed wreath was hanging on the wall and the guide explained that because the wreath was opened at the top it indicated that the person for whom it was made was still living at that time. It possibly could have been done in honor of a daughter who had joined a convent and thus would no longer be seen by them. Had the wreath been closed at the top it would have indicated that the wreath was made in memory of someone. There was a thick tress of hair in the middle and then around the edge were woven strands of hair. Quite frankly it was a little spooky!

There were other demonstrations going on throughout the day but because we were there at lunch we missed some of them. One was a wood carver and I think Jerry might have enjoyed seeing him carve his ducks.

There was a small lake on the property and it had a pulley ferry that could be used to cross to the other side. We got on and Jerry started pulling on it but quickly noticed that the rope that had been lying in the water was mossy so he decided not to continue to the other side.

It was way past lunch by that time so we headed for the Villager Café in Maurice, another recommendation from the Happy Hour crowd. When we walked in we saw a couple from the park. I really didn’t expect to see someone I knew when we entered! We ordered poor boys and though they were good the best thing was the bread. It was some type of French Bread and was crusty and delicious! Our bill! When the waitress brought us our bill she just placed a large coin on the table. We were a bit mystified until Jerry realized that there was a number 6 on the coin and 6 tables in the restaurant indicating that our bill was for table 6.

I talked Jerry into going to Hebert’s to look at the specialty meats. We didn’t buy any but I wouldn’t be surprised if we make a return visit.

We headed on to the park and as soon as we parked the car and I reached for my purse I realized that it was hanging on the chair at the table we ate at in the Villager. A quick phone call to the Villager and they assured me that it was still hanging right there so we turned around and went back to Maurice.

As soon as we got back we got our chips and dip and headed over to the Happy Hour. After a fun time with everyone we came on back and settled in for the night.

Home Away From Home

Tabasco Sauce and Rice!

A pretty cool day, cooler than I had anticipated and rainy so we decided to take a couple of inside tours today. We started with the Tabasco Company. It is located on Avery Island which is actually a salt dome. The Garmin GPS and Waze took us on a real roundabout way but we saw some interesting landscapes of South Louisiana. Many houses are up on stilts which we are used to because of living on a river but the interesting thing was the garages were also up in the air with ramps leading to them. The land here is extremely flat and when it rains apparently there is nowhere for the water to run off. Although it rained last night it wouldn’t have caused all of the standing water and mud we saw if there had been some place for the water to go. Jerry made another interesting observation about Louisiana. He said the speed limit signs must just be suggestions because no one seems to abide by them. We do!

Tabasco tours had been suspended while some sort of update was done but fortunately for us they reinstated the tours this week. We began with the Tabasco store which was full of souvenirs, shirts and Tabasco sauces ranging in price. Jerry said this was the first souvenir store we’d been in that had several things he’d like to buy but we decided to wait until after the tour.

We went to the museum, bought the inexpensive tickets and walked around reading the history of Tabasco Sauce and the McIlhenny family who founded the company and still operate it today. Our next stop was the wonderfully warm greenhouse that held jalapeno, habanero and red pepper seedlings. Next we went in the barrel rooms where we watched a short video on the preparation of the barrels. Then we looked into the warehouse that held the many, many barrels.

Our next stop was the building where the mash was added and then we went into the building that held the bottling process. Before entering the processing part of the building we read some more of the history and then walked through a mock salt mine. It was amazing to watch as a worker systematically removed bottles that appeared to hold less than the required amount from the line. Next the bottles were capped and then sealed. There was an automatic counter that kept up with the number of bottes produced each day. When we were there 364,100 bottles had been bottled and stamped. While I took the picture and put the camera down 100 more bottles were completed!

The entire tour is self-guided with a lot of information. It certainly was a great way to spend a rainy day. After the tour we went to café and had lunch. We only got a hot dog but on the table were the various kinds of Tabasco Sauce so we sampled most of them. Our favorite was the sweet and spicy and I ended up eating it on my potato chips. Our lunch cost about $15 and we got two free coozies which sell for $8 in the Tabasco store. Umm, maybe we owed them $1! We had also gotten four free bottles of sauce, albeit small when we purchased the tour tickets. Tours of the Tabasco plant are a real deal!

After lunch we went back to the store, bought the ubiquitous magnet for the fridge and each of us got a shirt. Also on the grounds are the Jungle Gardens, a 170 acre garden with many examples of wildlife, flora and fauna. It was such bad weather though that we decided to skip that part.

Apparently Gypsy and Waze rested while we were in Tabasco because when we programmed New Iberia in we went a much simpler and direct route. Go figure.

Our next stop was the Conrad Rice Mill and the Konriko Rice Store. We had a few minutes before the tour so we wandered around the store and bought another magnet. We watched an interesting video that explained the Acadian culture and the rice company. We then went through the building where the rice is delivered from the farmers and then processed. Some of the equipment in use is original. That’s amazing considering that the company was started in 1912. The original part of the mill was built in 1914 and received additions in 1917 and 1930. In 1981, the Mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places thus ensuring that no structural changes would be made to the building. Actually, it appeared that the building was in the center of town surrounded by other businesses/buildings so there appeared to be little room for expansion.

We stopped by the grocery store on the way back and then headed into the Happy Hour at the park. We have met some of the nicest people on this trip and they keep encouraging us to abort our planned trip and spend a few more days here. Our four days have already turned into eight but unfortunately that will have to be enough as we have reservations somewhere else on Sunday. Betty’s RV is everything that the reviews said it would be. They make you feel like family whether you’ve been there a couple of months like several others or a few days like us. Several of the couples come year after year.

After the Happy Hour we came back and actually fixed dinner!

Home Away From Home

Another Day of Rest

Although we didn’t plan it today became a day of rest. After a fairly normal late start we knew we needed to go to the grocery store to buy some more meatballs for the Happy Hour tonight. Jerry wanted to go to Walmart as he knew he could get some good meatballs there so I did a search and found the local store and off we went. He had also decided to make a cheese ball later in the week so needed to get some ingredients for that.

We came on back to the coach and put the meatballs in the crock pot and then took off for Vermilionville via the grocery store. We stopped at Robie’s but they didn’t have what he needed so we went across town to the Winn Dixie and got what he needed. By this time it was after 12:00 and we decided that we’d try to prolong our stay by one night and get an extra day of touring in and just use today to rest and watch football. I called Betty and we extended our stay. That determined we decided to join four of our new friends at River Front Restaurant for lunch. Jerry got shrimp and grits that he said for delicious and I got stacked crab and crawfish which was also delicious. Apparently River Front burned some time ago and they are in the process of building at a new site and should be opened soon. However, for the time being they remain at the original site. As we were leaving we met a waitress with a tray of food and realized that the cooking was being done outside in a trailer! You do what you have to do!

After we left we went back to Robie’s to get cayenne pepper – yes, if you’re counting that was our fourth grocery story today! Jerry also got a King Cake and boy is it sweet. I had one little piece but I doubt I’ll be eating anymore of it.

Jerry was not feeling well so he got on the sofa with a blanket and the football game, possibly a nap. One of the nice parts of RVing is the flexible schedule. Since we had extended our stay one day we didn’t feel the urgency to get out and tour today.

Oh, the good news – while we were eating lunch I told them about losing a letter in a 40 foot rig and someone asked if I had looked under the sofa cushions. Well no, I had not because I was sure it couldn’t be there but when we got back I looked anyway and don’t you know – there it was! I have absolutely no idea how it got there but if I can hold on to it long enough I’ll get it in the mail tomorrow along with a card for Jane for her birthday.

A lazy Sunday afternoon – Jerry watching football, me reading, meatballs cooking, popcorn and root beer on tap.

About 4:30 I walked over to the Happy Hour while Jerry stayed in and watched the playoffs for the Super Bowl. There were more people there tonight and it was such fun. Obviously some of these people have known each other for a long time. One couple told me they’d been coming here for 7 years and this is only reservation they make. Dan apparently plays banjo or some instrument and was insistent that we stay until Sunday so we could attend some of the jam sessions. He said they needed a keyboardist and he had a keyboard I could use. We’ve extended our stay here one day but I don’t see us staying until Sunday. I told him he’d have to talk to Jerry tomorrow night at Happy Hour. He and his wife are full timers and work with Habitat for Humanity. When RVing we are privileged to meet so many fascinating people

In about 8:00 and watched the end of the Panthers-Cardinals game. Go Panthers!