We headed out of New Orleans on Friday, but before we left, I snapped this guy jamming out and DJing his own concert. He was having a great time!
Headed out of the city, you can see the Super Dome peeping out from behind the building.
After we left New Orleans, we headed toward Lafayette via Hwy 90. Going via Hwy 90 did two things. 1) We stayed south of I-10 and didn’t thereby avoiding Baton Rouge traffic and 2) it’s a prettier drive.
Approach to the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge as we were leaving I-10 and headed toward Hwy 90.
We headed toward Houma where we stopped at the cutest little Tourist Center. The ladies there were so nice and helpful. If Houma sounds familiar it’s probably because you’ve seen at least one episode of Swamp People. We didn’t see Troy, but you can just see how proud this area is of their ‘boys.’ I would love to do a ride along and photograph one of those gator hunting trips. (Yes, I’m crazy.)
Our first destination was to Avery Island , home of TABASCO. This island, while home to the bottling plant, is also home Jungle Gardens. The gardens were beautiful and very peaceful. Lots of places to have a picnic or just to sit out on a quilt and read. We were there in the summer, so past peak bloomng season, but in the spring, this place is a riot of color with tons of flowering plants and trees. There is a $1.00 toll to get on the island, and to tour the gardens, there is a small admission fee.
This is a driving tour. Of course, the adventerous are welcome to walk it, but summer in Louisiana, I’m staying in the comfort of the air conditioned car. After our tour of the gardens, it was time to head over to the TABASCO bottling plant. The plant runs four days a week, and wouldn’t you know it, the day we were there, they weren’t running. You can still go in, get a tour and see the machines and visit the country store. They give you miniature bottle of TABASCO as part of your tour and anything TABASCO that you would want can be found at the country store. I bought some wood chips that were made from the barrels that they age the TABASCO in for my brothers when they use the smoker.
We left Avery Island and headed toward our hotel in Lafayette. Our plan was to finish up our road trip with a swamp tour on Saturday, then head back to Dry Prong that afternoon.
Sugar cane fields.
Before we go into Lafayette, we made a stop in St. Martinville, home of the Evangeline Oak and Acadian Memorial. In this location you can find the story of the Acadiens (Cajuns) and their journey from exile in Canada to the swamp of Louisiana. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is know for his poem Evangeline, a bittersweet love story about two lovers who were seperated when Canada exiled the Acadiens. The memorial to this poem is also found here. You must stop in the museum and plan to spend a good amount of time as the volunteers are very friendly and will tell you the amazing history of the Cajun people.
After our tour through St. Martinville, we drove the short thirty minutes to our hotel in Lafayette where we grabbed some dinner at Cheddars and shopped some at World Market. I love World Market, but as the nearest one to me in Florida is over two hours away, I take advantage of when I can shop! The drive from New Orleans to Lafayette is approximently two hours, which is nice, because if you aren’t in a hurry, you can do what we did and stop and sightsee along the way. Next trip, I think I would like to go down and the Houma area and spend a little more time, maybe do a swamp tour in that area. In my next post, we’ll wrap up the road trip with a swamp tour on Lake St. Martin and a stop in Grand Coteau.