Our trip through Houston went much better than we had expected. We had heard so many horror stories about what to expect of the Houston traffic that we had obsessed about going through there for weeks and made a decision to drive through on Sunday morning. That was fine with me until I heard Bob say the dreaded words, “I’m going to set the alarm”……my first thought was……on no not the alarm..……I just hate the alarm, first because I am the only one who can hear it’s annoying buzz and also after having to get up to go to work for so many years, I just don’t want to wake up to the sound of an alarm. But, of course, he did set the alarm and we were on the road at 7:15 AM, it was just barely daylight. On I-10 Bob picked out a truck that he was sure had to be going all the way through Houston and decided to follow him, as luck would have it the truck did take I-10 through Houston so following it worked out fine, I’m not sure what Bob would have done if the truck exited on a different route. Actually, although a little confusing the route through Houston was well marked and the traffic was light so I’m pretty sure we would have made it anyway.
We spent a week at the Twelve Oaks RV Park in Lake Charles. Twelve Oaks is a fairly new RV park, it just opened this last Spring. The owner was very friendly and gave us all kinds of ideas of things to see and do while in Lake Charles. The Lake Charles area is very pretty; there are two large lakes there and a ship channel that comes inland from the Gulf of Mexico. There are a few casinos there but we only went to one, the L’auberge du Lac, where we left just a little money and of course had to have the buffet. Bob was happy to get some real Cajun dishes there. We also went to a local “honky-tonk”, Grainger’s for some of what Bob said was very good “Seafood Gumbo and Tater Salad”. We did our usual sight seeing and antiquing while there. Apparently we managed to hit Louisiana during Love Bug season so when we arrived in Lake Charles the front of the motor home was covered with bug guts and Bob had to spend part of a day cleaning those off.
We have been at the Frog City RV Park near Lafayette for almost a week now and are really enjoying it here. A near by town, Rayne is recognized as the Frog Capital of the world so we had to check out some of the 31 frog murals there. An annual Frog Festival is held in Rayne each November. While in Rayne we ran across a real old fashion Five and Dime store, Worthmore’s, that place was a real hoot, with lots of unique items for sale.
We took a day trip to Avery Island, the home of Tabasco Sauce, where we took a factory tour and visited the Jungle Gardens. Avery Island is only about 30 miles south of Lafayette so it is a definite must see if you are in this area. The story of Avery Island is very interesting; it is one of five salt mounds that formed at the base of the Mississippi River millions of years ago. The Tabasco factory that has been in existence for over 100 years now processes 700,000 bottles a day and the products are shipped all over the world from this one location. Most of the peppers are now grown in South America from seeds that are grown on Avery Island and the salt from the island is still used in the process of making the sauces. After the factory tour we went to the Country Store and were given samples of all of the different sauces and products, even Tabasco flavored ice cream; that was different. The Jungle Garden is a drive through park with lots of trees and flowers. You can stop and take short walks into various gardens. In the springtime it is probably a lot prettier but it was still very nice. On the way back from Avery Island we stopped at Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn, for more real Cajun cooking. Poor Boy’s was recommended to us by Bob’s audiologist in Pensacola, she was originally from Lafayette and when we mentioned that we would be coming through there on our way back to Alabama this fall she said it was a restaurant that we definitely must go to. She was right; we were not disappointed.
We have had a few very pleasant days, not too hot, and we have been able turn off the air-conditioning and open the windows. Still haven’t seen any rain but Louisiana is green and pretty so I’m sure it rains here often.