I've never been to Louisiana. I know very little about it except what I've seen on TV or read in books. It's all alligators and vampires, right? Joking! But since Lafayette is just 3 or so hours from Houston, we thought, why not?
In looking for things to do there, we saw that the Marshall Tucker Band was playing on Friday night. Suddenly Tom was all in. Southern rock? Yes, sir! Unfortunately, we got stuck in traffic due to a nasty car accident in Lake Charles and missed the concert by just thismuch.
So we found ourselves a funky little diner for a late meal and vowed to get up early the next day. On Saturday we hit a couple of farmers' markets and walked around downtown. We visited the Cathedral of St. John and St. John Cemetery. On the church grounds is the St. John Oak Tree, a nearly 500-year old live oak with a diameter of over nine feet. The branches spread over 210 feet across. It's just gorgeous.
There's also a swamp (Cypress Lake) in the middle of campus - check out the cypress with moss hanging from the branches. So spooky. We didn't see any alligators but we did meet this "swamp squirrel", as Tom dubbed him, looking for handouts near the cafeteria. That guy wasn't shy at all.
We then visited LARC's Acadian village. Seven of the eleven buildings are authentic homes of the 19th century, donated by the families of the original inhabitants. Tom was especially interested as he grew up just south of the French Shore in Nova Scotia. We would have liked to have seen the village at Vermilionville too, but we ran out of time.
We stopped by the Boudin festival in Scott in the afternoon. Scott is the "Boudin Capital of the World". Have you ever had boudin? It's a sausage made of pork, rice, and spices. We didn't have any sausage, but we did have boudin balls - the same mixture, but with a spicy pepper jack coating on the outside that is then deep fried. Hands down, this was the best thing I ate the entire trip. I'm completely obsessed now. I think I'm going to have to try to make my own.
That night we ate dinner at Poor Boy's Riverside Inn. This restaurant was friendly and relaxed, like being invited to eat at someone's home. If that someone had room to seat 100. They specialize in seafood, but it's all done in a down-home country style. This is where we tried alligator for the first time. It's pretty good!
The next day, it was back to Texas and the long drive to San Antonio. We stopped in Luling for barbecue - because you have to. We had planned to eat at the City Market, but it's closed for dinner on Sundays. Instead we went across the street to Luling Bar-B-Q. Tom had sausage on a bun, I had the ribs. OMG, they were so good. They didn't even have any sauce on them, just salt and pepper. Maybe this was the best thing I ate on the trip.
While in San Antonio, we visited the missions again, this time getting to tour all of them as well as the Alamo. Last time we only had the chance to see Mission Espada and Mission San Jose.