Friday, March 29, 2013

Return to Louisiana

After visiting the Johnson Presidential Library and learning about the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Garden, we decided to visit the garden. Sarah has an acquaintance, Lynn,  from the Worcester Center for Crafts who lives nearby and guided us for our tour of the garden. I think we arrived at the best season since so many native plants were in bloom. We had a pleasant lunch at the cafe then got back on the road.

Lynn and Sarah at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Garden

Sarah and I pushed on from Austin determined to make Lake Charles, Louisiana. We had a favorable tail wind that allowed us to make almost 15 mpg. We were rewarded with beautiful roadside wild flower displays all along the way. The blue bonnets and poppies painted a continuous rainbow display through the hill country of Texas. We sang the chorus of "Gulf Coast Highway" by Nanci Griffith as we drove that highway ( ) . Such a beautiful song to match the beautiful flowers. We were so happy to experience the blue bonnets. 
Our Blue Bonnet Spring

We arrived at the Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles late in the afternoon, after the park rangers had left for the day. At the gate, we found a list of available campsites and settled into one of them for the night. We pulled out the next morning with the intention to spend a couple of nights in Lafayette, LA. 

Along the way we passed through the town of Rayne. The town seems to have adopted the frog as its mascot, as in it's "raining frogs". Frog sculptures and murals are everywhere. Businesses have attached 'frog' to their names. The town is now known as Frog City.
A very proud Frog City

 I was told by one of the Airstream people we met in Austin to dine at Chef Roy's Frog City Cafe. It so happened that we were passing through Rayne at 11:00 AM. While that is early for us to have lunch, we pulled in to give it a try. There were no cars in the parking lot and when we walked through the door the entire staff was waiting in the foyer. We were the only patrons.  The owner, Robert Credeur, welcomed us to his restaurant. Wanting to eat light, Sarah and I decided we would each order an appetizer and split an entree. Sarah had the corn chowder and I had the seafood gumbo. We shared the Crawfish and eggplant dish. Shortly after we placed our order, Robert asked if we were from the area and if we liked oysters and sea food. We told him our story and that we were essentially nomads but we both enjoyed sea food. Robert then said he would have the kitchen send us a plate to sample. 

The plate Robert prepared was delicious. Alligator, shrimp, crawfish, and oysters deep fried with a delicate beer batter came to our table. The oysters were really special with their sauteed onion and pepper and pepper jelly sauce. The batter was very light and delicate that allowed the full flavor of the underlying fish to prevail. We devoured the entire plate. The menu also boasted a creme brule, but our diet was busted with Robert's tasty sampler. 
(Chef Roy's:
Our host at Chef Roy's, Robert. 

My map reading skills failed me in choosing a campground near Lafayette. We wanted to be near the city to partake of the restaurants and the music clubs. The big map showed a state park near the city that looked like a good choice. Unfortunately, it was almost an hour drive. We arranged to stay for one night, with the option to extend the stay for another at Fausse Lake State Park. We arrived early enough to walk the six mile trail system around the island that comprised the park. We saw egrets, alligators and armadillos. 
As common as squirrels 
We secured a reservation at Acadiana park in Lafayette proper and arrived just after noon time. This gave us the perfect location to explore Lafayette and perform some mundane but necessary tasks. I needed to print the release for my accountant to file my taxes. The public library was the place for that. Nearby was the Art Museum and some craft galleries that we visited. 

After finishing our taxing tasks we went to the Blue Dog Cafe for a cocktail and appetizer knowing we would be heading for Randol's for dinner and dancing. 
Blue Dog Cafe

Sarah and I splurged at Randol's. We shared a dozen oysters and 5 lbs of boiled crawfish. We took one third of them home in a dogie bag (crawfish quiche or gumbo is on the menu).

The band at Randol's was very good. Sarah and I made our presence known on the dance floor. Truth be told, people weren't watching me dance.

We enjoyed our stay in Lafayette and look forward to our time in Mobile. Stay tuned. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey I just found your site. My wife and I are full-time dreamers, and so I'm doing research by following other people's blogs. We're from Lafayette. Wish I would have found you guys 2 days ago and we could have met up. Maybe next time!



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