Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mardi Gras Festivals!!

It's the day after Mardi Gras and things have settled down a bit. This past week there has been something going on every day and sometimes two or three things. Our plans to go to New Orleans fell through, but the couple that went said they had a great time even though it was a long day... about 22 hrs with all the driving.  instead went to Jennings and the Squeezebox Shootout..amateur accordion players competing for $2000 in prizes in three categories...youth, junior and senior. Last year's youth and junior winners also performed.  What a great afternoon of cajun music. We left there and walked into the midst of Jennings parade. This was our first parade of the weekend and our first Mardi Gras parade.  fun....too many floats to count, all loaded with kids and adults throwing beads and other souvenirs. Sunday was the oldtime parade at Church Point.. Betty was invited to take her campers to a farmer's house.  So the whole campground caravan-ed to his farm. The parade started by touring the local countryside, with 30 or more floats and hundreds of costumed revelers, stopping at a dozen or so houses along the way. Our host released some chickens, which were chased down by a large group of costumed paraders. This was done in the early days to collect food donations for the groups Mardi Gras dinner to celebrate the last fling before Lent. Each small town parade had their own local customs. Some of these towns still use horses for the runners to go about the countryside...in costume, collecting food.....amazing traditions that we never hear about until we go to these kind of local functions.   felt we didn't miss anything by not going to New Orleans.  we were invited to a Mini Costume Ball at a local restaurant by some people we had met earlier.  all made their costumes.   year they had their king and queen and all their court with jesters and clowns and witches,  all accompanied by a great cajun band and much dancing. ...Mardi Gras... we went to another small town parade that had about 30 floats filled with laughing party-ers. This parade was like a family reunion because everyone we talked to was there with family... cousins, brothers, sisters and all other family that they didn't see much of the rest of the year. Grilles set up on the back of pickups and on trailers and much fun on a nice sunny day in Feb. in LA. I finally took the time to load our pictures ,so this post is a week  late,but here it is.  I also loaded more Mardi Gras pics to our web albums at the right..

Saturday, February 13, 2010

CRAWDADS Loisiana Style

Sixteen people from Betty's RV park met at Cajun Claws for crawdads.  Grizz rode with us to the restaurant where he then stays in the truck and becomes the alarm system.  After a pre-dinner drink, we were taken into the dining room to two tables already set-up. When ordering you specify if you want 3 1/2 or 5 pounds of crawdads.  Yup!!  By the pound.  There is a lot of work to eating these things, twisting their bodies and squeezing it as you pull the tail off.  Now you bite what "meat" you can and suck the rest out of the tail.    This is what I observed since I am not into eating shellfish, crawdads,oysters, shrimp etc.  The menu did offer other things; cheeseburger or hamburger ( which I chose).  They, also, offered chicken nuggets but since that was on the kiddie menu, I decided NOT to do that.  After much pulling, twisting and sucking most people finished their heaping platter of crawdads that had been placed in front of them.  A waitress brings out a container of hot, wet
towels for people to clean their hands a little before they take off their bibs.
After leaving the restaurant we stopped at Robie's Grocery Store.  A young gentleman was outside cleaning the parking lot.  He came over and started talking about the truck. When we told him where we are staying.  He said he was Betty's nephew.  I swear EVERYBODY knows or is related to Betty!!! And Friday night was another band and party at Betty's RV park..... WHAT A PLACE !!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


By now most everyone has heard that New Orleans won the Super Bowl.  We attended our first ever Super Bowl Party, drinks, food, and enthusiastic people from all over the country  getting together to cheer for the Saints. Since we are not from the area, we were not into understanding the "mind-set" of their fans. Within the first quarter, we were cheering and getting excited as the game progressed. It is hard not to get caught up in the excitement. We had two different football pools going.  Bob and I were fortunate to win two quarters. WOW!!
All this fun and money, too!!  Most people in Louisiana are true followers/fans. One of the people at the party told about her aunt, who is in her mid- eighties, getting so upset by the Saints in previous games that she would turn off the tv ( putting the Saints in a "time-out" situation, like one does a child).  Then after a few minutes she would turn it back on to see if they could now do better. Her thoughts on Manning are, "they ought to stretch him out".  Now this is all done behind closed doors and she would be embarrassed if her friends saw this reaction because she is such a genteel lady.  But, alas!!!  When you are a Saints fan your loyalty runs high.  Who Dat! Tonight we are off to the Cajun Claw restaurant for crawdads... about 12 others want to go, so Betty arranges a dinner party... she really is a social  director and enjoys doing things with the campers. The weather is turning cold here and maybe NewOrleans parades are off..... we will see. We are not into standing with 1 million people in freezing weather.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Suire's Restaurant

 Our first day at Betty's one of the other rv-ers said he had seen our truck some where.  It was at Suire's where he remembered seeing it!   We went back to Suire's (pronounced swears) Restaurant/ Grocery store.  A couple pictures of the 2 sisters ( that own the store) standing on/by the little green truck are posted on their wall.  Bob and I got the special lunch, a type of beef stew over rice. Bob loved it, my taste buds are still recovering.  We got some of their homemade dessert to take home to ease the burning ;)  Today is one of the dryer days as it has finally stopped raining for awhile. Hopefully it will dry up now.  Our days have been spent settling in, reading about ALL the upcoming festivities, trying to decide which to do and partaking of "happy hour".  All the weekends in Feb. are planned out already. This Sat. was a grand opening at Hub City Ford that we went to. Geno Delafosse(Zydeco) and Sammy Kershaw(country variety) were the headliners and 5 contestants from a radio show were there.  Very great music from all, along with free hotdogs, hamburgers and drinks (pop). Not an ordinary grand opening for us from the north.  Next Sat........Three New Orleans Mardi Gras parades with 4 other couples from the park. The following Sat. north to Eunice/Mamau area for radio show, theater, jam  sessions .... all with cajun music and dancing. The last.. more jam sessions and local concerts and many other local traditional happenings and a concert at the rv  park on Friday  that Betty has arraigned.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Roads

We left FL on Jan 28, saying goodby to old  friends and many new friends. As usual leaving with many places left not visited, so we will have to put it on the list of places we need to return to. But our plans were to head to LA and Betty's RV Park http://www.bettysrvpark.com for the month of Feb and visit places we missed last year. We traveled back roads in FL and stopped the first night in Port St. Joe FL. was a Passport America(PA) Campground that was empty and the signs said pick a spot so we did---- right at the waters edge of St.Joseph Bay-- a really neat spot. Lillian, AL was our next stop at  the KOA we stayed at with Chet Beeswanger two yrs ago. Thought we would enjoy the hot tub but it started raining and rained hard all night. The next morning--clear skies and  new roads for the Little Green Truck-- US 90 through AL and MS. These roads follow the Gulf of Mexico-- very often running right on the shoreline with only the beach between . We stopped on Long Beach, MS about 20 mi. from Biloxi and found another PA park (Magic River Resort). Again the signs said pick a spot and we will catch you tomorrow. Very nice campground, neat spot, just a little hard to find, but worth looking for. A couple other people said they came for a few days and stayed for three weeks. Jan said she needed her casino fix so we went back to Biloxi and the Hard Rock Casino. Spent 5 or 6 hrs and had a good dinner and broke even like we usually do at the casinos. Sometimes Jan wins and sometimes I win but never together so even is about the best we can do. Still a fun evening out. Monday morning was off to Betty's on US 90 yet until we reached New Orleans and the the Interstate to get around The Big Easy. Back on 90 for the rest of the trip. We ran into rain again but reached Abbeville about 4 o'clock, just in time for happy hour and some new friends. We also arrived into the middle of "WhoDat" and Saint's madness.  Superbowl fever is high with the natives displaying their Whodat! and Saints shirts and flags. A big party planned here at the park tomorrow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

On the Road

FL was nice,but cool. We are in Abbeville,LA. It is raining and cool so I thought I would try to start updating our blog. Jan left off at Titusville where we spent a day at the NASA Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force base(I think it is fascinating--Jan not quite so--she saw her first live armadillo and lots of wild pigs. She likes the wild stuff). So---- we traveled down A1A to Palm Beach where we visited Whitehall, the Flagler House Museum. Henry Flagler built most of the east coast Florida tourism by building the railroad and hotels in many of the towns along the coast. The biggest are in St.Augustine and West Palm Beach. He, also, built many churches along with his hotels. Key West was also developed by him, because he thought that it would become the major US seaport in the south, but he was wrong and New Orleans became the great seaport. He did build the railroad to Key West. In some places along the highway to Key West you can still see some of the railroad bridges he built---they are listed on the National Historic Register.flaglermuseum The internet is great because you never hear of people like this until you start searching for things to see. We left Palm Beach and traveled across Alligator Alley (even with the cold weather,the alligators were THERE)------I-75 West to Naples and Fort Meyers Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. We stayed overnight and toured Sanibel Island, a cracker house museum, a Sears catalog house, the lighthouse and the shell covered beaches. Left there and went to Sarasota and the John Ringling circus museum and John & Mable Ringling's house. ringlingmuseum They also have a 200 yr old theater that was brought from Asolo, Italy-- rebuilt and is now being used for meetings and shows,etc. A very interesting and amazing place. We learned that he created the Sarasota tourist business with his winter camp for his circuses. He also owned more than 1/4 of the land in and around Sarasota. We left there and returned to Whispering Pines and a couple more days of really cold (20's & 30's) weather. Turned nice and we spent the last few weeks there visiting jam sessions and the Orange Blossom Opry --- lots of great music in the area along with Jan's cards and bingo.