We so enjoyed our road trip along the Louisiana gulf coast. Since we have been home for almost a month...it is high time I finished up my travelogue.
It is home to swamplands and bayous...and friendly folk! Our destination was Avery Island...but we made a few stops along the way. A gal named Win...at the 'info centre' in Acadia Parish...gave us a crash course in all things Cajun.
She explained farming in the area...and how they double-cropped rice and craw fish. She showed us what crawfish looked like...and how they are trapped. Crawfish are miniature lobsters...and also known as mud bugs. They can be found on every menu in the area...along with rice, of course!
We stopped at near-by Crowley, which happens to be the rice capital of America.
Back home...we wait for coal trains. Here...they wait for rice trains! And finally...we arrived at Avery Island. It lies in Vermilion Bay in the Gulf of Mexico....and is basically a salt dome. It was named after the Avery family who settled the island in the 1830's...but is mostly known as the home of Tabasco sauce. Edward McIlhenny married Mary Avery...and began producing Tabasco sauce in 1870. The McIlhenny family still owns and runs the Tabasco plant to this day.
We had the privilege of touring their factory...and saw first hand how the sauce is produced. On that particular day, they had bottled 144,690 bottles of green Tabasco for Germany (at the time of our tour). The pepper plants are grown right on the island...and Tabasco sauce is shipped around th world.
Before we left...we visited the country store...of course.
We sampled this and that...and left with bags of goodies. Raspberry Chipotle Tabasco. How does that sound? It is their newest sauce...and very good!
We left the Tabasco factory...and drove just down the road to the Jungle Gardens of Avery Island.
The gardens are also the brainchild of Edward McIlhenny and encompass 170 acres of rolling landscape along the Bayou Petit Anse.
Spanish moss hung from all the trees. We don't see that in my part of the world...so I thought it was quite pretty!
Those eyes peering at me from the murky waters...not so pretty!
The park is also a bird sanctuary...where a large colony of migrating snowy white egrets return every year.
It was nesting time...and we watched this mama building her nest.
The azaleas and camellias were all in bloom. It was the perfect time to visit Avery Island! If you ever travel the Gulf Coast...be sure to check out Avery Island.
Oh...and if you happen to be in the Fresno, California area today or tomorrow...stop by the West Coast MCC Sale and say hi to Anneliese, Ellen, Lovella and myself who are there representing MGCC. We would love to meet you!
Have a wonderful weekend.