Marylu – Louisiana through Austin (January 22nd to February 14, 2016)
Hard to believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted anything! As soon as we arrived at the rental in Madisonville, things just started happening and we were hoppin’. Our landlady, Sarah, wasn’t quite prepared for us, so we headed out for groceries and adult beverages after a brief tour of the place. Sarah’s artwork appears throughout the house.
Alan bought a bottle of Sazerac (new to us, so we had to try it) and that started the fun. As we unpacked groceries, Sarah noticed the bottle, asked if we’d ever had a Sazerac cocktail – “no,” – so she exclaimed that she was going to get the ingredients, and she did. After testing the recipe a couple of times, nine p.m. surprised us all. (If you’re curious check out the recipe http://www.sazerac.com/cocktail.aspx) Sarah left for the weekend with a promise to show us how to party in Louisiana.
We roused ourselves the next morning to begin a tour of Louisiana. Madisonville is a small town accessible to Covington, Mandeville, Slidell and New Orleans.
Over the course of the next two weeks, we went to four parades –
toured lots of attractions, danced to Zydeco music, and tried all sorts of southern cuisine: pickled okra, muffalettas, po-boys, beignets, etouffee, gumbo, and a variety of fried foods, even oysters!
Surprisingly, we did not try the standard cocktails in New Orleans: Cyclone, Hurricane and Hand Grenade, but we did get to a brewery
and saw some historical landmarks.
In addition, to going to parades, one came to us. We went to New Orleans to the Rock ’n Bowl to see Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas. After listening and dancing to high energy music, limiting ourselves to two beers each (important note), we headed across Lake Pontchartrain via the world’s longest bridge over a body of water, the Causeway. According to the mile markers, it’s about 24 miles long. At 11:00 p.m., there wasn’t much traffic, but then, we started passing parade floats!
Another note about the bridge – although there are periodic cross overs, there is no stopping. It would require a serious emergency to stop as traffic flows at 65 miles an hour. Back to the story…because it was late and we’d had a couple of beers, and because we’re careful and conscientious, cruise control was set at 63 or so. Suddenly, a patrol car pulled out of a cross over and started following us with lights flashing! What?! The car kept getting closer, so Alan slowed down a bit, then more, then more, as we wondered when and where to pull over. Finally, we heard: “You don’t have to stop, I’m just waiting for the parade to catch up.”
It would be fun to spend time in towns west of New Orleans for Cajun/Zydeco music and dancing and crawfish boils. I didn’t know there were rice fields in Louisiana or that they were used to raise crawfish!
From Louisiana we traveled to Galveston Island, Texas, for a week stay. The first few days were very windy and chilly but we found a few tours and breweries to keep us busy.
The tour of the former oil platform was interesting but disappointing as the preview film was down and the catwalk to the rig was under repair and inaccessible.
The Galveston newspaper had articles welcoming their “Winter Texans” back. We did see a group of them greeting each other and catching up at a Greek restaurant. Might be fun to return later in the spring next time around.
We did walk the beach a few times and took our new friend, Mardi Craw, a throw from a Mardi Gras parade. Although we don’t collect treasures, we decided he should join us on our travels. Watch for him in upcoming photos.
Had to add a Galveston sunset for good measure.
Off to Austin…..