Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

Early morning at RV Park

Our Guide at Vermilionville

Alligator on Swamp Tour

Brown Heron on Swamp Tour

Our group breakfast at Cafe Des Amis

SOME of the John Deere toys at Kelly's Landing

Kelly dumping Crawfish trap into boat.

Some of Crawfish caught in three traps.

Martins's Accordions

Shadows on the Teche

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, we arrived at Poche’s Fish N Camp RV Park in Breaux Bridge, LA. This RV Park caters to fishermen as the name implies and has four manmade lakes just for that purpose. Our purpose for being here was to join the Winnebago Rally group for the Cajun Culture & Heritage Rally. Even though we arrived a day early, our rally host had a light dinner planned for that evening for all those that arrived early. About ¾ of the group was here early. On Wednesday the actual first planned event was an orientation meeting that afternoon and then that evening was a delicious dinner at Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant.

Thursday morning was a bus trip to the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center to see a movie about the Acadians being run out of Nova Scotia and settling in the southern Louisiana and a second movie about the Cajun Cuisine. Then a short trip to Vermilionville, a village that recreates the life in Southwest Louisiana between 1765 and 1890. We had a guided tour of the village buildings and also heard local artisans playing their music and watched a woman spinning wool and a wood carver at work. Lunch was served there and then a trip over to Cypress Island/Lake Martin Swamp. Here our boat guide, who had degrees in Zoology and Botany, gave us about a two-hour tour of the Bayou Teche. We learned about the bayou and the wildlife that lives there, including the alligators. Back at the campground our host had some samples of Boudin & Cracklins, which are sold, all over this area of Louisiana. I tasted the samples, which were okay, but not my favorite food

Friday morning was a breakfast at Café Des Amis in downtown Breaux Bridge. During the breakfast we were treated to Zydeco music by two local musicians. Following breakfast was a short bus tour of Breaux Bridge with a stop at St. Bernard Catholic Church. The bus than dropped us off at Bayou Boudin & Cabins for a cooking demo to watch the making and sample of Pralines. We then had free time to visit the antique shops and flea markets of downtown Breaux Bridge. Lunch on our own. .

Saturday, the bus took us to Kelly’s Landing, the home of a farmer that had to give up most of his farming due to macular degeneration. He then started collecting John Deere toys, which overran his house so he built a separate building now housing any brand of farm implement toy. He now has thousands of toys plus anything that has the John Deere label on it like even a set of bed sheets. Outside the building he collects full size farm implements. Kelly told us the humorist story of how he got started collecting and then lessons of how to grow rice and raise crawfish. Many farmers in this area use the same fields to grow rice and raise crawfish at the same time. Kelly and his wife and friends then fed us a delicious home cooked chicken and sausage gumbo over rice. He then took us out to his flooded rice field and showed us how he retrieves the crawfish with his boat. That afternoon the bus took us to the Martin’s Accordions where they discussed how this family business builds and repairs accordions. They talked about the history of Cajun music and then the family band entertained us with examples of Cajun, Gospel, Country and Zydeco music. It was a very interesting day.

Sunday was a free day, so about all we did was go to Wal-Mart to get supplies.

Monday the bus took us to the town of New Iberia to tour the Joseph Jefferson mansion and gardens. In the late 1800, Joseph was an actor that played the part of Rip Van Winkle so he named his garden the Rip Van Winkle Gardens. Lunch was at the Café Jefferson. That afternoon was a guided tour of the Week’s antebellum plantation and gardens, which was named the Shadows on the Teche. Back at the campground our host had a sample of crawfish for each of us to sample. Crawfish look just like a small lobster and about the only part you eat is the tail. It tasted good but Carol and I were raised on the meat and potatoes instead of seafood.

Tuesday, the bus took us to lunch at Clambeaugh’s in St. Martinsville, LA. After lunch we went on a guided tour of St. Martinsville Cultural Heritage Center and the Acadian Memorial. Along side the Bayou Teshe is the huge Evangeline Oak tree, which is written about in several pieces of literature and is the supposed landing spot of the first Acadians to this area. Tuesday evening was a delicious farewell dinner at the Pont Breaux’s Cajun Restaurant.

Wednesday morning was the closing Continental Breakfast afterward everyone packed up their RV and headed back to their hometowns. Carol and I were the only full-time RVers. We had people from 14 states, including four couples from Missouri for a total of 36 people. We are now heading to Natchez, MS and then head up the Natchez Trace Parkway to Nashville, TN.

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