Daily Archives: March 6, 2010

Cajun Swamp Birthday

Ivan and I woke up early on March 4, 2010.  It was my birthday. 

John cooked us eggs with toast.  It was good.  Ivan booked the Champagne’s swamp tour for 10 am this morning. 

We drove out towards Lake Martin.  It’s a 20 minute drive from Lafayette.  Bryan was our tour guide.  He had thick Louisiana accent, so it was hard to understand him sometimes.  There were 5 people and two monkeys (Lil Dave and Big Dave decided to join us!).  It was really beautiful out on the lake.  Bryan tried to explain the difference between a swamp, bayou and a lake.  But, somehow I still don’t know the difference! 

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We saw lots of animals like alligators, nutria (water rats), egrets, a bald eagle, red hawk and turtles.  It was a great tour!

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The French couchsurfers Cedric and Sophie were on a different tour.  Their tour guide spoke French.  We waited for their tour to finish.  We asked if they wanted to join us for lunch. 

Ivan thought we should check out Blue Dog Cafe.  Becky recommended it to us.  Ivan shared the tasty gumbo that came with oysters, shrimp and crab meat.  It was definitely better than the one we had the night before.  We also shared grilled catfish with crawfish etouffee on top with rice.  It was great food!  The artist George Rodrigue became famous for the blue dogs that he puts in paintings.  So, there’s so many paintings of the blue dogs in the restaurant. 

Next, we drove to Vermillion Ville.  It’s a Cajun and Creole Museum.  The French people bought their tickets first.  Since they were from France, they got a discount of $3 per ticket.  So, it was $5 per person.  The lady asked us if we were from France as well.  Ivan said that we were.  We got the discount as well.  The village shows how the Cajun/Creole people lived when they settled in Louisiana over 200 years ago.  Most of the houses are the original buildings.  I think the church was the only recreation.  One building had different displays like a tornado inside.  I saw a microscope that was handheld.  You could use it to look at feathers and leaves that were provided for you.  I stuck it on my face and it looked scaly.  We went to one building where a Creole man was.  He started talking and going off on a tangent. 

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He played some cool songs on his fiddle for us.  We went to a few houses and a schoolhouse.  There’s a ferry where you have to pull it across the lake by hand.  It’s just a rope that’s attached to the other side.  It’s a cool living museum to check out.  The French couple decided to do more sightseeing.  We were going to head back to John and Becky’s place.

It was a nice, sunny day so Ivan wanted to get ice cream.  We stopped at the only Borden’s ice cream shop left in the USA.  We got a scoop of strawberry and chocolate.  I preferred the chocolate.  The ice cream is really cheap at $1.25 per scoop (in a cup).  It’s good ice cream!

Ivan drove us back to the house.  We chilled for awhile and used the internet.  Ivan decided that we should take a cruise.  We weren’t sure that we had time for it.  We’re actually going to be extending our road trip 2 more weeks.  Ivan booked a last minute cruise.  We’ll be going to Key West and The Bahamas.

We went to dinner with Cedric and Sophie.  We drove to Prejean’s.  Ivan and I shared the fried alligator.  Becky said we had to try it.  It was quite tasty!  Ivan had the the fried catfish.  I had the chicken pasta inez which is blackened chicken with penne pasta in a creole sauce.  The food was really good! 

I had an awesome birthday!  It was fun filled and we had really good Cajun food!

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