We woke up in Baton Rouge and planned out our route for the day. We decided to keep the traveling light and drive only about one hour to nearby Lafayette. Jeff planned a nice scenic route through the Bayou that would avoid the highways. Still exhausted I started the trip with a nap in the back of the car. As I woke up Mom, Shannon, and Jeff had the car and trailer on a narrow back rode next to a levy, and they were trying to turn the car around while constricted by the levy. They explained to me how they just launched the car and trailer off the levy, and they were surprised that I slept through the whole event. Dad, I didn’t find it funny either.
After several days without the bikes the warm sunny afternoon seemed like an ideal time to roll out the Harley and do a little riding. As we headed for our destination, The Tabasco Museum on Avery Island, we passed through some amazing Bayou scenery: old oak trees covered in Spanish moss; marsh lands; country churches; plantation style homes; and small rural homes most of which had a Bayou style boat in the driveway. Great to be back on the bike, but not the same without my father, brother, and buddies from Ginna.
We crossed onto Avery Island, and pulled up to the Tabasco Museum and Factory housed in a huge old brick building. As I photographed the welcome sign, I again noticed the creepy statue from New Orleans; definitely appears to be following us…I’m starting to get a little concerned. The museum tour, led by a woman with a deep Louisiana accent, consisted of a brief welcoming, movie overview of the company, and finally a walk through the factory. Jeff, an (advanced, he added) manufacturing engineer, was very insightful as we passed through the factory floor pointing out the intricacies of the bottling process. Apparently they roll out 700,000 bottles each day. Afterward we stopped by the Country Store and picked up some Tabasco flavored ice cream, beef jerky, and t-shirts.
By this point Mom had been requesting zydeco music for miles. At the hotel, we inquired with the front desk about the best Louisiana food served with zydeco music; she sent us to Prejean’s. We walked into a large dining room decorated as the Bayou with plastic trees dressed with Spanish moss, a preserved alligator, live Cajun music, and an older couple doing some Cajun dancing. Anxiously I opened the menu and had a hard time deciding on which of the many Louisiana dishes I was in the mood for. I definitely wanted a taste of the Bayou, but I wasn’t feeling overly adventurous tonight. I went for the blackened catfish over white rice covered in the crawfish etoufe gravy while Shannon stepped it up a notch and ordered the alligator stuffed with shrimp and crab. The food was good, but overall none of us felt that it warranted the $20+ plate price tag. By the end of the meal the music was ringing as “da da di di di di do, da da di di di di do” like the scene from The Heartbreak Kid where Ben Stiller is fed up with the Mexican Band aggravatingly playing music at every turn.
The highlight was the restaurant’s webcam. I called Aaron and asked him to log onto the website and say hello. He captured this image of him, watching me talk to him, while having my picture taken, talking to him watching me??? (See Jeff taking picture to the right)