Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Music, Food and Friends - It's What We Do At Betty's RV Park

We seem to get in a routine of doing many of the same things during our time at Betty's RV Park but we always try to do a few new ones. What is most different almost every day is the people we meet. This time of year many people are here for only a day or two meaning some are not here long enough for us to even remember their names.    
In past years when we went out to eat crawfish we went to the same place every time. This year there has been a search for the best crawfish; nice size at a good price. Since I discovered that I'm not allergic to mudbugs, I have joined the search. They have gone to T-Bob's, Park's and Shuck's plus had a boil here at Betty's and at Joe's. This week we went to another new place, B's in Kaplan, and the mudbugs met the criteria perfectly, big and inexpensive.
We filled several tables and as you can see we were up to our elbows in crawfish. They were so good we have already planned a return visit.
Saturday was the Cajun jam session at Touchet's. At this time there are no musicians from Betty's to sit in for a set. We always love the music and seeing our many local friends at the jams.
Nobby, Linda, Karen and Ernie are Canadians who were here long enough for us to remember their names. They loved the Cajun music.
There were very few people at the jam and Lynn and Richard were the only ones dancing most of the time. People from Betty's are big supporters of the jams and often make up the biggest part of the crowd.
Sunday was a special day in Abbeville as Betty's aunt Lillian celebrated her 101st birthday with an open house. We missed her 100th last year, so we stopped by to wish her a HAPPY 101. We are already planning to be here for 102.  She is still sharp as a tack and truly amazing.  She still lives in her own home and the day before her birthday baked 3 cakes!!
Mark accused me of being on the payroll for Abshire's because I've written about it so many times but he must have liked what I said because he and Renita wanted to have one of those shrimp salads. We went with them along with Richard and Lynn and four of us had the salads with everyone agreeing it is the best they have ever had.
As we were leaving Betty's for Abshire's Linda, Jan, Bill, Carlene, Harry and George were pulling in. As soon as they were set up they joined us for lunch. They all loved this little off the beaten path place for lunch.
Jacque and Lis, who we have seen at Betty's several times as they travel to Quebec from wintering in Mexico, were here for only a couple days. They are planning to stay for a month next year. We told them about Abshire's so they went for the shrimp salad only to learn that because so many people from Betty's had been there, they were out of shrimp until their weekly order came in. Maybe I should be on the payroll.  
Wednesday evening was our last Cajun Culture Association meeting for this visit. We wanted to go to say our good-byes to many local friends. While we are not big fans of meetings, this one is always very short and is followed by a great Cajun band. This week was Junior Hebert's Band and he had people up and dancing.   
Thursday was a very busy day. We went with Richard and Lynn to Rayne to have lunch a Chef Roy's Frog City Cafe for a great lunch. We stopped at Wortman Pottery in Duson. This is the pottery not the cafe. 
They have a great selection of hand thrown pottery which is Nanc's favorite. We added to our collection with a neat bowl with a crawfish handle. If you like pottery this neat little place needs to be on your to do list. 
Thursday was also the last Sounds in the Square for this spring. The band this week was The Envies who played a big variety of music from the Beatles to Eric Clapton to local D.L. Menard. The music in the square is always a fun time.
Here is how they keep the Cajun culture alive. This little fellow had a toy accordion and joined the band and followed along. He also went on stage with a fiddle and harmonica. His instruments may have been toys but he had the beat down with a bit of foot tappin'. 
We extended our stay at Betty's because we learned that Mado and Rick would be coming through Abbeville on their way back to Quebec from Mexico with her daughter Michelle and son-in-law Harold. They did not have their RV this year so they stayed in a local motel and joined us for happy hour.  
We had not seen them since we went to Mado's 80th birthday in Quebec in 2016. We were disappointed that the other people who they usually travel with were not coming to Betty's this year. We had a great time getting caught up with all their adventures and are looking forward to seeing them again next year.

Our time here is quickly coming to an end. We continue to be busy along with seeing old and new friends as we get ready to head out. Our plan is to spend a week at the SKP park in Livingston, Texas. From there we have three weeks of touring on our way to the Escapade in Sedalia, Missouri.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Happy Birthday Betty, Music, Easter, Mudbugs, Hi and Bye

As in the last post, there continues to be a big turnover of people here at Betty's RV Park with many long term stays coming to an end and many travelers stopping for a few days of Betty's fun. Of course, not everyone understands what a great place this is. It seems that at least once a year someone will pull in, look around and keep on going. It's not like there are a bunch of derelict rigs or people here, but it is obvious these folks don't know what they are missing. Remember you can't judge a book by the cover. We usually figure they would not have been the kind of people we would like to hang out with anyway. And remember, for every person who has just pulled through, many, many more have asked to extend their stay and come back every year.  
 A tradition here is people gathering to say goodbye, travel safe and see ya down the road. Steve and Penny where the first to leave this week but they already have their reservations for next year.
Saturday was Betty's birthday and she wanted to go to the casino to celebrate, so we had a party on Friday. The birthday lady and her little princess, Lucette.
There were so many musicians for the party I could not get them all in one picture. Top left are David, Joe and Linda; right are Barry, Lynn and Richard; bottom are Don, Ann, Dan, Dave, and Wayne. Sorry I did not get a picture of Kristy. 
Every Betty's birthday bash has a theme and this year it was the 50's which Kathy, Nanc and Lynn had no trouble reliving.
Kathy, Celine and Merlene sporting their retro glasses fit right in.
Linda and Dave came by to celebrate with us.
John and I got into it with tees and a pack of smokes rolled up in the sleeve.
Sharon went all out with the college ring form her steady guy on a chain.
Sue and Dan got into the mood with the pink satin jacket and the pack of cigs rolled up in the sleeve of the white tee.
Betty's aunts and niece at the party. Left to right are Lillian, who will be 101 this week, Irene, Monica and the birthday girl Betty.
Calvin and Donna Touchet joined in the good times celebrating Betty's birthday.
Cordell and Monica played a big role in the party. She had several pictures of Betty from the fifties that fit right into the theme.
Betty will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Betty's RV Park with a cruise we will be going on in September. This is here first cruise and she's worried about going overboard so we bought her a personal flotation device. In the background are some of the plants we all bought for her since the cold weather this winter killed so many of hers.
Betty's RVers join together to wish her a great
Sunday, April 1st, was Easter but also a sad day as all these people left on Sunday and Monday. Top are Jean Paul, Celine, Merlene, Dan, Tom and Ann. This is an older picture of Tom and Ann as she had flown to Denver to see her grand kids earlier in the week. Bottom are Don, Ann, Wayne, Marlene, Sharon, John, Dan and Sue. While we are sad to see our friends leave, we are already making plans to see them down the road. Safe travels to all.
Wow this is the park on Sunday after five rigs pulled out. As I write, it is almost full again and nine new rigs are coming in this week so we are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.
There was no Cajun jam session at the Museum Cafe in Erath this weekend because of Easter, so a few of the musicians came to Betty's to jam. The band was smaller on Saturday than the group that played for Betty's birthday, but it was still a great day of music and I even got a picture of Kristy with her accordion. 
Barry and Linda, who play over fifty concerts a winter in the Rio Grande Valley, where singing Jackson with Dan accompanying them on the tambourine.
The group was smaller but it was still a great Easter dinner.
On Tuesday, Joe and Kristy invited several people from Betty's to Joe's place for a crawfish boil. Everyone pitched in to help cook the mudbugs. The boil was at Joe's neighbor Glinda's who is purging them pictured top left. Next, Louie and Joe drain the water and Richard helps transfer them to the basket. Bottom, Joe and Louie lower the basket into the boiling water where they cook as Joe does what he does best, stirs the pot.
Look out Barb Nanc found the perfect ladies rub board and may be looking to learn to play.
A boil always involves a lot of standing around and watching the whole process, especially if the guests are not from Louisiana. Here are David, Nanc, Linda, Sis, Kathy all looking on intently while Cajun Kristy is on the phone.
Look at the size of these things. They are the biggest we have had this year.
Betty and Glinda, whose mother Zula we meet on our first visit to Acadiana in 2008.
Kristy and Joe. Thanks for a great day. The crawdads were wonderful.
The official testers of the first batch Barry, Nanc, Richard and Paul.
They passed the test so we all filled our trays. Lynn, Richard, Betty and Nanc are ready to dig in. I'm happy to report I ate my fill and had no side effects. I guess it was the one place where I ate them two years ago and got sick. 
A few new people arrived so we went back to Abshire's for lunch. Top left are Richard, Blaine, JC and Barry; right are Lynn, Gloria, Kathy, David and Nanc and bottom are Sis and Linda. There were only twelve of us, so the service was faster and the food was all great. I had to have the spicy shrimp salad I missed on our first visit and loved it. 
One last departure for the week after a two month stay, David and Kathy headed east for a few days before going to their new home in Oregon. Remember if you don't leave you can't come back. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Music, Foods and Friends Come and Go

Just as spring brings change to Louisiana, it also brings big changes here at Betty's RV Park. Many people who have been here for extended stays are heading out to places all over North America. At the same time, snowbirds who are leaving other warm winter stops and heading north are stopping by for a few days of Cajun culture. Some of these people are old friends we have met here over the years and others are new friends. Even with all these new people, the good music, good food and good times continue. 
We had been to Dupuy's a couple times for their great oysters. On one visit we ordered a dozen and they mixed up our order and we never got them. We had plenty of other food and they took them off the bill so it was not a big deal. On our next visit, as soon as we sat down the waitress asked if we wanted oysters and quickly brought us a dozen. They were great and when we got the bill we discovered they were on the house. That is real customer service.
If it's Saturday, it's a Cajun jam session. This week it was at Touchet's and many RVers from Betty's joined the locals for a fun afternoon of music.
Calvin Touchet, who no longer runs the bar, was back in his usual chair when Derek and Donna took a break. He has been doing much better since his back surgery.
John, Steve, Sharon and Penny enjoying the music in the Horny Corner at Touchet's.
Velma (a local), Penny, Sharon and Nanc acting up at the jam.
We picked up our friend Ollie, who we met here ten years ago, and took her to the jam. She is a great friend who is still going strong at 90. These Cajuns live a long time.
The music continued on Betty's deck when Dan, David and Steve practiced while Jean Paul who is just learning took note.
One thing that happens at Betty's or just about any RV park is if someone is having a problem people will pitch in to help. Wendell was having an issue with the automatic step and Richard, John and Dan (under the rig) stepped in to lend a hand. It was not a 100% fix, but it was good enough that Wendell and Ruth will be able to travel. One job I failed to write about was Dan and Reid helping me hook up our new DVD/CD player. They not only got the CD working, but by changing a few wires around we can now watch DVDs. Thanks Dan and Reid!!
Of course, every afternoon at 4:30 is the start of Betty's famous happy hours. Since all of us have made so many friends here, we were all very happy to give a big shout out to our friend Ray Wright who had been discharged from the hospital after beating a very bad bacterial infection.  We all sure wish Ray a speedy recuperation.
Jim and Cookie where the first of many departures we will be having for the rest of our stay. While no one likes to leave Betty's, we always say if you don't leave you can't come back. Safe travels friends.
You never know who might be driving the rigs. Wendell and Ruth let Daisy take the wheel.
We are always searching for new experiences in Cajun country and Abshire's was one of those that will stay on our must do stops for a great lunch. It is a very small grocery with a small lunch counter, three tables and great food. We went after the noon rush so we did not overwhelm the place.
At the three tables, top left; Lynn, Richard, Dan, Merlene, right; John, Sharon, Penny and Steve; bottom are Jean Paul, Celine, Sue and Dan.
At the lunch counter are Tom, David, Kathy, Louie, Chari, Nanc, Judy and George and me. That is 21 people and there were only 20 seats, so we ate in shifts.
This is the kitchen behind the counter.  A pot of rice, a very small grill, a little fryer and a four burner stove where Leshea prepares all the food. While the food was being prepared there were dishes for George to wash because they only have 19 plates.
I had the $9.99 lunch special that included catfish sauce picante over rice, green bean casserole, fried catfish, a shrimp wrap and a crawfish mini pie. It was all great and I ate the whole thing.
So many people had the famous shrimp salad that they had to be made in two shifts because the grill is to small for all the shrimp, onions, mushrooms and jalapenos to be grilled at the same time. Those items are put on a bed of lettuce and tomato and topped with a dressing and bacon (that Nanc and Judy opted not to have). After seeing the salad, a return to Abshire's is on my to do list before we depart. 
The gang with Leshea who worked very hard to get us all fed. If you are in the area and want a unique eating experience, you need to add Abshire's to your must do lunch list.
A few of the new people at Betty's who we have met on our many visits here. Ruth and Wendell (middle) are fulltimers who are here for a month with Ann and Don (right), Wayne and Marlene (top left) and Judy and George (bottom left) who are just here for a few days as they head to other places.
The fun times continue and we are looking forward to seeing many more friends who will be stopping at Betty's before we leave in the middle of the month.