Monday, April 15, 2013

Pierre Part, Friends, Food and Music

We have been to Betty's every year we have been on the road and have done many things in the area.  That said we always try to do something new on each visit.  There are so many happenings here that that is really pretty easy.  This week was another big turnover week with old friends departing and new friends coming in.  Mark & Renita and Tony & MaryBeth, whom we have crossed paths with several times, arrived.  It is always great seeing old friends as well as making new ones.  This was the first time we have seen Mark & Renita since their Alaska trip and they wet our appetite for this adventure with their stories and pictures. Our new adventure this week was a day trip with a stop at the casino and then on to Pierre Part.
Last Sunday Jackie and Kaz (middle) departed.  Here we are with them and Dwayne and Janet, their neighbors at the SKP park in Congress, AZ who did not know they would be here. 
The trip to Pierre Part was to visit Adam Morales' Atchafalaya Swamp Treasures.  Adam goes into the swamp and collects pieces of cypress drift wood and turns them into works of art.  Some, like the heart in this log, occur naturally.
This is Adam's yard.  It is totally covered with wood.
His back yard is literally in the swamp.  Here is a swamp monster coming out of the trees.  Adam has a trap in the water to catch mudbugs and turtles.. That is living off the land.
Nanc with Betty, who bought a couple of hollow cypress knees to use as planters.  As we walked around Adam was pointing out what he saw in the different logs.
Here are a few of his creations.Top left are moss covered monsters.  Adam collects Spanish moss in the swamp to sell to florists.  Here is a link to a video from Swamp People about Adam collecting moss.  Center are three cobras and right is a dinosaur.  Bottom is the Landry family, the stars of Swamp People who live in Pierre Part.
Left are the Twin Towers, center I am standing by Troy Landry and right the Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial.  Adam's father was on Iwo during the battle.  Another one of those we are connected moments, my Uncle Art was also there and saw the famous flag raising.
Well guess what, we did not just have to see Troy as a work of art, we got to personally meet him.  We stopped at his parents' store, Duffy's, and he was working on a crawfish catch.  He signed a picture and loved getting his picture taken with these two beautiful ladies.
This week's Sounds on the Square Band was Willie Tee and Cypress with Warren Storm.  An extra special performance was given by 13 year old Bubba Hebert, an award winning accordionist who stepped in for a couple of song.  Bottom are a few people from Betty's who went to the square.
On Friday we did another road trip with Mark and Renita to Avery Island and the Tabasco factory.  This Louisiana pepper sauce has been made and bottled here since 1868.  This is the factory where we saw them bottling sauce to be sent to Germany, one of 165 nations where it is available.  Right is a picker using le petite baton rouge, the small red stick, to pick the peppers when they are at their ripest.  The sauce now comes in seven different tangy flavors.   
The peppers are crushed, mixed with salt and vinegar, the only three ingredients, then placed in old bourbon barrels.  Nanc is checking out the aroma of the sauce that is left to ferment in barrels for up to three years.  The barrels are topped with salt from the local mine to keep impurities out.  Bottom is Mark checking out a historical display.
On the way back from Avery Island we stopped at Jefferson Island to check out this big rookery.  It was loaded with spoonbills and a few egrets and herons.
Friday evening was another feast.  Top are Randy & Sue, who just started fulltiming in January and a Betty's regular, Marvin.  Bottom are Peggy & Paul and Priscilla & Dave.  By Tuesday Marvin, Priscilla and Dave will be the only people who have been here for our entire stay.
Top are Barb & Rick and Renita & Mark.  Barb has been here for a month while Rick was on a work trip to Morocco, Jordon and the West Bank.  It was great hearing the tales of that trip.  Bottom Nanc and I are enjoying these huge mudbugs.  Hope we get them at least one more time before we depart on the 24th.
Mark & Renita and Donnalyn do lapidary and wire wrapping to make jewelery and after dinner, to my dismay, they displayed some of their work.  Since Nanc is now a member of the check of the month club I had no influence over her buying:)  Their work really is beautiful and even I now understand why they carry so many rocks in their rigs.  Here Mark and Donnalyn (pointing) show their wares while Renita helps Barb with a necklace.  The jewelers' rigs will be lighter when they leave.  Another great week at Betty's!


Ray/Wendy said...

Cool gettin a pic with Troy.
That RV is really gonna have flat spots on the wheels.)

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

A marathon post! Let the Good Times Roll!

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

The jewelry show in the pic is Donna Lins, ours was the next day.
It sure has been fun. This comment is just for your editing