What a busy time we had this week at Betty's. It started on Friday when my brother Rick and his wife Denise arrived in Lafayette for a quick five day full immersion Cajun Experience. That experience had to include our Acadiana favorites: music, food, friends and fun. Rick's and Denise's plane was delayed so they only got a short introduction to Betty's famous happy hour before we took them to Dupuys for the best oysters in Abbeville. It was a great start to a great visit.
If you want Acadiana culture with both great music and food the Zydeco breakfast at Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge is a must. It does require getting up a 5:30 AM and being in line by no later than 7:15 if you want to get a table for the first seating but it is well worth it.
The place really rocks with a live band playing from 8:30 to 11:30 and a wonderful breakfast with a Cajun touch of boubin, crawfish, beignets, sweet potato pancakes and grits all being options. Rick tried the boudin and gave it a thumbs up.
The band this week was The Jewel of the Bayou with Leroy Thomas. They had the place jumping in what was the first of their four gigs that day. Here is a short video of the music and crowd at Cafe des Amis.
After a short nap it was on to the Cafe Museum for the weekly Cajun jam session. There were a lot of events in the area this weekend so some of the regulars were not there, but keyboarder Charlo Guilbeau and a few of his band members played. They were joined by rubboarder, Barb, who was a blurry, whirling dervish as she played along. Barb has become a regular at the jams when she is at Betty's.
I always knew Denise was a fashion icon and seeing her turn Barb's board and whisks into jewelry really confirmed it.
Our dear friend Ollie, Nanc and Denise at the Museum Cafe acting up and having a fun time.
It just seemed like a day when everyone wanted to play the board. At the top are Noel, from France, the guy from the band at Cafe des Amis and Denise and at the bottom are Nanc, Barb on stage and Barb and Rick doing what can only be called a rubboard duet.
Denise and Rick even got on the dance floor. They loved both stops so the music part of the Cajun immersion experience was a real success.
Sonny and Kathy the owners of the Museum Cafe who are always great hosts at the jams. As they always do after the jams, they fed everyone in the place a free meal.
We took ours back to Betty's and ate during happy hour. They could not believe a place would give everyone a meal to go, but it is just another example of that welcoming Cajun culture.
On Sunday it was more Cajun food when we went to T-Bob's for crawfish. Despite her expression Denise ate and I think enjoyed all three pounds. No, Rick did not suck the head he was just pretending. There experience with mudbugs was much better than mine. I have had then many times in the past and and loved them. This year I had them three times and after two of those meals I got a very upset stomach that put me out of commission for over 24 hours. No more mudbugs for me:-(
Trying another local food, cracklin. This time Rick looks like the reluctant one. They both tried it and put it in the been there done that category.
The next evening Betty made her wonderful gumbo and everyone loved it. Unfortunately, I was still under the weather and missed that meal, but Betty sent a to go portion for me. Here are the die-hards at happy hour Denise, Loretta, Barb, Nanc, Betty and Gloria who took the picture,
On Monday Nanc took them to Avery Island to tour Tabasco and the Jungle Garden. Nothing says Louisiana like Tabasco.
At Jungle Gardens they got an up close look at this alligator that swam over while they were standing there, forcing them into the car, and then walking on to the shore......
.........before realizing they were too fast for an easy meal:-)
At Bird City the Jungle Garden egret rookery there were far fewer birds than when we were there two weeks ago.
Rick and Denise had a wonderful fun visit and loved Betty. Even though they are not RVers there is no doubt they were caught in Betty's web. On the way to the airport we stopped at the Acadian Cultural Center, part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park to see the video about the origins and expulsion of the Acadians (Cajuns) from Canada in the late 1700's. This is a great stop with many displays of the culture and history of the Cajuns.
Once again, if it is Wednesday it is Black's Oyster Bar for half price seafood. Here are Jay, Nanc, Loretta, Betty, Gloria, Jim, Barb and real Rick who is back from Ethiopia. Three of the people had spouses who were not feeling well so our numbers were down. That will be changing soon as Betty has nine RVs coming in the next two days.
By the end of the week Betty's was filled to capacity with many new people. Top are Heather and Craig who just retired in January, Jim and Casey who are musicians and came to Acadiana for the music and Dennis and Beth who discovered Betty's when they met someone in Houston who had gone to school with her. Bottom are Dave and Sandy who full timed for awhile before buying a home base in Florida, Loretta who is touring in a beautifully restored 12 foot camper (she came for one day and ended up staying a week) and Jay and Betty who have full timed for years.
On Friday this group arrived from the Escapees park in Livingston. Left are long time RVers John and Sue and Charlie and Ruth. Center is Mark whom we met at RV boot camp in 2007 and have seen many times on the road. Right are Carol and Dennis whom we have know since boot camp and last saw in Alaska in 2014. It is great seeing old and making new friends on the road.
This will be our home next week as we are taking a cruise out of New Orleans to Mexico, Honduras and Belize. Looking forward to seeing friends and adding a couple new countries to our list.