Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Last Week at Betty's RV Park

Our whirlwind times at Betty's have come to an end after one more week of music, food, fun and friends. Many people passed through the park this week right up to our last evening when three RVs that did not have reservations pulled in during happy hour. We met them all, but I do not remember their names. Our time here is always great! Over 150 people have passed through the park while we were here, we got to hear music at many different venues, including here at Betty's, and we ate at nearly 20 restaurants. Being here sure lives up to Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler.    
On Friday it was back to B's in Kaplan for our last taste of mudbugs. Michelle and Harold had never eaten them or seen how they are cooked, so I took them into the kitchen so they could check out how they are boiled.
Everyone from the park went, so we split into two groups filling several tables. It is amazing that they served everyone at the same time. 
There were twenty-five of us. While we waited for the food we had a chance to share stories with all our friends. As soon as the food arrived it got really quiet.
Look at the size of these crawfish and, like last week, the price was great. Betty is always prepared with her rubber gloves. 
Our Quebec friends started with five pounds, since Michelle and Harold had not had them before, but after a taste they ordered three more pounds. This was our last chance to see Rick and Mado on this visit as they were only staying for a couple days. We are already looking forward to seeing them next year.  Hopefully, it will be a longer stay. 
Here is something I have never seen. Brenda looks like she may have a new idea for a horror movie,
 The Revenge of the Claws of the Mudbugs!:-)
The mudbugs were very popular and B's has moved to the top our list for the biggest at the best price.
We went to the Cypress Bayou Casino a few times with Betty and we were not very lucky. I lost enough money that a guest and I were invited to a "free" concert and meal. The band was Don Rich, who played at Betty's in February, so we were not going to miss it.  He is GREAT!!!   
Betty and her friend Joyce had enough tickets that Gloria, Richard and Lynn also got to go. The music was great, the food was good and between Richard, Lynn, Nanc and I we had enough food money on our casino cards that we bought two cakes for the Sunday happy hour.
Check out Betty acting like a teeny bopper swooning over Don Rich. She got his attention and he came down and gave the ladies big hugs. If you are in Louisiana and want to hear great music from a great guy make sure you hear The Don Rich Band. 
Sunday started with Jim and Justine leaving. When they pulled in they said they thought we had met before. It turns out they were at the Escapade in Tucson and recognized us. We are looking forward to seeing them in Sedalia next month. 
Because we went to the casino on Saturday, we we missed the Cajun jam session. So on Sunday we went to Smiley's Bayou Club to hear Donnie Brousard. It was a great time and we got to see our friend Ollie one last time, but I failed to get a picture.
Monday was the last happy hour for George, Linda, Harry, Carlene, Jan and Bill. Jan looks like she is sad about leaving.  It was great seeing them and we are looking forward to seeing them at the Escapade in Sedalia.  
Here at Betty's people leave, but new people are always coming in. Here pictured left to right are Glen, Deb, Steve, Lynn, Steve, Dory, Richard, Lynn, Walter and Becky at happy hour. Some of them are full timers and some are part timers. Walter and Becky got the word while they were here that their house had sold, so they are now full timers.
Tuesday we had our last lunch at the Riverfront with Irene, Gloria, J.C., Nanc, Betty, Pricilla, David, Wendell, Ruth, Lynn and Richard. It is sad to be leaving but we will be seeing some of these people on our upcoming travels.
We were the last of six rigs pulling out on Wednesday, so our good-bye group was very small. Not to worry about so many people leaving, because Betty had five new rigs coming in that day. While we are always sad to leave here remember, you can't come back if you don't leave and we will get to see Betty and many other friends in September on the Betty's RV Park 20th anniversary cruise.
Our first stop was Discount Tire in Abbeville to take care of a slow leak on one of the inside tires. They found the valve was leaking which meant the place in Pennsylvania where we had the tires replaced had not changed the valve like I asked them to do. Good news, the leak appears to be taken care of. Bad news, they scratched the paint when they were tightening the lugs nuts. It seems to me that almost every time we have work done on Opus it is always both good and bad news. 
We took a different route, 190 to Texas, to stay off I-10. It was good road with much less traffic then the interstate. We are staying at Rainbows End in Livingston for a week to get Opus cleaned up and have a couple issues worked on while we are here. We will then have three and a half weeks to explore Texas Hill Country, Little Rock, Arkansas and Missouri on our way to the Escapade in Sedalia.

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.