Day #33 – Even more crawfish!

LOCATION:  Last day of Cajun Fest/Rally in New Iberia, Louisiana
CAMPGROUND:  5th night at Isle of Iberia RV Park
WEATHER:  A repeat of perfect temps – sunny.  High 82

A reader asked me about Joy, our Airstream, and about our budgeting system……Joy is a 2018 Flying Cloud – 25-foot with a queen rear bed.  Just the perfect size for us! 

For a budget…..We carefully monitor our expenses versus income (pension, social security).   When it is just the two of us, we rarely eat out.  If we do, it is lunch at a brewpub; never for dinner.  We ALWAYS share a meal – cheaper and we just don’t need all that much food.  We try to stay in state parks, national parks, national forests, or Corps of Engineers parks.  With our senior discount, this means they are usually $8-15/night.  We don’t like commercial RV parks, but sometimes they are the only option.  We also stay in a lot of Harvest Host sites – free accommodation, but we repay their hospitality by buying something  – beer or wine, usually.  We don’t have a lot of “stuff” – no solar panels, no generators – just a good battery that allows us to dry- camp for about 5 days.  So, our expenses are mostly food & drink, gas, and camping fees.  These last few days at the Cajun Fest have been a splurge.  Sometimes you just have to do that!    Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.  Thanks for being a blog follower! 

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George and the Glanvilles drove to a town a few miles from here, in search of some good French bread.  Since it is French area, we thought there would be several bakeries.  They found a historic bakery and bought a loaf, but they were a bit disappointed in not finding croissants or anything for breakfast.

While they were out, I spent 3 hours (2.5 hours on hold; 1/2 hour actually speaking with someone) on the phone with Orbitz, trying to redeem a flight cancellation and to make a new booking.  I was finally successful, but it was very stressful!

Since their breakfast trip was not successful, we headed out for an early lunch to a diner that had been recommended to us.  It was all locals, and absolutely packed!  We had some red beans and rice (a Cajun specialty on Mondays.)  Rob enjoyed a milkshake – the great old-fashioned kind with real ice cream.  Happy guy!

Then, we visited America’s oldest continuously operated rice mill  – located in New Iberia.  We bought some rice products and went on a tour.

From there, we headed to the Tabasco factory, in nearby Avery Island.  This is the factory…..closed to tours due to Covid.

We hit up the country store to buy some Tabasco-related things – T-shirts, hot sauce, pickled okra, and bloody Mary mix.  They sell many different kinds of Tabasco that you don’t find in a regular store.  Also, HUGE bottles of the stuff!

Their restaurant was also closed, but it has a good reputation of serving foods infused in interesting ways with Tabasco. 

As I was walking on the grounds, a bird started peeping at me furiously.  She spread her wings and started chasing me!  I realized that she had just laid some eggs and was protecting them from me…

We did the driving Jungle Gardens tour.  The original owner of Tabasco built this estate and lush gardens in the 1800s.  It is full of beautiful oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, bamboo, camelias, and azaleas.  There are also a lot of interesting birds and alligators.

We drove around New Iberia, in search of inexpensive gas.  This house was being moved  –  right in front of us!

DINNER:  Tonight was the culmination of the Cajun Fest – a big boiled crawfish feast.     It was catered by Cajun Claws – the place where we watched them sort the crawfish.

We were each given a 3-pound pile,  along with boiled corn and potatoes.

By pound #2, we were pretty tired of eating them, so just sucked the heads and snapped off the tails – to be peeled and eaten later.

Then, the last night of dancing with a live band. We gathered once again near the swimming pool, in a bandstand-type of area.    This band was Zydeco – featuring a different kind of accordion.  It is more the Creole style, rather than Cajun.  The main singer/accordion player is apparently widely renowned.

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