Friday February 14, 2014 Sleep Inn and Suites Ste. 116 Orange, Texas 6 PM CST
Woke up this morning and Bill presented me with a great card that plays “ What I Like About You” in the most raucous way! Then he followed up with a heart-shaped box of chocolates. I regret to say, I had nothing for him but our first stop after checking out was Keller’s Bakery to stock up on coconut cream whoopee pies and praline brownies—so there is plenty of sugar to go round.
Left the town of Lafayette and headed south to Abbeville and brunch at Shucks. OMG—we thought the oysters on the half shell were great at Bojangles—these were incredible. We learned how to make our own cocktail sauce. In a small bowl, put in some horse radish, some Worcestershire sauce, some Cajun garlic sauce, a squeeze of lemon and a shot of Tabasco. How much of each depends on whether you want it mild, medium or hot. Then you add a huge amount of ketchup. Using the spoon and the seafood fork together you mix it all together . The waitress made mine ( medium) to show us how and then left Bill to make his own—much hotter than mine though I did add a bit more horseradish.
The gentleman who seated us and chatted with us about where we are from etc said that we had to have at least a cup of his mother’s crawfish etouffe. So I asked it Shucks was his place and he said yes, with a partner, his name is Dave. We shook hands and I asked if I could take his picture and he said why don’t we have one of the two of us. So there it is, BTW, the etouffe was to die for—Bill said this is the best place we’ve eaten here so far and I must admit I agree. It may be that Bojangles will remain a favorite because of the bookstore but Riverside may go by the wayside. I think in Lafayette itself, Lagnieux may be the winner.
The rest of the day was spent driving along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana to Texas. Over drawbridges, over high curved hurricane bridges and even on a ferry. Cameron has come a long way since we were here about 7 years ago although there are still many remnants of Rita’s devastation. Some people didn’t rebuild, some rebuilt huge new houses, more elevated double-wides or trailers to replace their homes and several just moved in a small travel trailer. I imagine it depended on what they had in savings and insurance and what they may have received from Fema. Even the PO is in a trailer and three towns and their zip codes have been consolidated into it. This covers at least 35 miles, with quite a few people—particularly in Grand Chenier. Yet the office is in Cameron—about 20 miles away. Yet, Thetford has five offices. The hours have been cut here as well as at home. The Postmistress commented to Bill—yes, they save money in the postal service to waste somewhere else.
Of course, as we moved along we saw interesting things like the big fish in front of a school—turned out to be S. Cameron HS and the fish is a tarpon. Lots of birds, pelicans, ducks, egrets, herons, spoon-billed something or others with pink feathers like a flamingo ! The entire day was perfect—sunny, no traffic, warm in the mid to high sixties. And then we came to Holly Beach which was totally gone the last time we were here—not one building of any sort—wiped out. As we arrived we were amazed at the number and size of the houses that have been built. Just then we noticed a beautiful young cat with strawberry fur. It was headed to the canal but at the very last moment shot out our way—Bill swerved and slammed on the brakes but we heard the sickening sounds as both our wheels went over and tossed the cat about. Bill saw it rolling across the road and get up and limp under the truck parked in front of a trailer. Bill almost started to cry as we pulled over to turn around and tell the people what happened. He went to the door and as I watched the man pick up the limp body I just started to sob. Thank goodness, the man and his wife were very forgiving—they said they have more cats than they can count and that they’ve tried to keep them off the road, which is quite busy but how does one keep cats from hunting and roaming. They told us it wasn’t our fault and it wasn’t but that doesn’t make us feel any better. One second we were looking at a pretty young cat walking across a field and the next second we saw it crawling away and dying. I’m not sure we said very much until we got to the outskirts of Lake Charles and I 10 which we took across the Sabine to Orange, Texas where we are spending tonight.
I’m eating in and Bill went out and grabbed a burger. I have to admit I felt somewhat cheered when I saw that the temperature is 72 degrees at sunset. I can take that and so can Bill. Maybe we haven’t wasted our money after all. Bets sent pix this morning of the storm at home—glad we missed it. She must have had a job getting that door open! Don’t miss it at all. Now I’m off to a ham and cheese sandwich with a whoopee for desert. Take care, all! KandB