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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Around New Iberia and Abbeville, Louisiana

This part of Louisiana is a favorite area that we always spend at least a week enjoying. Woke this morning at 6 with a stuffed nose and slight fever. Went back to sleep until 8 and then, kind of dazedly tried to get it together for the day. Called Cajun Swamp Tours to make our reservation for 9 am tomorrow to go see our old alligator friends, led this year by Shawn, son of the owner. Ate a small breakfast, showered and washed my hair, dried it with a blow dryer, with several moments of sit down and rest. Very groggy, stuffed sinus feeling. Took an Aleve--very unusual for me. Finally, by ten we got out the door. Since we are staying in New Iberia we decided to stay around these haunts for the day. Started with Books Along the Teche, a truly miniscule book shop, run by a delightful red haired lady and her husband. Somewhere I have their names but don't recall them at the moment. She is always sad that we never make the James Lee Burke festival and I don't think we will be here this year either. Since today's picture of the day prompt was OUTSIDE, I decided pictures of us outside our ports of call today would be fun. Although neither of us are outside Victor's, it is a character in JLB's Robicheaux series. Dave Robicheaux, the cop in the books, eats here often. Hence the note in the window saying Dave eats here. The first time I came to New Iberia, with my friend Linda, I said who the heck is Dave? Having now read 13 of the books, I know who Dave is. He has been played by Tommy Lee Jones in those books made into movies. The most recent one has a shot of TLJ hopping out of a car right across the street from Books Along! And I recognized it. I always buy my next installment of JLB's books here and one or two books written about the area by local authors. It was here that I purchased Queen Sugar a couple of years back. Today, I bought a history of Bayou Teche, the river that runs through New Iberia , Beaux Bridge, etal. I also bought a book about the history of Mardi Gras celebrations in Acadiana through the years. Our next stop was Konriko Mill. Mme DeBiche was there today! She only works part-time and so we have not seen her for a couple of years. She is one of the sweetest ladies I've ever met. She gave me a big hug good-bye as we left. Many of the local places we frequent in this area were suggested by her--especially in Lafayette, where she grew up and which we shall visit tomorrow. Bought some pecan oil for Barb, a new elegant fleur de lis scarf for me and Bill got stuff to send home to Betsy--she loves to cook and he always pulls a box of rice, seasonings etc to send to her. As a gift, but also as an incentive to pick up the mail at least once while we are gone! Then we went searching for a branch of our bank so Bill could turn in nickels for some new ones--well, hopefully old ones, that will be new to him. Even though Mme DeBiche told us it was on Rue LEWIS--lol-- Bill thinks she said to turn left but he turned right--anyway, we didn't find it. So, I looked up the branches and there is one in Breaux Bridge, where we will lunch tomorrow. Finally, getting to be 12:30 and me beginning to flag, we decided to head out to Shucks--our favorite oyster restaurant in the area. A dozen oysters on the half-shell each, a cup of crawfish etoufee and two huge glasses of sweet tea and we were in heaven! I love the fact that they bring a small bowl, a teaspoon, small container of horseradish and quarters of lemon for us to use in making our own seafood sauce. On the table is a huge tray of hot sauces, garlic sauce, worchestershire sauce, and tomato cocktail sauce. Bill says it was ketchup but it isn't--I can't think what the tomato stuff is in the short fat bottle. Anyway, you mix these things together in whatever ratios taste right for you. I think that is as much fun as the eating. We then took a spin through Abbeville, which is the town Shucks is in, to locate a bank branch but no dice. Hence my internet search upon our return to the motel. Bill went off to Chile's for a couple beers. I did some more banking-bill paying--they aren't all posted at the same time, so I have to keep checking til I've set up payments for them all for the month. I washed out my lovely purple blouse on which I'd spewed coffee yesterday morning, when it went down the wrong way. I don't think it stained, thank goodness. Watched The Five--thank goodness Juan was on today. Bob, poor man, is worse for wear since his battle with pain killer addiction. I just cannot handle him since he has returned. Not because he is a liberal--Juan is liberal--but because I cannot even follow his train of thought when he speaks. Drives me nuts. His cohorts are getting frustrated with him, too,I think . I have a quandary tonight--Big Bang is on at 7 and Carine, the lady who manufactures the scrapbook stencils I love, is having a live 30 minute presentation on our closed FB page at the same time. Maybe I'll flip a coin. Lastly, you may have noticed a large number of pix of the Live Oaks, those elegant trees. I am totally enamoured of them. They are built like a broccoli head, a short trunk and multiple major branches coming off it--so it looks like many trunks. What it lacks in height the tree makes up in breadth. The branches extend for feet, horizontally and then curve downward, some even touching the ground. One tree spreads out to shade a whole lawn. Spanish moss drapes down like tinsel on a Christmas tree and resurrection fern clothes the branches in feathery emerald green. So, not only are the trees stunning and majestic but they are survivors, perfectly built for a hurricane plagued area. In Biloxi, that has been scoured clean several times by hurricanes, the Live Oaks blithely continue to shade lawns of houses that have been completely obliterated, with only a cement apron or a set of entrance steps to show where they stood. The oak isn't tall, it isn't top heavy with a gigantic canopy high in the air, its branches curve downward, challenging the winds to lift them. They are flexible in their springy arms. So when their lofty proud neighbors lie flat on the ground or are snapped like a toothpick between thumb and index finger, they stand serenely waiting for the next onslaught. I just love them. Well gang, starting to get stuffy nosed again and feeling tired. So, I'm going to sign off. Tomorrow I'll take you to the Swamp, Breaux Bridge and Lafayette. I think you'll like them. Until then, thinking of you all, hope you are happy, healthy, and safe. Good night KandB

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