I discovered BlogTrotting when Maria from Bored Mommy posted about her hometown, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Here is my post about the city where we currently live. And if you are new to my blog – WELCOME!
When my husband first came to me in the Spring of last year and said there was a good possibility we were moving to Lafayette, Louisiana I was a little dumbstruck. And then I said, “Where?” I had to look it up on the map to see exactly where it was within the state. And for your information, it kinda sits in the corner of the “L” that makes up this small but powerfully spicy state. Lafayette has grown in the last few years as many people moved here after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The main industries here are petroleum and natural gas (which Tim’s job is affiliated with) and health care.
Here are NINE things I’ve learned about and experienced since we moved here last Summer. And of course I have to start with the food.
FOOD (and drink)
This is CAJUN country. They like their food stuffed, boiled, fried and SPICY. We are currently in the midst of crawfish season (typically March – June) and ate our fair share last weekend. Crawfish boils can become quite the party and get together and our friend even D.J.ed for one last weekend!
This town has a TON of restaurants for it’s size. You can have gumbo, po’ boys, and most any kind of seafood you’d want. And even the pizza at our favorite pizza place, Dean-O’s, is Cajun inspired. This is also the home of the “plate lunch” and boy, do they pile it on!
And you can drive up to the daiquiri bars pretty much any time of the day and leave with your favorite flavored spirit. No lie (okay, they may not open ’til 10 a.m. or so…).
Close to Tabasco
In relation to the first one, you’d never know that the one and ONLY Tabasco plant that supplies the ENTIRE world with the little bottles of hot sauce is just 25 minutes from here. I didn’t before I lived here. Avery Island is the home of Mr. MkIlhenney’s original sauce. And next to that are the Jungle Gardens, which we’ve already visited twice since we’ve lived here.
I hesitate to say this but we’ve met more people in our neighborhood here in 9 months than we met in 5 years where we used to live. Our neighbors have given me clothes for Baby K, hosted an egg hunt for the boys, taken The B Man to the circus and hosted us for a craw fish boil (see above). Not to mention people wave all the time while driving and are just more courteous on the roads (for the most part). There’s something to be said for Southern Hospitality.
I think even if you just toss it outside and then ignore it, it will grow here. There are two seasons here – Hot&Sticky and Coolish, although we did have a colder than usual winter this year. Camellias bloom in the Winter, Azaleas and a slew of other things, in the Spring. The snap dragons are gorgeous and of course this is Live Oak country with the moss in the trees and everything is just so pretty here right now.
After exile in the 1780’s from what is now Nova Scotia in Canada (formerly knows as Acadie), French Speaking Canadians migrated to this area. They left because they were Catholic and would not pledge allegiance to the Anglican Church of England. And to this day this region is steeped in Catholicism. This area is know known as Acadiana (pronounced Uh-kay-dee-anna). The photograph below is of The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist near downtown.
Mardi Gras is a HUGE deal here. There are 3 weekends of parades and on actual Mardi Gras most people take off from work and school is closed. We only went to one parade and the boys loaded up on beads and each got a stuffed animal thrown at them as well. They have a whole system for setting up the parade route (which is the same for each one) and many of the trees and power lines along the street are “decorated” with beads all year long. Oh and have you ever heard of King Cake? If not, I’m sorry. Delicious. (it’s a traditional Mardi Gras ring-shaped cake made of dough and fruit filling).
(photo credit HERE)
Closer to the beach
We love the panhandle coast of Florida and we are now only about 6 hours away from the gorgeous blue water and white sandy beaches that call my name. Plus I’ve heard that there are some lovely beaches in Alabama as well, which is even closer and we’ll certainly have to check those out eventually. We are off to the beach in early June this year! Can’t wait!!
Lafayette has many festivals including Festival International de Louisiane which happens to be this coming weekend! It features music and art from over 20 different countries and of course LOTS of yummy food! There are also local crawfish festivals (who would have guessed!) and Festival Acadiens in October, which we missed last year since I’d JUST had a baby!
And there’s my list!
We’ve been here for a little over nine months now and have settled in quite nicely in our new city. Thanks for stopping by to learn more and if you are ever plan to come to Lafayette drop me a line and I’ll buy you the best beignet in town. Don’t EVEN get me started on the pastries…