Laugh-EE-ET (plus gators and shrimp)

Lafayette (Laugh-EE-ET) Louisiana is in the heart of Cajun country, and our visit there helped to solidify our love for Louisiana. A town of not much size, but jam packed with huge helpings of friendly people and shrimp. Shrimp: I’ve eaten three times my weight in them, three times.

Upon first arrival in Lafayette, I was greeted in French by a lovely woman at the threshold of the Mouton House Inn, and quickly handed a drink made from tea-infused bitters and Bourbon (Burr-Bonne). And so yeah, that hooked me.

And then there were the Po-Boys (shrimp) at Pop’s Po-Boys, and the kind boy that told us what to order, and where to go.

ROAD WISDOM: Ask a local their favorite places to go, and then go there immediately. We’ve found the greatest gems through this method.

Allen, our swamp guide, made sure to take us to his favorite spot in the swamp to meet his lady friend named Stella. Stella is an alligator that is big. Also, she has 17 babies that are small. And oddly cute.

SWAMP WISDOM: A swamp is a flooded forest. A bayou is a slow-moving body of water.

Cajun culture is rich and fascinating and lovely. A trip to recreated Vermillionville (the original name of Lafayette) took us back to 1755 when the Acadians in exile moved there after being kicked out of Canada (Acadia/Nova Scotia) by the punk-ass British of the time who saw the Acadians as a threat, especially because they refused to swear allegiance to the British Government.

French is still spoken here, and the Cajuns continue to celebrate life through food and music and dance… despite the long history of attempts to suppress and erase their culture by the Americans.

A cajun bartender taught us a word: fache (fah-shay) which means annoyed or pissed off.

EX: People that try to suppress others, especially because they are afraid or feel threatened by people that are different, really makes me fache.

Here is Stella. Zoom in to see her babies chilling on the log with her. Her mouth is open cuz she’s telling us to not get closer. So we didn’t.
Here is a wider view of the swamp. Those are Cypress Trees. The needles will grow back soon, indicating the arrival of Spring on the swamp. Also, don’t worry: Spanish Moss is good for the trees (helps keep in moisture) and hasn’t killed them.
Oh look! SHRIMP! YAAAAY!
And here is Ted looking at Shrimp. We had a shrimp boil at our campsite and done et em in the van. LESSON: Don’t put Boudin in your boil: it just breaks apart. But it’s still delicious.

Like Accordions? Check Out This Video Of Cajun Music.

Author: Matt Casper

Writer, Traveler, Human.

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