A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lafayette, Louisiana

Cypress LakeCypress Lake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

           The auditorium at the university where we always were booked to perform in Lafayette, Louisiana sat next to a large swamp exhibit that contained flora and fauna of the region.  Notably I recall there being banana trees that I don't think are native to the region, but they seemed to flourish there beside the swamp.  There were also alligators that may or may not have been real.

           As was the norm when we'd come to a facility where we were going to perform, we didn't usually have too much time for exploring our surroundings.  We'd take note of where we were and then busy ourselves with setting up the show.

           This auditorium in Lafayette was a beauty.  It was state of the art with good lighting and a large stage.  Since that part of Louisiana was still under the economic spell of the oil boom there was money to be made for a touring show.  Our promotions reaped in a lot of cash and the show attendance was usually very good which meant lucrative souvenir sales.

             Southern Louisiana was not only a place I looked forward to because of the money to be made, but it was fun with good food and rollicking Cajun music.  I always preferred Lafayette to New Orleans as the latter had too much of a sleaze factor for my taste.

Fried Alligator at Prejean'sFried Alligator at Prejean's (Photo credit: pointnshoot)              During my Christmas vacation trip back East in 2010, my wife and I stopped over in Lafayette long enough for lunch at Prejean's, a popular local restaurant that is frequented by tourists.  The food was as good as I recalled, but I still craved the boudin--a type of rice and meat filled sausage that I used to find in little out of the way grocery markets.

              Next time I'm passing through Lafayette and don't have time for a leisurely sit-down meal, I'm going to find some of that spicy boudin and see if it's as good as I remember.

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welcome to my world of poetry said...

Looks like a lovely place to visit.


RideToFight said...

Loved your post. I passed through on the Amtrak, so only got to see a little bit of it and sadly didn't get the chance to explore. The food looks great.

Lynn Proctor said...

looks so lovely and the food!!!

Doree Weller said...

Wow, I always envy when writers do such a wonderful job describing an area. You make me want to visit there!

Heather Murphy said...

Your top picture looks like the town I live in. The downtown is built on a lake with cypress trees just like this.

Arlee Bird said...

Yvonne -- Lafayette is kind of dear to my heart.

Ride - Someday I want to take a lengthy Amtrak trip.

Lynn -- The "swamp" was kind of interesting. I'd like to have had the time to meander about it more.

Doree -- You flatter me.

Heather -- A downtown that looked like this would be mighty pretty.


mmshaunakelley said...

Oh, but the sleeze factor of new orleans is part of the appeal!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - that's a place I'd like to go to .. try the alligator, and look for that boudin sausage .. love spicy sausages occasionally.

Sounds an interesting area .. I hope to get to the New Orleans area sometime .. cheers Hilary

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I was thinking that sounded familiar so I got out my road atlas and looked it up. Sure enough, I drove through Lafayette in 1983. (Had stayed in Slidell so we could visit "the sleaze factor".)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

D.G. Hudson said...

Interesting post, Lee. One day I might get there to visit and sample the food. I've only went through it on my way elsewhere.

alisonamazed said...

I would love to visit Louisiana and taste the cajun cooking and listening to the locals playing music! I think the name Lafayette is so musical.

Arlee Bird said...

Kelley -- A lot of people like that sleaze, but it always creeped me out. That's not to say New Orleans is all bad and it can be a lot of fun.

Hilary -- New Orleans has a fame and notoriety that draws visitors from all over the world.

StMc -- If you're driving from L.A. to New Orleans via interstates, it's hard not to pass through Lafayette.

DG -- It's easy to pass through there when you're on your way somewhere else.

Alison -- Lafayette does have a musical name.


Pat Carroll Marcantel said...

If you're ever in Lake Charles, LA, the Market Basket store on Nelson Road has the best boudin you could ever hope to taste. They have both regular and smoked, and also you have your choice of piping hot (with heat) or cold.
Oh, and have you heard that Lafayette was recently voted "Best Food" in LA?

Arlee Bird said...

I found the best boudin in little markets, often ones that were gas stations that had convenience stores. I can believe that Lafayette would be voted that "Best Food" title.