Dianne here -
On our second day at Betty's RV Park in Abbeville, Louisiana, we started our day as we do most days: drinking coffee and catching up on our favorite blogs. One of the blogs we have followed for a while (I just got around to loading it on our side bar, if you care to check it out), is Laurie and Odel's "Semi-True Tales of our Life on the Road."
As we read their March 2 entry, they described driving 50 miles out and back off of I-10 to re-visit a tiny Cajun grocery store (Suire's), to see if the po-boys they had eaten there four years ago were still as good as they remembered. Suire's is in Kaplan, Louisiana, which is only ten miles from Abbeville. Laurie and Odel have been to some really cool places around the U.S., and we decided that if they drove 100 miles out of their way for these po-boys, that we could surely drive ten miles to sample them!
So, off we went to Kaplan, Louisiana to visit tiny Suire's
Cajun grocery store. We didn't think to look up directions, assuming that Kaplan, Louisiana would be so small we could just find it by driving around the town. No such luck. We finally stopped at a convenience store and Roger went in to ask. The very friendly clerk and customer who was waiting there at first looked puzzled; when Roger started to spell it (we don't speak Cajun very well) they both perked up and said, Oh, you mean Suire's (Sweerz) -- that's way out there. They gave us directions and we drove out of town and, sure enough, we found it. Suire's is light on the groceries and very heavy on delicious made-to-order Cajun delights such as po-boys and gumbo, turtle sauce piquante, crawfish etouffee, and pecan pie. Roger
ordered a catfish po-boy and I ordered a
shrimp one, then we switched halves so we could sample both. They were truly worth Laurie & Odel's 100-mile side trip! Yum!
Turns out that Laurie & Odel had originally learned about Suire's several years ago by reading an article in the New York Times.
The original newspaper article was framed and hung on a wall in the grocery store, so I snapped a photo of it. What a fun side trip, and one we never would have experienced in our former life!
Instead of corn and soybean fields like we are accustomed to in Indiana, this part of Louisiana grows a lot of rice. I photographed one of the many rice fields we passed on our trip home from Kaplan.
We had just enough time to visit another site that was recommended to us by one of the "regulars" at Betty's happy hour: Jefferson Island. The entrance road to Jefferson Island is lined with a mile-and-a-half avenue of live oak trees.
I snapped a photo of a glimpse of the Joseph Jefferson home,
which was built in 1870 by an actor of the same name. It sits atop a giant salt dome. There are tours of the home and the adjacent Rip Van Winkle Gardens, but we were so pressed for time that we simply visited the gift shop and stopped to take a photo of the tom turkey that tried to bar our escape from the island. (The turkey was not amused that I stalked him for this photo!)
We hurried back to Betty's for happy hour.
We didn't want to miss this one, because Betty had announced the night before that there would be a pitch-in dinner and that she was providing roast venison and potatoes. She explained that her nephew's son had shot a deer and that they don't eat deer, but normally just boil it and feed it to their dogs. Betty took possession of the venison and, with a little Betty magic, cooked it to perfection to share with her guests. It was good! Another Betty regular made the most delicious homemade caramel
"sticky buns" (see foreground in photo). I took a shot of Roger's plate heaped with pitch-in delicacies.
Before we left the happy hour/pitch-in, one of the other guests offered to take our photo with Betty.
We also took photos of some of the kitchy decor inside and outside Betty's home and the indoor and outdoor meetin' and greetin' areas.
The sign at the campground says it all: "You're Caught in Betty's Web!"
We truly were caught in Betty's web and for sure we'll be pulled back!!