Avery Island, Louisiana

We enjoyed a much needed birthday trip yesterday! Both of our birthdays are in May, and we’ve always tried to do a little trip each year. Aside from our bull shark-attack excursion to Grand Isle several years ago, this one has been my favorite. The day started with brunch at Jolie’s Bistro in Lafayette. Terri had Eggs Blackstone; I had Shrimp and Grits, along with a Bloody Mary that within a few sips, kicked my ass. I’m no lightweight when it comes to alcohol, but this was STRONG with such a wonderful, rich flavor. If you’re ever in Lafayette, Jolie’s Bistro is a must (http://www.jolieslouisianabistro.com/), along with the Blue Dog Cafe (http://www.bluedogcafe.com/our_menu.php). Unfortunately, George Rodrigue’s gallery was closed due to Memorial Day, but the special memorial collection will be on display thru January, and I’m certain we’ll be making a return trip.
We arrived to Avery Island close to twelve and immediately joined in with a tour of the Tabasco plant. Again, a must-do if your ever in the area. (http://www.tabasco.com/avery-island/our-home/) The salt dome here is the largest in the US, and is thought to be as deep as Mount Everest is tall! Crazy!! The McIlhenny family contribute to our special Southern culture with their hot sauce, but also through their dedication to the native wildlife of Louisiana. Not only is the island populated with the plant workers (who live free of charge!!), but many species of animals and plants are protected and preserved here. At one time, Bird City only had eight residents – eight snowy egrets were all that remained of Louisiana’s egret population. But now THOUSANDS of those majestic white birds and other waterfowl call Avery Island home each Spring. Another must-see? The Buddhist temple and the centuries-old Buddha inside. To round off our trip, both of us got to-go bowls of the Tabasco shop food. Terri enjoyed red beans and rice, and I had crawfish Maque Choux. We also tried a sample of Raspberry Chipotle ice cream, and all I have to say is – don’t knock it till you try it!!!
Here are some pictures of our little excursion:

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