Louisiana Tours – “Where I’ve been” is a report of some Louisiana diamonds I’ve enjoyed since starting the blog. That’s the whole point of it – right? Researching the web and talking with locals I’ve uncovered sites unseen. Now as I hurry from point A to point B in Louisiana there’s always a new place to stop and smell the boudin!
When I started this series I was writing about places in Louisiana I hoped to see and enjoy. I emphasized “different.” So, as I travel to see my grandchildren (and their parents) I’m make it a point to stop and smell the hot sauce! There so many places in this the “Fantastique State of Louisiana.” On your own or in a chauffeured mini-bus a Louisiana tour will be a memory maker. A one day, from before sunrise to a late evening “lightning tour” or a multi-day “staycation” – wow, what a state!
For our anniversary get away my wife and I went on an adventure to Elizabeth, a rural community in northern Allen Parish. They host a very special “Christmas in the Country.” As we celebrated our 26th we enjoyed many good things along the way.
We started our day leaving Baton Rouge via the “old bridge” and driving west on Hwy 190. Our first stop was Billy’s in Krotz Springs, Louisiana. I had been told to try the boudin balls with pepper jack cheese. Oh my! Some of the best food that has ever touched my lips! I’ve been through 3 times since and Billy’s is a must stop. Sue and I bypassed Kartchner’s on this trip. Their specialty meats are great. And we haven’t tried the boudin at the Cajun Corner – just some of their other Louisiana products. Maybe on the next trip.
Driving through the country and along Hwy 10 we finally reached the town about 1:00 pm. The parade was scheduled for 2:00. Elizabeth is a small town; maybe 5 blocks and a park. Food vendors lined the street and fair booths covered the parking lots on the other side.
Waiting for the trail riders to arrive we strolled the booths. There was an interesting collection of offerings from candles and knives to homemade jellies. The most interesting to me was a booth selling sweet dough pies made by Marie “the Pie Lady.” Her pleasant smile makes her one of those easily approachable people. As she explained her sweet potato pie was completely made from scratch.
Turning away from the booth with my purchase I bit into the pie immediately. It was wonderful! Marie sells her pies at farmers markets throughout the area. I went back and bought several more to bring home – hoping my sons wouldn’t want them.
It was cool and threatening to rain as the trail riders drifted in from the north and circled the park to line up at the end of the parade. There looked to be over 100 riders, some in wagons, some riding double, some urban cowboys, some the “real deal.
About 2:00 the parade started. The misty sprinkle of rain didn’t keep us away. One float in particular caught my eye – the one with the Elizabeth High cheerleaders – texting on their cellphones totally ignoring the crowd. Fire engines from other towns in the area added to the show. Then mud trucks, tractors, horses and wagons. Fun, fun, fun!
The first day of our Louisiana Tour was a real adventure. We can take you next year. Remember – “we drive…you have fun!”
P.S. Why should tourists have all the fun?