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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winter 2017 Florida Trip–Post #1

Most of our “winter” trips since I retired in January 2005 have been to the West…… mainly involving the annual “Quartzsite RV Event” in Arizona.

The plan for this year’s “winter” trip is to travel to Florida to attend the Tampa RV Show (biggest RV Show in the USA), and to make a road trip by spending time at neat places on the way, and taking a tour around the Florida coast, including a trip to Key West.  I was prepared to go to Quartzsite again, but got out voted by Patsy and the Woods……. so, Florida, here we come!!

We have an itinerary for the travels to the RV show, but will ‘wing it’ after the show.  We expect to find out about attractions and to pick up some big discounts at the show.  We are also going to attend the Mecum Auto Auction in Kissimmee the week before the show.

Patsy and I met up with the Woods on Friday morning and drove to Betty’s RV Park in Abbeville, LA.  The weather was drizzling rain, and below freezing temperatures.  Betty and her park have a good reputation for being friendly, and her park is a partly paved area around here home, but it was nice and we enjoyed it, even with the bad weather.

We arrived a little after noon, and had lunch (Betty’s recommendation) at the Riverfront restaurant.  We had a great seafood lunch, and then decided to find the the location of the “tabasco” factory, and tour it.  We decided not to make the short trip back to the Bus to pick up the GPS, but just find Avery Island on our own!!  After driving, using a paper map, for about 4 hours, we finally found Avery Island at about 5:30pm on a Friday afternoon.  The were closed, so it was a bust, but, we still enjoyed hunt!!

We got up Saturday, and Kathy had a list of places to tour.  We began at the Steen's Pure Cane Syrup (pronounced ‘Serp’ by Ronnie Woods) factory near Abbeville.  Even though it was a Saturday morning, we hoped for at least a gift store to be open, but it was all locked up.  All we got was the picture, and had to crawl under traffic tape to get it!!


Our next stop on the “Saturday Tour” was the ‘Alexandre Mouton House’ museum in Lafayette, LA.  It surprised me that I enjoyed it.  Here are some pictures……


Some General Comments:

  1. The home belonged to three generations of doctors name Mouton.
  2. The dress-up on the mannequins is in anticipation of Mardi Gras!
  3. The picture with Patsy and Kathy looking in the room, the naked mannequin is in the process of changing from a Christmas scene to Mardi Gras.
  4. The miniature furniture in the girl’s playroom was not doll furniture, but bought from furniture salesmen who carried it on sales calls to show the furniture!!

The next attraction was the best………… a malt shop!!  One of the last “Borden’s” malt shops left in the world.  It was still operational, and Ronnie and I had chocolate malts for lunch! 


I had some inside photos, but I lost them!!  We had fun with the two ladies behind the counter.  One asked about “our accents”!!  I told her that anyone with a heavy accent like she had should not ask any body about an “accent”……… she had a good laugh!!

Next,  I found out that ‘seeing Grand Isle, LA’ was on Ronnie’s bucket list!!   He said it was only three hours there and three hours back………… and I fell for it!!  We left about 1:00pm, and got to Grand Isle about 5:00pm!!  To be honest, I had also wondered what it looked like, since it is in the news ever time a hurricane comes near this area!

It was a fairly boring drive during the first two hours……. Ron was driving, and I actually fell asleep!  The last part was fairly interesting.  There were lots of areas of water and causeways (long bridges), and neat little towns with nice houses on the right side of the highway, and a large canal on the other side, with large tug boats, shrimping boats, and nice houseboats docked “in front of the houses” with a nice looking docking area with a grass approach.

As we got closer to Grand Isle, the area started to take on the look of a typical coastal/beach town.  It contained a lot of nice homes……… probably the result of recently being rebuilt from recent hurricanes!!

Here are some photos……On the way to Grand Isle:


While there, we saw the Grand Isle State Park, and decided to take a quick look at the RV sites, and to check out the beach.  The RV park was very nice, but the beach was not very good at all.  It looked to be dark, muddy sand, and not much width of beach….and there was a very long walk from the parking lot to the water!


After walking to the water, the following was the view to the right, and the next was toward the left.


The next photo shows that at least one classy guy lives in the city!!!!


Before we head back to civilization, we decided to have a seafood dinner.  We opted for the Starfish Restaurant. The meal was very good…….


Each couple shared a bowl of shrimp gumbo and then shared a fish and shrimp dinner.  We enjoyed it, and then headed back to Betty’s! 

Somehow, I kept humming the tune to the Gilligan's Island show, about a three hour tour that went terribly bad!!!

Tomorrow, we go to the French Quarter.

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