Friday, February 13, 2009

Lafayette we are here

Pulled into Lafayette LA, actually we're in Broussard which is about 7 miles south, the weather channel said that we should have rain most of the time that we are here so we'll see what we get in.

The sun is shining but the wind is gusting up to 25 mph so that means that we have to put off the Swamp tour that we wanted to do today, so instead we'll go into town and visit Vermilionville.

Vermilionville, which was the original name for the city because the Vermilion River runs through it, is a living history museum of what life was like in this area between 1765 and 1890, it contains 18 buildings of which 6 are originals that were moved here and restored. About half had interpreters to demonstrate the crafts or music of the period, others just explained what it was like to live back then.

The Acadian Cultural Center, which is part of the National Park system, is right across from the village. They have two films that take about 45 minutes to view, the first is about how the Cajuns or Arcadians came to settle in this area, and the second explains what live was like living in the Atchafalaya Swamp, both well worth the time to see.

OK! A quick a quick history lesson on the Ragin Cajuns, they were expelled from France by Napoleon for refusing to fight in the his army, they were loaded on boats and shipped to the Acadia (now Nova Scotia), here they lived peaceably with the local Indians until a treaty was signed between France and Great Britain which gave this territory to Great Britain. There were two different exiles of the Arcadians during the 1750's, one sending them down the coast of America where they were sold into servitude and the second where they were shipped back to France.
In the end there were two colonies of Arcadians, one in New Brunswick (known as Arcadians)and one in Louisiana (known as Cajuns). It's a very interesting history to read about, everything they went through and the influence they had on the areas they settled in.
One of the great things about being in this area is talking with the people and trying to follow what they're saying, since they have an English all their own, remember the Cajun cooking show whit Justin Wilson the Cajun Cook, well just image everybody talking like him. The other great thing is the music, a lot of the restaurants in the area have a stage, and during the day if no band is playing you can just go up on stage and start playing and then someone else might join you and then all of a sudden people stop eating and start dancing, when the music stops they go back to eating.

The second film is about the Atchafalaya Swamp, which is the largest in the USA; if you ever drove across I-10 then you will know how big it is. It basically tells about the town they settled in the swamp and how they lived there for over a hundred years until floods destroyed everything and forced them to move out.

We did find a little hamburger joint, The Judice Inn, it was built by the Judice brothers back in 1947 and it's still in the same building today but now it's run by the sons and grand kids. Its been voted the best hamburger in Lafayette for something like the last 3000 years. It was a very good burger but being Cajun country it was also very spicy.
And as the menu said, STILL NO FRIES.

It's coming so you better get read for FAT TUESDAY.......

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