new-orleans-2009-1843Saturday morning arrived and all three groups began the process of heading back to New Hampshire. Brad and Brittany’s group left from the French Quarter overnight, but the other two groups ate their last breakfast at Madonna Manor, helped pick-up around the dorm area, and began packing the vans. It’s always sad to leave after an enjoyable and action-packed week, but it’s even sadder to see them pack a week’s worth of souvenirs and dirty clothes in to what had seemed like a large van. 

By 8:30am, they were on the road east. I went the opposite direction on U.S. 90 towards the Acadian region. It was nice getting away from the city for a few hours. Crossing bayous, miles of cypress swamps, and cane fields. You just don’t see bear crossing signs in New Orleans or anywhere else for that matter. I toured the Tabasco factory, did some shopping in their factory store and drove and walked the gardens/marshes of Avery island. I saw a few small alligators and scores of Snowy and Common egrets. I nearly stepped on a gray rat snake who crossed the path in front of me, but he was faster than I was.

new-orleans-2009-199I stayed in nearby New Iberia, home of James Lee Burke, one of my favoriate authors. He claims has America’s most beautiful main street and after walking it, it’s kind of hard to dispute. The town, founded by Governor Bernardo deGalvez in 1779, straddles the Bayou Teche and wears its age well. Food choices included seafood gumbo, Cajun catfish and fried okra. I’ll be back when I have more time…and more meals.

On Sunday, I’m heading back to New Orleans with a brief stop in St. Martinville. The gathering of the Uptown Indians is Sunday afternoon.