First it was a foggy morning of exploration of city park (bigger than New York's central park) around our couchsurfing host's house - Louis, in midcity, then concocting up a really tasty "bayou orzo" - a jambalaya inspired boudin (spicy cajun sausage) and shrimp (prawn) risotto like pasta, and then off to the friendliest pub so far in the states - Finn McCools to celebrate Irish New Year at 6pm. FInn's was like coming home to family - a place that makes me want to go hang out there 4 times a week, watch games and play trivia and just chat and relax with friends. We also got to see a Saints (local football team) game against the Panthers on New Years Day, as well as... Philipe winning the pot luck with his goulash with a beautiful golden wooden spoon for the occasion.. as well as I got to be the furthest visitor for Monday night trivia.
|Louis' shotgun house and early morning fog|
|An art piece - the braclets that are thrown for mardi gras - they are all over fences, trees, statues around the city|
|Finn McCools and Louis and Philipe for NYE|
|NYE local fireworks|
|Beautiful houses on St Charles Avenue|
|Reminds me of a similar frontage in Valpariso near the capital of Chile, Santiago|
|The cross marking is from Katrina - the top with the date and time, the right hand box with whether there was an answer, and then the bottom with no of people there|
|Tucking into boiled cajun crayfish|
|Shrimp po-boy at Park Tavern|
|Obviously needed for city driving|
couchsurfing is always an amazing way to be introduced to a different side of a city - and this held true for new orleans with Louis, and also Lafayette with John and Becky Williams (and of course their gorgeous Wheaten terrier, Boone!) On our first night in Lafayette at John and Becky's house we met Harold, a 70 something year old wonderfully inspirational man! He treated us to wonderful alligator catching stories, showed us his geothermal heating/cooling system utilising his pool (advanced for the 1970s), treated us to a pile of fresh caught boiled crabs, and introduced us to an Arcadian historian (the people around New Orleans came from Arcadia in Canada, a French community. In fact, some families still speak a very strong French Arcadian dialect only found in Arcadia and Lafayette) who had... 1940s sidecars! Totally awesome to see... and for Philipe - to don riding goggles and take a spin in the sidecar.
|Boiling fresh crabs at Harold's house in Lafayette|
|Time to eat!|
|Olivier's 1940s BMW copy sidecar|
|Another one he was restoring|
|Oh yes. The best cookie since sourdough bakery|
|Brisket in Austin at Ruby BBQ|
You'll just have to wait until after the 22nd to find out... as will I !
So.. signing off from a night of motel decadence in Austin before segregation and silence starting tomorrow....
big hugs to all!