Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Down on the Bayous

There is something very enchanting about the bayous of Louisiana. Or at least, I think so. I remember the first time I ever visited Louisiana. I had been dating Byron for a few months and was invited on the annual summer trip to Louisiana to visit his family. I had never been before and was a little nervous, but felt excited when to my surprise all of his family talked about 'how much fun' it was to go to the bayous. No one could pin-point one single thing that made it so much fun, but everyone raved about how it was by far the best trip of the year.

If you have never before been, no worries. I will make it fabulous for you. Byron's mom grew up outside of Baton Rouge in the country and right along one of the bayous. Once you get over the slight (okay, major) panic attack and hypertension due to crossing over the mighty Mississippi on a huge bridge that also happens to be an interstate (you couldn't stage a nightmare for me better if you tried) the land stretches out before you flat as can be and sugarcane as far as the eye can see. It really is like a whole other world. And it is. I still giggle to this day because I cannot for the life of me understand a word that comes out of these bayou-dwelling-people's mouths. Nor can I wrap my head around the phonics and how spelling and pronunciation is far from what I learned in the Low Country. However, I cannot think of a more friendly, welcoming group of people if I tried. There are no strangers there. And the driveway at the Jones house is a swinging door of visitors that come with a smile on their face and a story that no doubt will have us all doubling over giggling later. But the best part, it is about as laid back as it comes. It is the most fun. When you go to Plaquemine, you eat, rest, visit and enjoy the scenery and then eat some more. And when you pull in the driveway of Byron's Aunt & Uncle's house...this is what lies before you.

It takes my breath away each and every time and I can only imagine Aunt Janice's joy looking at this every single day from her kitchen window. One of my favorite things to do when we visit is to go out on the 4-wheelers, golf carts, rhinos, whatever the vehicle seems to be to drive along the crawfish ponds that are on the back of the property. The first time I ever ventured back I was SCARED TO DEATH that I would encounter an alligator. Byron's instigation wasn't helping matters much. It just looked like a place an alligator would love. Swampy-looking-dark-still waters with cypress trees growing in the middle and other mangled trees just hanging and lurking on the water's edge. I mean, I straight up had x-ray vision and saw all the gators and pit vipers hanging out waiting to get me. But instead, I was only attacked by some mud and cow pie's from the pasture flying up from the wheels of the 4-wheeler. Not too bad, considering the alternatives. This year it was quite humorous. Somehow, we drew the short stick. You see, there were 3 ATV-type vehicles that were going to tour the crawfish ponds. There was a super nice Polaris that costs more than my SUV, a rhino-sort of powerful looking vehicle and an old golf cart. Guess which one we got stuck on? Yep, it was me, Byron, baby Nash, Claudia and three kiddos all on the jalopy of a golf cart. We giggled as we fish-tailed along the trails and got beaten by trees and sticks along the way that we were like the old parents on the school bus while the other 'cool kids' were on the other vehicles. It even started to growl at us by the end of the trip. It was actually funny - and no matter the mode of transportation...the scenery was just as beautiful. No alligators, no pit vipers. Just gorgeous swampland. And whatever it was that was growling at us from the bottom of the golf cart.

I actually stole this picture from Clark's facebook account. However, I find it completely legal since I was tagged. Byron had escaped for the photo-op. I think he was scared of the growling.

Other than the rides along the crawfish ponds, there is a lot of playing outside and just being kids. No matter the age. And you know, everything is better when there is a K-9 involved.

I especially love these pics of the kiddos (the 2 babes were being held and spoiled at the time) and Cash, the blue heeler. Makes me giggle.

So, all in all...to be honest - I cannot for the life of me come up with just one reason why the trip to Louisiana is so much fun either. Now I know. Now, I get it. I think overall it is just a whole other world. And that whole other world is nice for a few days. Sometimes I think everyone needs a few days to slow down, enjoy the scenery, smell the burning sugarcane and get their creole on.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

1 comment:

Meggie said...

How fun! Now I want to go! Gorgeous photos as always. And it's pretty neat to read about someone on your blog that I know in real life. =)