6th - 22nd July:
From the snowy
mountains, lakes and awesome waterfalls of Canada to the hot and humid
flatlands and bayous of Louisiana - definitely a shock to our systems. After
the drastic adjustment to the climate, we got busy with more of the eating
business: I dealt with the Asian fare (yes, more fried rice, curries and a
lso a Chinese seafood steamboat, fried noodles, crab foo-yong and chili crabs)
while Nell's children treated us to deliciously home prepared local fare of
crab bisque in bread bowls, fish fries, chicken and duck gumbo, kebabs, etc.
Man, talk about great tucker!!! In between eating, we would drag out the set of
Mahjong tiles that Nell had kept and play the Chinese game, just like we used
to do in good old Singapore. Ah what great fun we had... Rachael, another of my
Internet friends, took time off from her busy schedule to come and visit while
we were staying at Nell's home. She is a delightful lady and I am so glad that
we finally got to meet. Oh, the magic of the Internet...
While on Grand Isle, we had a go at fishing for speckled trout but despite making all the right moves with flicking of the rod, etc... the fish were able to swim around us in relative safety. To make up for it, our crabbing attempts were VERY successful - just walked out to knee deep in the very warm water and scooped the crabs up with a net. Talk about easy and fun. On the way back to Lafayette, we stopped at a seafood distribution place and bought a bunch of fresh green prawns (shrimps, as they call them in the U.S.) so I could whip up a feed of sweet and sour prawns. Everyone was suitably impressed with this dish (and the chili crabs were a big hit, too) so it was decided that we would make another trip to Grand Isle before our visit was over. This time Blaine decided he would come along as well. Yay!!!
A few days later, we set
off again (this time in two vehicles) for Grand Isle. Again, we didn't do too
well with the flicking of the rods although Blaine did prove that there
actually ARE speckled trout in the water, with a few fine samples to show us.
[No, the bloke in the photo showing off his trout trophy is not Blaine, but
Don, his older brother.] By this stage I had lost interest in trying to catch
fish, delighting instead in netting more crabs! It was suggested that we could
try a spot of night fishing - now that sounded like a heap of fun... so after a
light dinner, we eagerly set off with hopeful hearts. We all had our individual
head lights on show the way in the dark and also to leave our hands free to
reel in the big fish. Not ten minutes into this fishing adventure and I
realised it was not a good idea AT ALL! The mosquito repellent we had liberally
used was more of an attractant, drawing all the mozzies within a ten km radius
to where we were!!! Man, they were so bad I almost got carried away by a couple
of them! Sure was glad I had put on a bit of weight by that time. On our second
day there, we just concentrated on netting more crabs - now THAT was fun. The
only "painful" part was the cleaning of the crabs we had caught but the eating
part far outweighed the cleaning...
It sure was great catching up
with old friends after all these years. We reminisced about the good old days,
we talked, we laughed and made many happy memories to last us until we meet
again. Before we could get too accustomed to eating yummy gumbos and crab
bisques (and remember all the rules to playing Mahjong), it was time for us to
depart... We were up with the larks on July 22nd and were driven to Lafayette
Airport by Nell, with her dear daughter, Mary, making a special trip to the
airport to bid us farewell. Needless to say, more tears were shed... I hate
goodbyes so we said, "See ya later" instead!
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