March 5, 2023
March 9, 2023
My visit to New Orleans, and greater Louisiana, was destined to be memorable. I had waited for years to make a trek to this famous city with a primary objective of eating. Well, I did just that.
On my first full day, I joined a food walking tour during which time our group made eight stops. The food was great, of course, but we did not have any jambalaya. For those who know me, I have been preparing what my daughter will call, “the world’s best jambalaya,” for almost 20 years now. I guess it was that latent Acadian heritage in me that drew me to the dish even though I am a descendant of the British oppressors that expelled the Acadians from Nova Scotia starting in 1755. Longfellow wrote an epic poem about it called “Evangeline.”
On my last full day in The Big Easy, I had lunch at a restaurant in the French Quarter and ordered the jambalaya. Ick! I arrived at the restaurant shortly after opening and I swear it must have been leftover from the previous day. So much for culinary mythology!
Louisiana is home to the Cajuns, the descendants of the Acadians from Nova Scotia. The center of the Cajun universe is St. Martinville. There you will find a historical park dedicated to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, an Acadian Museum, a monument to Evangeline, Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church, and a legend about a local couple that mirrored the story of Evangeline and her betrothed, Gabriel. I found something else. I found people who had traced their antecedents to Nova Scotia. One family even said that they still had relatives there. It was all fascinating stuff for this Bluenoser (google it).
Alligators. One cannot visit Louisiana without taking a tour to see these ancient creatures. So, I did that too. The boat tour on the bayou lasted 90 minutes and we did get to see several including one named Burt Reynolds. I forget why the moniker but it had something to do with a movie.
I had another thrill, and can check this one off my bucket list, when I marched in a Second Line Band Parade. Very cool.
Finally, oh yeah, I gave a speech to a Rotary Club and got at least one interview. Another said she may participate after Easter. I hope so.
Two more cities to go on my Southern Journey!