Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Fun Cajun Getaway + Bayou Blues

When the horrible heat wave finally broke, I was hit by a wave of wanderlust and decided to take a little getaway. We rented a small houseboat on the swamp, in Henderson and retreated to the Atchafalaya Basin, which is a short 15 minute drive. It is quieter during the week, without the weekend water lovers that frequent the swamp on the weekends. Pure bliss doesn't even begin to describe the experience. Nature, at it's finest in one of the most beautiful settings on the planet. Spending the night on the swamp is not for the faint-hearted, however. There are alligators and yes, mosquitos, but a Cajun learns early on, how to deal with these things.


We dined at Pat's Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant and feasted on a divine seafood platter. Oh, cest bon, cher! My family has been eating at Pat's since the 50's and you can always count on getting the best, sinfully delicious seafood on the levee, there. We had a nightcap at Turtle's Bar, before retreating to the little floating chateau.

The next morning we went fishing and caught a whole ice chest of catfish, which set the menu for the day. The smell of catfish frying and a big catfish stew simmering, brought visits from boaters that were coming in from Henderson Lake. Since we had enough to feed a small army, we invited them all! Oh, the life of a Cajun!

So, this adventure turned into quite a party. After a fantastic lunch, and several hours of playing boo ray, (a Cajun card game) we packed it up and headed home and back to reality, at least for another few days. It is amazing what a change in scenery can do for the psyche and the soul.
Do you have a place to get away where you live?


******
I've had a special request for some more bayou blues. The audio is not very good, for the singer, but hopefully you will be able to understand the lyrics. Song entitled, "You Can Have My Husband, But Don't Mess with My Man"!


Bayou Blues Jam

video

18 comments:

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Gosh, that looks like a great reprieve away from reality, but I'm not sure about the alligators. Although snakes are my big fear. I hate snakes. How fun, you fed the boaters and made new friends. I'm afraid people aren't that friendly and giving around these parts.
Elizabeth.

Joanne said...

Love that houseboat! What a perfect getaway. We head to a little beach tucked into the coast along Long Island Sound. Walking on the beach, breathing the salt air, watching the swans and herons (no alligators!) in the marsh, and dinners out at places much like your Pat's. Peace, at its best.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Haven't eaten at Pat's in years! Bet it's still yummy. So glad y'all got to escape the rut for a bit.

I have an escape hatch up at Lake Rosemound, and it's really calling my name lately. :)

Jo said...

That houseboat looks like Heaven on Earth. I clicked the picture to enlarge it, and I felt as if I could walk right in.

My getaway is Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island. It's wonderful.

Kat said...

What a nice get-away! My hubby's family used to have a houseboat on the Alabama river in South Alabama, where he is from. We ate all the catfish and crawfish (in season) that we could stand. I LOVE catfish! Especially caught in the swamps! Me being the scardy kat I am, I would not sleep well with the gators and moccosins. I like to go to Tennessee in the mountains in a cabin in the wintertime.

Marguerite said...

Elizabeth- Luckily, most of the alligators and snakes live a little deeper into the swamp. The Cajun people are generous to a fault, and love to share with others. The more, the merrier, as my mother always used to say!

Marguerite said...

Joanne- Your getaway sounds delightful. I love Long Island, although it's been many years since I've been there. I had a friend from Long Island, back in college, and I used to go home with her in the summer. Beautiful there.

Marguerite said...

Angie, Your recollection of Pat's is right on. Fabulous food! Your escape hatch up at Lake Rosemound sounds great. Always nice to get away. Hope that you get to go, soon!

Marguerite said...

Jo- Just wait until you see the houseboat that I am renting for my birthday bash, in late August! Your getaway on the lake sounds wonderful. In fact, all of Vancouver Island sounds wonderful!

Marguerite said...

Kat- A cabin in the mountains with maybe a hot tub and fireplace. Sounds like a fabulous getaway. I'm not much on snakes, either. I once went down, 10 feet from a nest of water moccasins, while water skiing! But it didn't stop me from water skiing again, which was my favorite water sport, back then.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Nice to see you enjoying your 'get away from it all' holiday. I was very amused by the video - however I could not hear it well as you suggested, but I loved the title. That's the sort of thing my wife says about me!! I keep telling her there is more to life than looking like George Clooney!! Perhaps if I say it often enough she may believe it!
Thank you very much for your kind comment on my "Happy Father's Day" post - my initial thoughts that you are lovely and confirmed and amplified. I had a wonderful day in the ambulance today - made quite a few people laugh and tried to make their day better. I must write some things up soon for posting.

Marguerite said...

Eddie- So glad that you enjoyed the video. It's one of my favorite blues songs. he-he Merci beaucoup for your kind compliments and for visiting. I really enjoyed reading your superb Father's Day post and am looking forward to your next one.

Pouty Lips said...

I love catfish! You asked if there is a getaway place where we live. I live in Arizona and way up in the north eastern tip near New Mexico we have a completely green cabin. We go there to beat the Phoenix heat. It's in the mountains so it's about 15 degrees cooler. There are lots of animals like mountain lions, antelope, elk, jack rabbits, racoons, foxes, and little vermin. It's pretty relaxing because there are no amenities, it's quiet and I can actually see the stars. In the city we can't see many stars because of all the city lights.

Irish Gumbo said...

But.That's.Not.Fair.

I didn't get to to eat any of the fried catfish. (pout)(sigh)

Well, that's alright,you had fun, and I'll bet that catfish was pwerful good! Now, I'm really hungry...

Vagabonde said...

I never had fried catfish in France and ate it for the first time when we moved to Georgia, and really liked it. I like mine with hush puppies. We do not have a place to go away, so we go to different places. Next week-end we are going to the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina. They have a big festival of Indian Tribes. My parents used to have a house in Mer-les-Bains, near Dieppe in Normandie, and I used to love going there. Fish was good there too; the mussels were delicious – with white wine, ever better…

Marguerite said...

Pouty- Thanks for stopping by, cher. Your getaway sounds like a perfect place to write poetry and escape the city and for star gazing which is one of my favorite hobbies. Cheers!

Marguerite said...

Irish- Sorry that you missed out on the catfish, but you can always console yourself with a few Maryland crab cakes and a bushel of Chesapeake Bay steamed crabs. Or maybe you could make a big pot of seafood gumbo! Ca cest bon, cher!

Marguerite said...

Vagabonde- I love hush puppies, too, and have a recipe for them in my archives. (Feb. 09) See post entitled, "Mardi Gras Slaw, w/Cajun- puppies". The Indian Festival sounds wonderful! Have fun!

Also, a bit of a coincidence, here! Some of my Acadian ancestors were from Dieppe, in Normandie. (My mother's, father's family)