New Orleans is a uniquely fun destination if you love great music and delicious food. Beyond NOLA, we found a much quieter but no less fun world in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. We made new friends and Cajun danced into the year 2020.
After a few frigid days in Tennessee, we looked forward to spending the New Year in fun filled NOLA. We had been to New Orleans a few times before and had a great time, as expected. We had the mandatory beignets and chicory coffee, strolled thorough Jackson Square and admired the local art, and took the trolley into the Garden District. Our AirBnB stay was very enjoyable, but the RV experience was a bit different. I must confess I didn’t enjoy it as much as my previous visits. Jude Travel Park was OK but not great–it’s a no frills place, but safe. The nearby racing track noise went on well after sunset and didn’t quite make for a peaceful atmosphere.
On New Year’s Eve, I fell asleep around 11 p.m. and almost missed ringing in the new year. We celebrated small, just the four of us, although the nice round number 2020 should have felt more festive. Maybe something in my subconscious knew that 2020 wasn’t really worth celebrating….
The really fun part followed when we pulled into Poche’s RV Park and Fish-n-Camp in Breaux Bridge, two hours west of NOLA and 20 minutes north of Lafayette. The park wasn’t crowded and as soon as we parked, I could feel myself relax. The dogs and I quickly made ourselves at home and spent hours taking in the mellow spring-like warmth, while we watched cormorants and ducks on the pond nearby.
We met the family who owns the park they couldn’t have been nicer! They had just purchased the camp and have been working diligently on improvements every since (adding a propane station, fish habitat, and a long list of entertaining events). The couple’s two kids helped with chores around the camp and I could see what an enchanted childhood they had: fishing, running, biking, and meeting people, while also having their parents around.
As always, we set out to find good local fare, and got supplies from two markets nearby. Poche’s Meat Market offered pre-seasoned meat options to take home and cook, as well as side dishes, deserts, and an eat-in area. We took home some chicken, jambalaya, cole slaw, and bread pudding. Foti’s Market & Cafe featured lots of options, such as gator, crawfish, hot sauces, and vegetables–all you need for a good Cajun meal. However, we went straight for the shrimp boil–hot and a little spicy, yum!
The best part of our stay was Pont Breaux Cajun Restaurant. A local historic landmark, the restaurant hosted many celebrities. It has served as a vital establishment in preserving and promoting the local culture for years–and we embraced its warm and welcoming vibe. We feasted on shrimp po-boy, fried boudin balls, and bread pudding. We joined the locals in the Cajun two-step and waltz, and applauded the live bands. We absolutely loved it!
A friend of mine recommended the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette for fun live music and dancing. She was 100% correct! We spent a couple of hours listening to musicians jam on the back porch and danced around the small floor. So much fun!
When we were not eating or dancing, we took long walks around the vast RV park. We watched cormorants dip beneath the water surface and pop back up in a rhythm of their own. We snuck up on giant vigilant black-crowned night herons. We spotted flycatcher and warblers in the bare trees, and sunbathing turtles on rocks and logs. We strolled by grey and white egrets and herons, too busy fishing to notice or mind us.
The sunsets on the water were not short of amazing, bathing everything in a warm golden glow. We were thankful for each day we spent on the bayou!