Friday, April 14, 2017

March 9, 2017 - New Iberia, Avery Island, Breaux Bridge & Lafayette, LA

The temperature was 68˚ when we got ready to head out for sightseeing in New Iberia and Avery Island, LA.  We wanted to visit “Bird City” again that is inside Jungle Gardens, not too far from Tabasco Factory in Avery Island, LA.
We shopped at Konriko Rice Mill and Company to get wild pecan rice and few other items.  While we were there there was a horde of tourists getting off from the tour bus.  We had to hurry and get out of the store before they squashed us to pieces.

Erwin sampling cooked pecan rice
The rice mill
We then went to Avery Island (LA 329). The last time we visited Avery Island was back in May 2014.  At that time the toll fee to get on the island was $1.  However, today the toll attendant said no charge today, but gave us a parking pass, so we can go through.  
The toll booth to enter Avery Island
Avery Island is the home of the world-famous Tabasco hot pepper sauce.  It is manufactured by Mcllhenny Company on the site that was founded by Edmund Mcllhenny.  The Company is now owned and operated by his descendants.
Edmund Mcllhenny
His first advertisement for Tabasco was in
New Orleans newspaper in 1869
First stop was at Tabasco Factory.  Back in 2014, to tour the factory it was free, but now they charge $5.50 with a 10% discount for Seniors (55+).  We decided to buy passes for Tabasco Factory and Jungle Gardens.
We visited the museum first, then left to go to Jungle Gardens because we wanted to see bird rookery before the weather gets too hot.  It was already 75˚ when we headed to the Gardens.
It was a nice drive inside the Jungle Gardens, a 170 acre bird sanctuary and botanical garden. Edward Avery McIlhenny, 2nd son of Edmund Mcllhenny (founder of Tabasco) created the gardens and bird rookery around 1895. 

We did not see much activity as we drove along, but we did see a couple of alligators. There were few Great Egrets in the water, lots of turtles basking in the sun.
We walked to check the Buddha temple that houses a thousand year old Chinese Buddha that was given to Edward Mcllhenny in 1936.  It is enclosed in a shrine, and it was difficult to get good pictures without glass reflections.There is a beautiful pond and arched bridge.
We were excited about visiting Bird City” again, and were surprised to see SO many Great Egret nesting sites.  There were some Anhingas, one Great Blue Heron.  Lots of Great Egrets were flying back and forth carrying sticks to build nests.  There were a few chicks, but it was hard for me to get close-up shots.  The nesting site was far away from the observation deck.
The parent with its chick in the nest

We went back to Tabasco Factory for more tours that we did not finish this morning.  We were hungry, so we had lunch at 1868 Cafe.  
1868 Cafe where we had lunch
Erwin's Po'Boy lunch
We went to Stop #5-#8 inside a building where there are artifacts, salt mine experience, bottling line (active Monday through Thursday only), and Food, Flavors and Tabasco Today.
Salt Mine Exhibit
The first rock salt mine in 1862
Erwin did not want to continue walking, so I went by myself to check out Stop #2 - The Greenhouse Peppers and Stop #3 - Barrel Agin Cooperage.  I went to Tabasco Country Store just to look around, did not buy anything.
In case, you did not know… Tabasco Factory ships their products to over 160 countries and in over 120 languages.  

Even though both of us were starting to get tired I decided at the last minute to go to Breaux Bridge, LA.  There were 2 places I wanted to check out.

St. Bernard’s Catholic Church was built in 1933 by local craftsmen.  The exterior bricks were made from their local brick factory.  The twin steeples and fine French-Romanesque architectural lines makes it very unique.  There is an unique cemetery next to the church.
I was out of envelopes and needed to mail a check to someone today, so I stopped at Family Dollar to buy a box of legal sized envelopes. The Post Office was across the street from the store.  Perfect!

Our last stop was to check out one roadside attraction on Rees Street in Breaux Bridge.  It is a scrap metal sculpture of a crawfish standing on its tail.  Different metal parts were used to make it.  It is in front of a restaurant called Crazy ‘Bout Crawfish.  I asked Erwin if he would like to eat supper there.  His answer was “I am still full from lunch”, so we left.
We were happy that our day was enjoyable and fun.  Now off to checking out places for tomorrow.


No comments:

Post a Comment