Monday, August 6, 2018

biloxi, part II - the adventures

If you haven't read part one of our Biloxi trip then please take a few minutes to give it a look. I'll wait...Now that we're all caught up with the food, onto Biloxi, Part Deux: The Revenge! Also referred to as the stuff we did in Biloxi. 


I captain my ship like a proper lady.

Torrential rains slowed us down on our drive, but we reached Biloxi a couple of hours before our scheduled sailing trip (cue the Christopher Cross). Those rains that we drove through, however, were following us. We stopped by Biloxi Schooners to speak with the captain. We wanted to know whether it looked like the weather would hold out and be clear for sailing. Did we need to come up with a plan B for our afternoon? The outlook was not good. We still had a chance to sail the following day, so we decided to try sailing the next day.


Picture this...

We returned to the beach after dinner (see part one) to walk along the beach and catch some pictures. You know what else we caught? A nice view of the schooner sailing by that we should have been on, because guess what? It didn't rain. Off they went sailing toward what was sure to be a picturesque sunset. I'm sure they passed around champagne flutes and gasped at the beauty of a sky one only sees in portraits. Whatever. I'm not bitter. 


A pelican glides over gulf waters.

We made the best of our good weather and beach time. It was early evening and we had the small section of beach practically to ourselves. Brown pelicans perched on remnants of what was probably a dock at one time. We're partial to the brown pelican, because it is our state bird. We snapped pictures of the pelicans and the other birds gathered at the shoreline. We watched shrimp boats coming into dock and hoped tomorrow would bring nice sailing weather.


Shrimp boat swarmed.

Feet dried and sand (mostly) swept away we called it a day and headed to our hotel. We stayed about thirty minutes east of Biloxi in Moss Point. Staying outside of Biloxi wasn't our first choice, but like things tend to do, they worked out. We were able to discover things that we would have otherwise missed. More on that later. After a late breakfast Saturday morning (seriously, check out part one for possibly the best donuts ever) we visited Biloxi's Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum. It's three floors of boats and history. In the early twentieth century, Biloxi was the seafood capitol of the world. Millions of pounds of shrimp and oysters were caught and canned. Entire families worked in the industry. Children included! It was a fascinating place to visit. 


Outside the Museum (Eric for scale).

The post-lunch shining sun outside meant that we were going to get our sailing trip! Unfortunately, Eric wore his "sailing outfit" the day before, but we would not be deterred. We arrived at the dock with our water and sunscreen. The two must-have staples if you go. And sunglasses. Three must-haves. Biloxi Schooners offers charters and walk on sails. The walk on sail means you don't need to charter. Whoever shows up goes out. They have boats that hold up to about forty people. There were eight of us and three crew members on our trip (a walk on sail). There was plenty of room for a dozen more. Our captain was as young as a captain was legally allowed; he was all of nineteen years old. His two deckhands were even younger. Combined, maybe they were the age of the captain we met the day before. Don't let that deter you. Our trusty captain knew his stuff and we felt very comfortable going out with him and his junior varsity crew. 


Totally sailing this ship.

Volunteers were requested for raising the sails as we headed out. I, of course, volunteered. More specifically, I volunteered Eric. He was a good sport about it and (eventually) hoisted the mast. Finished, he plopped down next to me out of breath and wheezed something about his shoulders burning and wondering if that's what crossfit is like. Catching his breath, we began our two hour adventure on the (not so) high seas. 


We lucked out in that we chose a spot that shaded us from the summer sun. Coupled with the wind, it was dare I say pleasant. We watched pelicans fly by and the crew work the sails their fancy knots. We passed the weekenders who pull their boats up to a long strip of beach a few hundred yards out from shore. Music blaring and drinks flowing. Everyone is out enjoying the sun and water. 


Captaining the vessel. No hands required.

When we get out a bit, our captain offers up the wheel for picture time. We were all about that. Once picture time was over, the captain ask for volunteers to steer the boat.  I once again volunteered...Eric. Eric took the wheel and managed not to sink us. No one else wanted a turn, so Eric steered for nearly twenty minutes. I think he's under the impression that he is now a captain. He mentioned needing to stop and get his license to make it official. The legend he must be in his own mind. 

The captain took back over as storms began looming in the distance. After checking the radar, he decided we would have to cut the trip a little short. We headed back a little quicker than we went out, but it was still so much fun. We docked before the storm arrived. We were out for about two hours of the scheduled two and a half hours, so no complaints. It was a great time. And we didn't burn! Yay, sunscreen! 


She's a lady. Whoa, whoa, whoa. She's a lady.

Our Sunday drive out included a few extra stops of those places we discovered between Biloxi and our hotel in Moss Point. Just off the main highway to Biloxi, in Pascagoula, the Jackson Country Port Authority and a couple of ship yards provided us photo opportunities. Unfortunately, we couldn't get very close, but a nearby boat launch and dock gave us some clear looks. Then we drove to the real reason we stopped. The Round Island Lighthouse


A lighthouse relocated.


The lighthouse is literally right next to the highway. Strange place for a light house. Next to a highway and not water. What? It was built in 1833, but was mostly destroyed by Hurricane Georges in 1998. As much of the original structure as possible was recovered. These remnants were to be used to reconstruct the lighthouse at the original site, but then Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The lighthouse was eventually relocated and the light switch finally flipped on in 2015. So much history in a lighthouse on the side of a highway. 

Don't see everything from the highway. Next time, pull over and go see that thing you want to see. Whatever it is. You never know what you'll discover.

Until next time!


Saturday, July 21, 2018

biloxi, part I - the food

Here we come Biloxi!

Who goes to the beach, but doesn't really go to the beach? Apparently, we do. We headed out to explore different parts of the Biloxi, Mississippi area. Things outside of the beach and casino scene. Sorta. Biloxi is pretty much a straight two hour drive from our home base of Baton Rouge. It's an easy drive if you don't hit a couple of downpours that slow traffic to a virtual halt.

This will be the first of a two-part blog. We'll do things a bit different this time. We're covering the food stuff first with our adventure spots to follow. Let's dig in.


Two Pigs

Friday, day one in Biloxi, started with an early dinner not in Biloxi. We hit up The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint. It is located in nearby Ocean Springs, MS. It was featured on The Food Network and has a menu of award winning BBQ. The Shed is exactly how it sounds. It's informal, mostly covered outdoor eating (with giant fans to keep things comfortable). We placed our order at the counter and found a spot in the line of picnic tables, just close enough to one of the fans so our things wouldn't blow away, and I grabbed a variety of their available sauces.


Lot of available real estate on those plates.

We both went with the pulled pork. Eric's in sandwich form, mine straight pile o' meat. We also had the potato salad (good stuff), coleslaw (basic stuff) and baked beans (sweet but not savory stuff). So was the BBQ award winning? Meh. It was decent, but the portion sizes were disappointing. Comparing this with the BBQ that we can get in Baton Rouge, we were underwhelmed. We didn't grab a variety of things, so that was our mistake. We can't give a fully accurate review, but the portion size was our main complaint. Perhaps you will have (or had) better luck.


The not-so-secret recipe?

Late Saturday morning we once again found ourselves in Ocean Springs. Downtown Ocean Springs is a quaint spot lined with shops and restaurants. It was a nice discovery (that we'll revisit later) on our way to our true destination: The Tatonut Shop. I can already hear you, "What the heck is a tatonut?" We're talking donuts, but made with mashed potatoes. What? That's weird, right? Wrong. That's delicious! There's no arguing with the popularity of the place. The line was out the door. People leaving with dozens upon dozens of these things! 


You have to eat this to understand the glory.

We made it to the counter after about a twenty minute wait. We ordered a couple of plain and a couple of chocolate covered. First things first: No, it does not taste like potatoes. I'll argue that it is better. It is similar to a fried donut, but not weighed down by the oil. It's lighter, but still just the right about of density. The taste is slightly off from what we're used to. We studied them after every bight. First couple of bites: Something a little different here. Do I like it? A few bites later: These are pretty good. Different, but good. Last bites: These may be the best things I've ever eaten! Why are these not everywhere?! If you are ever in Biloxi then drive the ten minutes to Ocean Springs, wait in line, doubt what I'm telling you and then send me your thank you notes later. Don't limit yourself to a couple. Get a couple of dozen, so you don't regret that choice like we did. 


Entrance to Mary Mahoney's courtyard!

Late breakfast meant a late lunch at a place recommended by a friend, Mary Mahoney's. This is in Biloxi and is such a nice place. You enter through a beautiful courtyard that includes an oak tree that is over two thousand year old. It's a big tree. The restaurant is centered around one of America's oldest homes. This means that you aren't sitting in one giant dining room with everyone else. The are multiple rooms for dining, so it gives you a quieter intimate atmosphere. Pictures of presidents and celebrities hang all around. It's kinda fancy, but not overly so. 

The lunch menu is a steal for what you get. Quality stuff here gang. Eighteen dollars will get you a three course meal. Salad, entree with the vegetable of the day and dessert. You will not leave hungry. Eric went with a snapper stuffed with shrimp and crab sauce. I had shrimp stuffed with crabmeat dressing. We both had the bread pudding in rum sauce. Everything was good, but the highlight, as it should be, was the main course. Eric couldn't stop talking about how good his was. It was starting to get a little uncomfortable. We get, Eric. Stop moaning. 


Perfectly cooked stuffed snapper and crawfish etouffee.

After a fun-filled day on the water, you'll have to wait for part II of blog to read about that, we headed back to downtown Ocean Springs. On the way to tatornut town, it looked like such a charming spot that we had to go back. We walked along Government Street scouting the restaurants and checking their reviews on Yelp. All I knew is that I wanted shrimp and somewhere quiet. No live music beating my eardrums. Turns out that limited our choices a bit. 

We ultimately chose Mosaic Tapas Restaurant and Bar. There was a jazz band at one end of the large patio, so we sat inside. The food was a mixed bag. Eric enjoyed his giant bowl of chorizo and shrimp paella. He should not have eaten it all, but he did and he paid for it. I had the shrimp scampi. It was just meh. The service was also slow. Especially since we were practically the only people eating inside. There were more staff than inside diners. And the staff was more into their own conversations than anything else. Then there is the restaurant itself. It just looked like it didn't know what it was trying to be. There was a small disco ball on the ceiling that made it feel like we were dining on a dance floor. The six inch stage that was ten feet from us suggests that I'm not far off. If you look at the menu then you'll see what I mean. There is a little of everything on there. Bit of a warning sign if you ask me. We gave it a shot, so you don't have to.


Cool treats from the Pop Shot.

We hopped across the street for dessert from Pop Brothers. It's a small place with a giant chalk board menu. You step up, order at the window and enjoy your dessert while walking the downtown streets. They have everything from your standard popsicle flavors to your more exotic mashups. From fresh fruit strawberry to lavender milk and honey. My pineapple jalapeΓ±o pop helped pick me up from dinner disco.

Our final Biloxi spot was again not a Biloxi spot. It was, again, an Ocean Springs spot. A late start had us landing at Woody's Roadside. There is a location in Biloxi, but we decided on this one, since it seemed crowded every time we came and went from Biloxi and Ocean Springs. The Biloxi location appeared to be a bit of a tourist trap. It just had that look. This location was a bit low key, but still the same name. So we weren't really sure, but gave it a go. This ended up being a bit of a surprise. 


Fried green tomatoes straight out the fryer. Scorched taste buds alert!

We started with the fried green tomatoes. These were straight out the fryer. We all know the feeling. You take a bite of food only to be hit with the feeling that the food is cooking your mouth, breathing in and out, desperately trying to cool it. Wanting to spit it out so bad, but know table manners is all that separates us from the animals. Or something like that. Anyway, back to the (cooled off) tomatoes. Paired with a spicy remoulade sauce, this was pretty good. Eric had spicy sweet chili shrimp tacos. They were messy, but he really liked them. I went with a shrimp poboy. I could not get enough shrimp on this trip. Something about being on the coast and seeing shrimp boats, I suppose.

Our food choices were hit and miss. Tatonut heaven to dinner on the dance floor. I suppose we caught a little bit of everything. If you're in the area then definitely consider Mary Mahoney's for lunch. Dinner if you're fancy. Woody's isn't an expensive tourist trap. You'll find some nice seafood options. The Shed wasn't our bag, but maybe it was just not for us. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from going. You may like it. Just didn't quite hit the mark for us. If Mosaics has a 'Under New Management' sign when you visit then consider it. No sign, no go. There are plenty of options in downtown Ocean Springs. Pop Brothers is a nice grab and go dessert. And of course, The Tatonut Shop. Just go. This is not optional. If you go to Biloxi and don't drive over to Ocean Springs for tatonut then I'm not sure this blog is for you. We'll just have to agree to disagree on the level of how wrong you are. Tatonuts are life.


Blog Part II, Straight Ahead!


Friday, June 29, 2018

food truck round-up

Local brewery, Tin Roof Brewery, recently hosted a food truck round-up. The location has plenty of lawn space and a covered outdoor patio to accommodate everything and everyone. Each food truck offered something different, so there was a variety of food, and the beer was flowing in the tap room. There was even a stand for gourmet frozen pops and ice cream. 


Eric says, "hello"!

Eric prefers darker beer, so he stuck with their Parade Ground Coffee Porter. He enjoyed it enough to have a few, so it must have been good. We parked ourselves on the covered outdoor patio. The fans were humming over-head, but this is South Louisiana. It was still plenty hot. There were a number of picnic tables out on the lawn, but we weren't giving up our shade. 


That is one dark beer. Looks like coffee.

Our Spot on the patio was good and bad news. Good in that were were in the shade. Bad, however, because there was suppose to be live music. The bands usually set up on the patio, so we would have been baking out in the sun if the band was there. Apparently, the planner and band couldn't come to terms in time, so the advertised live music was a no-go. That was a disappointment, but it kept our pale skin from burning, so there's that. 


#priorities

Like I mentioned, the food trucks offered a variety, but there were only three. A couple of more could help make it more of a must-go event. The available options were Rice and GravyRock Paper Taco and Mr. Ronnie's Famous Hot Donuts. The line the Rock Paper Taco truck was evidence of both everyone's (correct) desire for tacos and the need for more options. Like everyone else in line, we wanted tacos. The line was long and Eric wasn't having that. We later heard someone say the wait was an hour even after you ordered. Again, we needed more trucks there.


That is one long taco line.

We opted for the much shorter line at Rice and Gravy. Eric and I both went with the Swamp Hawg:  smoked pulled pork, boudin, pepper jack cheese on garlic toast with a side of pepper jelly. Eric apparently ordered the last ones, because subsequent orders were denied. They were out. Again, need more trucks. The weight of the sandwich felt like we were getting our nine dollar's worth. It was heavy, but really good. The side of pepper jelly was a little odd. It was like a spicy strawberry Jello. I can't say it was bad, but I can't say it was good either. To the sandwich's credit, it made us (mostly) forget about tacos.


The Swamp Hawg

To Tin Roof's credit, there is also a Family Friday event on the first Friday of the month. That is an afternoon/early evening affair. It is similar to the round-up. There are food trucks and musical entertainment, but also inflatable bounce houses and face painting. Still though, summer in Baton Rouge is hot. Even when the sun goes down. But no sun helps.


Stay Classy!

I think the round-up is a good idea. The space at Tin Roof is a good spot for it. If a band had been on the patio and we were out on the lawn then it may have turned into a borderline miserable experience. The humidity is too high here, so even the patio doesn't keep you from sweating through your shirt. It only delays it. The tap room doesn't offer much of a reprieve, since people are constantly going in and out (as well as being a little cramped). If they want to continue and improve on the experience then I think it is best suited for a nighttime affair. At least between May and October. We want to go back...but at night.  

Friday, June 22, 2018

oh the places we go

Our adventures are often planned out. There's the place. Then there are the places to go when we get to place, knowing that we'll find other places in between the places. That's what makes these trips adventures. The unplanned events make for the best stories. Our recent excursion was something different. We had the place. Madisonville, LA. We had the place there that we wanted to visit. We wanted to see docked ships on the riverfront. We never really landed at the riverfront. This adventure ended up being entirely things found upon our way. We had a better time for it. 


Home

We made it to Madisonville, but instead of turning left, we went right. Okay, technically straight, but you get the point. We went in another direction with no real reason why. This is where we stumbled upon the Lake Pontchartrain Maritime Museum.  They're closed on Mondays, but most importantly know that they close daily at 4:00pm. We just happened to have been lucky enough to find it before then. 

The giant anchor and mini-lighthouse outside the museum is what caught our attention. Of course we had to stop to take pictures with them. Even better, if you're asking Eric, was the Jurassic Park Jeep that was parked there too. Turns out that one of the employees there owns it. If you catch Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on opening weekend in the Madisonville area then you can get a look at it too. It will be parked outside of the theater.


Didn't know it was a documentary, did ya?

The museum will set you back $5, so I'll call it affordable. The museum concentrates on the Lake Pontchartrain Basin, the lower Mississippi River Valley and the Louisiana Gulf Coast. You'll find photos, motors as old as time itself, a film room to hear the oral history of the area and there's even a submarine from the civil war. They also offer a robotics camp where kids have the chance to build their own underwater remotely operated vehicle. Complete with lights and camera. How cool would that be to take to the beach or a local lake?!


Restored light house lamp.

I asked about the local lighthouses that are featured in the museum. We were pointed down the road where we could get a view of the Tchefuncte River Lighthouse. It isn't accessible by car, but you can see it from the shore or a closer look by boat. It was even featured in the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Who knew?!


Civil War Submarine Surfaces (colorized)

On the way to the lighthouse, we came to a bridge where cars were pulled over and people were out looking at something in the water. We knew what that meant. Gators! So, of course, we jumped out and got our gator fix. These had some size to them that our previous encounter did not (see our Jungle Gardens and Scorpion Sauce blog post). These were adult sized. The one that came the closest looked to be about ten feet long. Once he/she went down under water, we hit the road again. 


That there's a light house.

We reached the end of the line only a few minutes from the museum. We walked out to what I'll call the sea wall and there it was. The lighthouse in the distance. Damaged in the Civil War, it was rebuilt with many of the original bricks. It wasn't close, but it was definitely close enough to get some good photos. There were a couple of nearby homes/camps that need to be on Airbnb for a quiet getaway. 


Airbnb anyone?

Rain was on the way and it really seemed to add to the experience. The spray hitting the wall. The gathering wind. Graying skies. I'm pretty sure that I almost became one with the sea that day my friends. Or I could be over dramatizing. I'm not saying Eric was suddenly in a wool turtleneck and smoking a pipe, but I'm not saying he wasn't. 

We headed out, not sure where we were going. One thing was for sure though, the rains had come. It was nearly blowing sideways as we drove into Abita Springs. Perhaps it was the wind, probably the wet roads, but I've never seen so many cars in ditches. We managed to stay upright and on the road while Eric found that we were too late for a tour of the Abita Brewery. You need to get there early in the day for tours. I don't drink, and I'm pretty sure Eric just didn't want to get out in the rain, so we passed on stopping by their tap room. If you find Abita beer in your area then please give it a try. Eric's go-to is the Amber.

Stop in for some pub grub and suds.

The brewery has grown quite a bit and had moved to a larger site after about eight years. They now brew one hundred times the amount of beer than they did their first year! That's what happens would you make good beer. Eric's testimony. We also stopped by the original site. It is now the Abita Brew Pub. We were kinda losers here, because we didn't go in. It wasn't dinner time and we were needing to head back to Baton Rouge. We'll treat you right next time Abita Springs.

Windy day with a tiny light house back there.

Sometimes the unplanned trips turn out to be so good that you run out of time do to more. A perfect excuse to go back!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

jungle gardens and scorpion sauce

Alligators and hot sauce. Welcome to Louisiana. If you need to get it all in at once, like us, then you head down to Avery Island, Louisiana. Cross over the small bridge and there's world famous Tabasco on your left and Louisiana gators straight ahead. 


Keep an eye on the kids.

We expected a $1 toll fee when crossing over into Avery Island, but Sundays must be free. Perhaps is a perk from the attendant recognized us from our blog (ie. we like to revel in delusion). It may also be that Tabasco factory is not running on Sundays, so it's an incentive to visit. Though, you can still tour the factory. More on that later. You receive a map of the area at the toll station to help get you around. It's most helpful when touring the Jungle Gardens. This is where you'll find your botanical treasures, Bird City and (most importantly) gators.


Just fishin'. Nothing to see here.

The visitor center is where you pay for entry to Jungle Gardens and the Tabasco factory. We were hitting both, so if you're doing the same then take the package deal to save a few bucks. The visitor center is also stocked with south Louisiana trinket flair. Spend wisely, because Tabasco also has their own country store. But I'm jumping ahead. The largest alligator ever captured on the island was a modest eighteen feet three inches long. If you want to know what it is like to be up close to something of that size then you're in luck. That bad boy has a room inside the visitor center all to himself.


Cheese!

We hit the Jungle Gardens first. Now, be warned of the walking option. It sounds like a good idea. We decided to drive from location to location. We quickly realized that this was the smart choice. We spend a couple of hours in the gardens. Keep in mind that you will be taking pictures of your explorations. There are multiple designated stop/attractions. I feel like walking, and exploring, would have had us exhausted and ready to just find the end (ie. the visitor center). However, there was a family that biked and that is a viable option. If you have a bike then this could be a fun alternative to driving.


Jungle Garden's Southern Live Oaks

The first stop in the gardens will get you some good photos of huge moss-covered oak trees. A southern signature. There is also a trail flanked on both sides by bayou waters. This is where our real fun began. Be on the look out in the lilly pad covered waters. We lucked out when we came upon a family up ahead. They stopped, peering through the small trees and into the water. We didn't have to ask, as they immediately let us know of the alligator they spotted in the water. It is one of those things that everyone takes to when walking the trail. Everyone makes sure that they share gator location information. After all, we're all there for similar reasons, so it's a pay-it-forward mentality.


Tabasco Rocks

We snagged our photos of the small gator. It was the only one we saw along this trail. Still, a fun way to start the day. We hopped back in the 4Runner and soon rolled up on a couple of small ponds and another gator warning sign. Time to stop! We spotted a couple of more gators. Not the eighteen foot variety, but five feet-ish is still good. Honestly, I don't know how brave we would have been if we spotted an alligator that was hitting double digit length.


Baby Alligator Yawns are Cute!

Another pond just up the road had one of our favorite discoveries. A a baby gator! Well, a young one anyway. Two feet long at the most. This little guy was actually swimming for us. The previous were all just chilling. We stayed here a bit longer to enjoy the tiny guy or gal. Can an alligator be cute? I think this one qualified as cute.

Jungle Garden's Selfie

We left our little friend, and a nearby fishing egret, to visit the Buddha shrine. It sits upon a hill and overlook a small pond. The only issues we faced here were trying to get pics of everything sans the other visitors. "Eric, please get a picture of me on the bridge with the shrine in the background."  Sounds simple enough. Capturing the serene nature of the setting is a little more difficult when people insist on being in the background. Kidding. But seriously, we had to wait for just the right time and angle. So if you see our pics, but don't see anyone, then just know that we have been truthful about others were there enjoying the grounds. Sometimes though...we may not want these people...in our pics. We can't be alone here, right? Please agree, because we don't want to be those uppity people.


Timing things just right...No photobombs!

The next big fun was Bird City. Egrets everywhere, however, the main attraction here turned out to not be the birds (though it was still a sight to see). The fun stuff was the sunbathing five foot alligator. Eric crept around to get some pics of it from a distance as to not scare it into the nearby water. It paid off for him, because he got some really good pics of it. I came upon the scene with a different tactic. I just moseyed on up, closer than everyone else mind you, and just started snapping shots. To each their own. Some of us are just braver than others, I guess.


Smiling Alligator everyone is friendly at Jungle Gardens!

Bird City

Having become one with nature, we headed over to the Tabasco factory. The factory wasn't running, but a number of the buildings are open for self-guided tours. We toured the buildings and would get light hits of that Tabasco smell to remind us where we were (in case we forgot). For actual hits of Tabasco, we hit the Tabasco Country Store.


Tabasco General Store head to the back for the samples!

There happened to be a school tour, we think from maybe France possibly perhaps, so the store was hopping busy. We hit the back of the store. Turns out, that's where the action's at. Samples of everything Tabasco. Jellies, sauces, Bloody Mary mixes and ice cream. Yes, even ice cream. The ice cream would come in handy for one of us (ie. Eric). Remember the sauces from the available samples? Well, Eric found them. From mild on the right to hottest on the left. Complimentary pretzel sticks in hand, Eric started right: at the mildest option, Raspberry Chipotle. Smart move. Then hit the sweet and spicy. Another smart move. He liked it so much that he even bought a bottle! Then, for some reason, he decided to go far left. Not so smart move. Eric is more of a just left of middle kinda guy. What was he doing going far left? The name should have told him to stay away. Scorpion Sauce. Dude! What were you thinking?! So he goes in. He's caught up in Tabasco euphoria. But I let him be. Sometimes lessons are best learned the hard way. That lesson, apparently, starts at the tip of the tongue and then quickly spreads. It stings. Then burns. Then burns and stings. Remember the ice cream samples? Those came in handy. He hit one to soothe the burn. Immediate relief. Somewhat. The heat lingered for a while. Lesson learned. Hopefully.

Be sure to sample Eric's favorite the Scorpion Sauce

So that was our Avery Island experience. It is a must see for anyone visiting south Louisiana. Plan to spend about half your day here (depending on your drive in). This is the deep south. We move at a slower pace. Take your time at Avery Island. It is peaceful. It is exciting. It is beautiful. It is spicy. It is Louisiana.