Our recent adventures lead us less than an hour west of Baton Rouge to Lafayette, LA. Our main purpose was the 2nd Saturday ArtWalk. The 6:00pm start meant that we had plenty of time to explore on our way there. Everything starts with food, so lunch was up first.
|Olde Tyme Grocery Goodness|
A co-worker of Eric's, who is from Lafayette, once took him to Olde Tyme Grocery. He remembered getting a really good roast beef po-boy there, so we decided it would be the perfect stop. You enter to find coolers of drinks and stocked shelves of chips, candy and snacks. You order from the at the counter, grab your drinks, give them your name, pay and find a seat. The place is really popular, so finding a table can sometimes be a challenge. We lucked up to snag the last one (in a back corner). A worker walks around with orders, calling names.
|Please call my name next!|
I went traditional south Louisiana style with the fried shrimp po-boy. Eric had the Old Tyme Special (ham/turkey/roast beef/swiss). They did not disappoint. Delicious. And a word to the wise on the size: order the half and not the whole. Though, the other half would be a good idea for leftovers. Nevermind, get the whole and bring the other half home.
|This is what it's all about!|
Bellies full, we stumbled back outside into the Louisiana heat to think up our next stop. We were kinda winging things on this trip. We decided on the local university's Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum. I'm a big fan of architecture, so I was excited that they had an exhibit of famed Louisiana architect A. Hays Town. The exhibit included photos, drawings, models, and so much more.
|Museum waterfall y'all!|
Eric's favorite exhibit was Salvador Dalí's Stairway to Heaven. The museum is first stop of the exhibitions U.S. tour. Dalí's works are inspired by Dante's "The Divine Comedy" and Comte de Lautréamont's "Les Chants de Maldoror". The works are much different than the surreal artwork for which he's most famous. If you can't make it to Lafayette then try to make one of the exhibitions other seven stops.
|Is he trying to touch it with his nose?|
Feeling properly cultured, we decided to go for a drive. We ended up going south to nearby New Iberia. We really had no specific destination in mind. It turns out that the town's historic district contains a replica of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, France. New Iberia's is much smaller in scale and just really popped out of nowhere on us.
The historic district also surprised us with the Sliman Theater for the Performing Arts. Its best years behind it, the theater was donated to the city, restored and now serves as a music and performing arts theater. Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived, so we had to settle with peeks inside to the lobby and pictures of the fantastic exterior.
A previous stop in the area lead us to a restaurant that was serving some really good sausage. When we asked about it, we were told it came from Nunu's Market. So of course, knowing it was nearby, we had to stop. They have all kinds of specialty meats. We passed on the (intriguing) low-carb cauliflower boudin. We left with their smoked boudin, smoked pork and Steens sausage (a little sweet thanks to that Steens) and shrimp stuffed chicken breasts. Oh, and a styrofoam cooler, because we did not come prepared for Eric's meaty shopping spree.
|Stuffed with anything and everything!|
Cooler packed with goodies, we headed back to downtown Lafayette for the art walk. But of course we ran into something else that made us stop. We're suckers for murals. We grabbed pics of a couple here and there. Then we stumbled into graffiti at the abandoned Charles Boldt Paper Mill. It is popular enough that, next to the keep out sign, is a sign for the website to book your photo shoot.
|Where'd everybody go?|
|Not creepy at all.|
Creepy abandoned paper mill checked off my bucket list, we finally made it back to downtown Lafayette. We started at the Wurst Biergarten. This was a pretty cool open air market for local artists that had large choice of beers. Eric grabbed a one of the local beers on tap and we strolled the grounds. Now if only Baton Rouge could get their act together and not just talk about beer gardens.
|More Graffiti Love!|
|Yes. More Graffiti.|
The time of the walk had come, and the Acadiana Center for the Arts was open to the public, so we started there. From there, we walked up and down the street to visit the nearby businesses that were hosting local artists. Now here's where I have to be honest. It wasn't really living up to what we hoped. I think the long day just had us a little worn out, so we were only there for about an hour. We sometimes pack too much into our days. Maybe one day we'll learn. Maybe.
|Eyes closed. Not drunk.|