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Lafayette KOA Holiday

Lafayette KOA Holiday

Starting with this post we are changing the order of our campsite posts and will be putting the rating and other information about the park at the end of the post and the hopefully more interesting text at the top. Let us know what you think about this change…

Although we typically only look at KOA parks for overnight stays, we stayed at the Lafayette KOA for one night on the way to New Orleans and for nine nights on our return trip so we could plan our next few months of travels. We also needed to get caught up on some other things we had been putting off like maintenance items in our RV which was a challenge with all the rain. KOA parks tend to have a lot of family friendly activities that we don’t usually take advantage of and you pay for those amenities so they tend to be expensive. On the other hand, KOAs are often easy to access from major highways. This makes them quite convenient for short stays.

The Lafayette KOA (actually in Scott, LA rather than Lafayette) was a nice park built around a pond. It had many amenities for families as well as a new area in the back of the park which was much nicer than some of the other areas within the park. We stayed both times in the newer area.  

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Tabasco Factory Tour

Tabasco Factory Tour

We spent a sunny afternoon visiting Avery Island and learning all about how Tabasco hot sauce is made.  We started out with a yummy lunch in the Tabasco Cafe with, of course all the dishes had Tabasco in them.  Our  tour began in the Tabasco Museum where we learned all about the McIlhenny family and the history of the world renowned and earliest recognized hot sauce.  The McIlhennys moved to Avery Island and began producing Tabasco sauce there since 1868.  The family still runs the environmentally friendly production and keeps the island as a natural habitat.  

We learned a lot about peppers, aging and storing.  We could smell the peppers and the aged whiskey barrels in the storage area.  Peppers are mashed and mixed with salt then aged in used Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey white oak barrels for 3 years.  After that the mash is strained to remove seeds and skins then the remainder is blended with vinegar and periodically stirred for a month in huge vats.  Feel the burn in the air! 

We were lucky to be touring on a day the production line was busy bottling several varieties of Tabasco.  The end of the tour was the gift shop with a Tabasco tasting area.  Feel the burn!  We left with a new appreciation for Tabasco, along with several bottles and a t-shirt.  Enjoy our pictures below.

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Swamp Tour

Swamp Tour

While staying in Lafayette, LA  we went on a swamp tour.  Definitely something on my bucket list!  We chose a small family run business called Champagne Cajun Swamp Tours on historic Lake Martin in Breaux Bridge, LA.  On a rare clear day while we were here, we enjoyed the drive thru the historic area with french creole names on about everything, soggy fields of tall sugar canes and muddy swamp land everywhere. The landscape is so different from the rocky, rugged Texas hill country covered in cactus, oaks and cedar trees we are used to.

Our tour guide was Bryan Champagne. He and his wife have been running the tours for 20 years. When we were chatting before the tour he told me he also manages 600 crawfish cages which he baits, catches and sells to local restaurants, when the price is right! He has guided many documentary and international television crews, etc. thru these swamps and been written up in several travel magazines. Also about the big gator that lives around the dock and how dogs are his food of choice. He says in his lazy cajun accent, “I can jump in do boat repairs no problem but if a dog jumps in he grabs him right away don’t ya know.”  Glad we didn’t see that!

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Pontchartrain Landing

Pontchartrain Landing

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Location:  New Orleans, Louisiana
Site Quality:  Gravel roads with gravel pads. There were both pull thru and back in spots.   
Type:  Commercial
Access:  Take exit 239A (Almonaster Blvd E) off I-10 and go to France Rd. Left on France Rd and the park is on the right in about 1.5 miles. France road goes through an industrial area and it was very rough with potholes and puddles.
Staff:  All staff we met were friendly but the office area stayed quite busy.
Amenities:  Full hookups, swimming pool and hot tub, laundry, bath house and restrooms.
Cellular/WiFi:  AT&T and Verizon 2 bars without amplification. Data rates were pretty good on both.
What we liked: Buddy sites. Great restaurant on site with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Clean showers. Good store with a variety of items. Seemed safe although the security gates in and out of the park remained open throughout our stay.  Shuttle service provided to and from  the French Quarter for a small fee.
What we didn’t like: It rained before and during our stay and there were large puddles and mud everywhere. The park is in an industrial area which wasn’t very pretty. Some night time noise from nearby train tracks and a busy non-commercial airport.

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