The further I got from Texas, and the closer I got to my mom and dad’s house, the quicker I wanted to be there. I was determined to see a few sites along the way however, so I slowed my roll and visited several places I’ve been meaning to visit for years.
I’ve always been proud to be Cajun and of the close-knit way I grew up. With the exception of wayward souls like me, most people from south Louisiana still live within a 10-mile radius of their parents and where they were raised. My cousins were my friends and playmates growing up, I saw my grandparents several times a week, and I can remember participating in family boucheries (hog slaughtering events) and church fairs well into my teens. Crawfish boils and BBQs were seasonally common events and brought everyone together on a regular basis. The NPS website has a couple of good videos on the history and cultural significance of crawfish boils and boucheries(and boudin!) if you would like to learn more about these Cajun traditions (click HERE to go to the website with a 7-minute video of each).
Less than a mile from the Acadian Cultural Center is the VermilionvilleLiving History Museum and Folklife Park, a 23-acre site on the tree-covered banks of Bayou Vermilionville. I was just going to do a quick walk-through of the buildings until I met Jay, a historian fielding questions, and providing information at the schoolhouse building. He was a wealth of information about Louisiana culture, history, and one of my favorite topics, food! History really comes to life when it is presented in an interactive, fun way by someone who is obviously passionate about what they do. I was so thankful to get to share an hour or so picking his brain!
Even though there was so much more to see, I started to feel the tug of home and returned to my bike. In less than two hours, I arrived at my parents’ house and familiar surroundings. Time to relax and hang out with my family for a few days!