This morning we car pooled down to Avery Island, paid our $1 toll (per vehicle) and visited the McIlhenny Tabasco Factory. We were shown a short film on the history of the company and given a brief tour of the factory in which they produce 700,000 bottles of Tabasco Sauce PER DAY (Monday – Thursday)! They weren’t bottling today but it was still a very interesting tour. It is the only Tabasco production facility in the world and the products are labeled in 21 different languages and dialects for all corners of the globe. Before finishing the tour everyone was given 4 sample bottles of the sauce (each a different flavor). After the tour we checked out the Tabasco Country Store where we sampled every flavor of sauce that they produce, plus Tabasco chili fixin’s, catsup, mayonnaise, steak sauce, and several others. They also let us sample their Tabasco soda, a Tabasco-flavored cola (the only product I didn’t really care for), raspberry & chipotle ice cream (very good) and Tabasco ice cream (cold with a slow burn). These were some very unexpected taste sensations. We purchased our lunch at the store after sampling everything. I had red beans and rice with sausage. It was all good.
After lunch everyone went their own way for the afternoon. Carol Ann and I returned to the motorhome to take a nap and get ready for the evening’s happy hour and covered dish supper.
Tomorrow morning we will be heading to the Atchafalaya Basin for a boat tour of the swamp, followed by a Cajun lunch at McGee’s Landing. On the way back to the RV park we will detour by Arnaudville for a tour (with tasting!) of the Bayou Teche Brewing Company (a local microbrewery).
Once back at the RV park there won’t be much time to rest as we will be heading back into Lafayette for Queen Evangeline’s Parade at 6:00 PM. It should be bigger than Thursday and Friday nights’ parades, each of which boasted at least 20 floats, all of them tossing out tons of beads. At the end of each parade the streets are littered with broken strands of plastic beads and empty plastic bags that were once filled with beads.
On Fat Tuesday, the final day of Mardi Gras, there will be three parades, beginning at 10 AM with King Gabriel’s Parade, followed by the Lafayette Mardi Gras Association Parade at 1PM and the Fox 15 Independent Parade at 2 PM. There’s no telling how many pounds of beads we will walk off with by the end of the day.
I'll post some photos later. The internet is just too slow at this RV park to wait on photos to be uploaded.