kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Little Town Called Scott -- Louisiana's Cajun Art Capital

On the way home from a quick trip to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving, we stopped in Scott to explore this laid back little Louisiana town. We discovered Scott is quite a treat!

The first thing a visitor of Scott notices is the quirky odd roundabout right off the highway. I think an intersection with a light would work better, but that’s only my opinion.

When I go to a town I've never been to before, usually my first stop is the welcome center. Scott has an interesting-looking visitors’ center, easy to find, right by the roundabout, with a nice duck pond. Sadly, it was closed.

But that didn't stop these guys from rocking on the porch.

So we were on our own. We drove up St. Mary’s Street. The town has a historical feel – old well-preserved buildings and small tidy homes. And then this caught my eye.

This gallery was closed, with an “open by appointment” sign. But next door is the Gallery Acadie.

We walked in and found two men painting at easels. Colorful art work adorned the walls. We struck up a fascinating conversation with one of the artists, Bryan Theriot, and learned a lot about the town and how they promote the Cajun culture through their artwork. He told us the 1902 building was originally the town saloon and the original bar still flanks one wall.

Theriot on left and his business partner Brad Oleus Boudreaux.

Theriot also told us about one of his mentors, world-renown Cajun illustrator Floyd Sonnier, who once lived and worked in the building. Sonnier used pen and ink to create scenes depicting the Cajun country lifestyle or buildings in Cajun towns. He also drew festival posters. Across the street from Gallery Acadie is Sonnier’s Beau Cajun Art Gallery, operated by Sonnier’s widow, Virlie. Sonnier died in 2002.

For these reasons, Scott has recently been named Louisiana’s Cajun Art Capital.

Not far from these galleries is a charming antique shop called Revival. They have a large inventory of antique furniture, among other things.

I’m also told there is a Christmas shop in Scott, but we didn't see that. And there’s this coffee shop. I like it when a town converts their old train station into something useful. Trains still zip through the center of town every 15 minutes.

Scott is also well-known for boudin. They have a boudin festival every April. There are several purveyors of boudin in the area. The artists recommended The Best Stop. Supposedly, they were the first to sell boudin in the area.

So we went there first and bought three boudin balls. I prefer boudin balls to links. Just seems easier, not messing with the casings. For my non-Louisiana readers, boudin is a special sausage made (mostly) from a pork and rice mixture. The boudin balls are that same mixture but made into meatballs, breaded and fried.

Then we tried the more visible (right on the interstate) Don’s Boudin. We bought more boudin balls there. I won’t say which I preferred, BUT Best Stop sold 3 boudin balls for $1.50 and Don’s were 2 for $1.50. And Don’s tasted saltier.

Another fun surprise was Candyland Cottage and Ice Cream Shoppe.

They sell a variety of confections, including some hard-to-find vintage candies, and Blue Bell ice cream. They have a large Christmas display and a fun collection of antique toys. There’s a patio with tables in the back by a pond.

Scott is conveniently located right on I-10, just west of Lafayette. Definitely worth a trip!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Delta Downs and Horse Racing

I've recently started sharing some of my adventures with the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau. When I share with them, I'll share with you here, also.

One of our latest adventures was to Delta Downs. It's a casino/resort, but we went there for the horse racing.

Click on this link to read the story.