It’s good to live in the great city of New Orleans, but to be honest, in November, I was starting to suffocate being stuck in town for so long. I needed a break. Lucky me, Thanksgiving was coming. I shared the idea to rent a cabin and spend a couple of days in the Louisiana Bayou or in Mississippi to some of my friends who were up for it. After many debates, we finally rented a lodge located not too far from Morgan City, LA.
Morgan City is a small, remote town built in the middle of the swamps. Life over there is the extreme opposite of the life in New Orleans. Everything seems to revolve around the lakes, rivers and waterways. There are a lot of houses which are lite rally built on the river; river which is used as some sort of highway by the locals. Some locals told us how, during the summer, people take their boats to go to church, and then take their boats to go to the bars, which are all built along the river. We were also told how they have lots of music festivals during the summer, and how people enjoy their time by the river, going from bar to bar with their boats, and taking swims in the river regardless of the alligators.
The bars and restaurants we went to were very country. I had never had the chance to check out these types of places. Country bars have nothing in common back home. These were totally fitting the American redneck bar stereotype. Small, simple, built in some remote place, but where all the locals gather at the end of the day.
Everybody was extremely kind down the bayou. I already knew this, but was pleased to experience the Southern Hospitality once again. The locals gave us some good leads about what to do in the area, and were pleased to tell us how people live and what people do down here. Lots of people hunt, but the main business is fishery. I cannot tell you how many people I saw, fully dressed in hunting gear. I thought it was really cool, and my next purchase will definitely be some camouflage jacket. People were also extremely surprised to see us there. They were wondering why we would even come there for vacations, but they were happy to have some foreigners around. They were amazed to hear from my friends who were from Virginia, New Hampshire and Michigan, and they were equally amazed to have a French folk visiting. For them it sounded like even New Orleans was on the other side of the planet.
The greatest experience of the Southern Hospitality we had was probably the people who lived next to the lodge we rented, and who very kindly let us a canoe which we used to check out the area from the river. I saw all sorts of birds that I had never seen before, such as pelicans. All the wildlife there is down there is awesome. I also saw my first wild snake ever, which looked pretty long to me (maybe 3 or 4 feet long). Sadly, we didn’t see any alligator. I guess it was too cold. After the trip on the river, we returned the canoe to the neighbors who invited us to share their Thanksgiving meal. I can’t think of many places were people would actually let four strangers in their home with open arms and open hearts.
Life down the bayou is awesome. I hope to be able to live down there myself one day, build my own house by the river, grow my own products, hunt, fish and be happy.