Hwy. 329; Avery Island, LA
April 22, 2002 – All I knew about Avery Island before this visit was that it was the home of the inventor of Tabasco Sauce. But after my father’s funeral in New Orleans, my aunts told me about the natural beauty of the trails filled with massive mossy trees, Egret Island and wildlife galore, so we decided to treat ourselves to this tour before the rest of us returned to Austin.
Its roads are a little tight but they assured me it was still big enough for a motor home, so we were glad that we could take the whole tour with all the comforts of home (especially a readily available bathroom for 6 women traveling together – me, my mom, daughter, granddaughter and 2 aunts). 🙂
Having a kitchen on-board was another great benefit since we were able to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. Things like this are another reason I love traveling in a motorhome!
My entire family are tree freaks and this place certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard.
There were winding stone steps along the bayou and every now and then you see alligators lurking in the murky water.
The trees dripping with Spanish Moss were favorites of us all.
And Caitlin couldn’t resist getting up close and personal with them whenever she could.
She wanted to climb every massive mossy tree she came across!
She would laugh at us when we told her to be careful – “I’m okay, y’all, don’t worry so much!” It was this scene here that we reminded her about when she was freaking out about her own daughters climbing trees at Fairview-Riverside State Park in 2012!
Caitlin on bridge over murky waters as mom looks on – now worried about her falling into the alligator infested swamp. The most vicious beings here were the mosquitoes, though!
Watching the graceful egrets flying around was an extra bonus.
But we were able to get closer to them at Egret Island: E.A. McIlhenny founded this bird colony — later called Bird City — in 1892 after plume hunters had slaughtered egrets by the thousands to provide feathers for fashionable ladies’ hats.
I don’t remember what kind of camera I was using back in 2002, but even my photo editing skills today (2018) didn’t help the blurry effect much. But having shared memories like this with my family are still very clear and precious.
My beautiful granddaughter, Caitlin, was 11 years old here. Lord, they grow up fast, so enjoy moments like these while you can!
They called themselves the Three Musketeers or the Golden Girls, but they sure had a lot of fun whenever they got together. From left to right, my Aunt Wilma, my Mom, my Aunt Loretta. As I was updating these pages in 2018, I was again struck with sadness that all three of these wonderful women have now passed on to greener pastures.
Caitlin took this picture of us and I wish I could remember what had Angelique so obviously tickled here, while nobody else but me seem amused. What memories I do have of this day are so sweet, though. Aunt Loretta was also my “Nanna” (Godmother to Cajuns) and the RV trips with my mom are some of my fondest memories. Here’s my tribute to her with memories from those times.
More Info on Avery Island:
From website: Experience the natural beauty and tranquility of Jungle Gardens – a 170-acre semitropical garden that stretches along Bayou Petite Anse on Avery Island. Naturalists, bird watchers and visitors from around the world will enjoy the gently rolling landscape, botanical treasures and abundant wildlife.
Don’t forget to stop at the Tabasco Sauce Visitors Center for a little spice.