Yesterday morning, I flew with my mom from New York City to Memphis, Tennessee. My half-sister Martha, who lives in Memphis, met us there, and the three of us flew to Lafayette, Louisiana to visit my half-brother Henry and his family.

Henry picked us up at the airport. Here he is:

We met up with Henry’s wife Yvonne and her 13-year-old son Armand. (If you’ve been reading this blog for a couple years, you might remember everyone from 5/18/09 at Dodger Stadium. If you’ve only been reading it for a month, you’ll probably remember Martha and my mom from Barbados.) The six of us then went to a Mardi Gras parade in New Iberia. The crowd started gathering early:
An hour later, the parade still hadn’t started, and people were still standing around. Here’s a photo I took from a second-floor balcony:
Finally the parade got underway:
There were lots of young/aspiring beauty queens riding by on the tops of cars…
…and of course there were lots of beads being thrown into the crowd. Here I am with some of them:
My snagging skills definitely came in handy. I caught so many necklaces that I gave a bunch away and still had all of these left over:
Here I am with Martha and Henry:
After the parade, we headed to the nearby apartment of one of Yvonne’s friends. Here’s everyone sitting around:
When we went back outside, the street was deserted:
See the photo above? Okay…check out my laptop in the photo below:
The six of us went to a restaurant, and while we waited for the food, I went through all my photos. The food, BTW, was my seventh meal of the day. I started with a bacon/egg/cheese stromboli at the airport in New York. Before landing in Memphis, I ate a turkey/gouda wrap that I’d brought on the plane. In the Memphis airport, I ate a large order of BBQ baked beans. On the flight to Louisiana, I ate a protein bar. Before the parade started, four of us went for sushi; I got a roll with crawfish and crab and cucumber and avocado and spicy mayo, along with an order of edamame. Then, at the home of Yvonne’s friend (when I was already stuffed and it was half an hour before dinner), I ate cheese, crackers, spinach/artichoke dip, quiche, king cake, and a kumquat. And finally at dinner, I ate a cup of chicken/sausage gumbo and a caesar salad…and most of an order of bread pudding with meringue, which was supposed to be shared equally, but which everyone else was too stuffed to even look at.
Henry and Yvonne’s house is old and funky and incredible. I’ll take some pics today, but for now, I can only show you what I photographed last night, namely my makeshift bedroom:
Their house is located between two very small towns called Arnaudville and Grand Coteau. We are truly in the middle of nowhere, at least compared to what I’m used to, and FYI, if you plan to say “Arnaudville” aloud, know that the dee is silent.
Did you notice my beads in the photo above? Here’s a closeup:
Isn’t that pretty? My favorite is the one with the golden dice. I might be able to make use of it at costume parties back home.
After photographing the beads, I went to the bathroom for five minutes to…you know…brush my teeth and take out my contacts and…well…anyway, when I returned my bedroom, this is what I saw:
Not only was there a one-eyed dog named Bubbles (half-chihuahua, half-poodle) wrestling with a stuffed animal on my pillow, but Armand had placed two gigantic guns on the bed. Armand really likes guns. I mean, he really REALLY likes guns. It’s a bit frightening. We might shoot them today.


  1. txfilmmkr

    Wow. Mel McDaniel would be proud of your authentic “Louisiana Saturday Night”. Only instead of “single shot rifle and a one-eyed dog”, you’ve got “shotgun, rifle and a one-eye’d dog”. I know that area very well. I’ve got a lot of family just west of there in Eunice. You’re certainly not in Manhattan any longer.

    Now go get down your fiddle, get down the bow, kick off your shoes and throw ’em on the flo’.

    Donny in Houston.

  2. mhbaseball@mh.com

    Awesome dice beads. Also, I was already thinking about looking into the May/July issues of Seventeen.(I guess great minds think alike.) So….I emailed two different sellers of the May and July issues of the Seventeen magazine on ebay. I still can’t find the magazine archived online. :( That would make all of this a lot easier. Continue to have fun in Louisiana.

  3. gmoney91

    That’s awesome Zack!

    I live in Central Louisiana and Lafayette is only about an hour or so away from my house. It’s weird your here though because I had been considering riding down there to catch a game of the minor league hockey team Tuesday or wednesday. Hope you are enjoying your time here this week in LA.

  4. zackhample

    It felt incredibly authentic. I always love going to new places when I can hang with the locals and (at least partially) avoid doing touristy things.

    Wow, can’t thank you enough.

    Cool. The trip turned out to be awesome except for one thing: it was way too short. I’m back home now in NYC, and just about an hour ago, I posted a new entry about Day 2. Louisiana is gorgeous (and fun!), or at least the parts of it that I saw were gorgeous. I can see why people would really love to live there.

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