Sunday, March 27, 2016

Leaving Betty’s for Texas…


Well the day did come for us to depart Betty’s RV Park. Without a doubt we had an absolute blast during our month long stay but it was time for us to go. Each time we shuffled sites there, it was always an adventure when we began to bring our slides in.  However, during our stay at Betty’s and after speaking with Tiffin Service Department, I had time to order and replace the slide solenoid.  Thankfully now all seems well (at least so far), I’ll pen a future blog about the repair but for now we are happy the slides seems to work properly again.


We left Betty’s and traveled east on some back roads until we had no choice but to drive on Interstate 10. We tend to avoid highways as much as possible as I prefer to stick to the more scenic and interesting side roads. We drove only about 110 miles the first day out and chose to spend one night at one of my favorite boondocking spots in Louisiana. We pulled into the back parking lot of the Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino in VInton, Louisiana.


I love this spot because we  are usually able to watch the ponies practicing each morning but on this stay they were resurfacing the track so we were not able to watch practice runs... bummer! We did go to the casino to gamble a bit and managed to lose about 7 dollars but we were served a few drinks so I call it a break even gambling excursion.


After a pleasant night (we were the only RV in the lot) we left the next morning for the just over 150 mile trip to Huntsville State Park in Texas.When we drove across the Louisiana/Texas Border there was visible evidence of the major flooding that area experienced.  We saw lots of water in this part of Louisiana and Texas.


We pulled into Huntsville State Park just south of Huntsville Texas and found a fairly level site to stay in for two nights. This is a beautiful state park but it has only has a few sites for large Motorhomes. We didn’t make a reservation but I had looked the day before and saw that there were over 50 sites to choose from. Upon arrival we unhooked the car and found a pull through site overlooking Lake Raven which was great for our stay.  For our stay we purchased the Texas State Park pass ($70) since we plan to stay at several more of the beautiful Texas State Parks utilizing free entry and 4 half price camping coupons. 


Over our two night stay we mostly spent time hiking within the park. There were some nice trails in this large state park. The day we arrived we spent the afternoon hiking around 3.8 miles of trails near our campsite. The terrain is very hilly and the vegetation is typical of the forest found in the Southeastern Forest. A beautiful mixture of mature pines and hardwoods are found throughout the park. We thoroughly enjoyed communing with nature especially because of the vibrant spring green everywhere along the trails as well as some beautiful wildflowers.  We enjoyed our hike so much that the second day we hiked a 6.5 mile loop!


It sure is great to be back in Texas and although we are now in College Station, Texas I am still a bit behind in the blog but soon hope to catch up…

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Betty’s RV Park–It’s all about Betty!


In our last few days at Betty’s RV Park we made one last visit to Lafayette, LA and we were able go to a few music gigs and several more of Betty's happy hours. The first music venue was one we had always wanted to go to but never did. On some Saturday mornings the Cafe de Musee in Kaplan LA hosts a Cajun Music event and on our last Saturday they happened to be hosting three people we knew. The main attraction was Judy Bailey, nominated for three Grammy Awards, and the band she put together included our friends Dan (staying at Betty’s RV Park) and local musician Dave, a lead guitarist, who we got to know from Touchet’s and Erath’s Cajun jams.


As fun as the morning was listening to music we also drove up to Rayne to the Mire Volunteer Fire Department Annual BBQ Fundraiser where Geno Delafose and the French Rockin Boogie Band were playing. We absolutely love listening to this very talented Zydeco band and were sure happy we found a way to see him before leaving Betty’s.


So as we come to the end of our month long stay we reflect once again how we really enjoyed our time here in the Acadian part of Louisiana. No doubt the food and the music alone would bring us back here but the biggest reason we and most others come back to Betty’s RV Park is Betty Bernard herself! She is a jewel and hosts a happy hour every single day at 4:30 pm (known as Betty’s time).


These happy hours are special events in that they offer the opportunity to get to know every patron staying at Betty’s. Many of our closest RV friends happened because we met initially at Betty’s These happy hours bring together RV’ers from all over the place and occasionally a pot luck dinner or music jam will occur during them. Otherwise happy hour is a bring a snack to share and BYOB drinks. It is always fun and is also a great way to find out about local attractions and upcoming events.


These Happy Hours would be nothing without Betty who is the soul of Betty’s RV Park. Her friendship and wonderful sense of humor are a true delight for all those in attendance . Without Betty this RV park would be… well…. just another ordinary RV Park! No one comes to Betty’s RV Park to stay for it’s amenities they all come here to stay because of Betty! Many extend their stay way beyond their original planned stay because Betty ensures each and every guest has a great time.


One thing about extending your stay is that you will probably be involved in the famous “Betty’s Shuffle” which means you will find yourself moving from one site to another in order to stay a few more days. In our month plus two day stay we did the Betty’s Shuffle twice. But it isn’t only the shuffle Betty’s is known for… Betty’s is best known as a small, extremely friendly RV Park that most will want to stay at longer and return to more often than any other park in North America. Yes it can even happen to you as it has happened to us… that is, being caught in Betty’s Web! And really!!! Where else in America will they throw a going away party for you… of, course they do so after you leave Betty’s…

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

St. Martinville, Disc Golf, a Road Treat and Friends…


Nearing the end of our stay at Betty’s RV Park we thought we would head over to St. Martinville LA for a stroll around the town square. On our way over we passed a leveed pond that was full of birds including a large flock of Roseate Spoonbills, Fun seeing them again but on to St. Martinville. Incorporated  in 1817, it was then the sixth named city in the State of Louisiana. St. Martinville has many old buildings that are  architecturally interesting.

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One of the neatest is the historic St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church on Main Street. The church was dedicated to Martin of Tours in France and in its square can be found the Statue of Evangeline. She is the Acadian heroine that was made famous in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Evangeline." The church is beautiful both inside and out. 

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We also visited nearby New Iberia where we stopped and played some disc golf at the Magnolia Disc Golf Course at a park just outside of town. We love to play disc golf and this park had a very open feel but there were quite a few water hazards to contend with. It was along the Bayou Teche which was still very swollen because of the rains north of here.

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After disc golf we had to have lunch at another Louisiana Road Treat, the Bon Creole Lunch Counter. We never had been there but had always heard such good things about their food that we had to finally pay it a visit. We’ve had poorboys all over this part Louisiana the shrimp po'boy we had at Bon Creole was one of the best we've had. We still like Olde Tyme Grocery in Lafayette a little better but no one packs as many shrimp in their po'boy as Bon Creole does!


We continue to have a good time here at Betty's and still get out for our walks. We went down to Palmetto Island State Park again to walk in the park there. However, this time we also had an objective which was to meet up with some RV friends staying there whom we hadn’t seen since we were in Washington State. We had lunch at their campsite and took a nice long walk with our friends Barbie and Rick. Even funnier as we were touring the park's cabins, a pick-up truck stopped and yelled at us.  It turned out to be more RV friends (Doris and Gary) whom we all hadn’t seen in two years. Go figure!


Yes this life on the Road of Retirement is not only full of scenery and fun, but very rich in friendships…

Saturday, March 19, 2016

More Fun Times at Betty’s RV Park…

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One thing about staying at Betty’s during the spring season is that there is always lots of activities happening on the weekends. We have been to several festivals and music jams. One of the places that hosts a Cajun music jam (Touchets) is frequented by RV’ers from all over the place who all stay at Betty’s RV Park. When we go to Touchets it is like visiting family. So much so that one afternoon Calvin and Donna Touchet (owners of Touchets) actually came to Betty’s and made all the people here a fabulous dinner as a thank you for our patronage. What a feast we had and we towards the end of the evening Bernie was serving up his famous Alligator Farts.

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A while back one of the people in the park (Jean Paul from Quebec, Canada) had a birthday that we all wanted to celebrate. To make it more memorable we combined it with a pot-luck and a beer tasting event. Everyone at the park brought a few different beers and we all filled our little cups to sample beers from all over the USA, as well as the world for that matter.

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Jean Paul sure seemed to enjoy this festive event as did all the other patrons at Betty’s RV Park. With all that great food, great beer and great friends at the party how could we not have fun? We may have to make sure we come back next year during John Paul’s birthday since we had such a blast this year.

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Recently we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day so we decided it would best be celebrated by another gathering at Betty’s. Several people got together to purchase and cook us all some corned beef and cabbage along with some great sides and desserts.We all chipped in for the supplies and had yet another fun filled evening with lots of laughter and camaraderie. We always seem to have a great time here at Betty’s RV.

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However as we get closer to our time to depart our eyes are focused on the Interstate 10 closure at the Texas-Louisiana border. We are sure hoping it will open before we head out on Monday otherwise we are going to have to come up with an alternate plan to make our way over to College Station, Texas…