Day 190 – 3/8/21 Lake Charles, Louisiana.

We had a nice day checking out the Lake Charles area, and finishing up with an awesome sea food boil at Fiery Crab.

It is a colder morning here, at least for what we were expecting.  It’s 45F right now, but it will warm up later in the day and we’ll hit 73F, so it will be a nice sunny day.  I woke up at my usual time, and as I was working on making my coffee, Bella woke up on her own.  It’s 6:30 and she’s up, and ready to go.  I got her computer ready, her cereal and she’s going.  Soon after that, the sun peaked out in the horizon.  The trailer is kind of facing the sunrise, so it’s not a great view from here, but I could catch a bit of it through the window.  We are hoping to get out today and check out some nature trail place, and tomorrow go downtown and see it, and have dinner there.

As I was trying to write here, and Bella was working on some school work, she started asking questions about the work, and throwing a fit that she was not understanding or what not.  She then threw a tantrum due to school work.  I was upset and told her I was, and that she was disrupting the morning routine, so I sent her to her bunk and took her phone away for the day.  She just doesn’t want to do work sometimes, just guessing answers and getting frustrated she can’t just figure out the answers.  She was in her bunk drawing then for a while and came out later to work on her school stuff.  From that point on, she did great and got all the work done without complaining, asked for help properly when needed, and even got some back math work all done by the end of the morning.  Rocky start, but good finish.  Still decided on no electronics for the day.

Bia was up at 7:30 and just did her usual thing, did her classes, asked the teacher a few questions and got it all done.  We encouraged her to ask the teacher again rather than us, as the teacher wanted that so she could better gauge Bia’s understanding and she said she preferred that participation, so that’s what we did and I think it worked well.

Carol worked on laundry and lunch this morning.  She had our bedding to do, and towels.  Lunch was great, rice, beans and grilled chicken.  She also made a crab cake recipe which turned out great.  And Carol helped Bella with some school work as well, with time based math.

I did some writing after the girls were up and going and finished what I had to write, then did some work emails, caught up on some reading and went for a run.  I ran around the neighborhood here, and had a nice run.  We kind of heard this area was hit by a hurricane last August (2020), and during my run, I could totally tell.  Many areas were pretty destroyed, many homes tore down, and broken.  It felt like half of the homes were completely restarted, and a quarter had not been touched, with the other quarter being fixed up as best as they can.  Some of those fixes meant just putting a big tarp over the roof.  It’s sad to think about how tough it must have been and still be for the people around here.  This is a lower income neighborhood and it’s likely very difficult to recover from this.  As I was getting back to the trailer, I took a picture of one of the houses that has not been touched and is right by the rv park, and right after I took the picture, the screen door in the front slammed… hahahahah… there was no-one there, just the wind blowing it, but it almost felt like it was a sign.  Ghosts?  Anyway, after I got back, I showered and we had lunch and planned what to do in the afternoon.

Oh, and late morning or close to lunch, we got an email from kids school, from the Principal, strongly encouraging in person return for the last quarter.  Well, we know where this will go, we can’t be back for that.  I’ll reply tomorrow thanking them for reaching out, and for supporting virtual schooling, we are indeed very appreciative and thankful that this option is there for us.

After lunch, we all started getting ready to leave.  We did dishes, cleaned up a bit, and left to the Creole Nature Trail, starting at Adventure Point.

This is a driving trail which goes around a lot of smaller towns, from Lake Charles to the shore by Holly Beach, then up towards Creole and back up to Lake Charles.  We stopped at Adventure Point, which is like their visitor center, so we could get maps and info on what to see on the way.  The lady was like “well, there’s really nothing, it’s all closed due to the last hurricane, so all you can do is the drive”.  Well, that was a first, that the visitor center actually tells us there’s nothing to see.  But, the more we talked, we felt like it was worth the 100 some mile drive to see the bayous, shore, areas where they fish for crawfish, etc.  We also got a flier for some alligator place where you can actually hold a baby alligator and Bella immediately said she wants to go there, so we’ll see if we go tomorrow since it’s a bit out of the way today.

We then left for our drive through the Creole Nature Trail.  The drive is pretty flat, and the scenery changes from town, to lots of water and land areas, not quite swamps, but kind of like that.  Then we get to the shore, by Holly Beach.  There’s a little bit of a village there, with lots of places still down from being destroyed by the hurricane.  Some being fixed and some already fixed.  It looks like a nice little beach area, formed similar to Galveston I think, but it’s tiny and still destroyed.  We kept driving east towards Creole.  We saw lots of different types of birds, but no alligators.  We saw some more oil refineries, and then we had to take a car ferry to continue.  That was cool, and it was the first time the girls have been in a ferry.  We got super lucky as the ferry was just waiting for a few more cars, and we got in, then one more and we were out.  No waiting at all.  It was less than ten minutes of riding time.  While on the ride, we were all enjoying the birds flying around, especially the big pelicans.

Once we got to creole, which is also pretty small, we could see total destruction there.  Pretty much everything there had been destroyed.  They are still working on clean up.  Most houses down and likely as they were.  Some had some cleaned up and we could see the foundations only, with rubble covering most of it.  It was pretty crazy.  The girls were a bit impressed with the reality of a post hurricane place, and how the hurricane did so much damage.  There were indeed no places to stop, so we just drove past it and then kept going back towards Lake Charles. 

Carol looked for places to eat some authentic food, but most places are closed.  We drove to the lake front first and I parked by the lake, in a park.  Awesome views from there with the sun setting behind the lake. 

Then I found a place nearby called Fiery Crab and we went there.  I let Carol choose as she wanted to share a seafood boil, and I would have gotten something too spicy for her.  Bia got a shrimp basket and Bella got catfish, but later asked for shrimp as she didnt like the fish.  Carol got us calamari to start, and a seafood boil with crab, shrimp, sausage and craw fish.  It also came with potatoes and corn.  She picked a seasoning that was mild, but it was great for me, and she said her mouth was on fire. hahahahah.  We had to ask the server to teach us how to eat crawfish as we had never had it. Pretty easy.  Grab it by the middle, and break off the tail from the body gently twisting.  The meat with come out of the body with the tail.  Then you peel off the shell from the meat and enjoy.  On the bigger ones, you could try to get some meat from the claws, but not much there.  It was all delicious!  I loved it all and we ate the whole thing.  Awesome food.  I can’t wait to order my own plate and get it Louisiana style, which is the hottest they have. Hahahaha

On the way back home, we got ice cream at the nearby MacDonalds, which was packed and the drive through took over 15 minutes.  Then we got back and it was past 8, so we rushed to get the girls done with showers and in bed.  After checking some emails and stuff, I called it a night as well.  It was a warmer night, but it was going to cool down, so I put the furnace on just in case.

We had a nice day checking out the Creole Nature trail and eating some local food, yum!

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