Bonjour, je m’appelle Jim Candy. Comment vas-tu? And no, I am neither French nor I am in France right now. I am in Louisiana! This state is also known as the New France, as it was apparently used to be a part of the vast French Colonial Empire. Louisiana was even named after King Louis XIV during his reign from 1643 to 1715, which means Land of Louis in English translation. No wonder when I arrived here in LA, I saw traces of French influence in the building architecture, urban design, food and liquor. I think my Dark Chocolate French Mint Truffle will be perfect to the taste buds of the locals here. And because I want to make the most out of my 1-day French lifestyle in LA, I have decided to check in at A Chateau on the Bayou Bed & Breakfast hotel. It does sound like having a taste of southern France, or dining in a popular Chateau restaurant in Los Angeles, CA.
A Chateau is only half an hour from the airport in New Orleans and conveniently located near tourist attractions, golf courses and classy restaurants. I particularly found the state’s history and culture interesting. With its rich historic background, I expect to see plenty of war and art museums, cultural convention centers and to experience its culturally-diverse communities. Just like this Dark Chocolate French Mint Truffle, Louisiana once had a bittersweet past caused by its colonial masters that has long been forgiven by its people, but the French influence will never be forgotten. And thus, the truffle and French words in my chocolate’s name. Alright, things are getting nostalgic a little bit. I have got to unpack my things now and catch up some sleep.
Because I want to start the day with extreme adventure, I have decided to book a tour at Cajun Pride Swamp Tour. The concierge picked me up from my hotel and brought me to downtown area of New Orleans where this privately owned swap is located. While entering Cajun Pride, I first noticed the green scenery which makes the atmosphere very refreshing. The environment is cool and comforting, with the cicadas and birds trilling in the background. I feel so energized that I am ready to face the extreme wildlife adventure, even though I have great fear of crocodiles!
We started the 1 hour and 45 minute tour. We come aboard into a barge specially made for tourists. The barge has a small platform at the left wing to allow the tour guide to bait a crocodile with fresh meat. After a few seconds, a medium-sized crocodile jumped up to eat the poor chicken meat! I was not taken aback though, as I was stunned by the sight of the crocodile before me. It was a moment of an exhilarating experience that I will not soon forget. After the swamp tour, the guests have been invited to eat for lunch. The food looks fresh, most of which are seafood delicacies. The food and buffet table arrangement looks luxurious, giving us an insight how French people dine in a formal way.
I spent the rest of the day at the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission. The eclectic community, live music and astonishing cuisines are simply incomparable. I enjoyed eating Cajun French and Creole, which really made me feel like I am in France. More importantly, the people here speak in French, as in some of them are natives of France. I tried to talk to one of the strangers, but he could not really understand me so I tried to offer him Dark Chocolate French Mint Truffle to see if it reminded him of Marie Antoinette’s love for sweets and cakes. Of course, I was kidding about Marie Antoinette.
My one-off travel and tour in Louisiana has been truly amazing. I wish to come back as soon as I can!
Au revoir et a demain, LA!