February 18, 2012

Wild Weather in Acadiana

Tim and I had a great time in New Orleans, but it was time to leave yesterday morning. Thousands more people were starting to arrive for the height of the Mardi Gras festivities, and the crowds and traffic were becoming a nightmare.  We had had our fun on Thursday night and didn’t feel the need to experience any more of the madness.  Looking back on our decision today, we are even happier that we left, given the mass of severe weather that is hitting the city and forcing the rescheduling and/or rerouting of all the parades.

Kitty Wanted to Wear Her Beads Before We Left New Orleans
We took the southern route from New Orleans and drove through bayou country and the heart of the Mississippi River Delta.  This area is often referred to as Acadiana and contains some of the youngest land in North America.  It was settled in the late 1700s by French Acadians, or Cajuns, who were driven from Nova Scotia by the British.  The Cajuns were newcomers, a people apart from the French-speaking, native born Creoles, who had lived here since the founding of the Louisiana colony by France in 1699.  Both cultures have shaped this region into one like nowhere else in the world.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve tells the story of Louisiana’s Mississippi River Delta.  It is the most dispersed of all the parks with six sites from Eunice and Lafayette on the west to New Orleans on the east.  We stopped at the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux, where very helpful rangers explained both the geographic and cultural history of the region.

The Flowers Are Even Prettier Down Here
I Love Flowering Trees
It was there that we learned of the severe weather system that was headed our way.  We had planned to camp near New Iberia, but thought a nice hotel in Lafayette would be the best bet.  It turned out to be a wise move, as we watched tornado-producing clouds pass outside our window this morning.  Six severe weather alerts, from possible tornados to severe thunderstorms to imminent flooding were on the board at the same time.  Wow!  The storms have passed us by, and we’re just fine, but we’re getting a bit weary of having to dodge such severe weather every few weeks.

It's Headed Right Toward Us!
Wow!  Six Alerts for Us!


  1. I have see the weather reports on the weather Chanel .glad you are safe. Kitty. Sure looks great again with her beads. She will probably want to wear them from now on. Love A

    1. A, The weather was a little scary today, and I'm glad we decided to stay in a hotel. You may be right about Kitty and her beads. She seems to be quite fond of them. Sarah

  2. Welcome to spring time in the south! Extreme weather and beautiful flowers.. So glad to see a magnolia in blossom. We can't grow them here and I miss the ones in Md. Glad today's weather is looking better for you. That Kitty has become a fashion plate! ha ha LV

    1. LV, If this is what spring weather is like in the South, I'm not sure I want to stick around! The weather is looking up, however, so we're looking forward to a dry, sunny week (at least the first few days). We really are enjoying the flowers that are starting to bloom. That's one of the best parts. Sarah