For the first Christmas in a long time we are not spending it in Florida. We have been parked in Beaux Bridge Louisiana for the past five days at the Cajun Palms RV Resort. Our first morning here we were treated to the sights and sounds of the farmers cutting and transporting sugar cane from the field right next to the park. Quite a process as you can see from the picture below. While here we were able to drive down to New Iberia LA and visit the Konriko Rice Mill and pick up a bag of Jo's favorite Pecan Rice, which smells like popcorn when cooking. We had a new off air antenna installed at the Camping World in Hammond LA on our way here so we can receive the local TV stations. It is always nice to see what is going on around the area we are visiting. Our first night here while watching the Baton Rouge newscast we found out about a local Christmas Eve custom down on the levees of the Mississippi River. It seems that in the days before bridges crossed the river the locals, who are almost all Catholic, would build fires on the north banks of the river so those on the south bank could find there way to midnight mass. Over the past 200 years this tradition had continued and today they use the fires to guide Papa Noel up the river so he can deliver his presents to the children. But from what we saw while walking the levee in the town of Gramercy it is also a great excuse to have a party and set off lots of fireworks. There are about 125 structures built along the levee some as intricate as a whole house, to the what seems to be more traditional a 20 foot teepee type tower. While walking the levee before they set the fires at 7pm we talked to some of the most friendly folks you could ever met. We had numerous offers to join them for Gumbo that they were cooking on the spot. Sort of a day long tailgate.
We have a few decorations here in the RV and today for Christmas Dinner we are going to have grilled BBQ Shrimp and Pimento cheese grits. Tomorrow we head west and then south into Texas.