Lake Charles, LA and Houston, TX (Big Texas – South)…

I had a really nice day, today, but unfortunately, I don’t have any photos to share with you.  My apologies.

My timing, all day, seemed to unfold as I had hoped.  The gods of the highways must have taken pity on me.

In my trip-planning, I found a little Creole restaurant in Lake Charles, LA…just a little off my route…that looked like it might have some good, authentic food.  As it turned out, it was a little different than I imagined.  It was a little wood cottage, away from any shopping, with an interior remodeled into a very plain, straightforward kitchen and small dining area.  I think it’s mostly take-out.

There was only one other person eating when I arrived, and he knew the owner, who was also the sole other person there.  William, the owner, was in the kitchen most of the time, but kept either calling to me, or coming out to check on how I was doing with the chicken I ordered.  He was extremely friendly.

As always, when I meet people on the road, I told William where I’m from and explained my trip, which typically starts great conversations.  I asked him about the chicken, whether it was bar-be-qued.  William explained that, yes it was, and that all of his BBQ is Creole-style pit-BBQ.  I had never heard of Creole BBQ (which means absolutely nothing), so William explained that he starts bar-be-queing his chicken, pork ribs and pork steak at 4:00 a.m. every morning…which explains why the chicken I was enjoying tasted so good.  It was a very mild bar-be-que.

And when I told William how great it tasted, he disappeared back into the kitchen, re-emerged with a hand-sized slab of boneless bar-be-que pork ribs, and promptly laid it on top of my chicken.

So, this was how my lunch went…just me and William getting to know each other a little, and me stuffing myself with Creole-style BBQ.

As William explained to me, the restaurant is called Jean’s (after his mother) Creole Cooking & BBQ.  It was an unexpected, unique experience.  I felt honored that William wanted to chat with me, and spoil me with his BBQ.

Oh!  I guess I lied.  Here is William and his restaurant.

Then, I was off to drive the length of the Bolivar Peninsula, east of Houston, and stop at Stingaree Restaurant in Crystal Beach on the Peninsula.  As with the Pontchartrain Causeway, driving the peninsula felt like seeing an old friend.  I feel increasingly like I have found a second home in these places.

Sadly, William had done such a good job of stuffing me to the gills, that I only had room for dessert at Stingaree…some amazing Key Lime pie (Note: in my normal life, I live on low-fat yogurt, bananas, etc., so all of this comfort food is a real treat for me).

From Stingaree, I continued south on the peninsula to the ferry over to Galveston, and got on the ferry immediately.  Usually, there’s a line.

From Galveston, I headed to my hotel in southeast Houston, quickly changed, and headed out to Big Texas – South, my destination dance hall for the evening, which turned out to be only a couple of miles from my hotel.

At Big Texas, I immediately joined in on the beginner waltz class that had just started.  Since they rotate partners, I had the opportunity to introduce myself to a lot of women/followers.  So, when the open dancing started, I just started asking women up for dances…mostly Two-Step and West Coast Swing.  I also started chatting with some of the women, and ended up having a few lengthy conversations about the dance scene, and about dancing in other areas of Texas, where they grew up.

Everyone was really friendly.  It was so easy to chat and ask women up to dance.

A funny thing was, however, that the triple-rhythm dance that everyone was doing, and calling Polka, was yet another variation on this dance.  The steps were all triples…no walk-walks…and it was a Country Polka.  I can’t win, for losing.

Fortunately, this DJ played a lot of Two-Step, so I was a happy camper.

Tomorrow, I’m heading out to the Texas Hill Country for four days of scenic drives during the day, and dancing at night.  My posting might get spotty, or even absent, for these next few days, so I apologize.  I’ll be posting the details of the next few days in another “Prelude” article that I wrote during my planning, to try to save myself some time on the road.

I will write more as soon as I am able, but please don’t mind or be concerned if I don’t surface for these few days.  Thanks for following this little adventure.  Hope it’s giving you some ideas for your own.

Oops!  I guess I lied about pics from Big Texas, too.  These are just a few random pics of line-dancing from tonight.  I was really too busy chatting and dancing to spend much time trying to capture more images.  Sorry.

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