Everything’s Better with Hot Sauce On It!

After a relaxing, yet quite busy, month in Bradenton, Florida, on February 1, we hopped in the motorhome and took a short journey up to Quail Run RV Resort to spend the night close to my mother and take her out to dinner. At 91, she continues to remain very active with various organizations and friends – let’s hope I received some of those longevity genes!

The following morning we left earlier than usual to put in a long day on the rode with plenty of time to get settled before the Super Bowl. As Bill says, “Karen does some major driving from the passenger’s seat,” but Sunday’s travel was stress-free – Interstate 10 just keeps on going, and the panhandle of Florida is pretty barren.

Monday we left our overnight campground, our goal being to make it to Lafayette, Louisiana. I know I’ve written this before, but one of the greatest things about traveling and workamping is the ability to accumulate a tremendous number of friends. I just happened to text Linda, one of the gals I work with in Cape Cod, and lo and behold, she and her husband Brian, were in Mississippi! Within an hour we arranged to meet at a truck stop and were able to spend an hour catching up on each other’s winter adventures! You never know when one of these opportunities will present itself – try never to pass one up!

IMG_7799Even after our slight diversion, we stopped at the Lafayette KOA with time to visit the TABASCO Factory in Avery Island, LA. – what a great stop! The hot sauce that has become the standard throughout the world, was invented by a New Orleans banker, Edmund McIlhenny, in 1868. Since then, five generations have continued the process on Avery Island, the process we witnessed first hand!

With there being so many hot sauces on the market today, TABASCO is created from a simple recipe. Tabasco peppers are picked when perfectly ripe, ground up with a little salt to create a mash, which is aged for up to three years in oak barrels. Following the aging process, the peppers are mixed with just salt, pepper and natural vinegar and then sent to the factory to be bottled, capped, labeled, boxed and shipped to over 180 countries! Hundreds of thousands of bottles are completed every day – on the day we visited, at 3:30 p.m. there were over 560,000 bottles – of all 7 varieties – ready to go!!

Prior to the plant tour, we took in the TABASCO Museum, and then following the tour, we visited the TABASCO Country Store, where we met Julicia and Dixie, two young women in charge of the tasting bar! We sampled everything from TABASCO chili sauce to honey and from okra to pepper jelly! Of course, we couldn’t leave empty-handed! Another piece of TABASCO trivia…A TABASCO commercial has been named one of the all-time best Super Bowl ads! Do you remember Super Bowl XXXIII…a man relaxes on his porch as he douses his piece of pizza with TABASCO; a mosquito lands on the pizza, takes a bite, and flies away as he explodes! So glad we took the time to discover the TABASCO factory!

Throughout your life, and certainly when traveling, there are just some things worth repeating. Don’s Seafood in Lafayette is such a place! If you’re one of my followers, you know we ate at Don’s Seafood last year and were treated to a quick culinary course – “Eating Cajun 101.” This year, we built on that knowledge and enjoyed another wonderful meal – seafood gumbo, boudin balls and charbroiled oysters (to die for!)

On Tuesday, February 4, we reached our destination – Traveler’s World RV Resort in San Antonio, Texas, where we will remain until the end of March. Having worked at this location for two winters, we feel very comfortable here and have reunited with many friends. Although the temperature this morning was 31, we feel confident that it was just a blip in the meteorological universe – let’s hope so, as we have places to go, people to meet and lots of golf to play!

IMG_7821For our first meal in San Antonio we went to Tito’s in the King William section of the city. Oh my goodness! In addition to the margaritas, I tried New Mexican hatch enchiladas and Bill had a shrimp fajita platter. What, you ask, is a New Mexican hatch? As our server, Leobardo, explained, hatch green chiles are grown in New Mexico and are only available in San Antonio during July. Tito’s buy them in bulk and freezes them so they are able to offer them throughout the year! Can I tell you how delicious they were?!

We had a great journey to San Antonio and look forward to two more months of new experiences – and some repeated ones – by choice!

Stay Calm and Travel On…

 


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