Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Unexpected Surprises at Parc Hardy: This is How to Celebrate a Birthday!

Saturday morning, I watch Reginald, Leo, and Milford unhitch a humongous size barbecue grill from a pick-up truck and begin unloading cases of chicken, pork chops, and sausage at the Parc Hardy pavilion. They’d noticed our coach just as I had noticed them. So when I waved hello and commented on the food and grill, I heard compliments about our coach. Leo knew coaches, in fact, he and his wife Oraline live as ‘full-time RVers’ too – three years he calculated. They’d come to Breaux Bridge for a family party celebrating Oraline’s sister’s 69th birthday. He invited us to join them when we finished our sightseeing in St. Martinville.

In the early evening, when Ed and I returned from our tour, we were immediately welcomed to the birthday party. A woman handed us each a plate mounded with dirty rice, mac n’ cheese, yams, peas, sausage, chops and chicken. I thought my styrofoam plate would break! I lighted the load by chowing down and quaffing an icy cold beer. This was a Creole feast! My plate couldn’t be emptied. Even when I tried to put the remains in the coach refrigerator, Milford insisted Ed’s and my plates be refilled with food and wrapped in tin foil for the next day. Oraline packaged up six pieces of birthday cake for us too.

The birthday lady sat proud in the shaded pavilion with stacks of cash pinned to her blouse – birthday gifts from friends and family. The music blared. Everyone danced. Leo and Oraline coxed Ed and I to dance too. We did what might have been a sorry version of old time twist. Town councilmen came by to pay their respect and visit with their constituency. Toddlers squirmed from Momma’s lap to Grandma’s then back. Women mixed up more dirty rice in restaurant sized metal bowls. Groups of men erupted with loud laughter. Food, smiles, dancing and fun…they sure know how to throw a party! Thank you for inviting us!

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