Zydeco in the Morning?

The slab-slamming cement road to Breaux Bridge proved to be long and brutal, with our rig porpoising horribly the whole way. When we arrived at the Poche Fish ‘n’ Camp RV Park feeling bruised and battered, we really missed ‘Happy Hour’ at Betty’s: so much so that we just settled the ePod and headed out for an early dinner.

The Pont Breaux, proved to be an excellent Cajun restaurant where a local band played and people danced while we enjoyed some lovely gumbo, followed by wonderfully grilled shrimp and catfish. One couple of a certain age, danced their Cajun steps with such precision and solemn joy; probably had been doing so together for at least 50 years. A younger woman, stepping alone, playing a triangle, orbited the other dancers, to stop and teach children how to play that traditional percussion instrument of Cajun music, forged from old hay-rake tines. Such a rich culture and it’s being kept alive!

The big draw in Breaux Bridge, besides the drawbridge, is Café Des Amis. Now, this Café was a bit more of a challenge to get to. It’s famous for it’s Saturday morning Zydeco breakfast. Breakfast is served at 8 and you want to be sure you make it for the first sitting, so you get up early–in our case 5:45. We drove in a dense fog, before sunrise, depending on Garmina to get us there to get in line early. We were so glad we hadn’t tried to make that run from Betty’s! We made it by 7, and we were not the first to arrive!

7am on a foggy Saturday

We’re no longer morning people, and don’t generally think musicians are, either, but waiting in the pre-sunrise fog, we watched Corey Ledet and his Zydeco group arrive and carry in all their sound equipment to set up. We struck up a conversation with another waiting couple from Kodiak, Alaska, Cid and Fritz, on a one-week Cajun whirlwind tour.

Waiting in the dim dawn.

Cid & Fritz join us.

The doors open at 8, you pay your $5 cover, and they seat you in any available seat, no empty seats allowed! Sitting with Cid and Fritz, we ordered Bloody Marys with pickled haricots vert, worked our way through a great breakfast of eggs, boudin patties, biscuits and andouille grits while the band continued its set up and sound-check.

Eggs & grits

Boudin omlet & grits

Then the place exploded with Zydeco and the dance floor filled immediately!

We tried to eat slowly, ‘cause when you finish, you lose your seat to others waiting in line. Ordering another Bloody Mary and some beignets stalled for only so long. Then it was dancing until noon!

Cid gets her chance at the rub-board, also known as a frottoir!

Wow, what a day and it’s only noon! Can’t stop now, on to St. Martinville.

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