Samantha Brown's Places to Love

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Lafayette and Cajun Country, La

Arriving at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is certainly entertaining for Samantha, who is instantly engulfed in dance and music (Cajun and Zydeco), and gets to watch band favorites jam before packed crowds. Piquing her musical interest, Samantha ventures off to Martin Accordions, who have been crafting custom accordions for major Cajun and Zydeco stars for decades. With a full understanding of the local music, Samantha gets her step on by visiting Glide Studios and learns how the locals dance, Cajun-style. In this neck of the woods, if you are going to eat it better have a spicy kick to do it, as Samantha finds out first-hand after visiting Tabasco and talking John Simmons, a 6th generation family member, about harvesting peppers, the 5 year process it takes to actually bottle the sauce and its global stamp. Hot sauce in check, Samantha takes to the water and farms crawfish with a local farmer, who invites her afterward to a family crawfish boil. Another important component in understanding Lafayette is its deep French history, which includes the derivation of Cajun and how the local culture came to evolve. Samantha learns all about this while visiting the historic village of Vermilionville. What's visiting Louisiana without taking ride into the Bayou? Samantha does just that, as she takes a kayak tour through the swamps and learns about its natural habitats and geological importance. To cap off her trip, Samantha attends a performance by the legendary Magnolia Sisters, an all-female Cajun band, and dances Cajun-style with the locals at the popular Blue Moon Saloon.

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