Mom wanted to hit Lake Charles, so a quickie day trip was born. The Lake Charles Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau was our first stop and we got greeted by a topiary alligator outside, a crawler in the lobby, and Clotile, one of several gator art works gracing the inside. The bureau will offer you a stop to enjoy a cup of Community Coffee while viewing the lake, pose with Jean Lafitte, pick up a fleur di lis key chain or brochures on the Boudin Trail.
I read a book, shopped and took in the beach at L’Auberge du Lac while she did her best at the casino and I got a Le Café lunch treat of very good gumbo.
A super-cool end-of-day treat was attending a reception at Gallery by the Lake, an Associated Louisiana Artists group. Artist Barbara Haviland had some Cajun scenes on display and sometimes gives classes at this downtown Lake Charles gallery. I loved visiting with her and her husband, Sam, who I know through Texas Artists Museum. Everyone at the gallery treated us like Port Arthur royalty, and we also loved some giant chocolate chip cookies from nearby Sweets & Treats. I called them “bombs” and my husband and I agreed they were in the top cc cookies we’d ever experienced. We kept thinking the baker must have a different name for them, but they’re simply known as cookies over there.
Joey Elizondo of Giuseppe’s Sicilian Restaurant in Port Neches said he’s proud that Port Arthur News readers voted his restaurant as having the “Best Lasagna.”
“I think Stouffer’s is going to send a hit man out on me,” he joked.
He was totally joking.
Sea Rim's new West Dune Boardwalk
Summer 2013 won’t be complete without your family’s visit to Sea Rim State Park, which has some new features to show off. The West Dune Boardwalk is a big, showy gateway to five miles of natural beach and there’s a rinse-off area so that you don’t take home all that sand. Take a marsh walk on the improved Gambusia Nature Trail, then head across the street to the park’s marsh unit. Come with your flat-bottom boat, canoe or kyak and hit the new paddle trails.
These are the latest in a series of park renovations, Ben Herman, superintendent, said. The boardwalk area includes a fence for sand and foliage build up so dunes can build up. Herman is hoping for 20 feet of dune to replace those lost to hurricanes.
Improved camping provisions and roadways are in the works. Regular park admission is $3 a person. The park entrance is on Texas 87 South, 10 miles west of Sabine Pass. For details, call Herman at (409) 971-2559.