On Saturday, Rachel and I ventured downtown for the Food Truck Throwdown. We arrived a little after 1:00pm, waited in forever-long lines and finally settled at a table with a quesadilla and torta to sample. Per usual, Tex was a sticky-fingered-kid magnet. Our favorite visitor couldn’t have been older than seven and quickly learned that Tex will put his paw in your hand if you hold it out in front of him. After shaking his paw over 20 times, he was beside himself and yelled to his father, “DAD. THIS DOG LOVES TO SHAKE!” and then turned to us and said, “I really hope I see you guys again.”
We bid farewell and began walking back to the car when Tex stopped to pee on the sidewalk, in the middle of downtown, cars whizzing by, after I had taken him into the grass not 20 minutes prior. Assuming it could be worse and probably not the first time someone had peed there, we ventured on. As we made it to the second-level of the parking garage and just rounded the corner to our row, Tex stopped. Stopped to squat and take a poop in the parking garage. I kid you not.
Later that afternoon, we headed to Erin’s house on Lake Bistineau. She had invited us over because her friends were planning to participate in an upcoming BBQ competition and needed to practice — we were all too willing to take one for the team.
We tried paddle boarding again and were met with the same results – I provided a personal diving board for Tex as he continued to swim between the boards. I’m not sure if it makes him uneasy when the other person isn’t within reach but I am hoping he grows out of this phase and will eventually just chill out and lay-down on the board. Like all those cool dogs I see on Instagram.
When we made it back from the lake, we were met with a feast of BBQ ribs, brisket, salads and roasted vegetables. Little did we know, heaven on a plate was minutes away: fried ribs. I know, I know – anything fried is good, just ask the people that eat fried butter. But I’m telling you, this was amazing. The exterior was savory with just the right crunch and as soon as you bit into it, the juices and rich BBQ flavor dominated your taste buds. Even an aspiring food reviewer (clearly it’s not my calling) couldn’t convey this perfection through text.
The Hick Beach BBQ Squadron (duo in LSU gear) are competing in the Hot Springs Blues and BBQ festival this weekend. They have a team member for each section of the competition: chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket. I knew that Southerners took their BBQ seriously, like their college football, but I didn’t understand the level of intensity — the Hick Beach team is a group of friends that get together and personally fund their endeavors but they are competing against some teams with budgets upwards of $50k. ALL IN THE NAME OF BARBECUE.
Sunday kicked-off Louisiana’s Craft Brewers Week with a Bikes, Brews and Brunch event at our favorite dog-friendly spot: Marilynn’s Place. As we were leaving I was relishing in how many compliments we recieved about how well-behaved Tex was for a seven-month-old puppy … then as soon as we stepped onto the parking lot, he promptly stopped. Stopped to take a poop. Again. The streak continues.
That afternoon our favorite gals, Sabrina and Stella picked us up for a trip to Cross Lake. As the former owners of two labs, Julie and her husband, Randy were anxious to meet Tex and Stella and spend some time on the water. Randy, boat captain and secret dog-whisperer, loaded all the girls (and Tex) and the coolers into the boat and we slowly took off. As you exit their boat launch, it feels as though you are heading straight into a wall of cypress trees. As we slowly chugged along, the trees seemed to move, revealing a narrow canal that opened to the vast lake.
Princess and the Frog was my only preview of the bayou before moving to Louisiana. For those that haven’t seen it, it’s an animated Disney movie about voodoo magic in south Louisiana and as I rode in the boat through the mossy trees and muddy water, I felt as though I had been transported to the real-life version.