Road Trip Day 7 - To Avery Island, Louisiana

Had an amazingly slow breakfast at the hotel, but at least I got a rubbery waffle and a one egg omelette (with no fillings) for my 45 minute wait. I also had an interesting conversation with an couple who had strong opinions about Rihanna, Scientology, Tom Cruise, and John Travolta.

Crossed the Mississippi River from Natchez into Louisiana.
Stopped at a very nice Louisiana State Welcome Center in Vidalia.
After a leisurely four hour drive, I arrived at Avery Island (via Alexandria and Lafayette).
Avery Island is, of course, the home of Tabasco Sauce. I stopped at a rather humorous toll house (on the right side of the road) where a friendly Cajun man passes you a pamphlet then collects your one dollar using a long stick with a clothespin at the end. After paying the toll, you cross a "bridge" about 15 feet long (which you really may not recognize as a bridge). Avery Island has two primary attractions:
The factory tour consists of a brief video about the history of Tabasco Sauce, the McIlhenny family, and Avery Island. After the video, you walk through a viewing area above a bottling line in the factory, and then to a display area. Each visitor gets several free mini-bottles of Tabasco Sauce.
The Tabasco Country Store has a special meaning to me, because it is featured in one of my favorite slot machines. I spent a lot of time in the store looking at many Tabasco and spice themed items which I had not seen before. I made half of a meal at the free tasting bar and then ate an order of excellent Crawfish Étouffée at the picnic tables outside. I could not resist a few souvenirs from the store, including some Tabasco Earrings, Tabasco Potholders, Tabasco Refrigerator Magnets, and some Spicy Pickles. I found the Tabasco Factory tour and Country Store very enjoyable and worthwhile.
After all the time I spent in the store, visiting the Jungle Garden was not really an option as it was approaching 5 o'clock. I stayed at a Best Western Hotel in New Iberia which was quite nice (and only about $61 + tax using a coupon from a hotel book which I picked up at the welcome center). One interesting thing about this hotel was the notice placed prominently in the room:
I was quite happy that I did not receive any calls during my stay about gas leaks.