We recently visited Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin for a real Cajun experience. Our original vacation plans were put on hold due to my fear over the pandemic, specifically about flying into south Florida. Meanwhile, Colt had talking nonstop about an “Outdoor Boys” video about this place they’d visited in Louisiana, so Troy looked into it and made that happen. It was a fantastic trip, and one that we won’t soon forget! Our hosts Stafford and Belinda, their sweet dog Dixie, and their friend Paul were phenomenal! They shared their home and cooked every meal for us. While it was a VERY socially distant vacation, it felt like we were visiting family. We made lots of memories along the way to and from Louisiana that I’ll share.Troy, Jamie, and Colt Travis
Deep in the bayou of Louisiana we stayed off the grid and had an amazing time with Stafford and Belinda on their house boat at The Cajun Experience. They spoiled us and Stafford was right when he said “your son will not want to leave.” We want to go back and take Charissa with us. Although we lacked nothing with having three generators running the house boat and ate like champs, the experience is not for everyone. We caught catfish, gar, bass(15 in one spot), crawfish, frogs, and blue crab! Catching all those was just a normal day in the bayou. Stafford taught us the ways of the bayou, but also about techniques that Davis has already implemented in his fishing. We got to see some incredible sunrises and sunsets which Davis I talked about not missing out on God’s beauty along the way. It was peaceful for my soul.
We saw very few boats as six lakes were connected , and we were at the farthest point. Stafford’s boat has over 2,000 hours in three years. That’s how well he knows the bayou. As he stated,”I’m glad to have you along with me to do what I enjoy doing here.” Stafford quickly saw Davis’s passion for everything we were doing, and they started jabbing each other which was fun to be a bystander too. We had a few GA vs LSU jokes as well. Stafford again showed Davis some techniques for cleaning fish which Davis loves to do as much as catching. Belinda prepared fresh all our meals and made sure we were well cared for. I know it takes a lot of planning and preparation, because the gas, food and supplies are NOT around the corner! Thank you Belinda and Stafford! What a great start to our trip! We can’t wait to see and hug you again! Check out their FB page Cajun Experience.
If you are up for an Ah-Mazing Adventure with the best people on the planet have we got a trip for you!!! Head to the beautiful Bayous of Louisiana with Stafford Cavalier and Belinda Domingue Cavalier at Cajun Experiences R Us!! It’s located in Pierre Part, LA (ya know, home of the Swamp People) and you won’t be disappointed. The best food with breathtaking views along with memories you and your family will keep for a lifetime. Hurry before they realize they are not charging enough for a trip of a lifetime! So good we went 2 times this summer!
I honestly cannot say enough about Cajun Experiences. They completely rocked our world in all the best ways. Our recent visit to the bayou was my 7-year-old’s dream come true. My son, “Big Cat” Sawyer, jug fished and caught a 72-pound alligator gar (or 88 pounds when Stafford added his extra weight to the scale, haha), a 32-pound blue catfish (legit weight), many other good-sized cats of varying types, some huge frogs, and countless memories. We saw more gators than I ever thought possible, bald eagles, herons, and other wildlife. We ate squirrel, gar, and frog like they were all going out of style — so tasty! I always tell Sawyer that we are only guaranteed the exact moment we are living in and so we have to make all those moments count. And, boy, did we with Cajun Experiences, thanks to Stafford, Paul and the lovely Lola. The food, hospitality, laughs, and experiences were the best we’ve ever had, and we travel the world seeking adventure as a family. We typically try to avoid “do overs” to keep exploring new places, but I absolutely assure you that we Minnesotans will be back and soon! My son actually said we have to return in 10 days. Well, it’s really going to be more like seven months if the weekend we are hoping for is clear, and he’s already counting the moments until we return then. Check your email, guys! My next weekend request is waiting for you, and it’s for the big-boy 8th birthday in the bayou. And we sure hope Ms. Lola can join us to celebrate as Sawyer’s new and extra-favorite fishing friend!!
For years, we’ve run around the country (27 states) and across the globe (11 countries) in search of authentic, local experiences that give our boys a view into what life is really like in other places. Often, we’ve been disappointed to find instead, the commercialized, touristy version of life we are trying to avoid. Well, we finally found true authenticity and experienced real culture with Cajun Experiences in the Atchafalaya Basin of Louisiana.
Stafford and Belinda gave us every opportunity to see it, smell it, taste it, and feel it during our stay. From watching alligators bask in the sunlight to eagles snatching fish off the river, we saw it all. We caught all kinds of fish, frogs, and then ate them for dinner. You eat what you catch and nothing goes to waste!
From dawn to dusk and well into the night, Stafford guided us through the bayou, not missing an opportunity to teach us about the life he’s lived and obviously loves. We learned how to catch bait with a cast net, spear fish at night, sneak up on frogs and alligators, and avoid being taken out by flying asian carp! Around every bend of the river was another experience waiting for us.
And throughout our four day adventure with them, Belinda kept us fed full of down home cajun cooking. Gumbo, jambalaya, pastalaya, frog legs (oh, so good), booty balls (my spelling), desserts, fried catfish, came at us by the plateful and was enough to feed an army. Anything we needed, anytime, she was there for us before we asked.
The experience they gave us was the highlight of our year! Their hospitality and welcoming presence put us all at ease and made us feel at home, truly. Can’t wait for our next visit! John Toth