For the first time since beginning the trip, Choppy and I are in a house again! I think Choppy is wondering why we don’t stay in a house every night, as she seems to be even more contented with the house than she was the first night back in a hotel after a week camping.

Before we got here, however, there was a little bit of a road trip from Baton Rouge to Houston. Rather than just describe it, I have a few pictures to illustrate the day. However, not intending to make a picture post, the pictures are entirely random, and don’t actually take the day from beginning to end, for those of you expecting a timeline of our day (though now that I think about it, that is a good idea to do some day for a post. Or maybe more than once).

Coke CrawfishYou know you are in Louisiana when the Coke at Wal-Mart is formed into the shape of a crawfish. Also? I’m pretty sure everyone at Wal-Mart thought I was crazy for taking a picture of a random Coke display.

Tabasco BottlesChoppy and I started the day in Baton Rouge. I originally intended to take her to a state park somewhere along the drive for a nice hike. However, those plans were thwarted when I saw an advertisement for the Tabasco factory. Charlotte and I had looked at potentially going to the day before, but it was too far out of the way for us, after the lock incident. However, the billboard advertisement reminded me of it, so we detoured to the Tabasco factory instead of a state park. As I got four free mini Tabasco bottles, it was definitely worth the trip (particularly as the factory tour was free. Well, sort of. You have to pay $1.00 to cross a toll bridge, so I guess it’s not entirely free).

Choppy and Gator WarningThe Tabasco factory is on an island – Avery Island. Random fact I learned while on the Island: it sits on a salt deposit that is larger than Mount Everest. That’s a lot of salt (happily, none of this salt has been needed on roads since I headed south. Things I don’t miss: ice and snow). However, being an island in Louisiana, Avery Island comes with added excitement in the form of alligators, none of which seemed to be out, and the few I saw disappeared underwater before I could snap pictures of them. Choppy was unconcerned.

Rayne SignDown the road a bit, in Rayne, Louisiana, the Frog Capital of the World. Though I don’t know whether this is because of the number of frogs in town or the number of French people (insert rim shot here). Absolutely unrelatedly (and only because I find it amusing), according to the city’s website, the city used to be called Pouppeville. I can’t imagine why they changed it.

McDonald's Rayne FrogI somehow missed the giant frog statue that is in Rayne (a mistake I will not repeat if I come through town again). However, this jaunty fellow welcomes you to the Rayne McDonald’s (note the Golden Arches on his suit jacket). So that’s a small consolation.

Speed Limit 75On to Texas! Where I approve of their high speed limit. Also? You know you are in a large state when the mileage markers start in the high 800s, and the first mileage sign you see lists El Paso as being 857 miles away. I guess we’ll be here for awhile.