For quite some time I've wanted to spend a day in Abita Springs, Louisiana, as I've heard so much about the place. So yesterday the family poured into our Toyota Highlander and crossed what may or may not be the world's largest bridge. We started off with breakfast in Mandeville at the Kickstand, as we wanted to get something to eat and then rent bicycles to ride on the Tammany Trace, a magnificent rails to trails project. Sadly, the guy who rents out the bikes never showed up, so we drove to the UCM (prounounced You See Um) Museum/Mystery House in Abita.
It's basically a folk art masterpiece, with recycled stuff everywhere. The artist, John Preble, shares my fetish of combining dead animals, as in alligator dogs. He also has these miniature models that move when you push a button. For example, here is one called "Tragedy on Dogpound Road" when a twister hits a mobile home park.
Then we had lunch at the Abita Brew Pub, where they used to make Abita Beer. Here by chance we sat near John Preble. Gilgamesh told him "I loved your house" and he said "thanks." And then we went to the new Abita Brewery for a tour. The best part about this was the free beer. They gave you a glass and then you could do whatever you wanted with all of these beer spouts. Did I say they had free beer? Well, they did. I had a Jockamo IPA, followed by a Purple Haze. Therese had the Andygator. The kids had root beer. They let the kids go on the tour so long as we promised not to give them any beer, which was free, by the way.
Then we got back in the Higlander and drove south, and unlike Mandeville Mayor Eddie Price, we managed to avoid hitting the Causeway Bridge barricades. I guess the secret is to stop drinking after two Abitas.