Camping in southern Louisiana is like no where we have ever been. The locals start trickling in on Thursday afternoon, and by Friday noon there is a line of RVs out the driveway waiting to check in. RVs pulling trailers of course with the camping essentials in tow - golf carts and coolers.
The beach here at Lakeview is a local tradition going back to the 1960s, families that grew up swimming at this beach are bringing their kids and grandkids now. It is VERY popular, the only place around for swimming (without gators).
The sand is trucked in, the palm trees and tiki bar and giant water floats make it fun. The campground office/store has a constant line of folks wanting to pay $ to swim, rent floats, get ice cream on a stick.
They come for the day or the weekend or the week or the month. This is their little oasis in the big swamp of life.
The park is full to overflowing every weekend in the summer, they come to get away from their working life, they come to get together with family and friends, they come to cruise around in their souped up 'camping buggies', they come to party. Big groups arrange their RVs of all sizes and shapes so that all the doors face a central location with all the tables in the middle, the golf carts are charged up, music playlist ready to blast.
All of this is fun to watch, the parents teaching little kids to ride bikes, folks playing volleyball on the beach, dads and sons walking down to the lake with fishing poles in hand... it is all fun until dark.
Dark is when the grownups really get going, The decibel level of the whoops and hollers and booming music directly correlates to the amount of alcohol consumed, and all of it gets gradually louder and louder throughout the evening and usually goes until about 2 a.m.
We finally learned to turn on the AC unit over our bed (the one that we don't usually use at night because it is so loud) and it works pretty well to drown out the noise just outside our camper door and windows.
Kids learn from their parents, whether it be riding a bike, or fishing, or how to party. So if one were to come back here in 15-20 years, those little sunburned kids will be partying to all hours, blasting their music, staggering around and yelling, carrying on family traditions.
Heaven help them if they ever go on vacation outside of Louisiana, there will be a rude awakening about camping in general, rules, and quiet time. I am reminded of the time we were reprimanded by the ranger at Glacier NP when we ran our diesel truck one morning a little before quiet time ended :)
Sunday is our favorite time here in the campground, our home away from home. Because that is when the party animals are all packing up and leaving out. We want to stand at the exit, direct traffic, and wave Bye Bye!
the party is over
the beer coolers are empty
the golf cart battery is dead
the kids are sunburned
the dogs are tired
time to go home
just another Sunday at the campground
the party is over
So is the circle of life here in LA, work all week, party all weekend, it works for them, and maybe there is a lesson in there for the rest of us.
But we are about partied out and can't wait to get home to our quiet little cabin in the mountains, where sometimes the sounds of katydids through the open window is deafening, but oh what music it is to our ears.