Tourist Courts and Amusing my Mother-in-Law

92 years old and going strong, my mother-in-law is a Texan through and through.  She has rolled with the punches remarkably well over the years, and it’s easy to mistake her for decades younger than her actual age.  Her enviable ability to let things go is, I think, one of the secrets to her longevity.

Every now and again, my Yankee perspective tickles her, and I remember that yes, regional differences are still alive and well, much like my MIL.

When I casually mentioned that I’d never seen a roach until I was in my 20s, I thought she would fall off her chair laughing.  I suppose growing up in Houston involved just a few roach sightings for her.

These days, thanks to New Orleans location, I, too, have an active, ongoing anti-roach campaign in my kitchen.  I know the difference between the big ones (that come in from the outside) and the little ones (that persistently attempt to infest the kitchen).  I have a flyswatter on hand that, um, isn’t for flies.  I know what a roach egg sac is, and whether it is full or empty.  See?  I can adapt!

Most recently, it was a “tourist court” that tickled her fancy.  More to the point, that I had never heard of this thing.  Although perhaps this is not so much a regional as a generational difference, as the heyday of these roadside stops seems to have been in the 1930s and 40s, well before I was born.  We were driving by what I later learned is the only extant tourist court in Austin, Texas, the Blue Bonnet Court.  It is tucked away in plain sight along Guadalupe in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

I knew what these were, in concept.  My mom and brother stayed in one when they visited me at my summer job in Acadia National Park, Maine, back in the day.  Their little standalone cabin was so very charming.  And they loaned me the car.

3-V Tourist Court St. Francisville LA
3-V Tourist Court, St. Francisville, LA (photo from their website)

My curiosity about tourist courts later led me, online, to the 3-V Tourist Courts @ Magnolia, located in St. Francisville, Louisiana.  Now I want to go there.  Cuteness abounds, and I like a good bargain.  Especially one with some retro Americana charm thrown in the mix.

Maybe once the temperatures cool down.  In October.





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