In 1759 Jean-Pierre Keller left the Alsace region of France to immigrate to South Louisiana. He was born in 1730 near Strasbourg; he died in 1789 on the Mighty Mississippi River on his way to New Orleans. His body was never found. (That was before Louisiana was a state, even before the Louisiana Purchase, you know!) Many of Jean Pierre's descendants continue to call this place in South Louisiana home, including much of my large extended family.
In December 2014 I visited the Alsace region for the first time, to include Strasbourg. I could literally feel the presence of my ancestors as I walked the crowded, market-lined streets of Strasbourg. The faces, the sounds, and the smells were all so familiar, like a strange déjà vu experience unlike any I had ever had. I was sure I spotted my father's twin in the gothic cathedral at the center of the old town. I was home.
So maybe not.
But, it was still kind of cool thing to be able to do, don't you think?
And I swear we were served fromage de tête at Chez Yvonne that is exactly like the hog's head cheese I grew up eating in South Louisiana. Exactly.
There's no place
like home, like France, like Italy, like...forget it!
Chez Yvonne came recommended by a friend who visits the region often, and it was everything he promised it would be. We did need a reservation during the busy Christmas season. While we did enjoy the visit, I think any time other than Christmas may have been a better choice for us as Strasbourg draws quite a crowd of visitors during this time. The city was literally covered in markets and holiday decor, unlike anything I've ever seen. Unable to find an apartment for our short stay during high season, we stayed in a hotel at the edge of the historic district. It was acceptable but not worth mentioning here.