Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Monday, November 30, 2015

Girls Road Trip-The Plantations

I spent so much time preparing for, enjoying, and recovering from Thanksgiving, putting up a blog post totally slipped my mind. (By the way, hope yours was as wonderful as mine, minus the ten pounds I gained).

Day two in New Orleans, we visited some historic sugar cane plantations.

This lovely Creole plantation, now known as the Laura Plantation, was built in 1804 by Guillaume DuParc. Sugar was highly valuable and created a fortune for more than one early New Orleans settler. This plantation is an example of Creole design using plenty of color (red, ochre, green, and pearl) on the exterior of the home. There are a number of outbuildings on the property including slave quarters, exotic looking gardens, barn, warehouse, and primitive sugar mill. The property's location at only 600 feet from the Mississippi River meant easy shipping access.

Of course the tour included lots of information about family intrigues, feuds, and alliances. Perhaps not so different from some of today's headlines.

Only a little further down the road, we visited the lovely Oak Alley Plantation.

Oak Alley is a beautifully restored sugar cane plantation originally built in 1839 by the Roman family. It is what I typically envision when thinking about an American southern plantation. The most amazing part of it (to me) was the 28 enormous live oaks lining the walkway to the front of the mansion--the view above is of the back, and it's gorgeous. But take a look at the front...

View toward the house:

View from the house:

It's no wonder that film-makers have used Oak Alley as a movie/tv location spot. My pictures don't do it justice. The oak trees are enormous and jaw-droppingly beautiful. There are many fascinating outbuildings on the property and on a beautiful day it's quite inspiring to stroll the grounds.

Oak Alley is reported to be haunted by past occupants. For those who dare, cottages on the property are available for rental. Apparently, they book up quickly, especially near Halloween, so book early to try your luck with the supernatural.

This brief post doesn't do either property justice. They are well worth a visit if you come to NOLA. The contrasts between the two plantations were quite fascinating, so I'd recommend seeing both.

Later in the day, we capped off our evening with a stroll down Bourbon Street. It's every bit as wild and full of people as I imagined. We had a nightcap in one of the oldest bars in NOLA, built between 1722 and 1732. The property was originally a blacksmith shop. Horseshoes, anyone?

A few blocks away, yet still visible from Bourbon Street is the St. Louis Cathedral. We didn't have time to go inside, but I understand it's phenomenal. This was our view, at night from Bourbon Street.

It's amazing, even though I feel bad about some of the things this statue of Jesus is certain to see after the sun sets. Remember, Bourbon Street is one of those "anything goes" kind of places.

After a long day, we finally headed back to the hotel with a firm goal to wake up extra early and push hard for Florida. Whew!!


Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady said...

Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Your trip sounds so wonderful!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Hopefully, Jesus is able to close his eyes at times. Parts of that city are definitely wild.

Thanks for taking us along on your trip. I can't wait until we pull into Florida.

Saku said...

New Orleans is definitely on my bucket list of places that must be visited. Not for Bourbon Street ...well may a little just to soak the atmosphere. But I do want to visit a plantation, Oak Alley is just lovely.

Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Ann Summerville said...

We did the plantation tours last year. It's amazing how they lived during that time and it's difficult to either describe or show pictures that do it justice. Glad you enjoyed it. You're very brave to wander around Bourbon Street at night!

Unknown said...

Oh how your post brings back the memories of my trip there. Did you go out in the Bayou? Loved the French Quarter and all the Cajun food! There is never a dull moment in NOLA!

Donna Volkenannt said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely photos and commentary. If those old trees could talk, imagine the stories they could tell.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Those plantation homes are gorgeous, and the oaks! Omigosh! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I always think of NOLA as only Bourbon Street and the wild stuff, but there is so much more. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures, Pat! And I love your writing! Your descriptions really make the city come alive. The live oaks are stunning, and I agree with Lisa: I often only think of Bourbon Street in connection with NOLA, but there is so much culture and history and legend there. It's really one of a kind. Thanks so much for bringing these memories back for me.

Linda O'Connell said...

Pat, your photos are a great addition to your wonderful story telling. I feel I missed a lot in New Orleans.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Oak alley is one of my faves! It's so beautiful. Tezcuco isn't lovely too and hosts and old fashioned Christmas party every year.