Sunday, December 14, 2014

Plantation Takeover!!!

We've been trying to plan a mother & daughter trip for 2 years now.  Events, schedules, and just life in general seemed to always get in the way, but a few weekends ago we finally did it!  We are starting the trim stage in our new house (door frames, cabinets, moulding, etc) & since our house has southern architecture, I've been wanting to tour some plantations and get some ideas.  I've seen most of the Mississippi plantations, but not the Louisiana ones.  So, we decided to tour Oak Alley, Houmas House, and Madewood Plantation.  My mom has always said that I should have lived during the Old South period, to which I respond, "Have you seen my hair without a straightener?"

It is true though, I am drawn to the Old South.  There's just something about the abundance, the poverty, the joy, and the pain that encircled the time period that is fascinating to me.  If you ever tour a plantation, you will know exactly what I'm talking about.  It is history and it is intriguing.  So here  is a recap of our trip and if touring homes is your thing, I highly suggest all of these beautiful homes!

The first stop Oak Alley.
Oak Alley is one of my favorite plantations and considering they have 200-1,500 visitors each day, I'm not the only one who is drawn to it.  Sugar cane and slavery kept this plantation running, but after the Civil War it was abandoned.  No one wanted the house and cows literally moved in and stomped all over the marble floors.  In 1925, The Stewarts restored Oak Alley and helped turn it into the house that it is today.  
Can't you just see Hagan & Annie June in those beds:)
This plaque had all the names of the slaves and how much they cost that lived & worked at Oak Alley.  It was so incredibly sad & gut-wrenching.  After the tour we had lunch at Oak Alley, shopped in the gift shop, and then headed to our next stop.

The second stop Houmas House.
 Houmas House was mom's favorite of all the plantations.  The grounds were absolutely gorgeous &  the tour guide was so fun and over the top.  I wish we would have eaten here instead!  Houmas House went into despair after the Great Depression.  Kevin Kelly, a Lousiana businessman, bought and restored the house in 2003 and turned it into what it is today.  Houma's house has so much to offer & we didn't get to see even a fraction of it, so we hope to go back one day!
The spiral staircase that "The Sugar Palace" was known for!
 You can't make out those bottles, but in the Old South they had a plethora of drugs.  Here have some morphine or opium after dinner.  No wonder they were so hospitable!
This was a really cool part of the house.  It was a covered breezeway that the horse carriages could pull through so no one had to get wet in the rain.  
You never see kitchens (because real fireplaces cooked food and they didn't want to burn the house down) or bathrooms (no electricity or plumbing) in plantation homes.  This piss pot was about as good as it gets.  

The last stop Madewood Plantation.
Oh Madewood Plantation you won us over the minute we saw you.  White house, black shutters, porches, all things that make my heart skip a beat.
 Then you add in this wooden rope swing hung in an oak tree and I go weak in the knees.
Let me just tell y'all about our Madewood experience!!!  Madewood is an all-inclusive "bed and breakfast" (an 11,000 square foot plantation B&B)  that includes wine and cheese in the library, supper in the dining room, followed by brandy or coffee in the parlor room.  Then, the next morning they bring coffee up to your room so you can enjoy it on the balcony & then serve a full, hot southern breakfast.  And don't even get me started on their homemade pear jam that goes on biscuits.  I bought 6 jars for gifts and wish I would have kept them all.  But y'all, the best part of the trip- we were the only ones there!!!  As in, we had dinner and then they locked us in for the night.  It kind of freaked us out at first.  We were all like "Say what?  You're gonna leave us here by ourselves?"   But when life gives you lemons, you take over a plantation for the night!  We got to go into the rooms and just take in every detail of the gorgeous home!  I don't know if I would want to stay if other people were staying too, we were kind of loud & would've had to have dinner with them.

We were just a little excited that we were the only ones at dinner, because we totally forgot to bring nice clothes!
Love my sissy.  You're never too old to match pajamas with your sister:)
We reenacted the Rhett and Scarlett break-up scene from Gone With the Wind about 20 times and cried from laughing every time we did it.  Then argued over who was the better Scarlett.
Just for the record, I was.
My sweet mom and sister.

It was just a great, fun trip.  We are all still talking about how much fun we had!!!  It's a trip I'll never forget:)

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