02.06.17 The Chauvin Ladies Visit Oak Alley Plantation

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oakalleyhistoricsignMonday, February 6, 2017 – This past Saturday Chip’s wife Misty and his daughters Kallie and Madisyn and myself drove to Vacherie, Louisiana to visit Oak Alley Plantation on the banks of the Mississippi River. I hope to share the fun we had that day with you as well as information about Oak Alley for those followers who may come to Louisiana some day.  When coming to New Orleans I believe this should be on the “must see” list since it represents so much of Louisiana’s heritage, plus it’s quite pretty!

All of the photos are clickable to enlarge.  Go ahead, click on some!!

A map showing “some” of the many plantations along the Mississippi River southeast of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

20170204_125052OAK ALLEY HIGHLIGHTS

• Enjoy a professionally guided tour of the Big House
• Visit the Confederate Commanding Officer’s Tent
• Witness the “Slavery at Oak Alley” exhibit’s reconstructed slave quarters and learn about those who made plantation luxuries possible
•Learn about sugarcane and it’s impact on Oak Alley then and now at the Sugarcane Theater
• Explore 25 historic acres using an interpretive map (self guided) and see the legacies left by those who once resided here
• See newly planted pecan trees commemorating Antoine, an enslaved gardener who grafted the first paper shell pecan
• Visit the blacksmith shop which houses the plantation’s original forge
• Stroll the magnificent alley of 300 year old live oak trees leading a quarter mile to the Mississippi River
• Dine on Cajun/Creole Cuisine in the restaurant or enjoy a quick snack or ice cream in the Plantation Cafe
• Stay the night in one of the overnight cottages located on the grounds of the plantation

We enjoyed the ride to Oak Alley along the winding River Road in Vacherie.  The levees (seen in the picture below) were much lower in olden times which made sitting on the front porch an amazing thing to see the riverboats going past!20170204_115330It was past noon when we arrived and we were all a bit hungry so we went first to the Dining Room for lunch.

Kallie, Rosalyn and Madisyn

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Misty and my Lemonade and Mint Julep – never had one before, not bad!20170204_121609 20170204_120749

We all enjoyed traditional Southern Cajun/Creole dishes like: Seafood AuGratin, Crawfish Etouffee and Fried Fish and Fried Shrimp.  Didn’t stop eating long enough to photograph the food……….
This link will take you to information about their HOURS AND COST for the tour of the main house.
A video from their website shows more about this beautiful plantation than my pictures ever could.  Click on the photo below to get to the video.
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With our tummies full we strolled through the gift shop stopping to try on hats and oogle over the cute things they sell there.
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Zydeco Gator
20170204_130153 20170204_130137 20170204_130005 20170204_125451 We then walked through the slave quarters.  They are not originals but were carefully replicated many years ago with a lot of original items displayed inside each.
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Leading up to the main entrance of the plantation is the Alley of Live Oaks the plantation is named after.  One of Oak Alley’s mysteries is who planted her magnificent Live Oaks. While we know the approximate era, 1725-1750, why they were planted or by whom remains a question. They are the way you can tell Oak Alley from any other plantation.  Everyone takes pictures just like those below!
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Finally we get to the tour of the main house.  This is the part you pay for.  All the outside stuff is free but the tour was quite informative so I recommend doing that while you’re there.
Some of the original bricks used in building the house can be seed in this framed cutout.
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Looking out the second story front window towards the oaks.img_0613img_0591 img_0611
The mirrors were covered in black vail in this room where they laid out their dead, so that the soul of the dead person could not leave them and get trapped in the mirror.  Ooooooooooh!img_0608 img_0606
The rolling pin on the bed was used to roll out the lumps from the mattress that was stuffed with moss.img_0605 img_0604 img_0602 img_0595 img_0593 img_0590
A couple of great quality photos I got off the internet show the interior of the plantation:
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Back outside we went to tour more of the grounds including the Sugarcane Theater and the Confederate Officers Tent.  The young man, dressed in authentic period clothing gave us a really nice over view of the tent we got to see and its contents.
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With aching feet, but happy hearts we made our way back to their home in Ponchatoula for the end of our wonderful day!
For those who would like to visit Oak Alley Plantation, here is their contact information:
3645 Highway 18 (Great River Road), Vacherie, Louisiana USA 70090
Phone: (225) 265-2151 or (800) 44ALLEY
We are planning to go to New Orleans in two weeks on Saturday as a family to watch a Mardi Gras parade in Uptown New Orleans.  If anyone would like to join us, let me know!  Uptown New Orleans is NOT downtown New Orleans.  Same parades, just more family like environment uptown!
Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!
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Click on the links below to go there!

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