Sunday, October 3, 2010

louisiana plantation country

sorry for the few skipped days.  i will do the new orleans entries later.  after i start to remember more of it (JOKING - only had more than 2 drinks ONE of the nights) and after i get kim's awesome pictures that she will email me.  i have some great stories.  although i learned that some of what happens in new orleans stays in new orleans.

right now i am STAYING on a PLANTATION!!!!!!!!!!  in vacherie, louisiana just steps from the south bank of the mississippi river.  though i have some obvious philosophical and moral problems w/this, man is it beautiful.  it is called oak alley plantation and i will never be able to do justice to these oaks w/my nikon d40.  i will get someone to take my photo under one tomorrow, but i still don't think you will be able to capture the grandeur.  they are stunning.  i am sure they have a website, so check it out.  a very talented professional photographer did a book on it - the book is sitting here on my coffee table in my SITTING ROOM!  no joke.

but before you think i broke the bank, i didn't.  especially since my new best friend raven gave me a discount b/c she felt bad that we had to do a lot of driving around on a golf cart since she forgot the key to one cottage and another cottage's door was stuck.  she is awesome.  her best tips so far were sending me to the piggly wiggly b/c restaurants are far and my room has a microwave and fridge and all sorts of glass dishes, warning me about the sugar cane harvesters who drive really bad w/the big equipment so you get out of their way fast so they don't break your windshield like they did hers (more than once), and telling me to ask for a beignet instead of a biscuit at breakfast tomorrow.

i am so excited i can finally say i shopped at a piggly wiggly!!!!  wish so bad we had one at home.  how much fun to say "i am going to the piggly wiggly" instead of "i'm going to wegman's."  i would constantly be saying "i have to go to the piggly wiggly after work."  "does anyone need anything from the piggly wiggly?"  "excuse me, did you buy that frozen dinner at the piggly wiggly?"  i would be giving directions like this "you turn left 19 blocks after the piggly wiggly."  i wish i got a more straight on shot of the sign!  but people were on their way in, and i felt stupid getting out of the car w/my giant camera.  the people in there were so friendly!  i got a frozen stouffer's lasagna and forgot to see about forks at the plantation, so as i was checking out i asked about forks.  i was just going to go back in and check out again, but the next thing i knew a worker was bringing me a box of forks, knives and spoons and another worker was asking me if i was visiting from somewhere else.  i think asking about "cold pop" might have tipped them off???  anyway, southern friendliness is not just a myth.  y'all.

oh, so breakfast is included.  like big sitdown breakfast in what looks like a restored barn on the grounds.  i mean southern breakfast w/eggs, meat and a beignet thanks to my tip from raven.  and i have a tempurpedic bed.  going to bed early to fully enjoy that.  and truly start my book girl w/the dragon tattoo which i have only read 4 pages of so far b/c i have been so busy.  and so i can get up early and run.  dennis and ken, you convinced me of it by saying it will be cool to say i ran in every state.  which i already did NOT.   only georgia so far.  think i am still sweating a little from that one.  i can't pass running around a plantation and the banks of the mississippi.  and STOP laughing all of you who cannot picture me getting up early!  it's only 8:36 right now.  and all i have to do is finish this and brush my teeth.  and get my running clothes out.  i will also be up early b/c the light will be awesome for photos.  the weather has been perfect and hoping it is again tomorrow.  there was a gorgeous sunset tonight.

 i am in 1/2 of a cottage at the back of the grounds.

isn't it cute?
and here is the "big house."

shoot - it was kinda dark when i took that.  more after i take the tour tomorrow.
here is the entrance to the plantation.

as i was driving through plantation country, i was amazed at how far back the properties go.  you could see flat, unspoiled land for quite a distance.  (this photo is a pretty good example.)  the mystery giant stalks everywhere that i couldn't figure out turned out to be sugar cane.  which was just harvested from the plantation where i am staying 2 days ago.

i truly cannot stress the importance of mapping w/a good old fashioned map instead of relying on gps.  which i ALMOST threw into the muddy mississippi b/c it was sending me on this RIDICULOUS route when it could have sent me on the great river road that winds along the mississippi and goes by all sorts of amazing sites (more later).  AND the ridiculous route was out of the way!!!  but it was a 2 lane on ea. side highway instead of a 2 lane road that has parts where the speed limit is 35.  so lucky for me i insist on looking at the map first and knew ms. gps was being stupid.

this is one of the views from my cottage.

and another.

earlier in the day i took a guided tour of a creole plantation just down the road from this one called the laura plantation.

creole houses have lots of doors in the front.  

 love the porches!
can't get enough of these majestic trees.

slave quarters.  they were 16x16 for an entire family!

i was dying to ask why they didn't have as meticulously researched stories to give about the slaves as they did about the plantation owners but i did think better of it.  but really, i feel like sending an anonymous letter that it is incredibly insulting to kind of gloss over the real issues by just showing the slave quarters at the end and not even mentioning who is in some of the photos of the slaves on the walls.  i am sure a lot of that information could be researched just like the owner family history.  this is another reason i wish someone was travelling w/me - back-up!

don't know who these people were.  but i know what laura looks like.  ugh.

they grow several varieties of bananas there.  no joke.

gorgeous doors.
so, i didn't even get to my photos of the inside but not going to.  sorry.  my book is beckoning.  and this is super time consuming.  and does anyone know if it is possible for me to print these easily b/c i can't keep up w/a written journal AND a blog.
who knew i would be so wild about plantation country????  kind of embarassing.  and un-p.c. for sure.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Karla, Have a nice trip in the south coast. From Edison.
    Hi Kar, it looks pretty cool at that plantation. Glad you're having fun!