Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring afternoon at Oak Alley ~

As a native Louisianian, I admit I haven't done much traveling in my home state.  But it's never too late to be a tourist right in your own backyard, right?  Right!  So, Don & I took off for a bayou backroads trip one weekend.

It was a glorious spring day, cool and breezy, and practically perfect.  We drove to Lafayette, and then down to Avery Island where Tabasco is made.  It was a fun visit.  Don used to go there for work many years ago when he was just a young whipper snapper mechanic, and I always wanted to see it.

After Avery Island, we headed out through Franklin, Morgan City, Thibodaux and finally got to our destination...River Road and Oak Alley Plantation.  I've always wanted to go!   So pretty.  There are 28 oak trees planted in the front of the house creating a breezeway from the Mississippi River (also 28 oaks in the back).  The builder put 28 columns on the veranda of the house, a tribute to the mighty oaks.  Oak Alley is a sugarcane plantation.  

There's a gift shop and restaurant.  If you go, stop in and eat pecan pralines at the gift shop.  They're delectable....don't ask me how I know.  You can walk around the grounds by yourself but you do need to buy a ticket to tour the house.  Of course the house looks bigger in movies.  Isn't that always the way it is?  Waiting for our tour to begin.

Our guide showed us some family pictures of the past owners of Oak Alley.  

The master bedroom. I didn't bring my camera so these shots are from my phone.

I fell in love with the cradle.  It's the only furniture that's original to the house from when it was built, in the 1830's.  Just think of those babies who were rocked and loved there. 

The last owner (Josephine Stewart) of Oak Alley died in 1972 but before she died, she set up a foundation so that Oak Alley would survive and remain a gift, to be open to the public.  

What a gorgeous setting for a wedding (they do those there).  Concert (they do a few smaller ones).  Craft show (every spring, fun!) 

How to get there:

You've probably seen Oak Alley in the movies or on TV.   Wheel of Fortune was there, twice I think.  Here's some others:  

Midnight Bayou
October 2008 by Lifetime. Starring Faye Dunaway, Jerry O’Connell and Lauren Stamile. 
Ghost Hunters
August 2008. Paranormal investigation and interviews with Oak Alley Plantation tour guides.
Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte
Bette Davis. Exterior shots only. 
1978, David Selby and Kim Cattrall. 
Dixie: Changing Habits
September 1982. For CBS television, starring Suzanne Pleshette and Cloris Leachman. Filmed entirely on location at Oak Alley Plantation and the French Quarter in New Orleans.
Days of Our Lives
NBC Daytime, filmed at Oak Alley mid 1984 during the World's Fair in New Orleans. One day, dawn to dark, film session of Peter Reckell (Bo Brady) and Kristian Alfonso (Hope Welch). Aired on NBC in August 1984.
The Long Hot Summer
A made-for-TV version of the original. Don Johnson, Cybill Shepherd, Jason Robards.
Interview with the Vampire
Starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Based on the Anne Rice best seller.  October 1993.
Primary Colors
John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates... based on the novel "Primary Colors" by Joe Klein. A southern governor's campaign to win the Democratic nomination to run for President.

~ Oak Alley Plantation ~
(from Google images)