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I am a new wife and a new addition to the adult world. I have finally started my career as a teacher and I am trying to live my life while waiting for the next step (house and family). I am trying to keep up with my love for writing. I do it because it allows me to relive an adventure already taken or to create an experience I may not have had. I am currently teaching, trying to write a book, working on this blog, and loving on my adorable and awesome husband.

Mar 18, 2011

Day Trip: Nottoway Plantation (White Castle, LA)

Another Louisiana trip...another gorgeous plantation.  The Nottoway Plantation was a day trip we took on our most recent trip to Louisiana over Christmas.
This plantation was much more extravagant than Oak Alley.  The outside was very similar and the grounds were about the same size, from memory (and what was open to the public).  However, the location of this plantation is right next to the Mississippi river, and the inside has been kept up and renovated more so than Oak Alley.
The outside looked so prestigious as the double stairways lead up to the grand entry way.  My Love and I took pictures on the front porch as if it were our home....no harm in dreaming.

Restaurant Bar
The cost of the tour was $20 per adult which comes with a free lunch from the cafe or 10% off in the mansion restaurant.  We chose to eat in the restaurant before our tour.  (Don't forget about discounts: 10% off for AAA members, 10% off for seniors and a 20%  military discount.)
We walked around the grounds a bit before we went in to eat.  The entrance is through this corridor (picture to the left).  The restaurant is located in the basement/bottom floor.  Although the restaurant is very nice and elegant the staff is so-so.  Maybe it is the California "snob" in me, but the staff seemed pretty unprofessional and disorganized. They even sat us and served us drinks at one table and then asked us to move.  Our waitress was also not terribly attentive and had a super thick cajun accent that made her hard to understand.  Besides the service the food was pretty good but a bit on the expensive side.  And if you don't say something about you coupon from buying your tour tickets they won't ask, so don't forget.

We had a few more minutes before the tour started after we finished lunch, so we walked around the grounds a bit more.
Finally, it was time for the tour and time for Nottoway to redeem itself (after the mediocre lunch).  We had an amazing tour guide who knew tons of interesting facts about the house and its tenants.  The best part about all of these tours is that typically the people who run the tours are genuinely interested in the history, which makes your tour experience 10x better!
Inside the mansion was tons of original furniture.  Apparently, they had a family member living in a part of the mansion that had been turned into an apartment, and in return she agreed to leave everything to the new owners for the "museum".  
Ballroom (party room)
The entry way was of course ordained with grand chandeliers that were made from real crystals and were original to the house.  Our tour guide pointed out how amazing it was that they had never been broken, yet she had just one month ago knocked one with a ladder while hanging Christmas decorations.  She was mortified but relieved nothing broke.
The ballroom was bright white and had amazing detail.  I don't know how well you can see the molding from this picture but the detail is incredible.  The tour guide informed us that someone handcrafted every bit, all over the house.
Photo From: nottoway.com
 Across the hall from the ballroom was the formal dinning room.  The pictures I took of this room keep uploading sideways, so this is a picture off of the website.  On the table is original china and silverware.  The china is a gorgeous blue and white pattern with real gold edges, and little romantic scenes depicted in the center.  The whole room made you feel like it was meant for royalty.  And you could only imagine what it would have been like to be at a dinner party in this dinning room in the hay-day of the Nottoway Plantation.

Upstairs there are many bedrooms and a large deck around the house.  The bedrooms are also magnificently decorated.  And the original furniture is astonishing.  The tour guide told us that during the Civil War the owner had most of the furniture sent to warehouses in order to save it.  And since then they have collected a lot of it back and people have even sent it back as they have found markings saying it belonged to the Nottoway Plantation.
The history of the house is amazing and well worth going on the tour which lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.  After the tour ends the guide brings you to a little artifacts room with a small theater that plays a short (5 minute) film that recaps the history of the plantation.  It is worth the trip if you are ever in the area and have an interest in History or architecture.

Destination: White Castle, LA

Points of Interest: Nottoway Plantation http://www.nottoway.com/index.htm
The Mansion Restaurant  (3 stars out 5)

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