Monday, June 17, 2013

Thibodaux to Donaldsonville, LA - Monday, June 17, 2013

           Cal tried to be on his way soon after 6:30 this morning, however when he was checking the air pressure in his tires, he realized he had a flat tire in the rear!!  Bummer!!  So after changing the tube in the tire it was 7:00 before he was on the road.  I left the motel around 8:30, catching up to him in Napoleonville.    Cal found a nice clean old fashioned café/soda fountain, where he ordered breakfast.  While he was waiting for me to arrive, a gentleman about our age walked in looking for the guy who owns ‘this bike’!  What a guy!  He was a local and we could ask all kinds of questions. We learned so much from him, however after we left I thought of other things I should have asked about.  We learned about the natural flow of the Mississippi, the Mississippi flood plains, the bayou’s, alligator hunting, Napoleonville’s past and present, politics of the south, Spanish moss, and much more.  However he was very interested in Cal’s bike – not to get one like it, but to modify one for a “Wounded Warrior” friend. 
Soy Beans planted on Sugar Cane ridges

Local Visitor at Restaurant

Breakfast Resturant

            After Cal was on his way, the gentleman and I continued visiting for a while.  I later caught up with Cal and went on into Donaldsonville.  I could not find any motels, so I inquired at a bank drive-thru as to where the closest motels were in the area.  About 5 minutes – at the foot of the “Sunshine Bridge”!  This area along the Mississippi has lots of chemical plants (like the two that just had explosions). The Mississippi River is one busy place in this area. There are lots of temporary workers in the area.  The first motel was full, so we did not know what we had ahead of us.  The second one had space, but it is full of workers in the skilled trades.  
Emma Plantation House
Chemical Plants along the Mississippi River
Sunshine Bridge over the Mississippi River
Barges on the Mississippi River
           The “Sunshine Bridge” – why such a name for a bridge?  It is named after the song sung by Gov. Jimmy Davis, “You are my Sunshine”. For a long time it was a “bridge to nowhere” (into a swamp), but it was one of the few bridges to cross the Mississippi.  Today it is one very busy bridge! 

After cleaning up and resting we went across the river to where two Plantation homes are located between Burnside and Darrow.  The one home (Bocage Plantation) is not open on Mondays, so that left the Houmas House.  We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Houmas House and Gardens.  The 'Big House' is actually the home of the Plantation owner.  He is actually there right now and later while walking in the gardens we met him.  They are expanding the business by adding B&B cottages on the grounds.  At this point they have 8 finished and by October will have a total of 22 cottages to rent.
Houmas House

The house was wonderful – It is lived in. You could sit down on any chair and touch anything you wanted!!!!  Plus take photos, with a flash. The owner is a very rich bachelor!!  He uses the old desk as his office desk - the 21st century computer was on the desk and he sleeps in the bedroom adjoining the office.

Dining Room table

Ornate Mantle

Pool table
Spiral Staircase
Spiral Staircase from below



Photo op on a Bridge in the Gardens
The interior was beautiful, the design and furnishings. Then the gardens – fountains, waterfalls, brooks, and flowers, were lovely and very inviting to spend time.  We can see why this is a favorite spot for weddings.  We relaxed and left the gardens around 5:00.  It was a lovely afternoon.

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