Monday morning, our first stop was the Coffee Call for beignet fingers and cafe au lait. The beignets were good but suspiciously similar to funnel cakes. Then we drove up River Road toward St. Francisville. Besides field after swaying field of sugar cane, what struck us immediately were the large numbers of blue-tarped roofs. We knew that Baton Rouge had been hit hard by Hurricane Gustav, that many areas had lost power for up to ten days. But seeing all the blue roofs make the reports real. We crossed the mighty Mississippi river on a ferry boat at St. Francisville. While parked in line, awaiting the ferry, a woman parked in front of us kept throwing small dark objects out of her car. We were baffled as to what she was littering. We guessed she must have been cleaning something out, but what? And why was she tossing them out the window? When we finally moved forward to board the ferry, we looked down out the windows and saw Oreo cookies minus the filling. She'd been sitting there eating the white creamy middles and throwing the chocolate cookie part away. Imagine! Tossing the best part! We got a good laugh out of that.
After the ferry, we found Rosedown Plantation. I told the boys I learn more history in one house tour than I would in a whole semester of a history class or in any book. I imagine it's 1830 and I've just moved into my new mansion, mistress of the manor. What a different lifestyle! Both the beautifully restored mansion and the gardens were lovely.
After Rosedown, we had lunch at a charming little restaurant called Magnolia Cafe. Then on to the Audubon Historical Site and Oakley Plantation. John Audubon had briefly tutored the daughter of the owner of Oakley Plantation, while adding to his bird painting collection, hence the connection. It was interesting to see the contrasts between the two plantations, each unique and different. There's also a wonderful nature trail on the property. On the grounds at Oakley, there's a turkey named Gus who thinks he's a dog. He's friendly and loves to be petted.
As we drove south back to Baton Rouge, evening descended and a thick blanket of fog shrouded the countryside.