Sunday, June 14, 2015

Explorers trip #5

We left school early this morning - at 6am heading to our first plantation stop. my Explorers were yawning, running their eyes, but no one was late - they knew the rules. They were ready again to see a part of Louisiana they have never been to.

Our Yellow Dog was making good time down the interstate. Our driver chose to do our trips for free, She knew the students, what they were expected to do, what SHE wanted to see - plus I had told her that it was her bus so if she wanted she could bring someone - she brought her grandson.

We rolled to Baton Rouge, turned south just as we got to the river. My students and their parents knew what to expect - I had given them an itinerary for this trip as with ALL our trips.

Stop one was White Castle - Nottoway Plantation. Our itinerary said we would be there at 9am. As we drove up several of my parent volunteers asked - "you said we would be here at 9am - AND IT'S RIGHT AT 9AM! How did you do this?" (I drive the route a couple of weeks before - I drive the same speed, make the same stops, chart it all - I just know.)

Nottoway is the largest plantation home in the U.S. - 365 windows and doors, a huge white ballroom, a balcony that overlooks the Mississippi River. We explored the home, walked across the street and climbed the levee, took photos, did drawings, asked a ton of questions. And this was only the first stop.

from there we went down River Road to Oak Alley, the Disneyworld of plantations. The OA tour is unlike any tour I've been. They really leave to tour up to you for the most part. After that first year I change out itinerary to a different plantation. The grounds and the plantation are a great stop but you will find out why I call it the Disneyworld tour.

From OA we went to the Cabins Restaurant which this built of former slave cabins. The Explorers loved the stories they were exposed too. This made a great stop before our last stop. After walking around the cabins we were on to Laura Plantation.

My students were excited about the next stop. Laura was famous for what came from there - Compair Lapin which became better known as Br'er Rabbit. They had heard the stories in 3rd or 4th grade - now they knew where the stories came from - right here in their own state. They came from a slave here at Laura plantation.

After touring the plantation, the grounds. the store we were ready to head home and our final stop - supper. Supper would be at Mickey D's in Jennings.

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