Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Valentine Fairy Tale...

 

Have you ever been to a castle...       

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A castle located back in the deep bayou ... of Louisiana?

No you say?

Then come with me and I'll take you there.

Please, do share in my Valentine fairy tale of yesterday...

On a dreary Valentine morning deep in the bayou country we gathered, friends from close and far to make our way to Louisiana's Le Petite Chateau de Luxe {the small luxury castle}. We were cordially invited on this special Valentine's Day by the castle's second generation private owner & resident.

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Traveling through narrow windy unpaved roads greeted by Louisiana's majestic moss covered live oaks...

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And abandoned buildings that could tell a hundred stories...

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Passing by the old irrigation pump that provided water from the Mermentau river to drench the fields that were once planted with rice, soybeans or possibly sugar cane of long ago...

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We soon arrived at the old wooden gate which was our entrance to a Louisiana enchantment only few knew existed to this day.

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Still with me? Shall we begin?

Enjoy your first peak through the trees of the castle that awaits us!

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The gardens were beautiful even through the wintery gloom of February. It leaves the mind open to wonder what the grounds would look like in the Spring, covered in blooming azaleas of pink, red and white and leaves ever so green...

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Shall we enter? You first please...

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When I looked up, my breath was shallow as I can only imagine Rapunzel's golden braided hair hanging from the open window of the ornate fleur de lis round tower...

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Could it be Rapunzel peeking at us through the window above?

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Or could it be Juliet waiting for her sweet Romeo?

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Truths about this fairy tale castle:

A young and prosperous French man with a dream began construction in the early 1950's on the bank of the Mermentau River.

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It took over 10 years and 10 brick crews with over 330,000 bricks to complete just it's outer shell.

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The castle sits on 19 acres and consists of 15,000 square feet with 31 rooms which only 6 rooms are occupied today.

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His wife grew up on this land, which has been in the family for over 150 years. The above structural remains is the old schoolhouse that his wife and her siblings once attended. Later it became his workshop and now, it remains only as a reminder of how the fairy tale began.

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On all four corners of the brick wall that surrounds the castle stand these guard towers. Not with intentions of warfare but with a simple reminder that God is their protector...

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Being devout Catholics, reflecting God in the gardens is also a statue of what I believe to be St. Frances of Assisi.

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The man with the vision and the originator of this fairy tale castle passed away 14 years ago at the age of 91, never seeing his castle completed. Out of 8 descendants, only one son was faithful to fulfill his father's wishes.

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And now the son, at the age of 71, lives with his wife and children in the castle of which they are proud to call their home.

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To this day, he has been the first and only resident. He grasps tightly to an uncompleted list handed down from his father and works diligently to fulfill his dream.

Although much may look abandoned when passing along the river, know that there is life in there...and a dream.

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A constant upkeep of enduring devotion and love...

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weathered by years of a seemingly impossible task.

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But there is hope...in a new growth {a new generation}...

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That will one day be able to finally say...it was a labor of love.

Happy Valentine's Weekend and I hope yours was filled with lots of  L~O~V~E.

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The Le Petite Chateau de Luxe belongs to Philip Desormeaux and is located in Mermentau Louisiana

14 comments:

Frippery said...

Jodie, How beautiful! This makes me know we are soul sisters. This resonates with me. One of the best posts I have ever read. I think the weather in the photos is perfect for capturing the essence, romance and magic of this place. I so hope someone continues the care of this lovely place into the future. If I get to visit your beautiful state some time I hope we can at least peek through the gates at this piece of history. Thanks for sharing it, Pam

Tina said...

YOur Wonderful photos made me feel as if I were there too!! That's a great 'tour' you gave!! thanks!

The Victorian Parlor said...

What a treat to get to see this-thanks for taking me along:) With your pictures and descriptions I feel like I was there. I am still amazed at the beauty of the castle and its grounds. I actually thought it was from the 19th century! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful experience!

Sandy said...

Wonderful pictures! I could take a little adventure right from my computer desk.

Hope Ellington said...

Jodie,
How truly fascinating. I am a person living in an old home, built from brick alone in the 1850's. What gorgeous photos, I felt like I was there. What a splendid adventure, thanks for sharing your day.
XO~Hope

Heather ~Pretty Petals said...

All I can say is WOW!!!! what a beauty... xo

Stephenie said...

Wow, really enjoyed the post and the great photo's. Everyone here at work is admiring your post also. Thank you for visiting me at my blog and making me feel welcome. I will be back to see you soon.
Stephenie

Sandi said...

Oh my gosh, have you really been there? Louisiana is my favorite, favorite state. You are so lucky. And that was beautiful.
VictorianGypsy

cindy said...

Wow...that's really, really cool! I would love to get over that way some day. Thanks for the wonderful eye candy.

c

dragonflydreamer said...

I have always dreamed of visiting Louisianna and your blog makes me want to make it a priority. The gorgeous photos and story of the castle made me feel as if I were there walking around with you. It's such a beautiful thing that his son fulfilled his father's dream and continues to this day. Thanks for sharing such a lovely experience.

Attic Charm said...

Amazingly gorgeous! Wonderful photos and tour - thank you!

disa said...
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Noor Deeb said...

This is absolutely beautiful!!!! Do you know if they use the castle as a venue for weddings?

Crystal adams said...

Do u know if Tours are still going on and how can i Make an appointment