Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lafitte's Treasure...

Built in 1849, this New Orleans French Quarter gem is a hidden secret to many visitors...until now.

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Located on the corner of Bourbon Street and St. Philip, this four story mansion was our home for three wonderful days while Sarah, Sandy, Pam and I relaxed and rekindled friendships in the Vieux Carre' (old square).

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I hadn't seen Pam (Ohio) and Sandy (Pennsylvania)  in almost a year and needless to say, I was VERY lonesome!!! Sarah and I picked them up at the airport and we found our way through the scenic route of my beloved New Orleans. I hadn't told them where we were staying as I wanted it to be a surprise.

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Only those who love old charm could appreciate the creaks and cracks, peeled paint and rusty old beauty that this mansion had to offer. It was soooo far from the regular comforts of a chain hotel but soooo much more appreciated!

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I'm not sure if it's namesake (Pirate Jean Lafitte) had anything to do with the "treasures" we found while we were there. Or ... maybe it was the gris~gris, or the voodoo ... or simply the enchantment of the French Quarter that made our weekend so special.

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From the charming courtyards to the sound of cloppity-clop of the horse and carriages that regularly passed by below, we were surrounded by true Southern Creole charm in every sense.

I chose the third floor suite (#31) which was a two room suite with a full private balcony...

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   That was our balcony above...the top one. We were welcomed by the morning sun and we were shaded by the afternoon sun.

The views were spectacular...almost like a Thomas Kincade painting.

Seriously! (as always, my photos are NEVER enhanced!!!)

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Our balcony was on Bourbon Street and we were about 3 blocks from the "party". It was quiet enough to relax and still enjoy the faint sounds of the night life here in the Big Easy.

I love the mix of the old and the new all in one's amazing.

I think Sandy thought so too...

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If you look at the photo above, you will see the old building in the bottom right hand corner. That is the old Lafitte Blacksmith Shop, now known as...

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This old building IS the oldest structure in the French Quarter. It survived the two great fires of 1788 and 1794 which destroyed over a thousand buildings in the original square.


Some believe that Jean Lafitte has buried treasure in the old Blacksmith Bar and it is protected by his ghost.

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The structure is lit by candle light only. Many locals and visitors say that while having drinks and enjoying the nightlife by dimly lit gas lanterns, they often hear disembodied footsteps walking near the office/bathroom area where Jean Lafitte arranged his contraband deals well over a century ago. It is a known haunt and a well loved hangout of the locals that have many stories to tell (especially after a few drinks).

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I just love New Orleans, don't you?

Speaking of haunted...

I failed to mention to the girls that the Lafitte Guest House was haunted too! I didn't tell them until after we unpacked, settled in and had a few drinks of our own. I didn't want them to run out the door and run loose on Bourbon Street, I'd have never found them again! ;)

Needless to say, they WERE a little freaked out...but they handled it well. The haunting tales led to much midnight giggling, laughter and looking over our shoulders quite often!!!

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Let's enter into this fabulous 160 year old mansion and I'll tell you a little bit about it's charm...

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Like I mentioned above, the mansion was built in 1849, 55 years after the last great fire of the Vieux Carre'. With New Orleans being a colony of Spain, the "new" architecture was Spanish style instead of the old French style which was eliminated previously in the fires but all the while, still keeping the infamous name of "The French Quarter" or the "Vieux Carre'" (old square).

The great fires may have destroyed the buildings but not the hearts of the French that settled in old New Orleans. Even though it was thought to be the "new" Spanish architecture, they still put the old French touches as needed...

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This was the grand's simply beautiful.

Go ahead and sign your name in the guest book...they LOVE visitors!!!!!

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Beautiful marble floors and old thick cypress banisters...

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Huge silk tapestries and beautiful crystal chandeliers...

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Grand parlor decor and exquisite hand carved fireplace facades...

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Oh yeah...didn't I mention this mansion was haunted?

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Not by the "devil looking thing" on the mantel, but by Marie.

Little Lost Marie is a confused little ghost who cannot find her way out. Caught in a time warp, the little girl lost repeatedly exits the same bedroom (#22), walks down the hall and disappears through a gilt-framed, five foot mirror hanging on the wall at the far end of the second floor.

Visitors and guests often walk up the stairs only to see the reflection in the mirror of little Marie standing there crying prior to vanishing in the mirror.

Marie is believed to be the young daughter of the original owners of the mansion, Paul Joseph Gleises and Marie Odalie Ducayet. It is believed that little Marie died of yellow fever, common of those days, and she never made it to her fifth birthday.

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Unfortunately (or luckily) we didn't see little lost Marie.

But we surely giggled about her every time we walked the second floor hall!

I'm sorry to show you our room so messy but we really made it our home for the three days we were there.

Actually, this below was Sandy and Pam's area. Sarah and I's area was NEAT AND CLEAN  :)

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We had our own little bar, stocked with our favorites...

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It was just a beautiful room with beautiful furnishings that represented the wealth and fashion of that era...

(shame on those girls for being so messy)

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I loved lying there at night dreaming of what it was like to actually live in the mansion's glory days. But then I quickly snapped out of it and thought of the HEAT, HUMIDITY, wearing corsets and dresses, AND ... BUGS! eeewwww!

I could have NEVER made it back then! haha

However, we did take full advantage of the mansion's grandeur though. Our breakfasts were always celebrated out on the balcony in the morning sunlight...

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And so were our lunches as I has brought lots of deli meat for sandwiches and fruit for snacks...

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Note the horse and carriage in the upper right of the photo above. (cloppity clop, cloppity clop, cloppity clop...imagine that)


With plenty to read...

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And lots of time to relax...

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And much roof top scenery to enjoy...

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The "treasures" of the Lafitte Guest House, the charm of my beloved New Orleans, and a girl's weekend of fun and laughter will remain in my heart...forever!

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I'm home now after 11 days of being a road whore (excuse my language but it's true!) I put 2,000+ miles on my Suburban while the girls were in and I have SO much more to tell you about our 11 day trip!!!!

But if you are not sick of hearing about New Orleans, I'd love to show you some more in my next post. If you love OLD, CHIPPY, and down right charming...tune in for some more Vieux Carre'.

I missed you. I had SO much fun. But...I'm happy to be home with The Man and little Oreo!!! (by the way, The Man was such a good baby sitter while I was gone...too sweet!) Both of them are alive and well (which is a big deal with me being gone for that long) I owe him big time!!!!



My Blessed Serendipity Life said...

I was lucky to have visited New Orleans a few years ago. The architecture is amazing. I felt as though I was back again daydreaming through your photos. Did you go to Cafe DuMonde? Would love to go back someday.


peggy aplSEEDS said...

wonderful post! i enjoyed "visiting" new orleans and love the amazing pictures (what camera do you use?!). except for it being haunted, i would love to stay in that lovely inn.

Nancy said...

Thank you for the "trip" to The Big Easy - though I'd have had much more fun if Pam had picked me up as she left our home state for LA! (lol)
I hope you do share more pictures & tales ...

Pam @ Frippery said...

Oh Jodie I miss you so much already. You showed us a wonderful time in NOLA and we had so much fun all week. My face still hurts from laughing!!! It was hard to get back to the "real world". Love, Pam (Your Cajun in training)

summersundays-jw said...

OK! I'm definitely coming to New Orleans. What a beautiful hotel. I just have to get over my fear of bedbugs. Thanks for sharing. Jan

A Vintage Chic said...

Oh, my, Jodie! FABULOUS post!!! I've never been to New Orleans...interestingly, I had a ticket to fly there for a trip with my mother-in-law & sister-in-law on 9/12/01!!! Needless to say, I wasn't able to make the trip--nor did I want to try!

Someday, I'll get there...and when I do, I think I'll need to stay at Chez Lafitte! I love old, chippy haunted inns!

In fact, one of my favorites is The Wayside Inn (Longfellow wrote about it) near of my ancestors and his son built it in the late 1600's and we (my Mom & I) stayed in one of the original rooms--haunted, of course!

Looking forward to seeing more, Jodie! Happy first day of September!


Jane said...

I really enjoyed reading about your trip. Only you could find such a cool place to stay. I love all the history of New Orleans and the mansion. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful trip. Glad to have you back though!

Lisa Phillippi said...

Wow...that hotel looks amazing! I love all it's charm....and I wanna come visit! Im glad you made it home safe and sound! I'll definatley be lloking forward to seeing and reading your future posts! You truly do inspire me!

Gracie's Cottage said...

Thanks so much for such a beautiful "tour" - your photos are great and I love, love, love old buildings. No wonder you had such a great time, and yes - would love to read more!


Janet Ghio said...

thanks for the tour and the photos. Looking forward to the next installment!!

Beth Leintz said...

What great pictures- I feel like I'm sitting on the balcony with you. I've been to New Orleans several time, but you can't see everything and its so much fun to get someone else's view- it looks like the place you stayed was wonderful.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I love New Orleans and lived there for several years in the 70's. I had friends who lived in the Quarter and it was the best place to be. I need another trip back, it's been awhile. What a great place you stayed!!

Linda said...

Fun post! I visited New Orleans last summer for a family wedding and had such a great time~ really a wonderful city! I really loved the music, too...Looking forward to reading more!

Dorthe said...

My oh my, Jodie,
as I`m sure I will never see New Orleans,I thankyou for this wonderfull tour, It would be heaven to me too, to stay in such a wonderfull place.Great photoes, to give on the special athmosphere, wow.
XO Dorthe

Angela Weimer said...

Jodie, thank you so much for taking us on that lovely tour with you. It was almost as good as being there. Your pictures are wonderful. Glad you and the girls had a great time. I cannot wait to read more about the trip. thanks for sharing and have a wonderufl day. Angela

Theresa said...

Hi there Jodie! This post makes me wanna go back for a visit! It has been hmmmmm about 30 years since I have been there to enjoy the sights and all of the beauty! I also stayed in a lovely place with a balcony and the friend that I spent that special time with has since passed away:(

I can't wait to see more pics from you 11 day trip!

Have a blessed day! HUGS!

Anonymous said...

welcome back to good ole bloggerville...missed you...
thought of you when i received 3 packages in the mail last week and had them torn apart before ever getting into the house :))))
enjoy your story and pics...
glad you and the chicks had such a great time...nice variety of bottles there on the table :D

HUGS ~victoria~

Anonymous said...

saarraahhh ssaarraahh ssaaarraahhh....
I had the bestest time ever!!! but you already knew that since I've told you a zillion times!! it was so much fin and educational and I really really loved staying at our chic retreat! I can't wait till next time! I wanna go back in the fall.. what ya say?!? hehe maybe we can drag Thad and John with us? ya think ? lol prob not but we could try!! I stll wanna go dig that treasure up!! well I'm off to go eat sum breakfast! wanna tell ya again THANK U for the bestest most wonderfulest weekend! muah love ya! hugs
later gator- Sarah

trash talk said...

Oh mylanta...that is some gorgeous hotel. When you were talking about it at lunch, I had no idea. The photos are fantastic (faint sounds, huh?). Girl, I can just picture you in your hoodie and'd be the talk of the town!
Not w*#@e darling...pirate...sailing the blacktops instead of seas!
I love the word gris gris...sounds like a fancy breakfast food instead of voodoo!
P.S. My word verification is "antsy"! Ain't it the truth!

Karen said...

Oh my stars.
I want to stay there when I come visit.
But I want to SEE little Marie.
(Screaming down the hallway to our room . . . )
that would be so cool.
Loved the "down time". I could sit on that balcony with a nice bottle of wine.
Loved the shopping that you haven't shared yet . . .
Loved each word and each photo of this - the first of many - posts about New Orleans.
Oh Jodie - I do miss you!
Big hugs from CA!

Claudia said...

I am always so happy when I see you have a new post! Wow - what a fabulous time you must have had. That house is gorgeous and so full of history and gasp! ghosts! I've never been to New Orleans (husband was there a few years ago to work on a movie and loved it) so I hope that someday, someday, I can visit and lap up all that beauty.


Linda said...

I've never been to New Orleans but yes, it looks fascinating and oh so lovely.

Great post!! :)

Susan said...

That was such a lovely post..and great photos. Susan

Sandy Navarro said...

Girl, you are the best personal tour guide/historian I know! Loved every minute of it and can't wait to see & read about the "lanyap" you were able to charm out of the Vieux Carre'. Ok, so now you gotta explain "lanyap" to the Northerners in your next post!

Love ya!

vintagesusie & wings said...

All I can say is....Looks like heaven to me!!!
One day my friend I will be sitting my rear on a balcony in New Orleans & if I'm lucky, you'll be there too!

sexyjavabelle said...

thanks Jo, that was a great post, i missed you too. speaking of which, do you know what happend to tristan, he fell off the blog planet, he was a fav like you???? anyway, cant wait to see more of NOLA, can never get enough! the views are awesome, i like to epople watch from the balcony when i am there, its awesome

The English Romantic said...

Hi jodie,
What a fab post! You took from my little corner of England all the way to New Orleans, I swear I could here those horses hooves.
A lovely read to enjoy with my cup of tea. Thank you!
Best Wishes,

A Cottage Muse said...

My goodness Miss Jodie you have had a wonderful summer full of fun!! So happy you are sharing it with us! Looks like a beautiful place to visit. The NO tourism office should sign you up!!

victorian parlor II said...


What a fabulous place! I love old houses, especially haunted ones:). The pictures you took are amazing-loved them all!!! I can't wait to see more:). Glad you had a safe trip!



LiLi M. said...

Ah you had a swell time, thanks for sharing; I love love love historic places. That door knocker is already in my collection. Good to see you back here!

stephanie said...

I can just hear the 4 of you cackling with laughter!! I'm so happy that you all were able to get together---that is so special.

And, thanks for your sweet comment. You are such a friend!!

Linda Robinson said...

WOW, It does seem like a magical place with so much history.. One day I will make it there.. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, I so enjoyed it.. Hugs, Linda

Julia - "Vintage with Laces" said...

What a great place you chose for your stay, Jodie! You girls must have had a lot of fun in this wonderful hotel!
I know why the ghosts didn't show up. They wait until I come to visit New Orleans and then they perform a huge ghost show. Just for me. Well, for you too of course :-)!!!
Don't you think that The Man would deserve a trip as well after doing the baby sitter job quite some times this year?
Big hugs and love,

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Jodie,

Oh, I loved this post! I want to go back to New Orleans and you are making me want to stay there.

Glad you had so much fun, and I look forward to seeing the rest of your photos!


Tarnished and Tattered said...

Jodie, Jodie, Jodie,
How come you never take me anywhere like this?? I'm jealous!! I'm shocked at the state of that room tho. If I'd known I wouldn't have busted my booty & the rest of the families sweepin up crumbs. I just would have had a Crown & Coke & a blueberry muffin waiting for you. What a beautiful place & I love the ghost stories. Lisa Marie

Bohemian said...

Thanks so much for taking us on such a fab tour of New Orleans! I just adore all the "old" there... and your trivia was so much fun!

Dawn... The Bohemian

sew revived said...

You posted my backside?!?!?!?
Good thing I love you...

Rebecca Everett said...

Wow, I especially loved this post. I would love to stay there. It was always a family rumor that we were related to Jean Lafitte