Venturing to Visit Vermilionville

IMG_1124Yes, I wanted an alliteration in the subject title. It really was quite vivid and vivacious in Vermilionville, though – it’s a living history village! Also known as ‘SO FUN.’

It was quite the 6 hour journey (in total). The last half hour or so of the journey both ways was, uh… trying, as one might imagine with a 5, 2, and 6 month old, but still so worth the trip.  Vermilionville was such a neat experience! A bunch of historic homes, a school, trapping cabin, carpenter andblacksmith shop, etc with dressed up guides performing the work of the time, and as if they needed to sweeten the pot, they were having a Spring Celebration in the morning where they taught us how to dye eggs naturally (TOTALLY doing that this year for Easter!), crafts, and did face painting.

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IMG_0915The Cajun French word for raccoon is Chaoui (sh-ow-ee) and so we ended up calling Rosie our little chaoui all day. I think it’s a nickname I could use forever. 🙂 Merry was not keen on going up there to get his face painted, though when we were driving home he said out of the blue that he wanted to get his face painted and be a raccoon. IMG_0920 (2)Just 6 and a half hours too late, buddy. 😉 I had no such reservations, and would have gotten my face painted as well, but Mr. Boffin said “no, no one else wanted there face painted,” before I could say “yes,” and she immediately responded with “Okay, then I’m going to the restroom!” Of course, I couldn’t try to stop the poor girl after that – who knows how long she had been holding it, while she painted face after face!

We ate at Maman Cuisine afterward and decided to go whole hog choosing a variety of quintessential Cajun foods and putting them in the middle and having little bowls to partake all around. Surprisingly, the baked potato with crawfish etoufee was the biggest win all around (even me- shocking!), followed by the jumbalaya, gumbo, and poboy with Cajun sauce coming in last. The waitress loved to see our interest in the different dishes, and when she came back after a while, she said, “Well, you destroyed that!” And was eager to hear which ones were our favorites and our opinions on the matter. She was so taken with our experience that when we when she brought us the check she brought a little bowl of bread pudding dessert for us to try – her treat. It was such a thoughtful and sweet surprise! Quite literally. 😉 (hehe)

At the end of lunch it was still raining (as it had been all morning), but by the time we stepped out and began the tour of the homes and demonstrations – the weather stopped raining and the sun peeked out. It couldn’t have been more perfect! Especially since we had only brought one small umbrella.

Exploring out at the trapper’s cabin.

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Most of the doors were tall and skinny like this with extremely low doorknobs – the perfect height for Rosie and Merry. They said that the original Acadians (later known as Cajuns) were very short, and a five foot person was considered tall! Also, in this time period there was a tax on doors (which were of a certain size), so to get around the tax, they made their doors of a different size and to look like windows from afar.

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I loved watching this woman comb and spin the cotton! It is astounding to think of all the hours that went into making one yarn ball! I’m one part wanting to do it, the other part EXTREMELY grateful I don’t have to!

IMG_1204IMG_1201As Louisiana struggled to establish English as the primary language, it became illegal to speak French in school from 1916-1968! As we were walking around we could hear the guides and some of the groups conversing easily in French – it was so cool!

The sheep and donkeys were unsurprisingly a big hit!

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The Ferry! It was fantastic! Stay tuned to see this on the dream lake at our dream farm. IMG_1053

The worker in the church (bonneted lady below) was making necklaces and rosaries out of what’s called “Job’s Tears,” which are these stunning, beautiful, polished grey/white seeds. They grow already polished, and they naturally have a hole all the way through them for beading from where it connects to the plant and the flower blooms off the seed! So amazing! They flourish in the area, and Mr. Boffin was so interested in them (I was too, but I was walking occupied walking Merry around at the time), that she gave us some of her seeds so that we could plant out own. Hopefully by next year we’ll be wearing them, and in five years we’ll be throwing them out at our mardi gras parade.

IMG_1169As we were driving away we stopped by this pond so that I could take a picture of the “Do not feed the alligators” sign. Wow, are we in the South. It didn’t say, “Beware of Alligators,” or “Alligators in pond,” but “Do not feed the alligators.” Yeah, I wasn’t going to. Then as I took this picture, Derek saw something even more interesting. IMG_1230

My camera doesn’t have a zoom, but yeah…That’s a gator. That’s nice. Okay, let’s go home.

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