Over spring break Mike and I took the girls to south Louisiana for a weekend getaway. We met up with old friends, stuffed ourselves with boiled crawfish and had a grand ole’ time.
The highlight of the trip for everyone though was when we made the drive from Baton Rouge to Lafayette to take a tour of the Acadian Village. It’s not very often that I pick an attraction the family loves but this time I struck gold. Hayley loved exploring the 1800-1900 era homes and with absolutely no one else there (it was Mardi Gras weekend and most people were at the parades) Kyla was given the freedom to roam around on her own. Mike took off with Hayley, stopping and visiting the old homes at her pace which left me to enjoy playing with my new camera.
The Acadian Village is a replica village comprised of actual homes dating from the 1800′s. These amazing homes really help depict the life of a Cajun village during the 19th century. There are a total of eleven homes, seven of which are authentic. As you tour each one you can see the early builders ingenuity in the way they used wood pegs, mud, and cypress tenders to build their homes; making each one stunning in its own right.
Among the homes collected is a shed that houses different time periods farming and gardening equipment. The girls had a blast trying to use an old lawn mower and decided that they prefer the ease of modern technology. They did think it was cool to see the blades working but still not cool enough to offer using one here at the house. I can’t say that I blame them.
As we walked the grounds I couldn’t help but fall in love with the charm that envelopes the village. From oak trees to a man-made bayou you can’t hep but fill like you have stepped back in time to were things were harder but also simpler.
Life was slower, sure the work made the days longer but families were closer. With no iPads, cell phones and malls to venture to daily, families had to talk and rely on each other in ways that most now days can’t fathom. The beauty of era really shines through as you explore the grounds and buildings. From an old church to a black smiths shop the beauty never ceases.
Each offers their treasures like an original painting from the 1700′s that depicts the Acadian’s expulsion from Canada. It’s hard to tell in this photo but the painting is massive and takes up the entire wall of the home.
There are also old washing machines, medical supplies in the doctors office and an old doll house made from cypress.
We enjoyed our time there and the history learned. The girls learned that in some homes the boys slept in the attic and the girls room was only accesable through the parents room. (An idea I love and Kyla hates.) They also learned that people haven’t always had everything we do now and that while harder isn’t always preferable it had it’s place in our history. More importantly to me though is that they got a taste of their states heritage.
If you ever find yourself in southern Louisiana and are looking for something the whole family can enjoy I suggest dropping in on Acadian Village for a couple of hours. I promise it’s something you’ll never forget.