Take 12 Trips

Take 12 Trips January: Rosedown Plantation

As part of our challenge to ‘Take 12 Trips’ in 2016, we’re taking at least one trip each month – anything from a local day out to an international trip.

A fun part of the Take 12 Trips challenge is the opportunity to explore somewhere new in your own backyard. (After all, most of us can’t afford to jet off to Paris or Rome once a month to fulfill a monthly trip challenge!) And that’s exactly what we did in January, with a day trip with Ryan’s parents in our current backyard — western Louisiana.

Our day trip began, as all good trips do, with a good meal: lunch at Satterfield’s Restaurant in New Roads, Louisiana.

Satterfields Restaurant - Our Streamlined Life

The restaurant had a lovely view of False River, although it was just a little too cool to sit out on the deck. The menu included lots of seafood options, which Ryan was very happy about. But the highlight of our lunch was the beautiful views in the upstairs dining room, which had high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides.

We also enjoyed seeing this guy in the center of the room, all decked out for Mardi Gras:

Satterfield's Restaurant 2 - Our Streamlined Life

From there we headed to St. Francisville to take in a little Louisiana history! Our destination was Rosedown Plantation, one of the most intact, documented examples of a domestic plantation complex in the South. Ryan and I love visiting plantations when we come to Louisiana — we’ve also visited and loved Nottoway Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation — and we were excited to check out this one that’s a little off the beaten path.

First, a little history: Rosedown was established in 1835 by Daniel and Martha Barrow Turnbull, and remained in the family until 1956. It took six months, to build at a cost of $13,109.20. At its height, the plantation encompassed 3,455 acres, and employed 250 of Daniel Turnbull’s 444 slaves. Rosedown Plantation was purchased in 2000 by the Louisiana Office of State Parks, and declared a National Historic Landmark in 2005.

Rosedown Plantation 1 - Our Streamlined Life
First glimpse of Rosedown.

We started our visit by exploring the gardens surrounding the house. The 18 acres of ornamental pleasure gardens were Martha Turnbull’s pride and joy, and they’ve since been restored using the garden diary she kept from 1836 until 1895. In it she described every aspect of her gardens, from the layout to the specific plants she used, including one of the earliest collections of camellias in the Deep South and many plants imported from the Orient, like cryptomeria, azaleas and crape myrtles.

Rosedown Plantation 3 - Our Streamlined Life
One of two “Twin Fountains” in the garden.

And of course, everywhere we walked was overhung by gorgeous, dripping Spanish moss.

Rosedown Plantation 4 - Our Streamlined Life

The first building we visited was the small doctor’s office, located just in front of the main house.

The building was small but housed all the necessary items for keeping the family and their many children healthy and well.

Rosedown Plantation 6 - Our Streamlined Life

The property features eight white marble Italian sculptures on brick pedestals along the allée leading up to the house. The Turnbulls had purchased twelve statues in Italy in 1851, but they were removed by a later owner. The eight statues now on the property are close approximations of the originals, and they add a romantic, old world feel to the gardens.

Rosedown Plantation 7 - Our Streamlined Life

After spending some time wandering the gardens, we came upon the house — a quintessential Southern plantation. It reminded me a lot of Tara Plantation in Gone With the Wind.

The 8,000 square foot Federal-Greek revival style great house sits at the head of a 660-foot long oak allée.

Rosedown Plantation 8 - Our Streamlined Life

We arrived just in time for the last tour of the house. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable, and shared many details of the home’s restoration, how it had been passed down through the family, and its representation of the antebellum South.

One detail I particularly enjoyed was how Daniel Turnbull included numerous built-in closets in the home — extremely unusual for the time. (Most homes featured large armoires, and even the rich rarely had enough clothing to justify closets anyway!) The minimalist in me enjoyed the sight of the mostly-empty closet, hung sparingly with a few items of clothing.

Rosedown Plantation 9 - Our Streamlined Life

After touring the house, we returned to the grounds. The last member of the Turnbull family to live at Rosedown was Nina Turnbull, and during her declining years she actually lived in the small house below, which came to be known as “Miss Nina’s Wing.” The rooms were small but gracious and featured high ceilings and lovely windows looking out over the oak trees and a pond with a small fountain.

Rosedown Plantation 10 - Our Streamlined Life

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Rosedown Plantation, and would recommend it to anyone looking to learn a little more about the antebellum South!

Rosedown Plantation, now owned by the State of Louisiana, is located at 12501 La. Hwy. 10 in West Feliciana Parish. It is open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily; closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Guided tours of the main house are provided on the hour from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for senior citizens; $4 for students; and free for children age 5 and under.

Did you take a trip in January? Where did you go?

Take 12 Trips Challenge - Our Streamlined Life

2016 Challenge: Take 12 Trips

love challenges … especially the kind that involves checklists. For example, I’ve shared that one of my goals is to run a race in all 50 states. Nothing gives me as much satisfaction as checking a new state off my list — and it’s kept me motivated and running fun.

So when I read about the Take 12 Trips challenge on On the Luce, I was immediately excited. Travel? A challenge? A checklist? I’m in!

Take 12 Trips Challenge - Our Streamlined Life

Now, you might be thinking, “Dude. You live in a camper and travel full time. What do you need a ‘Take 12 Trips’ challenge for?” Thanks for asking 😉 There are a couple of reasons I’m excited about this challenge …

  • Yesterday I shared that we may be spending another month in Louisiana, 2-3 months this summer parked in Virginia, and maybe several months in New England. I want to make sure that even if we’re parked, we’re still exploring!
  • We know plenty of our family and friends — both online and in “real” life — can’t or don’t want to make travel a full time thing. But we know firsthand that, even if you love travel, real life can quickly get in the way if you’re working full time and using the weekend to catch up on chores and relaxing. The challenge is a great way to be intentional about traveling, even if you’re not interested in becoming a full-time traveler like us.
  • We want to build a community with all kinds of travelers, not just full-timers. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a summer adventurer, content to be a part-time traveler or trying to make a change of your own, a U.S. roadtripper or an international jetsetter — we want to be your friend, and we want to hear your story.

So here’s the deal: The idea behind the ‘Take 12 Trips’ challenge is to take a trip each month for the next year. It doesn’t have to be fancy (although it certainly can be!). One of your trips could be a getaway to Iceland, while one could be spending a weekend as a tourist in your own city. The challenge pushes you to live your dreams and incorporate travel into your everyday life, and gives you something to look forward to and plan for.

Here are just a few of the ‘Take 12 Trips’ ideas I’m kicking around for 2016:

  • Another overnight into New Orleans before we leave Louisiana. We’re attending a concert at the House of Blues and it’s the perfect opportunity to take the Algiers Ferry, enjoy beignets and cafe au lait, and visit the National WWII Museum.
  • A long weekend in Chicago. I’ve been wanting to explore the Windy City for a while now, and this challenge seems like the perfect opportunity to make it happen.
  • A trip to Ohio to check Cuyahoga Valley National Park off our national parks wish list! I would love to run their rail-to-trail path and hike to Brandywine Falls.

You can follow our progress on the Take 12 Trips challenge on the blog and on Instagram. You can also check out the other bloggers taking part by following the #Take12Trips hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

Are you in for the ‘Take 12 Trips’ challenge? Where will your trips take you, and where should we go?