Is the ring on your finger, but the “My Wedding” notebook frightfully empty? Well, not for long! The Dansereau House, along with dozens of other wedding vendors, will fill the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center for the Eighth Annual South Louisiana Bridal Show this Sunday, March 3. You can sample food, look over the floral designs, listen to the DJs, and watch a fashion show of dresses!
The Bridal Show was our first real step into the community, back in 2010. The doors to The Dansereau House had not even opened yet when we learned about the show at the Civic Center, and knew that we wanted to attend. We created some marketing brochures, took some furniture from the House, and set up a miniature “Parlor” in our booth space. We hadn’t had one guest yet, let alone any weddings!
We’ve come a long way since then, and this will be our fourth show. We have had many weddings, receptions, showers, and honeymoon couples at the house, and we are very proud of what we can offer.
This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone planning a wedding, so plan to be at The Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. Admission is $5.00 at the door. Be sure to step into our “Parlor” and learn more about how The Dansereau House can make your wedding truly remarkable!
This weekend’s Super Bowl, along with a myriad of Mardi Gras festivities, has hotels filling up in Lafourche and Terrebone Parishes. If you’ve been searching for lodging, the historic Dansereau House, located in the historic downtown are in Thibodaux, Louisiana, has some availability to offer. Located about an hour from New Orleans, and within minutes of plantation tours, swamp tours, fishing, and more. Come enjoy our beautiful Bed and Breakfast, and be pampered after a busy day! Sip a cool drink on the veranda, and then tuck yourself into one of our comfy beds. Awaken the next morning to hot coffee and a gourmet breakfast.
Give us a call at 985-227-9937.
On January 21, 2010, Paul and I pulled the 26-foot rental truck up to the side of The Dansereau House and stepped out into a lifestyle that would utterly change our lives. We had educated ourselves for years, prayed for the opportunity to arrive, and then stepped back to let God allow it to happen.
We left South Florida, saying hard good-byes to family and friends, travelled the miles in a very loud, very bumpy truck, with lots of time to think. And, occasionally question ourselves. Along the way we jettisoned furniture and belongings to our children, and other family members. The last miles between New Orleans and Thibodaux were freezing cold, rainy, and contemplative.
People always say that one of the first things that you notice about Thibodaux is the friendliness of the people. To say that we experienced this almost instantly would not be an exaggeration! I will never forget the gentleman who peddled up on his bike shortly after Paul slid open the back of the truck and we stood there, tired and befuddled. I couldn’t understand him entirely, but he said something like “you sure can’t empty that yourselves” and proceeded to give us about two hours of his time helping with the heavy things. And in the days that followed, people stopped to welcome us, to chat, and to encourage. I think I met half the population while in my sweat clothes, washing baseboards! In addition, we learned that “You’re not from around here, are you?” is not a censure, but a simple observation of fact.
We came armed with our business model, our projected goals, and lists of priorities. What we still didn’t know was what kind of towel feels the best, which bath toiletries appeal to both men and women, which sheets give that “AHHH!” reaction. We had yet to learn how many toilet parts to have on hand, how many different lightbulbs could be found in one house, how important a needle-nose pliers and an allen wrench are to have within reach.
I know we will never forget our first honeymoon couple, our first baby shower, our first wedding. What an honor to share in such precious family memories! I’ve cried at weddings. I’ve stood in empty rooms, sad that its guest had gone because we’d become friends. We’ve had guests from all over the world, and from our own backyard. Each one is different, but we pamper them all in the same way.
People ask interesting questions, say interesting things. I’ve been asked, “What have you learned, doing this?” That is almost impossible to narrow down, but the most encompassing answer would be “Expect the Unexpected.” Our day, our plans, our calendar can change in a heartbeat. Guests can do funny things, and we’ve learned to laugh quite easily. Things break when you need them the most; dishwashers being top on the list. People stop by when you look your worst or your schedule is tight.
We’ve been told on more than one occasion that working in The Dansereau House must feel like we’re on vacation all the time. We’ve yet to figure this out, but we know it has something to do with the beauty of the house. We work hard. This is not a “ 9 to 5” occupation, but a “24/7” vocation. We felt called to do it, and are blessed each day.
One of our goals from the start was to make each guest feel important. We wanted them to feel that they had slipped away from their real world for a while, to a place where their comfort was important, and where relaxation began as they stepped through the door. We were not going to be a place just to spend the night, but an experience to remember. We wanted Thibodaux to be, not a city they didn’t plan to visit, but a city they would visit again and again. And as Paul said when he accepted the LTPA Accommodation of the Year award for 2011, it was not simply our efforts, but a joint effort of many. The tourist centers, the Chamber of Commerce, the fine restaurants, the welcoming shopkeepers, our Drinkery patrons all have had a part in making The Dansereau House guests feel welcome.
We thank you for three breath-taking years! Happy Anniversary!
I can’t stop them from giggling! Almost two hundred Teddy Bears, sent from the North Pole to the Bayou Country of Southern Louisiana, arrived on the front veranda a bit early. They were just too excited about the Victorian Teddy Bear Christmas Tea to be held at The Dansereau House again this December. I’ve got them stashed on the third floor, but every once in a while I hear giggling. They are cute, and I wish I had time to sneak up and play….
Reservations are now being taken for The Teddy Bear Tea, held this year on Saturday, December 8, and Sunday, December 9. Sittings are at Noon and 3:00 PM both days. Santa Claus, of course, will be here to listen to desires of all the good little girls and boys, and his official photographer will be ready in our Photo Corner to capture the moment. Mrs. Claus will be here, too, sharing stories and little-known secrets about their life at the North Pole. We’ve also invited a special princess guest this year!
Every child will take home their own Dansereau House Teddy Bear, and each adult will enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne. Our menu will appeal to both young and old, with a sampling of the sweet and savory fit for a queen! And, of course, a variety of teas from which to choose. The cost again this year, is $35 for adults, and $25 for children under ten, not including tax and gratuity. Photos with Santa will be available at a minimal cost, depending on the size.
Last year’s tea was such a success, and sittings filled quickly. Don’t miss this special time to enjoy the Christmas beauty of The Dansereau House with family and friends.
Who doesn’t love a fall festival? It’s a time to enjoy beautiful weather, savor a variety of foods, and start thinking about the holidays. Here in the bayou country of southern Louisiana, we have one of the best! So good that it’s been named the Number 1 festival in the southeastern United States. Thibodeauxville, held in the historic downtown district in Thibodaux, returns this year on November 10, bigger and better than before.
According to Rhonda Demptser of the Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce, “The festival will have a new look this year. We have expanded to include Highway 1. Our Food Court and the Car Show will be on the banks of beautiful Bayou Lafourche, and the Thibodeauxville Duck Race will take place on the Jackson Street Bridge.”
Almost 200 vendors will be on hand to get your holiday shopping started. Three different stages will provide continuous live entertainment. And, of course, the Food Court provides a wide variety of incredible Cajun food! There is no admission charge.
Local residents, as well as visitors to the city, enjoy the day-long festival from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. The Dansereau House has had reservations on the books since last year’s festival!
For Paul and I, Thibodeauxville marks the beginning of our holiday preparations. Two of our most cherished Houseguests, David and Andrea Sanford, travel from Florida to help us jump-start our Christmas decorating. Festival attendees will probably see Paul and David out in the yard again this year unwinding hundreds of feet of lights, modifying our light-show technology, and whatever else it takes to ‘deck our halls!’
Mark you calendars for November 10th, and we will see you in our booth at Thibodeauxville 2012! For more information, check the Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce website, here.
We had a guest at The Dansereau House this week who did not make reservations. We knew he might be in the area, but never dreamed he’d choose to stay with us. His name was Isaac; we never got a last name. He is now on the “No Further Reservations Allowed” list.
Paul and I are not novices to hurricanes. We both grew up in Florida and we know the drill. In my childhood innocence, hurricanes seemed almost fun. While my dad put up storm shutters, we tied sheets to our roller skates and ‘sailed’ around the block. When preparations were finished, we’d pull mattresses into the living room, and would all be together for the great adventure.
As adults, with a home of our own, the adventure part faded. But, we put up shutters, threw the patio furniture into the pool, brought in the orchids, pulled out the mattresses and waited in the darkness for the storm to pass. After all the hard work preparing, it was a great chance to sleep.
Preparing a 165-year-old, 9,000 square foot house for a hurricane is another kettle of fish! Everywhere you turn, there’s something else that needs attention. The first and second floors have shutters, and it only took two trips to Lowes to get them secured! We could not have done it without the help of Thibodaux Main Street Director Cody Blanchard, who came over to lend a hand. And, we are much appreciative that Trey Folse took some time away from helping his own family, to help us.
Our Innkeepers House sits under two old Oak trees and is structurally a bit more questionable than the Big House. I prepared it as best as I could, packed a little suitcase, and we ‘evacuated.’
We had water and food, batteries and lanterns, books and reading lights. Finally, at 3:30 in the afternoon we sat down to catch our breath and watch the Weather Channel. Within moments the power went out and this big, old house got strangely quiet and dark.
I hadn’t wanted to start using up batteries so early in the game, but there wasn’t much else to do but read. If we had known what the night was to hold for us, we would have slept! It was about to become a roller-coaster ride! About three hours later the power returned, so I began heating up freezer food for dinner. As soon as we sat down to eat and watch the news, off it went again! At least we had a hot meal, in the dark.
We have a wonderful, state-of-the-art alarm system here in the House. And, whenever they detect a problem, including a loss of power, they call to check on us before alerting the fire department. I’m sure that their call center is in some nice, sunny location and the operators were oblivious to our situation. It was nice to hear from them the first time. Paul explained to them that we were taking a direct hit from Hurricane Isaac, and that we had lost power, but were fine. I’m sure we both thought they would put that in their notes, and further calls would not be necessary….
The power returned, and we checked ourselves into The Caldwell Room. (That bed IS wonderful!) We watched TV, and must have fallen asleep for a bit.
Can you be awakened by darkness and silence? I guess. But lying there, in the dark, coming out of sleep, I recognized another sound. I whispered to Paul, “I hear water. In the house.” We scrambled toward the sound. As we headed up the stairs to the third floor, I realized that I was getting rained on from above. But, I was in the dead center of the house! I confess, I began yelling, “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! What is happening?” But Paul had to shush me, because he was answering a call from the alarm company. The operator was asking, did we know that we had trouble?
Water was coming through the ceiling of the third floor, rolling and bouncing off stairs and handrails, and traveling as far down as the first floor. We continued up to the attic, and what greeted us there, in hindsight, seemed a bit like the Titanic to me. The air was swirling in the attic, and especially in the cupola. To say that water was ‘dripping’ everywhere is too mild. ‘Running’ is more like it. Every wastebasket and bus pan was put to use. I dumped items out of storage containers and Paul wedged them into place. We dried and rearranged some of the Christmas décor that was in storage up there.
I came down out of the attic before Paul, and as I came into the stairwell foyer, I see the beautiful draperies being sucked in and out of where there once was a window! It was like a pulse, a heartbeat, and I think I was stunned into watching it for a few seconds before I yelled for Paul. Oddly, there was no glass shards, no wood, just rain pouring in and I realized that the window pane had just gotten sucked right out! Paul ran back to the attic for some old boards, and we simply screwed them in place. Later, when the eye of the storm was passing, I went outside for a look-around. There in the grass was the window- completely intact!
Knowing that this 165-year-old house has withstood its share of hurricanes, I felt pretty secure. But, as the night went on, that security began to fade. The house shuddered and groaned. The windows above the front door vibrated badly, making the same sound that a transformer makes as it blows off the pole. The third floor was not a place for the faint of heart! The windows seemed to breathe with the gusts. Finally, the last straw! The kitchen began to leak! Everywhere! More containers! More towels! And after the eye finally passed, they all had to be moved to the other side of the house, as the wind changed direction and the bar began to leak.
When Isaac moved on, we were grateful. On his way out, he toppled the side fence, exposing our A/C equipment area, leaving probably the most unappealing part of the property exposed. As Paul said, “It looks like we got caught in our underwear.” The trees all look as if Fall came early, and there’s a lot a repair work ahead. But we are grateful for safety, and the ability to laugh together even when it’s raining – outside and in.
One of the most faithful friends of The Dansereau House, General John Sherman Crow, received this prestigious award. We certainly wanted to share the press release with you!
Thibodaux, Louisiana – Brigadier General John Sherman Crow (Retired) has been selected as a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Order of Saint George Gold Medallion for his years of outstanding service to Armor & Cavalry and his untiring support to the United States Cavalry & Armor Association.
Crow will be presented the award in Columbus, Georgia on 18 September 2012 at the Doughboy and Saint George Banquet during the annual US Army Maneuver Warfighting Conference at Fort Benning. He joins the 44 living and 19 deceased recipients of the US Cavalry & Armor Association’s most prestigious award.
John Sherman Crow was commissioned a 2nd Lt. of Cavalry on graduation from Northwestern State College of Louisiana in the late 1950s. He entered active duty at Fort Knox, Kentucky as a Cavalry Officer and began what lead to an extensive and impressive command history. He commanded a Cavalry Platoon and Troop in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, a Tank Company in 3rd Armored Division, and was an advisor to the 2nd Vietnamese Cavalry and 9th Vietnamese Infantry Division. He commanded one of the first Chieftain Tank Squadrons in the 11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own), a British Cavalry Regiment posted in north Germany. He later commanded 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which was followed by command of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse) in Fulda, Germany. His last tactical command was as Commanding General, 2nd Armored Division (Forward) in northern Germany. His last posting prior to retirement in the late 1980’s was as Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Japan.
Crow had an equally impressive series of staff assignments on the Army Staff in tank development and as Deputy Director for Operations, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Crow received the MBA degree from the University of Alabama in 1973, graduated from the National War College in 1979, and was made a National Institute of Higher Defense Studies Fellow in 1983.
He is a decorated combat veteran with over twenty-five awards for valor and meritorious service.
General Crow is retired and resides in Thibodaux, Louisiana where he has served as an unpaid volunteer with several non-profit and charitable organizations. He is the immediate past President of the Blackhorse Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization representing troopers, veterans and friends of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse).
Temperatures have been steamy in Thibodaux lately, and you can blame it on us! Just in one week alone we’ve had three couples celebrating their anniversary here at The Dansereau House. But even more romantic is the special Proposal Dinner that we put together on the Fourth of July!
Who says romance is dead? Not for John Warren! Even though he knew we were not a restaurant, John approached us and asked if we could provide him with an intimate dinner where he could propose to his sweetheart, Megan, and, of course, we said yes! And, when John asked the important question, of course, she said yes!
John had the vision, and let us do the planning. Because we had guests that night, we chose the third floor foyer to set the stage, as well as the table. Soft piano music filled the air, candles lined the window sills, and a single red rose awaited.
While Lori prepared the four-course meal, Paul did the serving. But we wonder if either of them really tasted the food, because the big moment was saved until the check arrived. In it? An incredible ring, tied on with ribbon, and the check that simply said, “Will You Marry Me?” And she said yes.
The Manning Passing Academy begins next week on the campus of Nicholls State University, where over 1,000 young high-schoolers will be gathered to learn more about throwing a football. Thibodaux is gearing up, and we are no exception. Parents quickly found out that, while their sons are being worked to exhaustion under the harsh Louisiana sun, they could be resting and relaxing in the cool beauty of The Dansereau House.
We enjoy our camp-related guests, mostly because they stay long enough for us to get to know them and develop friendships. Many make their reservations for the next year before they leave. The breakfast-table conversations are always lively, and it’s nice to hear parents speak so proudly of their children.
This will be the 17th year of the academy, and the seventh at Nicholls State. The camp is owned and operated by the first family of football: Archie, Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning, according to their website, and is always an integral part of their lives. ” The Mannings are always the first to arrive, and the last to leave. They eat and sleep on-campus along with the rest of the campers and staff.”
The Dansereau House still has availability during the camp, but call quickly for reservations!
Every morning, at about 5:00 AM, I press the ‘ON’ button on the computer and head for the coffee machine. Coffee is an essential here. It’s always Community Coffee, it needs to be hot, and the cup is chosen with care. Ever since we attended our first Innkeeper’s Conference and met the Deneen family, I knew I wanted them to design The Dansereau House coffee mugs. It took two years, but our mugs are finally on the table!
Deneen Pottery is a family business that was started in 1972 by Peter and Mary Deneen in the Lowertown of St. Paul. Now the second-generation Deneen’s are a part of the business. Their goal is to provide handcrafted stoneware; individually created so that no two are exactly alike. As you know, I love working with small family, American businesses whenever I can, and these are some exceptional people! Not only are they easy to work with and have highly-skilled craftsmen on staff, they all have a great sense of humor, and are patient with clients such as us.
Although the company produces many more items that just mugs, I had over fifteen styles of mugs from which to chose. This was one of the reasons that The Dansereau House mugs became a two-year quest! I wanted our mug to fit the character of the house as well as fit the hands of our guests. The colors had to be perfect, the design of our logo needed to be beautiful. I was not disappointed! I was so surprised to see our logo so crisp and clean on the front of the mug! According to Deneen, “Over 24 pairs of hands touch each piece that begins with a lump of clay and ends in a twice-fired piece of Deneen Pottery,” and I thank each one of them!
Needless to say, our mugs are selling, well, not like hotcakes, but with them! After sitting down to breakfast with their steaming coffee in the beautiful Dansereau House mug, many guests choose to take one home. I can only hope that when they sit down in their own home, cradling their coffee in their souvenir mug, that they fondly remember the time spent with us. Thank you Deneen Family!