There is a lot to tell here:
* about the location
* about the house
* about the family
* about the slaves
* timeline of events for the last 200 years
The guide (dressed in modern clothes) had clearly memorized a script. At each stop there were certain stories/facts to relay in a fixed amount of time, then move on to the next stop. There wasn't time to squeeze in any questions. When I did finally ask "how long did it take to get to New Orleans?" she did not know and suggested I ask the staff in the gift shop. I did this later on and found that none of them knew either (the answer was supplied at Oak Alley down the road).
The civil war and Reconstruction are glossed over completely. I found this confusing especially since Laura was only born in 1861 -- her entire life experience was during Reconstruction and beyond. We tried asking the guide how life changed at the plantation after the Civil War, but she was only able to say "it did not change very much". I would recommend that they add another 15-20 minutes to the tour to flesh out a bit more about this period. The place and the story are fascinating and we would have appreciated hearing more of the story.
One surprise benfit of visiting in January -- the grapefruit tree had just been picked. There was a huge bin of fresh grapefruit sitting on the porch. One of the staff said "take as many as you want". We ate one on the spot and took a few more back to the city with us. They were great.
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