THis is an article I found in the Cajun Familys local paper. Site is www.houmatoday.com .
Will be back with an address on the tour soon, I hope.
If I were them, I would only allow the husband and kids to come to Mardi Gras. THey would love it. Can't see how Barbara could let her kids have fun there.
Locals to appear on 'Trading Spousesí Monday night
By LAURA McKNIGHT
Zamariah "ZZ" Loupe, 8, Dianalynn Tregle and Lloyd "Diego" Loupe of Bayou Bouef will appear on the Fox reality show "Trading Spouses" Monday night. (Jim Cenac / For The Courier)
A local family becomes one of the latest families featured on a Fox reality show Monday night, after the showís casting crew decided it wanted see what happens when a snake-wrangling Cajun woman from Bayou Boeuf switches places with a vegan animal-rights activist from California.
The Fox reality series "Trading Spouses: Meet your New Mommy" lets two mothers trade families for a week, switching polar opposite moms to create "real" fish-out-of-water-style entertainment. The twist comes in the $50,000 check given each family -- the swapped spouses tell their new families how to spend the money.
"Right now theyíre calling us their most famous family," said Dianalynn Tregle, the mom who got swapped.
The Loupe family of Bayou Boeuf, a community north of Thibodaux, will see its first glimpse of the show when it first airs at 7 p.m. Monday night.
"Iím apprehensive, excited, nervous, scared, happy all at the same time," said Tregle, who has kept her maiden name. "I saw the preview, and it was funny as could be."
Fox even got airbrushed Zamís Swamp Tours T-shirts for the showís cast and crew to wear to the in-house premiere of Mondayís show, she said.
Tregle, 45, is a snake-wrangler and co-owner of Zamís Swamp Tours, and holds bachelorís degrees in criminal justice and political science. Her husband, Lloyd "Diego" Loupe, 40, co-owns the tour company and works as a boat captain, a job he took to counter the dent in international tourism from 9-11.
The coupleís son, Zamariah "ZZ" Loupe, 8, is a third-grader at Bayou Boeuf Elementary School.
The California family includes Barbara Gates, an animal-rights activist, and husband Jim, a freelance deep-sea diver and their children Jack, 10, and Lucy, 8.
Tregle said the Bayou Boeuf family did not go looking for the reality show.
"They called us. They found us," Tregle said.
Fox was in the New Orleans French Quarter conducting a casting call for families to appear on the reality show.
"They kept hearing our name around the French Quarter," Tregle said. "Weíre pretty famous around the French Quarter."
The family is well-known around New Orleans and in French-speaking countries as the owners of Zamís Swamp Tours in Bayou Boeuf, which has been open for nearly 30 years as a family-run business. New Orleans locals often advise tourists to head to Zamís for "the real thing," said Tregle.
Family members are no newcomers to the big or small screens, said Tregle, as they are known in the film industry for their alligator- and snake-wrangling skills. Tregle said the family has worked as animal wranglers on numerous films, commercials, documentaries and productions featuring Cajun themes or requiring alligators or snakes. Diego and ZZ Loupe wrangle alligators, while Tregle specializes in snakes.
In fact, Diego Loupe recently performed a one-line part in "Skeleton Key," asking Kate Hudsonís character, "Can I help you, cher?"
The trio has fulfilled offbeat requests, even escorting an alligator to the second-floor balcony of a local plantation home for a Neiman Marcus spring catalog shoot, and helping Uncle Kracker place a gold-toothed gator on the cover of his "No Stranger to Shame" CD.
However, until now, the family has mainly kept to the background working with animals, said Tregle, not entertaining in front of the cameras.
"We work behind the scenes with production," she said.
When the Fox crew called the family for an interview, Tregle said she thought it was for the usual Cajun-, alligator- or snake-related request.
"I just said, 'OK.í Youíve got to understand how many TV shows we have done," Tregle said. "It didnít matter because we do everything they ask us to do."
Tregle said a couple days later, a Fox worker told the family the crew had returned to California, but Fox would send people back to film the family and its home, because she "had a gut feeling that we were the people they were really looking for."
When the worker mentioned the interview was for ŽTrading Spouses,í Tregle said she thought, "Oh, no."
"I was never into reality shows. That was never my thing," she said. "I didnít want to be on the screen at this part of my lifeÖIím an old lady now."
However, Tregle said she became more interested when the worker mentioned the $50,000 bucks given each participating family.
After a cameraman filmed the family and its home, Fox invited the family to Hollywood for an audition.
Tregle said the all-expense-paid trip included a stay in "the best hotel," limousine service and plenty of sight-seeing. Tregle said her son even stood barefoot on Hollywood Boulevard in his camouflage shorts, flanked by the stars of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley and "looking like a frog out of water."
"We went all over Hollywood. We took advantage of being there," she said.
The trip an FBI profile and background check, and a battery of tests -- psychological, medical, drug and blood tests.
"You got to be squeaky clean," said Tregle.
Tregle said the family had "pretty good suspicions" they would be picked for the show, as Fox workers were "beside themselves" with the Louisiana family during auditions.
"They said, ŽYou donít understand how excited we are,í " Tregle said.
While Barbara Gates experienced Cajun culture, Tregle spent a week of October in a small town near San Diego with a vegan family.
Tregle said her time in California was fun, but full of the mishaps one would expect from swapping a homegrown Cajun with a health-conscious Californian.
Tregle said her new family ate no meat or eggs, drank no milk, and would not kill mosquitoes. She said the California family eats organic food and uses "organic" make-up, toothpaste and dishwashing liquid, even stocking recycled toilet paper.
"And we have animals. And we wrestle them. And they didnít like that," she said.
When she arrived, Tregle said she attended a party planned for her by Barbara Gates. Moments before handing out alligator heads to the guests as gifts, Tregle discovered the guests were all animal-rights activists. However, the awkward moment turned to tears and friendship when Tregle told them she appreciated their vegan lifestyles as healthy eating had saved her life.
"They loved me Ö and I loved them," she said. "I really enjoyed California. I was in a beautiful state. I met some beautiful people."
The South Louisiana native said she cooked the family gumbo with soy chicken and soy sausage, and brought the children to a pet store to handle snakes.
Back in Cajun country, Barbara contended with a family that not only handles animals, but eats them. Tregle said the California woman cried as she tasted alligator for the first time.
"I told my family to treat the lady like she was on vacation," Tregle said.
Tregle said her new familyís home was the only one spared from a wildfire, which she interpreted as a sign from God.
"There were a lot of signs from God during the whole thing," she said. "It was almost like I was supposed to be there."
Tregle said she believes the show was Godís way of saving her life.
In recent years, the Bayou Boeuf family lost seven loved ones in six months, then took beatings from a tornado, floods and hurricanes. Tregle said exhaustion from the series of events weakened her immune system, which resulted in her receiving blood poisoning from mosquito spray. Treatments for blood poisoning led to yeast in her blood, Tregle said, which made her sick, almost sick enough to lose her life.
"I asked God to let me live and show me how to detox," she said.
Tregle said God placed her in the vegan family in answer to prayers for more information on how to detoxify her body. Tregle said the experience helped her teach her family to eat healthier.
"I was on the right track, but I didnít have no resources," she said. "I was glad to hear they were vegetarian. I learned a lot from them peopleÖ That is what it was about to me. To me, this was Godís way of saving my life and my family."
The story has a happy ending, said Tregle, with the California family planning a Mardi Gras trip to the Tregle familyís bed and breakfast.