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Our Story

Meet Chanelle & General Joe, the heart and soul

of Mentone Vacation Lodging

Meet Us

A story like no other. When a retired Army General and feisty Cajun gal find each other and have a second chance at life.  Separately enduring tragedy and triumph, at times their lives parallel closely, but never collide until 2011.  Joe, grieving the loss of his wife of 42 years; Chanelle struggling to regain her life and discover her new path, becoming a single mom after 25 years of marriage. What appeared to many as an unlikely match, their friendship not only helped each find their way out of a dark tunnel, but they discovered the meaning of a real friendship that evolved into a fairytale love story. Gen. Joe and Chanelle were married Feb. 2015.  They will tell you that they feel like they have been together for a lifetime! God had a plan. A plan to heal and love. 

General Joseph and Mrs. Cosumano were on a mission of a very different kind in 2015. They were searching for a perfect home set in a majestic mountain setting, which would offer not only peace and tranquility for themselves, but also for their large family of 8 children and 4 grandchildren, parents, siblings, friends and extended family to gather and celebrate life and each other.  

In October of 2015 while viewing properties, when Chanelle step out of the car, onto what is now The Estate, a beautiful 3 acre retreat, Joe was a bit hesitant.  He saw a home that was 32 years old, vacant and in need of a lot of work.  Chanelle saw past the signs of time, she felt the healing power of the property!  She could feel life and energy on this piece of heaven.  She felt God's presence, she felt they were home.  She could see the vision of what this home would be.  Joe didn't have a chance.

 

Chanelle & Joe worked side by side restoring this home, built in 1984 for a popular national home magazine and featured as a mountain home of its time!  It was important to them to maintain as much of the original features as possible, while updating and repairing where needed.  There was a lot to be done.  They desired to create a setting where their day to day lives could be set aside for some family time.  Time to breathe in the clean mountain air and fill their senses with the sound of the birds, feel the breeze of the mountain, the scent of the pines, dogwoods, rosemary and lavender gardens.  A true retreat where the rest of the world faded away.  

5 years later, what started out as Chateau de la Famille has become known around the country as Mentone Vacation Lodging. The leader and innovator of vacation homes offering their guest the same 5 star standard and service found at some of the world's top resort hotels. Joe and Chanelle believe that you do not have to compromise luxury and service when you stay in a home. They have grown to a team of 8 team members who focus each day on you, their valued guests. Guests are advised to book as soon as they can, often reservations are made up to 18 months in advance for certain dates and homes!

Joe and Chanelle have 2 German Shepherds, Reagan trained Search and Rescue, Jax training as an assist dog and Golden Doodle Rider, training as a therapy dog.  The Cosumano's  travel frequently to visit their children or grandchildren.   They stay  active within the military community, their church and The Knights of Columbus.  They are happiest when they are home in Fort Payne, Al. They enjoy HOME and working daily ensuring guests will enjoy their stay at Mentone Vacation Lodging.