Day 28-32 New Orleans   1 comment

Reaching New Orleans early, we had a pot luck shrimp feast.

Afterwards, we had our “critter crawl.”

We began our city tour at Mardi Gras World.

1857 was New Orleans’ first organized Mardi Gras Parade. Before watching a film about Mardi Gras, we got into costume as if we were going to be in the parade.

What fun! Can anyone guess who is pictured below?

They are already working on the floats for 2015.

The Styrofoam is glued together to make the figurines 3 dimensional, as pictured below, left.

It’s amazing how the Styrofoam is transformed by paint.

Mardi Gras masking began in the 1800s, many years before street parades in New Orleans. The Creole population loved masking as much as they did dancing, reveling at celebrations that eventually spilled into the city streets.

The “Krewe” of Rex was formed in 1872 by businessmen wishing to honor a visit by Russia’s Grand Duke Alexis on Mardi Gras. Rex gave Mardi Gras the official colors, song, flag, and first day parade.

Superkrewes, such as Bacchus and Endymion, emerged in the 1960s and 1970s with celebrities and entertainers lending their national popularity to breath-taking parades with fabulous super-size floats and marvelous costumes.

Many of the figurines are stored for future use.

Our guide took us on a walking tour of the French Quarters

You NEVER know what you are going to see down there.

Jackson Square usually has a lot of activity going on.

Can’t leave New Orleans without doing a cemetery tour. Cemeteries in New Orleans are much different than back home. Since they are below sea level, they are buried above ground.

We learned in the Jewish community that their religion requires them to be buried under the earth, so they build up the burial ground as shown below.

Lake Ponchartrain, not a true lake, is one of the reasons for the terrible flooding caused by Katrina. The area around the lake is below sea level and when Katrina pushed the water up the Gulf into the Lake, it caused flooding in New Orleans.

We were delighted by Chef Kevin at the New Orleans School of Cooking. What a character! He was a show in himself. AND the food he prepared for us was delicious.

Roland, our guide, walked us down Bourbon Street on our way back to the bus.

What fun!!!

Our final day of touring was our “Sea Plane” ride

to see the mouth of the Mississippi River. How cool to begin a trip at the headwaters of the Mississippi, down to where it splits into 3 tributaries.

One goes southeast (to Biloxi, MS), south (to the Gulf of Mexico) and southwest (to New Orleans).

Fort Jackson.

The waterway we taxied out of before we became airborne.

Seems like everywhere we do there are interesting restrooms.

We held our farewell luncheon at the Woodland Plantation, dining in the church, which they moved from its original location, just 14 miles away.

After “our” lunch, we watched the owner as he fed the alligators that live on the property. He has fed the “mama” for at least 15 years.

It was amazing how close we got to the alligator to take photos while commenting how fast we know alligators can run! Weren’t we the brave souls?

Finally touring the house before we departed back to the campground. What a lot of work the owners have done to restore this property.

Hitchup breakfast is always filled with sad, but yet happy, farewells. Sad to say goodbye for now, but happy to say we made new friends and will hopefully see them down the road.

This has been a great group and a wonderful 32 day, approximately 1675 mile trip down the M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I- crooked letter-crooked letter-I-humpback, humpback I!


One response to “Day 28-32 New Orleans

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  1. Thanks for the memories

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