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Published: January 12th 2018
Mardi Gras, the famous carnival celebration that occurs in New Orleans takes place on the Tuesday before Lent; or so Renata and I thought. Actually, Marti Gras is a month long celebration that starts just after New Year’s and ends before the beginning of Lent. Renata and I learned this news when we visited Mardi Gras World.
Mardi Gras World is a working facility that makes over 500 floats per year for the Mardi Gras season. On the Mardi Gras World tour, Renata and I learned about the history of Mardi Gras. There are no corporate sponsorships or media involved in Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. The money involved in making the various floats come from membership fees from the various Krewe members. Krewes are organizations that host Mardi Gras balls, ride on parade floats and participate in social events throughout the year. Each Krewe has a theme for their floats and a day during the Mardi Gras season where they display their floats to the public.
At Mardi Gras World we witnessed various artists working on the floats. Float are made using different materials including Styrofoam and Paper Mache. The Styrofoam material can be reused and recycled
each year to develop new floats.
After our time at Mardi Gras World, Renata and I headed to the Garden district to enjoy a delicious lunch at the famous Commander’s Palace. We tried some delicious turtle soup, griddle seared gulf fish and creole bread pudding soufflé. Did I forget to mention the 25 cent martinis? The food was delicious especially the bread pudding soufflé. Definitely, the best culinary experience we had on our adventure in New Orleans
After lunch, Renata and I went on a Free Tours by Foot tour of the Garden District. We first explored Lafayette cemetery, which houses above ground tombs. Many individuals buried in Lafayette cemetery died from yellow fever, an epidemic in the 19th
century. Lafayette Cemetery is also seen in a scene from the movie Double Jeopardy.
After exploring Lafayette cemetery we headed to explore the rest of the Garden District. The Garden District is known for its famous and colourful mansions. The homes housed various famous celebrities including Anne Rice, John Goodman, Sandra Bullock and the Manning family. The movie the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, was also filmed in one of the Garden District’s ornate mansions.
quick dinner at Café du Monde of coffee and beignets, Renata and I went on a ghost walking tour with Free Tours by Foot. Out of all the ghost stories we heard, the one that resonated with me was about New Orleans most haunted house, the LaLaurie Mansion. Madame LaLaurie, one of New Orleans most wealthy women was known to torture her slaves. This was revealed in 1834, when a fire caught in the kitchen of the LaLaurie Mansion. When help arrived, they found an enslaved women chained to the kitchen stove, and bound slaves in the attic with evidence of physical abuse. Madame Laurie fled to France to avoid punishment as an angry mob attacked the LaLaurie residence. The house was purchased by actor Nicholas Cage, only to be auctioned later as a result of bank foreclosure.
After the ghost tour, Renata and I headed to the nearby Frenchmen Street to listen to incredible live jazz music before calling it a night. Tomorrow, Renata and I travel to a Louisiana swamp and plantation, and end the night with a visit to the infamous Bourbon Street.
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