Welcome to New Orleans … city of the weird and wonderful. We started this hot and muggy day with a tour of New Orleans Cemetery No. 1 and the beautiful garden district. The cemetery in New Orleans is fascinating mainly because of the way they care for the dead. Instead of either cremating or burying their dead they inter them in family crypts so they are above the water table which is quite high. When a person dies they are placed in the crypt which is then sealed for a minimum of 365 days. Should another family member die within this time period the family will have to wait until the time period is up before they are allowed to reopen them and add the next person. You are only allowed two coffins in the tomb, once another one is added the oldest coffin is opened, the bones moved to a pit in the bottom of a tomb and the coffin burned so the new coffin can be added.
The tombs themselves are decorated as the family see fit with bright colors and decorations added. Some tombs are less looked after with trees growing out through the cracks in the bricks
The garden district is stunning with large elm trees covered in ferns providing a canopy to a range of stunning historical mansions. The tour told the stories behind these mansions and was absolutely fascinating.
After that we jumped back on the car for a drive out to the infamous Oak Alley Plantation. The gardens here are absolutely stunning, a beautiful line of 300 year old oak trees frame a lovely big plantation home. The home itself wasn’t as pretty as the one on Nottoway plantation and the house tour felt rushed, this plantation is definitely more of a tourist trap so it’s understandable that we wouldn’t get as much time learning about the occupants of the house. Overall I would definitely recommend a visit to Oak Alley but more for the gardens than the house.
Our final stop of the day was Frenchman street. The more refined cousin than Bourbon Street, it’s all about the Jazz! Walking down the street the sounds from each bar wash over you vibrating all the way to your bones. What I did discover is that my darling husband is actually an 80 year old man in disguise declaring that no one could possible eat with that much noise in the background! So around the cone we we went where we found a small place selling shrimp and grits without a side of jazz to distract our digestive systems.
Tomorrow, a swamp tour! Let the holiday memories continue.