Friday 10 December 2010 - Sunday 12 December 2010 35 °F
There is a very real possibility that I'm allergic to oysters. But, like my coconut allergy, enjoying the food far outweighs the consequences. We've had a ridiculous amount of seafood on this trip, but the meal that stands out is the two pounds of crawfish that Josh devoured on Friday night. Ok, I had two, but that's minuscule compared to Josh's portion. I'm surprised he didn't explode afterward.
Next up was a ghost tour with the infamous "Scary Mary" LaCoste. She was a lively, sarcastic old woman filled with stories about the city. We definitely lucked out having her as our guide.
At one point we got to a house on Royal Street supposedly haunted by a woman named Julie. She was an Octoroon (person with 1/8 African ancestry) who lived with her white lover in the townhouse. Laws against interracial marriage prevented them from becoming husband and wife. However, a nearby priest was apparently ignoring those laws and marrying anyone, so she broached the subject with him. He was apparently pretty against the idea and offhandedly said that if she spent the night on the roof naked they'd get married in the morning. Well, guess what she did? Unfortunately it was a cold winter night and she froze to death while clinging against the chimney.
Scary Mary then invited us to take pictures of the roof and, after fiddling with the settings on my camera, I got an "orb." Yeah, orbs are most likely just dust reflecting the camera flash, but it's fun to suspend your disbelief sometimes. Besides, the orb is on the chimney that she died against. Commence "ooohhs" and "aahhhs" here.
New Orleans is filled with spooky attractions. Yesterday started with a trip to Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District with the Save Our Cemeteries tour. It was suppose to be a one hour tour, but it ended up stretching into almost two hours. The tour guide was really into his job and we loved listening to him, so we didn't mind. Besides, he liked Trent Reznor, who apparently ratted out some people who stole statues from the cemeteries. And he strongly disliked Tom Cruise, who was supposedly quite obnoxious during the filming of Interview with the Vampire. I'm not surprised by either story, actually. All in all, the guide was awesome!
The cemetery itself was quite captivating too. Really it's best to let the pictures do the talking here.
The last picture reads:
"Died of Yellow Fever
Born Aug 29 1878
Died Aug 30 1878
Born Oct 7 1876
Died Aug 30 1878
Born Dec 3 1873
Died Aug 31 1878"
Yes, that's three children under five in the same family who died within a day of each other. It's really sad, but it's history. Yellow Fever was pretty brutal, especially in New Orleans.
But let's remember, along with a harsh and tragic past, New Orleans is known for being a city of celebration and vice. It's a city of contradictions, contrasting emotions, and sarcastic wit. I love this place.
We once again ended the night on Bourbon Street with a large Hand Grenade. Unfortunately the hotel maid here threw out my souvenir cup! That was really the only souvenir I got for myself so I'm kind of upset. Guess I have to go back tomorrow night and get another one. Because seriously, this was damn cool. Thankfully the drink is quite tasty so I'll enjoy having another, but it's also quite expensive and I hate wasting money.
That same night we also saw a Mardi Gras Indian. And it isn't even Mardi Gras. Admittedly, I wouldn't have known what it was if I weren't a fan of the TV show Treme. I don't know how accurate of a representation that show is for the real Mardi Gras Indians, but if it's even close I think it's a pretty cool tradition and I'm glad to have seen one.
Today started with breakfast in Jackson Square. What an great view to start the morning.
It was here we started noticing a huge number of people dressed in black and gold, jerseys, and other Saints paraphernalia. When St Louis Cathedral let out after the morning service, half the crowd also showcased enthusiasm for the team. A quick Google search confirmed it was game day, so we wondered on down to the Superdome to catch a taste of the action. I've never experienced a tailgate party before so I don't know how it compares, but it certainly lived up to New Orleans' reputation as a party city. I'm not even from here, but I wanted to shout "go Saints!" to random passersby. This is even more impressive because I hate Football!
And they won! GO SAINTS!
I love this town. I really do.
As a parting gift, have an eagle statue with a cone on its head.