Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Orleans: Garden District Tour

Thursday the sun came out and Terry signed us up for a Garden District tour. Something I very much wanted to do since we started planning the trip. Ada, the most amazing toddler in the history of travel, actually sat in her stroller for two hours without making a big deal out of how bored she was. Ada is a champion kid!

The first stop on the tour was the cemetery. These are pretty amazing and basically pizza ovens for bodies. The heat of Louisiana summers basically cremates the remains and then you can stack some more family members in there. Some of these have been going since the 1800s and are still being used today. The wall vault versions are apparently where the saying, "Wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole" comes from as a 10 foot pole is used to shove the remains out of the way.
What should feel macabre and eery since it is a bunch of houses for dead people, really feels solemn and filled with memories of those that were loved. Since many of the mausoleums are still in use, families are still decorating the properties, including a little Mardi Gras flair on some of them.

Tour group. I knew my dad would get around to asking "How many people on the tour?" This many.

An example of Swiss Chalet style. It is owned, and sometimes lived in, by Sandra Bullock.

I liked this staircase up to a cottage style home.

Fancy stop sign for Mardi Gras.

These are actor John Goodman's dogs. They were impeccably groomed. Good on you, John Goodman. Mr. Goodman makes this district his primary residence and is, according to the tour guide, seen around a lot.

Lots of greenery.

The oaks have been here for a long time. You have to be very careful on the sidewalks. One lady in our group was slightly annoyed that the city allows this. I was slightly annoyed with this lady.

A rose garter fence. Many of the homes here are or have been owned by famous people. This one was owned by author Anne Rice. It is believed that the "skull fence" is what attracted her.

Ada, hanging in there.

A beautiful house in the district that happens to be owned and lived in by Archie Manning, father of Peyton and Eli. Apparently they let Kevin Costner borrow their pool while filming JFK. The tour seemed to focus on architecture and famous people.

One of the things I really noticed and liked about New Orleans homes and buildings was the abundance of detail work and the attention to plants. One of the things that I don't understand where I've lived in Arizona is how people never put out planters. I'm ready for it to warm up a bit so I, too, can put out ferns and geraniums! Not much I can do about adding decorative moldings...

Geraniums on a garden table.

Finials on fences ensconced in jasmine.

Sago Palm

Beautiful glass window treatments.

Corn Stalk style cast iron fence.

Rosettes in the Greek key molding.

Detail of the "skull fence." Here you can see that it really isn't a skull, but rather a flower on top of a stem with two leaves bending down.

Even the oaks decorate with little ferns.

Carport detail. Everything gets a flourish.

Again, those orange planters. There is greenery being thrown about everywhere here. I loved it.
Afterward, we rewarded Ada (it was all about me, really) with a trip to Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au laits.

1 comment:

  1. Ada fits right in -- waving for beads at the parades and getting sugar coated at Cafe de Monde!!! Melanie