Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Orleans, LA ~ Day 3

April 12, 2013 ~ We  decided to take a couple of tours today of somethings that seemed interesting. First up we decided to take the St. Louis Cemetery Tour which lead us through some interesting history of what they do with the bodies when those living in Louisiana pass on. Our tour guide took us on a 3 block walk to the cemetery and gave us a lot of really interesting stories/history of those here.

Each of the different mausoleums seen in this cemetery have been purchased. Each of the family members buried in this cemetery are of catholic religion and can hold up to 100 family members. How you might ask.... well it gets so hot here that a casket is placed in the mausoleum and left for 1 year and 1 day. Then it's removed and the remains of the body are placed inside and the casket is burned (so they don't spread disease). Basically our bodies are mostly water/mush. Think of it like a turkey in a 300 degree oven.... when cooked long enough there is nothing left. This is true for the human remains and each mausoleum as a "basement" which the remains are swept into the basement and the next family member is placed in the mausoleum. Crazy yes but true.

This one is owned by Nicholas Cage. Until about 2 weeks ago this was white and now gray.

It was really interesting to see these. One of the tour guides had passed away recently and was buried in this one. He was family friends with the people that owned this mausoleum. So much history here.

 Many believe this is where Marie Laveau is buried. Marie Laveau was a Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo. You will notice all the triple XXX's and gifts others have left for her. This is not where she is buried.

 There were several graves like this one. Some people wanted to have their caskets in the ground and because they aren't much higher than the water level they could put the casket in 1' of dirt and brick the rest in. The tour guide said when they get a lot of rain you can hear a knocking noise which is the casket tapping against the bricks. (Wouldn't that freak you out at night!)

 Another place they think Marie Laveau is buried. You will see more gifts left for her. They have to clean up all of this stuff weekly because there is so much. Our tour guide said they must have just cleaned it up as there wasn't much here. She is not buried here.

I would have liked to stay a little longer to look at all of these and I am glad we had a tour guide to tell us some of the stories and answer some of the questions.
This was the last place people think Marie Laveau is buried. This is the only mausoleum that says "Famille" or Family of Marie Laveau. She is not buried here either. They believe she is buried in St. Louis Cemetery #2.

At the end of our St. Louis Cemetery Tour we walked down the other end of Bourbon Street we saw some people up on a balcony and Stephanie asked if they had any beads. The lady said "You want beads... hang on!" she grabbed a whole bunch of beads and through them to us! It was pretty cool to get all those beads and didn't have to show the "girls"! 

Another Red Bull kind of day for my Aunt.....

We decided to grab a bite to eat closer to the Airboat Tours and found a little place called Boutte's.

Then it was time to head out on an adventure! We took an Airboat Ride to search for gators! Our driver was 100% Cajun and awesome!

This little guy was missing his right front leg but he loved that swamp crack (aka: marshmallows) our guide said they love the sweetness of the marshmallows and once they get the taste for it then they are on the payroll.... (which means that they will come right up to the boat for more)

This little guy was on the ride with us. He was only a year old and I bet those little teeth would hurt!

I thought Bailey and Mattie might have a hay day with this little guy but thought he was bet to stay in Louisiana where he belongs!

After our ride we wanted to take a group picture... then our photographer decided we needed to remember him from our trip! (He wasn't right!)

We decided we better hit the casino for a little fun and just after midnight the machines started hitting good! (I've always said they hit good between midnight at 2:30 am). It was a lot of fun but we needed to get some sleep since we had a date with George Strait tomorrow night!

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