A Visit to Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World
16.12.2004 - 16.12.2004 9 °C
December 16, 2004 - Last Day in New Orleans
We didn't do much today. Bob had to ask me how to turn the shower on - it isn't immediately obvious because of the whirlpool. You have to pull down a ring inside the faucet. We watched TV until 11 (or rather Bob made his breakfast (bacon and hot tea) and watched TV in the living room and I sat in the bedroom and computed).
Then we went down to the ferry docks.
I noticed for the first time that the light posts in the neutral ground were all labeled with something on the four sides. This proved to be
French Domination 1719-1789
Spanish Domination 1789-1803
Confederate Domination 1861-1865
American Domination 1803-1861 and 1865 to present
We just missed a ferry so I took photos of the History of Mardi Gras posters
The ferries go from the New Orleans side (east) on the hour and half hour. The escalators at the ferry dock weren't working so we had to climb several flights of stairs. We found out later that if we'd entered from the Plaza de Espania side, there would have been a ramp. Pedestrians are free. It is a car ferry, although Bob insisted at first that it was not. They load the cars on the side instead of the end like they do with the NC ferries. That means the ferry doesn't have to turn around. The ferry was named the Thomas Jefferson
They go from the Algiers side (west) on the quarter hour and quarter of the hour. It was a nice enough day that we could ride outside, and I took some pictures.
When we got off the ferry, there was a map of the area on the wall of the terminal,
and outside there was a statue to Louis Armstrong.
There was a regular local bus, and a mini-bus outside
to take us the four blocks to Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World (where they make the carnival floats), and he gave us a spiel on the ride. [Note: Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World Studios are now in New Orleans proper and not in Algiers]
We drove by this house on the free shuttle van to Mardi Gras World. The driver said we'd get in free with the wrist band that showed we had paid the admission to Mardi Gras World, and that we could then get picked up for a return trip to the ferry right outside. But really, the folklore voodoo museum/gift ship is free for everyone because they let us in even though we didn't pay admission to Mardi Gras World.
He also said we could pay to go to the cooking school.
I had gotten the impression from the talk we had Saturday that if you didn't take the tour (which the hotel guy said was boring) you could just wander around. The tour for old people was $11 each, and I thought that was way too much - I'm not that interested in Mardi Gras anyway.
But it turned out that you could only wander around if you paid for the tour. I didn't want to do the tour, and I particularly didn't want to pay $22 (for two of us) for it. I think Bob would have liked to do it but he didn't say. So we paid for a cooking school lunch -$8 @. They demonstrate how to make various dishes. As a part of that, we got to go through some of the warehouse, and when the tour went by, we heard that part of it. The actual tour starts with a movie which we didn't see. And we also didn't get any King Cake but when we had some at the Saturday meeting it was way too sweet for me, so I didn't feel that we missed much
We were eating lunch with some of the workers, who said they paid for it too (i.e. they didn't eat free). We got a salad, some gumbo, iced tea, and some bread pudding for our $8.
I went to the ladies room on the way back and that got me a peek at another room in the warehouse.
Then we walked back to the ferry dock,
stopping briefly in the voodoo museum gift shop.
We decided not to take the shuttle back to the ferry, but to walk, and we did go in here. They sell "Evil Away Uglies", but we didn't buy any. I read that descendents of Marie Laveau held meetings to learn her mysterious practices here and that tours/readings also available. We didn't wait for the van to pick us up - we just walked back to the ferry dock. It isn't far.
I took pictures of some camelback houses and some other houses in the Algiers Point Historic District (1719).
Then we climbed up onto the levee to walk the rest of the way.
The lamp posts on the levee were all named and dedicated to someone.
Then we took the ferry back to New Orleans
I wanted to see the inside of the Cathedral (the outside has been remodeled and is more modern) and then shop, but my back hurt, so we returned to the hotel (I did not go to the Messiah, but I did go up and take some pictures of the facade of the Orpheum Theatre).
Bob went to McDonalds to get hamburgers for himself, and I ate my General Tso's chicken leftovers. Then we packed.
This week has been a little more expensive than the week in Duck because we had to pay for transportation (like the airplane which was $194 RT), but it was only $10/day over the target of $157/day.
Next: Driving to New Iberia via Morgan City