Tag Archives: what to do in new orleans with kids

VISITING THE OLD SOUTH: Mom Camp Day 8 

Another must do when in the South is visit a plantation. Less than an hour outside New Orleans are series of plantations on the “Great River Road”.  We only had time to visit one and so we decided to spend our time at the Oak Alley Plantation.  This seemed to be one of the most dramatic examples of antebellum living in the area.

I must admit I did force the kids to watch  before we started the down south adventure.  The film remains an American classic for a number of reason– least of which is the amazing score and the fact it was one of the first full-length feature films.  I know some people take issue with it’s portrayal of slavery and it’s treatment of marriage, but I still like like.  And, even-though I like her, Scarlet is a bit of a nut!!!  Like so many works of historical fiction, IT’S NOT ACCURATE… The Professor who actually teaches Southern Film, is also more than welcome to comment.

img_3651 Now back to our trip to Oak Alley.  I was surprised to learn that it was NOT a cotton plantation, but rather a sugar plantation.  That makes total sense, since the French did a lot of sugar farming in the Caribbean.  Why wouldn’t they do the same thing in their Louisiana territory?  But, I am too far into the stereotype that all plantations are cotton.

The plantation had an extensive area devoted to the 200+ slaves who worked at Oak Alley over the years.  In addition to replica cabins, Oak Alley told the stories of several of the individual slaves living on the property.

view of the house from the salve quarters

The house itself was built by the slaves, including most of the materials (16 inch bricks for example).

The prime feature of the home are the 28 oak trees lining the walk leading to the “Big House”.  The house actually had 28 pillars to match the number of trees.

img_3674Walking into the dinning room the kids and I had no idea what was hanging over the table.  The guide quickly informed us that it was a large fan.  A slave child about 8 years old would have stood in the corner and pulled a rope to make it move back and forth.

img_3675Inside it was decorated to look like the mid-1800s.  All nothing remains of the original furniture.  There are four pieces original to the house all related to the this bedroom.

img_3683Anyone who knows me, knows I cannot pass up a chance to stare at a little creature.  The Captain spotted this one as were walking around the plantation’s second story terrace.  The kids were really amazed by this little guys blazing green color.

Everyone also tried a virgin Mint Julep, which was much sweeter than a plan old lemonade. But, it still tasted good on a hot and muggy day.

Oak Alley also featured a civil war tent complete with a southern solider.  Interestingly enough, the Union held the port of New Orleans for most of the war and there was no action at or near Oak Alley.

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WORLD WAR II, The Garden District & Baseball: Day 7

We took a stroll from our hotel to the National WWII Museum. Why the museum is in New Orleans and not Washington, DC is beyond me.  But after its founding, it was officially sanctioned by Congress as the National WWII museum.

It was such an engaging museum that even The Captain had a good time– and, he is notoriously difficult to please!

The family took advantage of a special interactive submarine exhibit called The Final Mission.  Each guest is given an identity and an assignment on board a sub.  The Captain and Cinco were in charge of loading and launching the torpedos.  The Princess and I were tracking targets.  (Pretty good assignments in my opinion.)

The facility was also wall to wall with retired equipment: bomber & fighter planes, artillery & tanks, and uniforms galore.  The museum makes use of many short oral histories to make the war more personal and focuses on major battles that were turning points in the war.

Hands on elements included a post where you could inspect a medic’s equipment and take an up close look at a German Officer’s get up— right down to the small gun cleaning tool kit he would have brought to the front with him. Guests were encouraged to try on costumes and pose as posters–  like the unforgettable Rosey the Reviter. 

And, each guest is issued a Dog Tag registered to a solider. Randomly, I got actor Jimmy Stewart. I assumed he spent the war in Hollywood making movies.  Instead, Stewart enlisted as a private and worked his way up earning wartime promotions. He flew planes in the Europen Field.

I’d been to NOLA twice before, I’d never seen the famous Garden District and decided this visit I needed to make that happen. After lunch, we walked around the area looked at the houses and snuck a peak in the cemetery.  I didn’t do enough pre-search to realize the only way into the cemeteries is with a tour guide.  They are locked up otherwise.

Next up, it was tourist time on the trolley. The kids have no ridden both the San Fransisco trolley cars and the New Orleans street cars.  The ride was a nice way to the 19th century houses of the Garden District with two kids who were bit tired of walking and traveling.

After a brief rest at the hotel it was time to get in the car and drive on out to Zephyer Field.  Who plays at Zephyer Field you ask? Why none other than the New Orleans Zephyer’s the farm team for the Mariners.

We, however, were not there to see the Zephyer’s.  Cinco was interested in the visiting team — The Omaha StormChasers.  They are the farm team for the Kansas City Royals, his favorite team. We went to see the Royals in spring training in AZ this spring and now we have seen their farm team.

We met the Zephyer’s mascot which happens to be a RAT! No joke! It makes the Las Vegas 51s Alien look like an fantastic mascot!!!!  Love the ALIEN.

Cosmo the 51s Alien

What made the game even better was that both kids go balls from the players.  Sitting behind the dugout has it’s advantages. And, in keeping with the New Orleans Mardi Gras theme the rat threw beads into the crowd.  The kids gathered quite a few because the game attendance was pretty low.

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