Mardi Gras isn’t just a trip for adults, it is also a great time for a family vacation. Kids and parents can learn about the history and culture of New Orleans, the event called Mardi Gras, and the food that makes this city so memorable. Take a step inside and old warehouse to discover the mysterious Krewe of Rex and dine on fine cuisine at Galatoire’s, a New Orleans favorite.
Yesterday morning began with a limousine ride to the Rex Den. A den is the place where Krewes build and house their floats. The Rex Den is located in the 9th ward and many of the floats were damaged in Katrina. However, Rex would not let a hurricane bring them down, and they rebuilt their floats and have begun to use their creations for educational purposes. This year’s theme is about rivers, which each float representing a river. School children have been able to come into the den and see these representations of rivers such as the Tiber, The Nile, The Mississippi, and many others. I feel honored to have been invited in to this special place, where the waterline from the flood is still visible on the metal walls.
The Rex visit was followed by a New Orleans favorite, Galatoire’s. This restaurant does not take reservations and a dinner jacket is strongly advised. This landmark begins seating at 11:30, but this does not stop diners from lining up in advanced. Galatoire’s invented Oysters Rockefeller and Crab Sardou, leaving their own mark in culinary history.
Carnival Season in New Orleans is home to so many different Krewes and parades. I was able to catch Shangri-La after lunch, and then a few more after my dinner at Grand Isle Seafood, located on Fulton Street at Harrah’s. Pegasus was the last parade of the evening and I walked back to Harrah’s looking like Santa Claus with an enormous bag of beads thrown over my shoulder.
I was so glad to get back to my room and soak in a hot bath, to prepare myself for the next day of festivities. Thank goodness Harrah’s has a never-ending supply of scalding hot water. Oooohhh!