New Orleans, Cemeteries

New Orleans has many cemeteries. But we chose only three to visit.

Lafayette Cemetery was the first we toured. It is located in the Garden District, a very upscale area.

The above ground burial tombs were very interesting. It is up to the families to maintain the building.
This was the Jefferson Fire Company tomb

The oldest person listed on this tomb was the oldest I saw in the cemetery, born in 1794

Got to peek inside this one! A volunteer in the cemetery told us they buried the first one, then the next one lays on top until someone else is going to be added. They remove the wood from the casket and “scoot” the bones to the back. This is done by the family!

Most tombs are made of cement and brick. The only metal one

This is made of rock and metal between the rocks. There were three of these type.

I counted 30 names on this tomb, but found out later in talking to the volunteer that there could be double that amount!

The oldest cemetery in New Orleans is St. Louis Cemetery #1.

There were more dilapidated, unkept tombs here

But also bigger ones

The tomb of the founder of Mandeville had several names listed, but we were told by a friend leaving flowers that even more, 60 total, were interred

There is a small section left of Protestants, after most were moved to another cemetery when development came behind the cemetery

A burial memorial to the Battle of New Orleans is in the main section of the cemetery, where some of the defenders of New Orleans rest

A “voodoo queen” is also buried here

The largest of the three we visited was the Metairie Cemetery. We were able to obtained a map at the funeral home on the grounds that highlighted civil war burial monuments. Besides the Civil War, there are other war heroes, politicians, actresses and entrepreneurs. If you click on Metairie Cemetery, it will take you to a site that lists all of the famous people buried there.
Among the historical tombs we saw were:
Civil War Major General Richard Taylor, son of President Zachary Taylor and brother-in-law of Jefferson Davis.

Army of Tennessee, LA Div. tomb,

Although PGT Beauregard is buried in the Army of Tennessee, LA Div. tomb,
his daughter is buried in a separate but very unique tomb,

General John Bell Hood, whose tomb we did not find. We thought it was this nameless one (located according to the map), but later found out it was not.

Washington Artillery monument,

Northern Virginia monument

Among the interesting ones, the tallest private monument in the country, Moriarty,

and those that looked like miniature houses on a neighborhood street.

I think this was the most artistic, with it’s metal plant connecting the pillars,

and this the most revealing of the personalities.

The above the ground vaults are such a different concept of burial, and it was fascinating to look at them and to wonder about the people buried in them. And to be reminded that, in the end, the body turns to dust, “All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.” Job 34:15

New Orleans, Natchez Steamboat

One day we decided to take the lunch cruise on the steamboat, Natchez.
The Natchez is the last steam-powered paddle boat on the Mississippi!
We were encouraged to visit the boiler room. This equipment is over 80 years old.

Watching the action of the arm going out

to make the paddlewheel run was fascinating.

Seeing the city from the water gave a sense of where things were in relation to each other

This shows the St. Louis Cathedral in the middle with the Cabildo, where the Louisiana Purchase was signed, on the left, and the oldest apartments in the country (red building) on the right.
We saw Fort Jackson

a closed Ford Motor Co. plant

Domino Sugar Plant

Chalmette Plantation, now a National Park

Oil refinery

We also saw lots of ships like these,

barges (this one with rock from the north to build levees)

and tug boats!

Navy had a presence on the river, with Cape Knox and Cape Kennedy

as well as a Navy training center

Damage by Katrina was evident

When we docked, It was interesting to watch the captain give instructions from the deck.

A sax player and Mime were there to greet us on our return…. and for their share of the tourist dollar!

It is truly a unique city~

New Orleans, Swamp Tour

What would a trip to Southern Louisiana be if you did not take a swamp tour or a steam powered paddleboat trip down the Mississippi River? So we took both…. not on the same day though!!
First the swamp tour!
Cajun Encounters was close and was recommended to us by the camp we were staying at – we were not disappointed.
We saw turtles,

an alligator,

another alligator,

who “performed” for us,

beautiful plant life,

a fishing village, accessable only by water,

which was affected by Katrina,

more alligators

including one that was eyeing Barbara!

A preserve

and birds.

Barbara and I were brave enough to hold a baby alligator

Paul did not want to hold him, but did let him nibble on his finger

and his head! 😉

We all survived to live another day, and I continue to write my blog!

New Orleans, Plantations

It was hard to decide which plantations we wanted to visit.
Two were out, west of the city, on the River Road. So we decided to tour them. The drive out offered fabulous views of the river (which, during “drought” is still high!)

as well as the farmlands.

Laura Plantation was the first one we visited

It was a sugar plantation built in 1805. Based on 5000 pages of documents in the National Archives in France, and a memoir written by Laura Locoul, the great granddaughter of the original land grant recipient, French naval veteran of the American Revolution, Guilaume Duparc. The tour tells the history of 4 generations of women who lived and worked the plantation, handing it down through the women of the family.

The tour also included outside garden, with Pirique Tobacco, a rare type, only grown in southern Louisianna,

slave quarters

and several other out buildings

After lunch at a seafood market/restaurant (again, very good cajun food!), we continued on the River Road to the Oak Alley Plantation, the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road”

It was named for the 800 foot, double row, of 28 evenly spaced live oak trees, planted by an unknown settler at least a hundred years prior to the house being built in 1837-1839. Jacques Telesphore Roman, a wealthy Creole sugar cane planter, tried to lure his new wife away from New Orleans by building this spectacular mansion. She still spent most of her time in the city. After he died, she did move back and ran the plantation

Although it was ravaged by the Civil War, it was later restored and sold in 1866. In 1920s it fell into disrepair again,and it was acquired by Andrew and Josephine Stewart. After both died, it was placed into the hands of a nonprofit organization, which opened it to the public. No inside pictures were allowed.

We took an alternative route back, taking the Pontchartrain Causeway, the longest (23.83 miles) bridge over water in the country. It is second longest over water in the world with the first being Qigdao Haiwan Bridge in China (26.4 miles) being the longest. It is seventh longest in the world. Poor Barbara… she was driving and she was kind of afraid at first, but by the time we got to the end she was comfortable!

As we arrived, I took this picture of the Northshore. It was very pretty, and the town seemed to be a newer area.

There has been a lot of variety in this vacation! Except the “Hot and Humid” weather!

A Time to Reflect

Although I have blogged about our vacation, the time has been tempered with sorrow.
This week we lost our newest grandson, Jacob Christopher Johnson (Andy and Karyn) at 15 week in-utero. He couldn’t stay without amniotic fluid and was too underdeveloped to survive in this world.
It is the second in-utero grandbaby we have lost this year. “Pumpkin” Voss (Nate & Chris) began as a tubal pregnancy; one who had no chance to even begin to develop. We were out of town at that time, too.

We have asked the “what if’s”, we consider the “why’s” and we think “but, God”. But we also know the Lord’s timing is perfect….His ways are not our ways…..and we grieve. We know they are both in heaven now, with great grandparents they would not have met here on earth!

We are also comforted by the peace of God, “which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. Phil. 4:7, a verse that has been helpful throughout trials in my life.

Life continues, and we covet your prayers for our family; and we look toward the day we are united with these grandchildren.
“When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we will sing and shout the victory!”

New Orleans War Museums

The next day we went to the Warehouse/Arts District of New Orleans, taking the scenic route into town, rather than the Interstate, seeing the back country of New Orleans:
Including the Bayous,

remains of another fort

and a Vietnamese Temple.

There, we toured the Civil War Museum and the World War II museu. Both were very interesting!!

The Civil War Museum is housed in the Confederate Memorial Hall and is the oldest operating Museum in Louisiana.

It was actually built by philanthropist in 1891 as a meeting place for veterans to reflect on their Civil War stories and to house and protect their relics, and that its collection might forever proclaim “how a brave people and their descendants hold the name and fame of their heroes and martyrs with adoration undiminished by disaster or defeat and with love unquenched by time.” His wish has come true!
I love the arches!

The interior has ceilings with exposed beams, made from heart of cypress. It was really beautiful. A full picture of the room was all that was allowed, none could be taken of memorabilia, which included uniforms, flags, guns, shells, bullets, swords, mess kits, pictures and personal belongings.

While there, we asked for a recommendation for a good place to eat. Deanie’s, a small hole-in-the-wall place, was the answer if we wanted New Orleans Style Cooking! We had the BEST Shrimp PoBoy EVER!! (But forgot to take pictures… we could not wait to dig in. We split one and were still too full!)

We then went to the WWII museum, where Paul got a discount for serving in Vietnam!!
It was three stories of displays of uniforms artifacts, pictures, and recorded personal accounts. It explained the whys, hows and effects of decisions made during each of the conflicts.
Boy, did I learn a lot there! From the jungle fighting on Guadalcanal, the battles of Iwo jima and Okinawa, the racism of the era, the atomic age, the women working on the home front, and the fact that 20,000 boats were designed and built in New orleans and used in all the amphibious landings of WWII.
I think what impressed me most was the magnitude of the D-day invasion. With a fleet of 5,000 ships and 11,000 planes, it must have been an amazing sight!! I have a hard time imagining that many! A movie produced by Tom Hanks was awesome as well. It was 4-D format and gave you just a tiny feel for what it was like.
I was so focused on reading and absorbing everything, I forgot to take pictures, other than in the main entrance!

By this time it was past “Ice Cream Time”, so we decided to find some! We ended up having to go back to the French Quarter area, and had some at the Riverwalk, before heading back “home”.

New Orleans, French Quarter

New Orleans……what can I say!
It is like no other!
We enjoyed our first day in the French Quarter.
Lots of interesting sights, sounds, and smells!!

The streets were narrow and had a European (hence French!) feel

Of course we could not resist eating at NOLA, owned by Chef Emeril!

Great food!! (almost forgot to take the picture, we all started to dig in, when Paul asked if we were going to take a picture)

The St. Louis Cathedral is a big presence on the square,

and we took time to rest and just watch the steamboats!

Bourbon street was unique, with the bars, shops and cafe’s!

(notice the necklaces on the wire across the street, and the contrast of architecture with the nearby business area)

In a summary, ALL of the French Quarter was different, very foreign feeling, and had beautiful architecture!

On the Road Again!

We are on the road again…..
this time to meet Longways in New Orleans.
On the way, we stopped in Alabama. Mobile area has been on our list of places to visit.
The small town, Foley, near where we were camped had train museum with a fabulous model train set up. No pictures, even though we enjoyed looking at all of the details!
They also have an antique rose trail. Even though it was in the high 90’s, we decided to walk the two blocks. I think the heat was getting to the roses, because there were not many blooming, which surprised us. What roses were blooming were beautiful! The oldest was from a 1752 rose bush!! But the bush was not blooming.
Ganges Mist (no date)

1824 Lady Banks (small pink rose, but very few blooms can be seen)

1834 Louis Philippe

1839 Safrano

1845 Green Rose

1857 Duchesse de Brabant

1903 Moonlight

Because we only had one day to look around, we chose to visit a couple of historic forts: Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines. Both were similar in their construction, able to defend from enemies from all sides! And both had the beautiful brick arches.
Fort Morgan was the larger of the two, built in 1833, and was used in several wars, including the civil war and both world wars. It closed as an active fort in 1946.

The entrance was unpretentious, a tunnel through the sloping ground, which screened the fort walls from enemy gunfire.

Entering into a moat-like area

Then the main entrance, dated 1833, the year it was named for General Daniel Morgan, a Revolutionary War hero. It was first occupied in 1834 after completion.

The gun mounts, with fantastic views,
The hotshot furnace where cannon balls would be heated to white hot, and fired, setting wooden ships on fire.
The magazine was interesting to walk through and explore, quite cool inside compared to outside, and we found several archways that had stalagmites and calcium deposits above.
Gun mounts for 155 millimeter gun

Fort Gaines was completed in 1861, after more than 40 years of delays and problems with both title to land and the engineer. It was named afte General Edmund pendleton Gaines, who died a young offier in 1849, after reeiving national recognition when he led the detachment whcih captured former vice-Preisdent Aaron Burr who had been acused of participating in a conspiracy to commit treason.
Gun ramp to the right
Powder Magazine

Great views!

The hull of a 19th century ship was brought ashore by Hurricane Katrina and is displayed in front of Fort Gaines

We took the ferry ride between the two forts, across the Mobile Bay. I was surprised at how many oil rigs, and how LARGE they were!

Coming up, N’Awlins!