Today we traveled from Mobile, Alabama into Louisiana where we are now just north of Lake Pontchartrain. This morning we went to the Mardi Gras museum in Mobile which, as we found out, is the original home of Mardi Gras. They had costumes from many of the organizations who participate in the Mardi Gras parades as well as the gowns and trains of the Mardi Gras queens from various years including some all the way back to the 1920s. Come to find out, Mardi Gras was instituted in the form more recognizable to us after what our tour guide called the Northern Aggression (a.k.a. the civil war) and was a way that the old families of Mobile lifted their spirits after the Yankee occupiers (again, the tour guide’s description) had taken over. To this day, he told us, most of the Mardi Gras celebrations are lead by representatives of these old families and the semi-secretive organizations which make the parties and parades happen. To be sure, I learned much more about Mardi Gras than I’d ever imagined. From there, we had lunch in downtown Mobile and then headed west toward beautiful big skies and views of swampland. In truth, I’m glad to be gone from Mobile because the name had me so confused. I kept reading Mobile as mobile— so instead of understanding that the Mobile Convention Center was in the city, I read it as the mobile convention center as in one that could travel around. I also thought they had a mobile art museum and a mobile Mardi Gras celebration. I just couldn’t train my mind to read the mobile out of Mobile and so I kept on being confused about why they wanted to be able to move all of their tourist attractions and venues around. Hurumph. Anyway, we are heading to Baton Rouge tomorrow where I trust things will be simpler for me to read.
... and here I am in some mardi gras glasses :)