Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Battle of New Orleans 200th!

I'm sure you've noticed a lack of posting over the past few months. Well, this was the reason! You only have a 200th anniversary of something once, so I was working my little tail off trying to make a new wardrobe to wear for all the festivities.

My fella and I headed out early, early on Tuesday morning, and managed to arrive at the hotel at around 3. There weren't any events on Tuesday that we had tickets for, so we spent the day walking around the Quarter and doing a bit of shopping. It was our one day of gorgeous weather before a cold front moved in and made everything bitterly cold!

Wednesday was another quiet day. We walked around town, ate beignets and cajun food, and generally just relaxed. In the evening, we headed out to Docville Farm, where one of the local English Country Dancing groups was hosting a workshop in preparation for the upcoming balls.

Wednesday evening there was a concert by Irish musician, Danny O'Flaherty. We arrived a little late, but the concert was really wonderful. Danny is a lovely person, and his music is great. It ended up as a sing-along, with all of us yelling "MACINTYRE!", clapping along, stomping, and singing. It was great fun. We even found a fellow that could be my sweetie's Irish cousin by the looks of him!

Thursday was the actual anniversary of the battle itself, the Glorious Eighth of January! The 7th Infantry had put together an evening soiree at Napoleon House, which, as the name suggests, was built for Napoleon himself. (He never ended up living there, though.) The upstairs has been restored to its original Empire style, and it was absolutely lovely inside.

 The soiree was set to begin at 8, exactly the same time as a fireworks show that was scheduled over the river to commemorate the battle. I was walking through the Quarter when all of a sudden, "BOOM!" I had completely forgotten about the fireworks, and thought they were firing cannon at the waterfront to celebrate! It went on for about 10 minutes, and it was freaking awesome. It was like a battle going on, and all us fabulous people in the city were still carrying on with our fancy parties.

Friday we went to check out the reenactment grounds and attend another dance class. The dance class took place in the gym of a nearby elementary school, and it was packed, but I didn't manage to snap any pictures of all the attendees because I was dancing the whole time. XP

The reenactment grounds and encampments were busy with school groups when we arrived in the morning, but by the afternoon it was nearly empty except for those who were camping there. Since there were so few people, it allowed us to shop without having to elbow through the crowds! There was so much great shopping, I nearly left an entire paycheck behind! I couldn't convince my sweetie to buy the hat, he thinks he looks ridiculous in hats. But, at least I'll always have the picture to prove that he wore it!

Friday evening was the 2nd Line Parade, a sort of unofficial official parade for the reenactors. We met up in front of the cathedral in Jackson Square, and snaked our way through the Quarter, finally ending up in front of Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, the oldest bar in the country. It was great fun, with the drum and fife bands playing marching tunes and the privateers behind us singing sea shanties, and everyone randomly "huzzah!"-ing.

Saturday, there was battle!

And Saturday evening was Le Grand Bal!

And, I had managed to finish Charlotte in time for the Ball!

The location of the Bal was a bit strange. It was in the Presbetyre, which used to be a government building back in the days of the Battle, but is now a Mardi Gras museum. It was fun to see the Mardi Gras costumes and everything, but in the end I think I would have preferred a bit less kitch. The hall we danced in was lovely, though. It was very period looking, and had a spectacular view over Jackson Square with lots of large windows.

Sunday was our last day in New Orleans, and the city gave us the perfect foggy New Orleans weather. There's something wonderful and romantic about New Orleans in the fog, so I was one happy girl.

In the evening we celebrated General Jackson's victory over the British with the Grand Finale, a five course dinner and evening dance that was held at Antoine's restaurant, which has been in operation since 1840. We started with passed hors d'oeuvres, then had shrimp remoulade, oyster and artichoke bisque, crabcakes, pan fried pork, and ended with baked Alaska.

The entire week was wonderful, and the events were all beautifully run and stunning to attend. The organizers all did a tremendous job. I haven't enjoyed a vacation as much as I have this one in quite a long time!

 I'll have more pics of my clothes in a future post, but I wanted to share all the fun that was had first!  Also, here's a gratitious shot of my sweetheart looking all Regency sexy.

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