Back home and celebrating Mardi Gras
Randy and I are back from our vacation. We really did have fun. It is very unusual for us to take vacation in the middle of the year but this cruise was planned by my cousins and they are mostly farmers and can’t be gone in the summer when we are off . This won’t be a yearly escape for us but it was nice to be on our first cruise with a lot of my moms side of the family . We had a blast and today as I started to drag out our normal preschool stuff I thought to myself ” Self… you are taught to be a child centered teacher and teach the things that are important to the children. Right now, they are all asking you where you have been. How big was the ship? Did you buy us anything? ” Then I started cleaning out a sack that one of my cousins that was dog sitting for us gave me for the kids. What do I pull out first but some Mardi Gras beads, a king cake and a world map. Thats it ! So, with all those clues and the ones the kids were handing us all morning OFF WE GO to explore the places that Randy and I visited last week.
Today we started with New Orleans. Our ship was docked in New Orleans. We were on the Carnival Conquest. We showed the kids where we are on the map and then where New Orleans is. Kimber said ” that doesn’t look very far Ms Debbie…” And you are right, it doesn’t on a map but it seemed like it took us FOREVER to get there. We showed the kids the pictures we took in New Orleans. ( All most all of them.. so were not appropriate!) and they watched some of the small clips of video that we took of all the different kinds of music. I explained to the kids that this was those people’s way off life – their job . Each person had a bucket and they expected you to drop money in it if you took their picture of listened to their song or show .
I love New Orleans and all the music. After looking at the pictures and the video’s and listening to the music I showed them a picture of my with a Mardi Gras girl and we all started making masks. The kids love mask making.
We enjoyed watching a video of one of the best New Orleans Style bands we see when we go down there. I ended up in the middle of this band somehow and sitting on their bench.
We also tasted a king cake . The kids were a little disappointed that their piece didnt have a prize in it. I wish I had thought of this while I was gone and I could have had Danielle pick up the makings of a monkey bread king cake recipe I found and then I could make sure that everyone got a surprise!
The King Cake (and it’s legend) came to New Orleans from France in the late 1800s for the celebration of Mardi Gras. The cake is baked in honor of the three wise kings that visited baby Jesus and served the Tuesday before Lent.
A tiny plastic baby, gold coin or dried pea, representing the baby Jesus, is hidden inside of the King Cake. The token of baby Jesus is hidden inside the cake after baking by making a small slit in the bottom of the King Cake and inserting the token of choice.
Whoever finds the token of baby Jesus in their slice of King Cake will have a year of good luck. That person is also obligated to bake the King Cake next year for Mardi Gras.
The King Cake is twisted and shaped like a crown and decorated with royal colors of purple, green and gold. The purple color stands for justice, the green color stands for faith and the gold color stands for power.
Tomorrow will be a fun day. Since I know what direction I am headed in for the rest of the week we will be setting sail for Monetego Bay Jamaica tomorrow ! All Aboard!