Royal Carriages New Orleans7 min read

Your carriage, awaits

Royal Carriages New Orleans

Romance is a funny thing. Scott and I have a million opportunities to be romantic but usually I’m taking notes and he’s taking photos so we can tell all of you about how romantic said activity can be. When riding a Royal Carriage around New Orleans, you better bet that my notebook was firmly locked away and Scott’s photo taking was kept to a minimum. However, we did manage to get the goods.

We hadn’t originally planned to take a carriage ride, purely because our schedule was so heavily packed. During a Business event we were attending at Popp Fountain in Citi Park, we were introduced to a bubbly little lady named Nancy who extended a ‘hard to say no to’ invite. That evening we had planned peace and tranquillity and ironically, the Royal Carriage offered just that.

Oh Sandy, you came and you gave without taking

Royal Carriages New Orleans

Introducing Sandy, our mule who at this point in the trip had more intelligence than me and Scott put together. I would be telling lies if I said that I didn’t love him. Scott has never been too keen on me taking mules back to Scotland. Regardless of how much room in the garden we supposedly have. Sandy was a boss of a mule and I think he even kept our tour guide on his feet.

On our travels, we have seen situations which maybe aren’t too animal friendly therefore I am sceptical. However Nate, our tour guide, put my worries to rest. Him and Sandy have formed a close bond and Sandy works 4 days a week, 6 1/2 hours per day. Nate said he likes to give Sandy baths. How he fits a mule in a bathtub I will never know.

Maybe She’s Barn with it, maybe its Neigh-belline

We had been looking forward to New Orleans from the get go. However, prior to visiting, our historical knowledge of the Crescent City was a drop in the ocean. Our tour guide Nate was happy to spill his brains while we took in the twinkly lights of New Orleans at night.

We were definitely in good spirits following a run in with a gold champagne bottle sized cocktail named the Midas Cup from the Bourbon O bar. It also helps that alcohol is not only permitted on the streets but greatly encouraged. I couldn’t resist feeling merry while I sat in the Royal Carriage listening to tales of times gone by. It reminded me slightly of the scene from Calamity Jane where Doris Day and Howard Keel are singing Black Hills of Dakota. Except Scott wasn’t keen on me singing. Understandable.

Royally Horsing Around

Royal Carriages New Orleans

The history and architecture in the Big Easy only add to the cities already eerie atmosphere. I listened attentively through booze induced ears to Nate as he spilled the beans behind the scenes. Although difficult, I have managed to limit my learnings down to a few of our favourite points.

Mad Meticulous Marigny

Jean Bernard Xavier Phillippe de Marigny de Mandeville – what a name folks! He was born into a rather lavish family who owned a plantation in the then Colonial New Orleans. Bernard or Bernie for short was a bit of a troublesome child and was shipped off to boarding school in England to straighten him out. It was probably a good thing he was sent to England and not Scotland or he, like us, would of arrived back in New Orleans even more rebellious with a strong passion for whisky.

When Bernie was in England he learned the game of Hazards, now known as Craps and brought it back to Louisiana with him. This actually assisted in his momentary downfall. He acquired daddy’s plantation at the ripe young age of 15. Bernie became reckless and a notorious gambler. This gambler didn’t know the secret to surviving. He ended up down in his luck and broke. So in a move which would shape New Orleans today, he divided the plantation in to lots and sold them off. This neighbourhood still stands today known as the Faubourg (suburb) Marigny. And guess what? It’s pretty.

Haitian Barbed Wire

https://twitter.com/lillanlamb/status/885026065965613056

Firstly, this idea is genius. Secondly, I would do the exact same round our house but it would look SO rogue. Haitian Barbed Wire is around many houses in the New Orleans French Quarter and is one of the most difficult things to explain via words. Basically, instead of using barbed wire on the walls surrounding their houses. The Haitians would put broken glass shards sticking upwards on their walls to prevent people from getting in. It doesn’t look like a fun experience and I would imagine those with huge balls popping over Haitian Barbed Wire would result in a loss of their huge balls. But guess what? It’s pretty.

John McDonogh

McDonogh commenced his career with William Taylor, a flour merchant in Baltimore. He went on to represent the firm in New Orleans. Following his success in shipping, he then started up on his own where he handled various merchandise and invested in real estate. Outside of his career, he was also an advocate for the freedom of slaves. This was during a time when this was thought to be very controversial. His slaves would be required to work for a period of time before buying their freedom. McDonogh then continued to assist with the immigration of slaves back to their homes in Africa where, I guess it rains.

He was very successful and in turn became a very rich man. Although rich, McDonogh was known as a miser and was very tight with his cash. His reluctance to spend in life resulted in a great legacy after his death. Following his death, he left nearly 2 million dollars to his home town of Baltimore and his new home in New Orleans. He wished that his money was spent on public schools for the poor. Many of his schools still stand today in New Orleans.

Rules of Living

Following his death, John McDonogh had his rules of living inscribed on his tombstone.

  • Remember always that labour is one of the conditions of our existence.
  • Time is gold; throw not one minute away, but place each one to account.
  • Do unto men as you would be done by.
  • Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
  • Never bid another do what you can do yourself.
  • Never covet what is not your own.
  • Never think any matter so trivial as not to deserve notice.
  • Never give out that which does not come in.
  • Never spend but to produce.
  • Let the greatest order regulate the transactions of your life.
  • Study in your course of life to do the greatest possible amount of good.
  • Deprive yourself of nothing necessary to your comfort, but live in an honourable simplicity and frugality.
  • The conclusion of which I have arrived is that without temperance there is not health; without virtue, no order; without religion, no happiness; and the sum of our being is to live wisely, soberly and righteously.

A Royally Superb Carriage Ride

Nate and Sandy were a terrific twosome and we can’t wait for round two when we next visit New Orleans. Nate knew his stuff and Sandy was not only obedient, but incredibly intelligent. The bond between the two was obviously very strong. If it wasn’t for my complete inability to say goodbye and my heightened emotions, I would consider applying as a tour guide for a Summer. We fully recommend taking a private carriage ride as it is definitely a very relaxing way to explore the city.

Miss V Claimer

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Nancy at Royal Carriages for arranging our Carriage ride at such late notice. Also, a massive thank you to Nate and Sandy for a perfect evening in New Orleans, we loved every minute. Our tour was complimentary but as always, my opinions are very much my own.

Victoria

Victoria

The Chief.