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MOBILE, ALABAMA

America's First Mardi Gras: Three Centuries of Pageantry in Mobile

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Road Scholar
Program #14269RJ
4 Days | 3 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Feb 10 — Feb 13, 2013

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Type: Hotel

Description: The Admiral Semmes Hotel has been one of the south's finest historic landmark hotels since it's opening in 1940, when it was acclaimed Mobile's only luxury hotel. Some of the hotel's architectural features include expansive marble floors, stair cases, a unique oval balconies lobby, highlighted by a large central chandelier, and the original Art Deco elevator doors. An entire floor of conference space on the mezzanine level is located on the second floor near some of the rooms.

Contact info:
251 Government
Mobile, AL 36602 USA
phone: 251-432-8000
web: www.admiralsemmeshotel.com

Room amenities: All accommodations feature a comfortable lounge chair with ottoman, an elegant armoire with separate vanity, a mini-refrigerator, coffee pot, hair dryer, maid service, and room service until 10 PM.

Facility amenities: There is a spacious outdoor pool deck with hot tub, and a covered parking garage adjacent to the hotel. Oliver's restaurant and bar is also located inside the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Ask the hotel for best pricing
Please make reservations in advance as the hotel may fill up before or after the program, especially around Mardi Gras.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, February 10 - Arrival/Dinner in hotel/Orientation
Afternoon: Check-in is at 3 PM and Registration is 4-5:30 PM at the Admiral Semmes Hotel. From 5:30-6:00 Orientation for the program in the conference room of the hotel. University history and all handout materials (schedule, bios, etc.) will be discussed. Any questions about the schedule or the program will be answered at this time.

Dinner: Dinner served in the hotel dining room.

Evening: Following dinner, introductions will be made in the classroom. There will also be time for more questions. (Schedule may change due to instructor availability or weather.)

Lodging: Admiral Semmes Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Admiral Semmes Hotel has been one of the south's finest historic landmark hotels since it's opening in 1940, when it was acclaimed Mobile's only luxury hotel. Some of the hotel's architectural features include expansive marble floors, stair cases, a unique oval balconies lobby, highlighted by a large central chandelier, and the original Art Deco elevator doors. An entire floor of conference space on the mezzanine level is located on the second floor near some of the rooms.

Contact info:
251 Government
Mobile, AL 36602 USA
phone: 251-432-8000
web: www.admiralsemmeshotel.com

Room amenities: All accommodations feature a comfortable lounge chair with ottoman, an elegant armoire with separate vanity, a mini-refrigerator, coffee pot, hair dryer, maid service, and room service until 10 PM.

Facility amenities: There is a spacious outdoor pool deck with hot tub, and a covered parking garage adjacent to the hotel. Oliver's restaurant and bar is also located inside the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Ask the hotel for best pricing
Please make reservations in advance as the hotel may fill up before or after the program, especially around Mardi Gras.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, February 11 - Breakfast in the hotel/Morning classes on Mardi G...
Breakfast in the hotel/Morning classes on Mardi Gras/lunch in the hotel/Mardi Gras Parade/Carnival Museum, float barn and downtown tour/Dinner in the hotel/Mardi Gras Parade

Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.

Morning: There are two classes in the morning on Mardi Gras in Mobile. Explore the origins of Mardi Gras, early societies, examples of Mardi Gras throws you can expect to catch when you attend parades today and tomorrow.

Lunch: Early lunch in the hotel to get ready for the Floral Parade.

Afternoon: Next enjoy the beautiful Floral Parade featuring Mobile's young revelers and the Juvenile Court. The parade will include mounted parade marshals, marching units, bands, outstanding floats and the arrival of King Felix. Following the parade you will have a guided tour of Mardi Gras Museum. Mardi Gras Museum features gowns, costumes and trains from past Mardi Gras Kings and Queens. Guided tour reveals many little known facts about Mardi Gras and its origins and resurgence after the Civil War. You will also take a field trip to a Mardi Gras float Barn. See the floats up close and explore the beauty and time involved in producing these floats. A short downtown walking tour is also planned. You will see the sites of Mobile up close and get familiar with your surroundings.

Dinner: Dinner served in the hotel dining room.

Evening: Following dinner, get ready for an evening parade. The Infant Mystics Society will be parading this evening. Be ready for moon pies and beads galore.

Lodging: Admiral Semmes Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Admiral Semmes Hotel has been one of the south's finest historic landmark hotels since it's opening in 1940, when it was acclaimed Mobile's only luxury hotel. Some of the hotel's architectural features include expansive marble floors, stair cases, a unique oval balconies lobby, highlighted by a large central chandelier, and the original Art Deco elevator doors. An entire floor of conference space on the mezzanine level is located on the second floor near some of the rooms.

Contact info:
251 Government
Mobile, AL 36602 USA
phone: 251-432-8000
web: www.admiralsemmeshotel.com

Room amenities: All accommodations feature a comfortable lounge chair with ottoman, an elegant armoire with separate vanity, a mini-refrigerator, coffee pot, hair dryer, maid service, and room service until 10 PM.

Facility amenities: There is a spacious outdoor pool deck with hot tub, and a covered parking garage adjacent to the hotel. Oliver's restaurant and bar is also located inside the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Ask the hotel for best pricing
Please make reservations in advance as the hotel may fill up before or after the program, especially around Mardi Gras.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, February 12 - Continental Breakfast/Mardi Gras Parades and fun ...
Continental Breakfast/Mardi Gras Parades and fun in Downtown Mobile/Lunch and Dinner served at the hotel/Wonderful way to spend Mardi Gras Day

Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Hotel is located on the parade route. We will have the ballroom available all day, through the last parade of Mardi Gras. Limited space on a balcony available for participants to view parades. Morning parades: Order of Athena and Knights of Revelry featuring jazz bands and marching bands, mounted parade units, mounted parade marshals and outstanding floats. Each parade has a central theme with each float carrying out that theme.

Lunch: Buffet lunch served in the ballroom of the hotel.

Afternoon: After a buffet lunch in the ballroom of the hotel the afternoon parades begin: Comic Cowboys and Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association parade. Comic cowboys is an irreverent look at the past year in politics and national issues as well as local and state issues. Reading the signs on the Comic Cowboys floats is a favorite of past participants of Mardi Gras Road Scholar. MAMGA parade is the longest parade of the season. It is the last afternoon parade. As with the morning parades, these parades feature mounted units, marching bands, mounted parade marshals and outstanding floats.

Dinner: Buffet dinner served in the ballroom of the hotel. After dinner, relax with dessert and coffee as you wait for the final parade of Mardi Gras.

Evening: Mobile's oldest parading organization, Order of Myths parade, rolls after dinner. This spectacular display of lights, music, and marching units signals the end of the Mardi Gras Celebration in Mobile. The longest active Jazz band in Mobile, the Excelsior Band, leads the marching units. The traditional emblem float in the Order of Myths is pulled as it was at the turn of the century with a team of mules. This is an outstanding finish to a day of frivolity, music, and tradition.

Lodging: Admiral Semmes Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Four: Wednesday, February 13 - Breakfast in hotel/Morning class on the History o...
Breakfast in hotel/Morning class on the History of Mobile and check out/Farewell Lunch in hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Check out and then enjoy a class on the History of Mobile. Dive into Mobile history! During a class with a local expert, discover the influence and contributions of Native Americans, Africans, Spanish, French, and British on our city. Learn about Mobile’s role in the Civil War, Reconstruction, and World War II.

Lunch: Farewell lunch served in the hotel dining room.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Free Time Opportunities


Mobile, AL
Bellingrath Gardens and HomeReaders of "Southern Living" recently chose Bellingrath Gardens as one of the top three gardens in its annual Readers Choice Survey. In bloom every day of the year, Bellingrath Gardens offers visitors 65 acres of landscaped beauty among towering live-oaks draped in Spanish moss. The Bellingrath Home has been chosen as the first in Alabama to appear on A&E's popular "America's Castles" series. Enjoy a relaxing sight-seeing cruise aboard the Southern Bell River Cruiser on the Fowl River. View surrounding estates and wildlife from climate controlled comfort.
For additional information, visit: www.bellingrath.org/
Bragg-Mitchell MansionCanopied by century-old live oak trees, "The Bragg" is a grand antebellum mansion. This beautiful example of southern elegance is furnished with fine antiques and exquisite draperies. The circular staircase, double parlors and lavish rooms with crystal chandeliers remind one of a time when hospitality was a way of life. Free parking.
For additional information, visit: www.braggmitchellmansion.com
Conde Charlotte Museum HouseMobile's first official jail, this circa 1822 Federal-style home has period rooms containing French, British, Spanish, Confederate, and American furnishings and decor.
For additional information, visit: www.condecharlottemuseum.com
Exploreum Science MuseumGulf Coast Exploreum, in downtown Mobile, features an IMAX theater. Exhibits offered in the past at the Exploreum include, The Dead Sea Scrolls, Mummy: The Inside Story, Pompei, The Dinosaurs, China. Call the exploreum for information about exhibits at 251-208-6873 or 877-625-4386
For additional information, visit: www.exploreum.net
Museum of MobileWalk through the historical Museum of Mobile and travel back into the history of the Gulf Coast's oldest city, once the third busiest port in the United States. Learn of the cultures long past but still contributing to Mobile's rich heritage. Discover artifacts from Native Americans, French, British and Spanish eras in Mobile and learn of the important contributions of Mobile's African-Americans. Discover the American origins of Mardi Gras, begun in Mobile.
For additional information, visit: www.museumofmobile.com
Oakleigh Historic ComplexDiscover beautiful southern history at Oakleigh, Mobile's official period house museum, circa 1833. This unique T-shaped Greek Revival mansion is furnished with fine period antiques, exquisite portraits, porcelains and silver.
For additional information, visit: www.historicmobile.org
Richards-DAR House MuseumRichards-DAR, a Town House of the Italianate style, tells in superb architectural detail of fashionably life during Mobile's affluent ante-bellum days. The house is famous for its iron lace that lavishly decorates the front facade. Neo-classic figurines of the four seasons are caught in a renaissance design of arabesques and scrolls. Furnishings are prior to 1870. A formal gardens with wide beds of camellias, azaleas form a border of evergreen in winter and a burst of color in the spring. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, docents at the house serve tea and cookies to all guests.
For additional information, visit: www.richardsdarhouse.com
USS Alabama BattleshipBattleship park features the WWII USS Alabama Battleship. Also at the park are planes used in WWII and Vietnam, other aircraft and tanks, armored vehicles and much more.
For additional information, visit: www.ussalabama.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
3 nights of accommodations
9 meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
3 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.4
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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