Walking Bellingrath over some uneven/unpaved terrain.
This morning, in the hotel meeting room, we will learn more about the History of Mobile and Bellingrath Gardens and Home in preparation for our field trip. Mrs. Bellingrath had a keen interest in antiques and collected from New Orleans to New York. These began to fill the 15-room house they had built on the property in 1935. Their home opened to the public in 1956, after the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation was created to oversee and maintain the house and gardens. The Bellingraths were both civic minded and generous. We’ll also learn about their philanthropies and many charitable acts. After a break, we will depart by motorcoach for Bellingrath Gardens, where we’ll learn more about our amazing history and culture from our historian, who will discuss Reconstruction, late 19th-century economic developments, World War I, the Roaring ‘20s, World War II, and modern Mobile.
At Bellingrath Gardens, we will enjoy a plated lunch, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
After lunch, we will explore an “American Castle” in Bellingrath Gardens and Home. The curator will give a presentation to our group that will orient us to the house and gardens, followed by time to explore on our own and see what interests you most. The magnificent 15-room mansion showcases its original collection of treasured antiques collected by Mrs. Bellingrath including furniture, silver, china, crystal, and cut glass. The exterior features handmade brick and ironwork salvaged from demolish 19th-century Mobile hotels. Nestled among beautiful live oaks, Spanish moss, and scenic Fowl River, the 65-acre gardens boast blooms every day of the year. During spring, admire the beauty of azaleas, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, pansies, camellias, Japanese magnolias, ornamental kale and cabbage, foxglove, delphinium, violas, and poppies.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Lots of great restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel.
At the hotel, we will discover the history, fun, and ambiance of Mardi Gras with a local expert, who will help us gain an understanding and appreciation for the true meaning behind the carnival season and where it originated.