My son-in-law is graduating from Army Boot Camp tomorrow so yesterday my oldest daughter and I, along with his parents, flew from California to St. Louis and drove two hours to our hotel. After waking at 4:30am and traveling all day and into the night, we arrived at our hotel, The Red Roof Inn.
Because of the illnesses that have been in the family and the planning of the our trip, I had no idea that yesterday was Fat Tuesday. When we arrived at our hotel excited to shower and sleep, the lady at the counter told us that in honor of Fat Tuesday we had to take a piece of King Cake and see if we can find a baby to win a prize…..What?
Of course we were very confused but as we love a road trip and the adventure that comes when we go anywhere, we got really excited to see what it was about. immediately my daughter started jumping up and down and screaming that she had found the baby…..a little gold plastic baby (a little creepy but so exciting.) It was as if she had won the lottery and we were all going to be set for life. She instantly said she was going to name it Baby Carlos (from the movie The Hangover) and we taped the baby to her shirt so she could carry it around with her. When we finished laughing we asked the lady what we won…..
A year of good luck and a free night stay – not exactly the lottery, but the experience was priceless! Of course I had to look up the information of the King Cake, so here you go:
As part of our Christian faith, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child. The idea is that the Kings searched for the baby and waited to find him. It is celebrated twelve days after Christmas, this is also the day Mardi Gras begins. Mardi Gras ends with Fat Tuesday which is the day before lent. Although the king cake can be eaten throughout Mardi Gras, most people choose to wait till Fat Tuesday for the celebration.
The King Cake is a rich Danish dough braided and baked in a ring or oval shape and topped with traditional Mardi Gras colors. Inside every cake is one tiny baby (generally plastic now, but sometimes this baby might be made of porcelain or even gold). The person who finds the baby in their slice of King Cake will be rewarded with good luck. That person is also traditionally responsible for providing the King Cake at next years party……..
I guess we just started a new tradition in California!