This does not technically count for my bucket list #36. I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year, but I did not stay on Bourbon Street-I did go there-but I was staying on St. Charles at night. And this does not count as bucket list #98 either since my 30th birthday is FAR FAR away… I wish.
My bf Brad is from LA so we had visited there in September of 2009 and after that trip I was hooked! I loved New Orleans-I left my heart there! So we planned to head back in February of 2010 for Mardi Gras….little did we know…
This trip could not have been better timing! The city was full of life-I couldn’t turn a corner without hearing the ying yang twins song or WHO DAT?! or even Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA-the Saints version. Four days of food, all day parades, beads, music, and booze. I love it!
People of all ages dressed up in anything you could think of! Brad’s whole family was there and his sister Amy hosted ALL of us! Leslie made food to feed an army-anything southern or related to Fat Tuesday she made!
Brad’s sister has sent us a king cake in Seattle every year-this is the one we had while we were there (I’ll also be trying to make my own in a week or two for our work potluck!).
I’ve never seen anything like this before. The streets were lined everyday for miles! We secured a great spot on St. Charles, the main parade route and the part with out the barriers, to catch all our treasures! Tons of people had made these basket ladder things for their kids to sit in and catch beads-such an advantage!I loved the colorful floats, but the masks really freaked me out! Also, my only fear about Mardi Gras was that I would need to use the bathroom and there wouldn’t be one…I’m sure that might be the case if I had been on Bourbon, but luckily the house was a few blocks away!
My favorite parade was when they had only semi-trucks-thousands of em! I caught a lot of stuff! At first I was like ‘hey toss me some beads please’ because I mean really, there just some plastic beads. After catching a few, I became a mad woman ‘HEY HEY HEY OVER HERE! TOSS ME SOMETHING! NOW!’ Then I became picky and started asking for certain beads. ‘HEY GIVE ME THOSE HEART SHAPED ONES!’ I got those I just had to promise to say my Hail Mary’s.
See how close you can get without the barriers?! I almost got killed by the horses that walk through and when the parade gets backed up and the float is stuck in front of you can hassle em for a while. Amy and I even got her step stool and got up close and grabbed some that were stuck on the side of the float!
They don’t just throw beads…I had pillow case after pillow case full of beads, stuffed animals, roses, coins, underwear-yup, and cups. My favorite were the cups! I tried to collect a different one from each parade-they are plastic but with different designs. By the way, Brad’s mom and I FILLED her trunk with all of the stuff we caught. FILLED.
It’s difficult to see but that is Drew Brees, the quarterback for the Saints. He was the King of the Bacchus Parade I think. Anyway he was throwing stuff and my favorite Reggie Bush and the coach Sean Peyton were on another float throwing stuff. I was trying really hard to get a signed hat from Reggie and Brad and I were running down the street with the float.
At one point the float stops. I keep yelling and Brad and I are pretty far away and then it happens. Sean Peyton points at ME! He then winds back and launches a football at ME! I leap into the air and my fingers try to grip the ball as it whisks through my hands. I slowly yell NNNNNOOOOOOO! I turn to look behind me as I see a giant man leap into the air sideways to grab the football. I can’t believe I’ve lost it. BUT WAIT! The giant man was BRAD!!!! VICTORY!
For safety’s sake, we went to Bourbon Street only once and during the day. We walked and even though we were a large group the locals suggested we not try to go at night-a cab would be impossible to get and the 30 min or more walk back even with lots of men could be dangerous…Next time we will get a balcony! People were just as crazy though with the sun out. I saw some shirts go up and lots of beads tossed.
I love New Orleans. I really do. The people, the music, the food…the light posts. Everything! I’ve been to most of the hot spots in the past few years Brad and I have gone down. Hotel Monteleone was amazing, Cafe Du Monde delish, the cemeteries, Fats Domino’s house in the 9th Ward and so much more! I’ll share some of those fun things in another post just on LA!
Even though Mobile, AL claims they had the first Mardi Gras, New Orleans owns it! If you are interested in joining me there for my 30th birthday let me know…Although, I’m not sure I can keep away from it until then! This year is hard!
What are you giving up or taking up for Lent?
Happy Mardi Gras!!