Saturday, February 2, 2008

Let's Go to the Mardi Gras

Since we're going to be out of town for Mardi Gras, we have to get all our parades in early. We went to one here in the burbs Friday night, and then today we went down into the city for one of the "super Krewe" parades, Endymion.
Early on in the parade everything just stopped, and these fun little guys were stuck in front of us. The guys who were walking in them got out and took a break, and we used it as a photo opportunity! Would you want to walk around in this all night, with only that little hole above the fleur de lis to look out of? I would rather throw beads from a float, thank you. But for that job you have to fork over thousands and thousands of dollars. I think I'll be enjoying Mardi Gras from the street.

We have a friend with an office along the parade route, on Canal Street, who had a party. So we headed down early and ate food and hung out on the front lawn until the parade started. Then we pushed our way out onto the street, and used our cute little blonde girl to get lots of loot.
We termed this "assuming the position." When a float was coming The May Queen would stand in front of The Big Guy, lift up her elbows, and insist "Pick me up, Daddy!" Once on his shoulders she would say "Get your arms ready, Daddy." Ready to grab all the things being thrown her way, that is.
To get the best stuff you get right up next to the float, but you have to contend with all of these people.

But you get the goods! This float stopped for a few minutes right in front of us, and the guy put beads right around her neck, then motioned for me to come forward and did the same for me.

This masked rider also handed some right to The May Queen.
Men on stilts are fun.
The man in the vest is Kevin Costner. Take my word for it. He was the "grand marshal" of the parade. The Doobie Brothers and the Go Gos also came by on a float, but I didn't get their picture.

Here's a pretty decent shot of a float.

We left before the parade was over, and still nearly had more than we could carry. We had a great time. I got beaned in the head with some cups and have a fairly sizeable lump on my forehead. The May Queen got whacked with something, too (we think a full bag of a dozen beads... those things are heavy) and cried, but didn't want to go in and get ice. "I can wait," she sniffled. "She's a tough girl," I said to her daddy. "She's a bead whore," he replied.

She is now contentedly sleeping with about 10 new stuffed animals.

This is the first time that Endymion has returned to it's midcity route since Katrina. We parked our car and walked several blocks to the party, passing homes that were, as we passed, being gutted. People were coming out of their homes wearing masks, carrying pieces of wall. One house, a duplex, had 2 brand new front doors, the old wrecked doors leaning against the side of the house. It's a weekend in New Orleans, and people are trying to get their homes back. But still, they waved and wished us Happy Mardi Gras. Green, purple and gold hung from their front porches. Music played. Food was being eaten on front lawns. It's Mardi Gras, and the party goes on.

35 comments:

JCK said...

Someday I will get to New Orleans.... It looks like you are living large, girl! What great memories you are building together.

Candygirlflies said...

You people of New Orleans are made of tough stuff... you take everything from getting beaned in the head to blown apart by a hurricane "in your stride", and just keep on going. You have my never-ending admiration.

What beautiful pictures... Glad to hear you had such a great time!

xo CGF

amanda said...

That May Queen is one tough broad... It looks like a fabulous time!

Suz said...

This looks like so much fun! YAY MQ!

Kathryn said...

Wow! That looks amazing! And look how fearless MQ is. I love it! I admit some of the characters are a little too close to looking like clowns and would freak me out a bit.
It looks like a blast. I would love to go some day.
Thanks for all the fabulous pics!

bipolarlawyercook said...

Thanks for the photos, it looks like a blast!

thirtysomething said...

What a grand time! I have never been to such a parade.
MQ is very very lucky to have you guys as parents and to live in such a fun place with so much history and opportunities to have such good times.

the dragonfly said...

Love the May Queen's Mardi Gras dress!

The Sergeant and I both laughed out loud at the Big Guy's "bead whore" comment. Sounds just like him. Actually, sounds just like something the Sergeant would say..

One of these years we want to go to parades with you! :)

Ambassador said...

Daddy's Little Bead Whore? I actually snorted when I read that section! We had stand tickets for Friday night at the Intercontinental Hotel - and stayed ALL the way through all four parades (Muses passed us at 1am).

Have a great time with The Mouse - wonderful pictures, great post, and the last paragraph was...well, very touching. I love you blog!

wheelsonthebus said...

One of my greatest wishes is to get to New Orleans before I am too old. I want to go and see this beautiful city that you (and another dear, dear friend) love so much. This post renewed my longing.

Emily

jen said...

ah. i so wish i was there with you soaking it all in. have a blast, sister.

Andie said...

Sounds like a lovely time... WOW!

Aliki2006 said...

I've *always* longed to go to Mardi Gras--you capture it so well with the pictures! Thanks so much for sharing these...

carrie said...

How FUN! Thanks for sharing the experience! :)

Tracey said...

I have never been, and would love to experience Mardi Gras! Way to use your offspring for loot!

Family Adventure said...

One year, I would love, love, love to experience that 'live'. Until then, thanks for letting me live it through your blog!

Heidi

Sober Briquette said...

"I love it" says Fiona.

Thank you for these pictures. I'm so glad you've recovered.

I apologize for not yet sending off a proper thank you to you for your lovely package of beads, etc., especially considering how much pleasure we've derived from the contents.

I kept hoping to convince Fiona to write the note, kept trying to get the perfect cute shot of them adorned with beads, but it's time to give up. Not going to happen.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm glad for some resurgence and healing for the best festival in our country! Woooohoooo!

Great pics... and thanks so much for sharing it with the rest of us.

ewe are here said...

Looks like a great day all around.

Thanks for sharing. :-)

slouching mom said...

Hahahahahahahahahah! A "bead whore!"

And Kevin Costner? Is he a native son?

Victoria said...

"Bead whore" *snicker* Thank you for sharing the photos - what a rockin' time. I can't wait to get back to NOLA soon - a city with such spirit!

Great pics!

realitytesting said...

These are great shots...I can't wait to show my kids ; )

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh I LOVED seeing these. How much fun. It made me want to be there. And the mayqueen and her dad in matching clothes was just too cute!

MamaGeek said...

WHAT A BLAST! Great shots PM!

A bead whore? Hilarious!

Queeny said...

Do you know I am from Louisiana (the northern part) and I have NEVER EVER EVER been to Mardi Gras? I'm so frikkin jealous of you right now. Looks like you were having a wonderful time. I've got to make it happen some year.

BTW, I didn't know you had to pay to mount a float -- and in the thousands? Yeesh!!!

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

What fun!

I talked Declan's teachers into throwing a Mardi Gras party for their Kindergarten classes!!

Chrissy said...

Awesome pictures. New Orleans is such a wonderful place. I'm hoping to get out there one year and let the kids experience the parades.

Jennifer said...

What FUN!! My husband and I have promised each other we WILL make it down there during Mardi Gras one year. We've been saying that for 11 years now...but one year, we'll see you there!

niobe said...

It sounds absolutely amazing.

Christine said...

party on, PM.

it is 730 am on shrove tuesday and we are already wearing your beads and listening to your rockin' music!

Running on empty

Kyla said...

How fun! I am afraid I am quite the party poop and get highly stressed in situations like those. LOL.

soccer mom in denial said...

What a great piece! I just love it. I can only imagine what a happy girl MQ was riding back over the lake.

Badness Jones said...

I want to come to New Orleans even more now than I did before....and it was already a lot!!

nomotherearth said...

Oh that looks like so much fun! Kevin Costner for real??

Alpha DogMa said...

That sounds like such a blast. Tinged with post Katrina sadness though.