I have been trying to get my son to go to Mardi Gras with me for years. YEARS. Of course, now he's 18 and in college and he could get in a car and drive to Mardi Gras any time he wants, so I was pretty psyched that he decided to join our trip. I told him he could bring a friend.
|Mardi Gras virgins|
Sam has lived his whole life in Memphis and had never been to New Orleans. And he's Jewish, so he was all, "What is Mardi Gras, anyway?" I explained about Lent and Ash Wednesday and Fat Tuesday and debauchery.
We took two cars and drove down Saturday. It rained almost the whole way. We were going to drive to New Orleans for Endymion but it was so cold and rainy. Even if the parade did roll, I didn't particularly want to be standing out in it. So we went ahead on to Biloxi, where we were staying. We met up with some of my Steel Magnolias -- with Tammy for dinner (I had gumbo and an oyster poboy.) and then with Debbie and her family for King Cake! We might not have had a parade, but we were at least getting a taste of New Orleans!
Sunday the weather cleared and we all headed to NOLA. We got some muffulettas and bloody marys and chicory coffees and pecan pie. The college boys headed out on their own. E gave us his car keys and that was the last we saw of them until after Bacchus.
We wandered around the Quarter, avoiding Bourbon Street. That's a little too much entertainment for the kids. On Royal, we saw musicians:
a steam-punk butterfly hunter:
both sinners and savers:
God hates hypocrites who carry signs.
We got spirit-finger gloves and face-painting:
And then we headed over to the parade route, where Thoth was rolling. (Pronounced "toe-th.")
|Joe, Natalie and Debbie. "Throw me something, mister!"|
Before Bacchus rolled, we waited 10 minutes to use the bathroom in the Roosevelt Hotel Bar, but it was locked. We knocked, but no one answered. We waited and waited. Finally the door opened and a girl AND a guy busted out. Then he paid her. I guess that's one way to fund your Mardi Gras vacation.
The theme of Bacchus this year was the Louisiana Bicentennial.
|Will Jazz-hands for beads|
There were floats honoring Louisiana music, Louisiana cuisine and Louisiana agriculture. I'm not sure what the Louisiana Religion float was throwing, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't birth control pills.
(This time next year, no one will remember why that joke was funny.)
|My brother Steve and his son Jake, with Debbie|
|NOLA ex-pats Joe, Natalie and Debbie|
After the parade, we made our way back to the car, where we met back Elijah & Sam. The first thing out of their mouths was, "WE WANT TO MOVE HERE." I'm so glad they love my New Orleans.
They were wearing some beads, but not very many. "Is that all the beads you caught?" I asked. Usually you get so much loot you need grocery sacks to carry it all home.
"We had more but we...traded," Elijah said.
Oh, I bet.
Les bon temps, ils roulaient.