Wednesday, March 9, 2011

we're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time.

This past weekend, my oldest friend in the world, Erin and her husband Larry, came for a little visit. We had a great time showing them around our Southern neck of the woods. In addition to checking out the Naval Aviation Museum, stopping at the beach to dip our toes in the Gulf, and taking them to our favorite places to get a beer, we ventured to New Orleans for a little something called Mardi Gras.

Our plan was to show them around the French Quarter, check out the party on Bourbon Street, and finally end up on Canal Street to watch the famed Krewe of Bacchus parade, one of the biggest, most spectacular parades of the whole Mardi Gras season.

We started at the Roosevelt Hotel with the Official Cocktail of New Orleans, the Sazerac. We eventually made our way to Bourbon St. for the unofficial drink of New Orleans, the Hurricane!

By this time, the party on Bourbon St. was starting to gear up. There were people everywhere. It gets blocked off, so the whole street becomes one big party.

If you zoom in, you can see there are people on the balconies above the crowd. This is where people are throwing beads from. As we walked along, we would yell and wave our hands and people would throw them down. The traditional phrase is, "Please throw me something, mister!" Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to do anything scandalous to get beads. And while, of course, there are still people who do, some locals we talked to said that this only happens on Bourbon Street and is both frowned upon and can get you arrested anywhere outside the Quarter.

The real bead fun was when we got to the parade on Canal Street. The parade floats are so impressive and they're full of people with masks who throw out beads and other trinkets specific to the krewe.

The Krewe of Bacchus' parade theme this year was "Bacchus Salutes America's Greatest Generation", so lots of the floats were WWII themes.

They also had a few signature floats including this guy, The Bacchagator! The guy next to us was prepared with his Bacchagator hat on. They throw out special beads and plastic cups, stuffed animals, and coins with the krewe logo on it, called dubloons. Legend has it that another krewe, the Krewe of Zulu, throws out golden coconuts and they are one of the most valuable things to get at a parade.

Once the parade was over, we walked up Canal to find our friend, the shuttle driver, and this was the wreckage.

This was only Sunday, I can't imagine what Tuesday night's garbage clean up was like!

This, along with two cups, a t-shirt, and a little stuffed green puppy dog, was the loot we took home. This might not look like much, but it's got to be like 20lbs of beads.

This crawfish necklace was my fave that I caught. What's better than jewelry with sparkly seafood on it?

We had a great time and we were glad to check the experience off our Bucket List. We were also glad to be able to share it with some Northern friends. And as the saying goes, "Laissez les bon temps rouler!"

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