Where We Be
Mardi Gras -- New Orleans, Louisiana
Swag from our first Mardi Gras parade
Weighted down with beads after the Endymion Parade
Even the statues collect beads at Mardi Gras
These were some of the tamer outfits we saw
Beads? Check! Pink party hat? Check!
Marching bands played a mix of military and blues music, to huge applause from the crowd
"Oh When the Saints...Come Marching In"
During the afternoons we went for relaxing strolls through the French Quarter
Short sleeves at the second warmest Mardi Gras ever
We have no idea why catching cheap plastic beads is so much fun but it is!
Rex, King of Mardi Gras, welcomes us to his party
Endymion is held at night like most big Mardi Gras parades
Robin with plastic wine cup in hand on St. Charles just before the Endymion Parade
This hat says "I'm too drunk to care how stupid I look"
You definitely get more beads thrown your way if you happen to be cute and sit atop a ladder!
Kendall Square sits just across from the Mississippi River and is a New Orleans gathering point
Robin explores her inner Party Animal
The quest for "balcony beads" continues on Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street gets incredibly crowded after midnight and stays that way until at least 3 or 4 am
Awesome floats like this smoke-breathing bull help make Mardi Gras parades special
A quieter moment on a self-guided walking tour of the French Quarter
Nothing says "Let's get this party started" like a boa balcony
Watching the crowd get excited as a float nears is at least as much fun as watching the floats themselves
Our favorite "throw" -- this light-up squeeze toy
They certainly know how to throw a party in New Orleans!

We arrived Saturday evening and stayed through Fat Tuesday,
so we got to see most of the big Mardi Gras parades including
Endymion, Bacchus, Orpheus, Zulu, and Rex. We ate excellent
Creole cuisine, enjoyed walks through the French Quarter, and
drank just enough wine and beer to make it a party without
getting ill (we left that for the younger folks). Favorite memories:

  • Hearing a military jazz band play “Rock Around the Clock
    just as we arrived at our first Mardi Gras parade
  • Being "adopted" by a local family at our first parade
    (they've been coming to the same exact spot for 20 years!)
  • Succumbing to the irresistible siren call of bead collecting
    and watching the crazy energy of our fellow parade-goers
  • Seeing Kevin Costner atop one of the floats while hearing
    the crowd chant "Ke-Vin! Ke-Vin!”
  • Seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales clip-clopping along the
    parade route
  • Staying out until 3 am the night before Fat Tuesday and
    watching all the craziness on Bourbon Street
  • Finally getting a funnel cake after two days of eyeing the
    funnel-cake stand across the street but being unable to
    reach it because of all the endless parades on St. Charles
  • Collecting enough beads and trinkets to throw our own
    Mardi Gras bash