Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mardi Gras - part 1

Time to head out of Texas for a while!  Our travel trailer is packed and ready to roll:

First stop = New Orleans for Mardi Gras!  It was our first chance to experience this amazing festival, even though we have gotten to know the city quite well during many urban races here.  We were lucky to have a friend and a New Orleans local to show us around.  Michelle brought us down to the Chaos and Muses parades on Thursday evening, and we found a good spot near Napoleon Ave.

The start of the Chaos parade:

A Chaos float - the theme this year was "Hell" in various forms, along with lots of local and political satire.  It was interesting checking out the details on the floats, while catching beads and other treats thrown over the side.

I especially liked the Muses parade.  They decorate fancy shoes and occasionally hand one out, and even though most people don't get one of those, the rest of their "throws" were creative and fun.  Lots of beads with flashing lights, many shoe-related items, and an excellent bag that I can actually use for grocery shopping.

A fun first night!

It's a keeper:

The next day we wandered around the French Quarter with Michelle, our friends Nicole and Jeff who came down from Albany for the weekend (yay!), and Jeff's family.  It was fun being tourists for once instead of having to prepare for a race.

A small parade in the middle of Royal Street:

With Jeff and Nicole, at the Court of Two Sisters:

Me and Michelle, trying a couple different drinks (I'm partial to the Ramos Gin Fizz):

The stop at Cafe Du Monde was so particularly good that we picked up some chicory coffee down the street and I'm drinking it as I write this:

Checking out the French Market:

Jeff's family found a balcony on Bourbon Street for tossing beads:

Seemed like a good idea... so here's a view from that balcony:

Supper at Embers - the crawfish mac & cheese was unforgettable.  Three cheers for Mardi Gras!

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