On Friday morning, as he likes to do, Bill enters my office and says, "would you like to go see the 4:10 showing of the Son of God, or would you like to go to Mardi Gras?"
Are you kidding me?
We are lucky to have family in the travel-related industry. A daughter-in-law who works for a hotel chain and a brother-in-law who works for the airline, but I was not optimistic. Who is gonna score last minute travel discounts to Mardi Gras?
I was pleasantly surprised. The hotel hookup was the easiest. We were able to score an employee discount to the Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz-friggin-Carlton! And we were listed for the 9 available seats on Sunday morning. (I would've preferred going on Saturday, but we couldn't get the employee rate!).
I packed my suitcase haphazardly on Saturday night, fully expecting that we wouldn't get on the flight. We checked in at the gate and not only got seats, but got premium exit row seats together! We were going to Mardi Gras! (my second time...Bill's first)
We landed Sunday afternoon and headed to the hotel. My first time at a Ritz-Carlton. So impressed.
I can imagine it filled with happy people when the sun is shining!
|Check out the gas lamps!|
|It's Bloody Mary : thirty|
|"Hey, Mista! Throw me something!"|
We ventured up St. Charles that evening to watch the Bacchus parade. Found us a nice corner with some locals who very generously shared their "homemade" bench.
|Bill's never met a stranger!|
|Drink of the night? Hurricane!|
|Bacchus King: Hugh Laurie|
Yes, we could have walked down Canal Street to the river, but where's the fun in that? Had to ride a streetcar! Love them!
|Saint Louis Cathedral|
|Like my hat?|
|So worth the wait!|
|Caught some great beads here!|
|We were lucky to catch a Second Line parade!|
|Louis Armstrong Park.|
|Infamous Bourbon Street|
|Original hitching posts.|
|Drink of this night? |
|Royalty: John Schneider|
|King Quentin Tarantino|
|Most impressive of all the floats.|
Some of the conversations we overheard:
- Coldest Mardi Gras since 1899
- It has rained every single time Mardi Gras has fallen on March 4
- I've lived here 26 years, first Mardi Gras I've missed due to the weather
|Krewe of Elks|
(aka the Truck parade still rolling @ 3:15)
Photo taken from the warmth of my hotel room
(notice the thinning crowds)
To our pleasant surprise, the rain did not stop Mardi Gras. The place was not as crowded as on sunny years, but people were there, having fun.
Three fun days = 7 parades!