Favorite things about Mardi Gras:
1. The floats! Each day of parades brought bigger, better and more intricate floats. I especially enjoyed the parades during the day because it allowed you to see the intricate work that goes into building these monster floats. The most surprising parts about the floats is that many were 2 stories high and in the bigger parades, the floats often had 3 - 4 parts all linked together. I have never seen floats like this!
|Another beautiful float!|
|This float was from my favorite parade of Mardi Gras, Endymion. All the people riding the floats wear matching costumes and masks! It's so bright and happy just like I was on that day :)|
|This is a wonderful example of a 4 part, double decker float! So brightly lite up and many of the cars had music playing!|
|This is one of my favorite pictures of a parade that Valentina took! Everyone trying to get some awesome throws from some kickass floats.|
2. The Endymion parade! Most of the Mardi Gras parades go through Uptown whereas Endymion goes through Mid-City, another part of New Orleans. The parade started at 4:15 but the festivities started way before that. My friends Valentina and Emily live in Mid-City so we met up at 11:00am for food, drinks, music and hanging. We headed over to the parade around 2:00pm, lucked out on an awesome spot right by the stage where people were performing and the weather was beautiful (I even got a little sun!) The combination of being able to walk tot he parade, our amazing spot and having food and drink on hand combined with the wonderful floats and all the awesome beads I got made it my favorite day of Mardi Gras.
|Alex and I posing for a picture before we head over to the parade! Notice that we are not wearing sleeves.|
|Me, Anna Leigh and some of Emily's friends who came to visit for the weekend! You can see the people waving on the second story porch behind us...they got throws too!|
|Valentina brought a ladder so she could stand behind us and still get things! She also did a lot of dancing on it as well.|
3. Beads! Even though now I am quite unsure what I am going to do with literally 50 lbs of beads, I cannot deny how much fun it is to catch beads at a parade. I also got a lot of unique beads (not just the typical plastic ones!) that I think are definitely worth keeping. When you get enough beads though your neck starts to hurt, true story.
|Beads on beads on beads! I think my face shows I have no idea what to do with them all.|
4. The entertainment! In between parades (as I mentioned) there were bands, military officials, police officers, dancers and more. It was cool because sometimes members of the bands would come down adorned in beads given to them by the crowd.
|Pete Fountain's Walking Club has been walking the Parade of Zulu (one of the biggest parades) for 50 years! They walked around giving out beads, flowers and hugs!|
|A slightly blurry picture but officers marching by in perfect time...seriously though look at how lined up their feet are!|
|Band members with puppets!|
6. Spending quality time with my friends! It is hard to coordinate so many busy schedules but because of Mardi Gras I got to spend so much time with my housemates and friends. I think that is the best part of Mardi Gras - it brings everyone together because everyone wants to be there!
|All of us posing underneath Jess's sign!|
|Me and Emily posing with our beads and Emily was really happy to get the light up headpiece from the Hermes Krewe!|
|Oh...and hanging with Quentin Tarantino wasn't too bad either!|
|I think they are best friends :)|
Least favorite things about Mardi Gras:
Now while Mardi Gras is a fun and wonderful experience, there are definitely some aspects that I did not enjoy. Traffic was horrendous! It often times took me twice as long to get home from work and if I wanted to travel to the other side of town I was better off riding my bike. In addition, there were so many tourists flooding all the restaurants and the French Quarter. I was unhappy to find that my favorite bar on Maison had DJ's and a cover (it is usually free and full of New Orleans bands!) The city felt a lot different than usual in many ways that I did not like. I am happy that I experienced Mardi Gras but I am even more happy that it is over.
|The aftermath of parades.|
Lesson from the Journey: Beads can hurt!
|If you look closely at my forehead you can see the welts that beads left when they hit my face...that's what you get for being so close up!|