Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mardi Gras 2008

Today is Mardi Gras, which is French for "Fat Tuesday." For Christians, this day mark the last day before Lent. Traditionally, Mardi Gras is a culmination of celebrations before the a period of fasting, prayer and reflection leading up to Good Friday and Easter. New Orleans has always been the center of Mardi Gras celebrations in the U.S., and as some of you know, I was stationed in "NOLA" from 2003-2005, and I was fortunate to be able to go to many Mardi Gras parades. Before I moved to Louisiana, I thought that there was just one parade on the day of Mardi Gras. I could not have been more misinformed. From the calendar day of the Feast of the Epiphany until Mardi Gras, there were were over 60 parades in the New Orleans metropolitan area.

In 2005, Deirdre and three of our friends (Mary, Margaret and Deb) came down for the weekend before Mardi Gras, which is when there are some major krewes "rolling" and we watched the parades from a balcony overlooking St. Charles Street. The five of us had a great time and we were able to see 6 parades over the course of the weekend and catch lots and lots of throws. Many people think that Mardi Gras is nothing but semi-naked men and women exposing various parts of their bodies for beads, doubloons and throws, but nothing could be further from the truth. Certainly, if you go prowling around Bourbon Street (see the photos to the right and left I took on Mardi Gras Day, 2005 on Bourbon Street) on the days approaching Mardi Gras, you will see a lot of drunk people, some of whom will expose themselves for beads. However, 99% of the stuff that goes on during these parades are family oriented. Families will traditionally set up lawn chairs for the adults, and ladders for the children, to watch the parade and catch beads. Dee, Margaret, Mary Deb and I had a great time during Mardi Gras 2005. Life comes at you fast. I find it hard to believe that it was three years ago when all of us were there gathered at our home in Metairie to take in the sights and sounds of Mardi Gras. Dee and I still have lots and lots of beads in bags in our basement, so if you ever need some beads to celebrate, stop on over and we will be happy to share some with you. Laissez les bontemps rouler!

P.S. Yep, we all had a great time at NOLAPP (The New Orleans Party Palace)!


John said...

<< Yep, we all had a great time at NOLAPP (The New Orleans Party Palace)! >>

In "Fashionable Metarie"

Lisa and Gary... said...

Whew...I was worried there for a minute there might be incriminating photos of me stumbling around drunk in the French Quarter after one too many frozen tasties and a couple Abita Beers. Oh, wait. That's right. I was pregnant and sober. Those drunk people were my husband and a certain Naval Commander. I was living vicariously that year.

Remember that poor girl who caught her heel in that sidewalk crack and hit the deck face first? What I remember most, though, was the graceful way she righted herself...with her spandex pants revealing several inches of "carpenter crack." I don't know what would have been more embarassing; the fall or the recovery.

Just think. If I hadn't been pregnant, that might have been ME!!

All kidding aside, we had such a great visit to NOLA. We're also glad you got out when you did.


Paul's Blog said...

I had forgotten about that young lass we saw down in the Quarter that night.

And you are right: I got out of there just in time!