I like to think that after ten years, I speak "conversational" New Orleans. I'm not fluent. I'm not a native. But I can get by.
Mardi Gras involves a whole new set of vocabulary, though. I knew what a king cake was. I did *not* know that they make king cake flavored daiquiris. (They are delicious. I know you doubt me, but they are.) I did not realize that you can (and should!) buy daiquiris by the gallon. I'm sorry, by the *multiple* gallon.
I did not realize that going to a party at a house on a parade route is the Holy Grail of Mardi Gras experiences.
Party = fun and people
House = bathroom
Parade route = beads
All of those things in the same place = victory
We were lucky enough to spend Saturday with friends (and friends of friends) at such a party. The parade was Endymion. (I also learned that which parade you are watching makes a difference. This is advanced, folks. There's a lot to learn.)
Endymion is a big parade. And it's not in the French Quarter. Or, at least, we weren't in the French Quarter, so we weren't packed like sardines in a tin. (So slip off your shoes and put on your swim fins...nevermind.)
Despite our relative personal space for the Endymion experience, we still had to get to the party like four hours before the parade started. So that we could park in the same ZIP code as the house where we were meeting our friends. The whole city really does shut down, and you have to do your best to strategically locate yourself, despite the gridlock.
No, four hours of partying before the parade starts is not a hardship. We had food and friends and (as previously mentioned) bathrooms. However, when you are five years old and REALLY EXCITED for the parade, that can be a lot of time to kill.
Jack chilled out with a bubble gun he found, and his Moto GP headphones, which we brought just in case.
Sawyer gave us baby side-eye at the entire experience.
|Seriously? Plastic beads. Seriously.|
And when the parade started, we were prepared.
The headphones were quickly abandoned.
This whole "kids on a ladder" phenomenon is like, a done thing. They build little "box seats" on top of the ladders so the kids can sit there and catch beads. Seriously, I felt like an anthropologist.
As the sun set, the parade continued, but we took our tired selves and our kiddos home. I can say with confidence that the party continued.
Hope your weekend is culturally enlightening.