I finally had a full weekend at my new home. This place is crazy, and I’m falling in love with it.
It all started Friday after getting through some sales calls – I had a stuffy nose, and was in serious search for some Pho. Well, turns out there’s a little place right up the street! When I say up the street, I mean it was like a half mile walk. No big deal, I’ve done that countless times in NYC.
I ended up meandering around Magazine street for a little while, wandering in and out of antique shops, and finally lunch. The walk wasn’t too bad, and this weekend was the start of Mardi Gras parades, so whats a few more blocks in the evening?! I read up on all the suggestions online since I’ve never attended a parade like this, they said to bring an empty bag?! what is that about? Parades at home (for the adults at least) are waving at the floats/people, staying out of the kids way so they can fill up bags of candy, and in previous years, stocking up on silly string for all the people you know marching by. Pretty sure that was banned after mom silly stringed someone of high importance…. My how different this place is.
I got to my spot about 20 mins before the parade started, and realized, I really didn’t need to be there that early, the parade didn’t roll past me for another hour and a half. And by then, my fairly spacious spot was over run with small children.
These parades are intense. Yes, they throw beads. But they also throw toys, and stuffed animals, and other fun stuff. I’m pretty sure I saw one float throwing women’s underwear…. People literally run right up next to the floats to have stuff handed or tossed down to them. It’s actually pretty fun. I ended up with some pretty good loot.
This was the best grab of the night, yes, its a wine tumbler. There was a woman on the top tier of the float, pointed at me, yelled YOUUUUUUU, and tossed it down. No way I was letting that hit the ground.
Not a bad start for a bead collection!
Luckily I didn’t have to face the whole weekend alone, I had some friends in town, so Saturday I got to meet up with everyone. It was way too nice a day to get a taxi downtown, so I walked the 1.8ish miles to the hotel they were staying in. It’s pretty cool finally getting a nice few days to explore – They set up grandstands along the sidewalk for the parade routes, and there’s live music everywhere. And yes, we spent most of the day Saturday on Bourbon Street and I had my first PoBoy sandwich (BBQ Shrimp) at Bourbon House. YUM.
We went to Jackson Square to give the guys the “WOW” factor. They were unimpressed, but we stayed and watched these dancers who had been on America’s Got Talent. They were hilarious, calling out people in the crowd, and had some serious dance moves.
So this guy was putting his bird on everyone. Weird stuff happens on Bourbon Street. We also found the Saints and Sinners bar, which just so happens to be owned by the one and only Channing Tatum. Side note – they had the Syracuse game playing 🙂
And off we went again. We stopped at a couple bars along the way – I’m on the hunt for my favorite drink. Topping the list right now is the voodoo daiquiri from Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. The Shark Attack isn’t terrible from Tropical Isle, they give you a giant shark (IN your drink) and ring a bell and flash the lights shouting “EVERYONE OUT OF THE WATER! ITS A SHARK ATTACK!” kind of fun, but I won’t be surprised if it rots your teeth out from all the sugar.
I lucked out and was super taken care of this weekend – a friend snagged an extra grandstand ticket AND a wristband for all-you-can-eat/drink. I ended up with a lot of water 🙂 But I also learned that the grandstands are SO much better than a street spot, especially when you know people on a float.
It’s hard to take pictures and catch stuff at the same time, which is why I’m lacking in the parade photos… I also learned that being pegged in the side of the face with an entire bag of beads hurts really badly, these plastic beads are actually extremely heavy when piled on top of each other, and its impossible to walk quietly through your apartment complex with that many around your neck…
The loot accumulates to: 3 full bags of unopened beads (not the ones that hit me in the face, those assholes were not coming home with me), 56 single strands of beads, 1 stuffed dolphin, 1 Mardi Gras football, 1 stuffed plane looking thing, a Sparta Whistle, a one time use glow-in-the-dark shot glass, 3 blinking items, 1 wine tumbler, and a freaking awesome toy sword, that everybody wanted at the after party.
I’m waiting for my luck to run out, because It’s February, and I walked downtown again Sunday (another 6 mile day) but this time in a tank top 🙂
I experienced yet another must-do in New Orleans – Brunch at Mother’s Restaurant, they’re known for their ham, so I of course tried an egg white ham & cheese omelet with grits (not as weird as I expected). Holy giant omelet batman. It was delicious. We decided that after that large of a lunch we needed to walk the calories off, so we sauntered off towards Riverwalk, the new outlets! I’ve recently become obsessed with Lucky Brand Jeans, they have some of the cutest things in there! and then of course we had to get Beignets at Cafe du Monde.
Hey Look! another parade!! (French Quarter)
Parades never end. Seriously, there were 6 on Friday, 18 on Saturday, and about 8 Sunday…. That’s a lot happening for one city weekend. And of course – They start all over again on Wednesday. I’m very much enjoying the wandering time, and can’t wait to explore some more!
All that walking I’m counting as Disney Weekend Training. My legs are sore… and my face still hurts.