Lundi Monday is the Monday before Fat Tuesday, and several Krewes (Parades) were scheduled. The first parade was scheduled for 3:00 so we headed for the French Quarter early to explore and eat lunch. Parking is a real challenge but we managed to find pay parking near the Parade route and within a few blocks of the French Quarter...for a big price of course.
We headed down to the River Walk where several stages were set up and music was playing and many food stands were set up providing authentic Cajun fair. Ymmmm. As I ate lunch, I people watched.,,and there is lots of people watching at this venue. This is Mr. Big
We still had a few hours before the first parade started so we wandered around the French Quarter and of course Bourbon Street before heading back towards uptown. The crowds were big, but pretty manageable and mellow.
We were pretty early for the 3:00 parade, but again people watching occupied our time. There were lots of street vendors selling beads, cotton candy, and Mardi Gras souvenirs, and face painting.
Well, we waited, and waited for the first parade. We were told the parade starts uptown and would take while to get to our viewing spot. We waited some more and still no parade. There are lots of security around and we were able to talk to one of the policemen only to find out the 3:00 parade route had changed and we missed it by only a few blocks! Amazing, no one figured that out. At this point there were lots of people standing around waiting. Oh well, the next one would be by shortly..."shortly" in the south takes on many meanings and shortly translated into several hours later...and several pints beer..
The parade finally came.. By this time it was dark. The floats were really colorful, but we were towards the end of the route so the Krewes were pretty stingy with the beads and other items they throw out to the crowds.
Some of the highlights:
Afterwards we headed back towards the French Quarter to find dinner...something other liquid food and then on to Bourbon street. Bourbon street was teaming with people and all of the balconies and galleries were heavy with people throwing beads to the party goes below. Its hard to describes the crowds..Insanity comes to mind.
Hoards of people stood below the balconies and galleries begging for trinkets and the people on the balconies decided who they wanted to throw the beads to. Obviously Joel was pretty successful. Hmmm, I wonder what he had to do to get all of those beads.
The next day was the final Mardi Gras celebration, with the first Krewe starting at 8:00 A.M. After the previous day of partying and crowds we decided to pass and watch the festivities on TV. We have a few more days in the area so we all agreed we would go back and explore the French Quarter and the Garden District when it wasn't quite so crowed. More on that in my next blog.