**TWO NOTES: Firstly, I have only two children. I described myself as a thirty three year old mother of three in the last post – I think I was hypnotized by all of the threes in my age. NO SECRET BABIES! Promise! Secondly, my BIL gave me his pix from several of the parades I already wrote about, so I went back to those old posts and added some photos. If you’d like to go back and have a look, do!**
Sunday is by far my favorite day of Mardi Gras. This is partly because Saturday’s day parades have been rained out for the past two years, so I do not include Tucks (when they throw toilet paper) and Iris (an all female parade) in my calculation. These two typically roll midday Saturday, but I’ve seen neither of them since 2010 because of rain, so essentially in my Mardi Gras experience, they don’t exist!
Endymion rolled Saturday night despite the rain, but we decided to forego, having had my fill of rainy night parades. Since the Professor worked all day Saturday then (into the night, past bedtime), it was a long, mildly hungover day of Barely There Parenting for me. My in-laws spent the day with family, so I was alone with the kidlets. We went to the park for a bit, we went to the store, we did the nap thing, and then we joined the in-laws and their extended family (unrelated to me) for a seafood dinner on the Westbank, during which meal Jack tripped the waitress approximately half a dozen times, and Liam threw food and toys, and I swore up and down that they are capable of better behavior than this!!
Sunday dawned a brighter, more fabulous day, not least because I had several pairs of adult hands to help me child-wrangle. Three parades roll by our house on Sunday, starting at around 10 am, so I invited the world to come and partake of homemade bacon-egg mcmuffins*, mimosas, and free and easy access to a bathroom. A friend brought a ladder, and we set up out on the street in a perfect location to watch Okeanos, Mid-City, and Thoth.
Okeanos and Mid-City are short little parades, and they seemed to have quite a few children riders (children are tethered to the floats for safety purposes!) Mid-City is neat because it floats are all decorated with foil- kind of like the rose bowl parade, only with colored crinkly aluminum!
After these two roll by, one after another, there is a bit of a break while we wait for Thoth. From their webpage – “the group of men who founded the Krewe created an uptown neighborhood route designed to pass in front of 14 institutions that care for persons with disabilities and illnesses and were not able to attend other parades in the City.” It makes me a little weepy just typing that! They go past nursing homes and Children’s hospital, and I have heard that Krewe members go through the halls of these places and throw beads to those who can’t leave their beds. Sniffle.
Anyway, Thoth is very long – 40 floats, maybe? This year’s theme was “streets of New Orleans,” and (as you can probably gather) each float represented a street. They had representations of institutions from each street – for example, the Henry Clay Avenue float had a big mock-up of Children’s Hospital, which is on Henry Clay.
We were also treated to the awesome 610 Stompers. It’s just a bunch of ordinary men, entertaining the world with their extraordinary moves. It truly is extraordinary to see a huge flock of men dressed like this:
They got the moves, man. It’s a large group. They appear at dozens of functions, and there are enough of them that they can take turns. In any case, they do ridiculous dance moves, and whenever the parade stops, they seem to host impromptu dance parties in the middle of the street. A float broke down early in the parade on Sunday, so I had the good fortune to join in the dance party while we all waited for a new tractor to rush up and take over pulling the float!
Sunday is my favorite day of the season, the one I look forward to. The parades roll during the day, and right by my house, so we can just roll a cooler down the street and set up within a block of our house/bathroom. The parades last for several hours, and it’s like a huge block party. It’s one of the few days of the year that I crack open a beer before noon (most of those days fall within the Mardi Gras season). You just mill about on the street, maybe sit in a camp chair for a while, your kids run around and play with other kids, you drink beer and eat Cheetos and chat to your friends and cheer when floats go by, comparing throws. When it’s lovely weather, as it was this year – well, it just doesn’t get any better.
Normally it all goes downhill from here. But not this year. This year, the mind-blowing day was yet to come for me. . .
(PS – Bacchus is a huge night parade on Sunday night that always features someone majorly famous. Last year it was Drew Brees, this year Will Ferrell. We rarely make it out for Bacchus – it’s more jampacked and uncomfortable, with the peeing and the vomiting in the drains and such. It also requires a walk of over a mile. After a long day of drinking and parades, we tend to just skip Bacchus. This year, we tried to get to it, but couldn’t drive close enough, so we gave up.)
* Whisk up some eggs (1 per muffin), add a bit of salt and pepper (and cream or milk, if you want), then pour into the bottom half of a muffin tin and bake at 350 til they’re done. They fluff up, but then collapse once you pull them out. While they bake you can cook up your bacon in a skillet, and if you’re feeling fancy, lay the sliced English muffins out onto a baking sheet and butter them, then shove them in the oven for a bit as well. Collect your friends to make an assembly line, adding a cooked egg circle, a piece of American cheese, and some bacon to the muffin, and you’ve got a plate of mcmuffins! Great parade food – easy to travel with!