2014 RV Travels

03.04.14 It’s Mardi Gras time in New Orleans!

nardu gras signI’ve been given the day off work so I’m ready for some play time!  I’ve played all morning with our granddaughter Madisyn who is celebrating her 5th birthday! We had a special breakfast of waffles with fresh blueberries and strawberries on top and a fruit smoothie.  Lunch was peanut butter and jelly so breakfast had to be special.  Roy’s working all day today on his ad creations so it’s Madisyn and Grannie time all day!

It’s freezing cold and raining here today and unfortunately raining in New Orleans and Metairie on the Mardi Gras parades.  For those who don’t know, Mardi Gras lasts for two weeks with dozens of parades nightly all around the area.  Today, is Mardi Gras Day and even though the weather is terrible enough to keep some people home there are thousands still out on the streets today catching beads, doubloons, trinkets and coconuts.  Yes, coconuts!  The Krewe of Zulu throw coconuts that have been painted in brilliant colors by hand and are considered a huge prize to catch one from one of their floats.

mardi gras coconuts

Mardi Gras (in New Orleans and the surrounding cities) is 99% family oriented (acceptable viewing by all) involving massive amounts of food (mostly fried chicken and king cake and lots of BBQ), music, bead and doubloon catching and fun with family and friends.  The 1% of Mardi Gras that is filled with nudity, perversion, drunkness, etc. is what the media picks up and shows the world.  Never ever fear to come to Mardi Gras because of that.   What you see and experience will not include that unless you choose to go there.

One very New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition is the ladders.  Dads and Grandpas (yes and maybe some Moms and Grannies) make wooden boxes to attach to the ladders for the kiddies to sit in so they can see the parade over the parents heads and catch tons more goodies.  My dad held me on his shoulders for many parades when I was little and I’m sure he’d have liked to have had a ladder back then when I got bigger!  The ladders and boxes are painted and decorated in traditional purple, green and golds making the parade route even more colorful!  Seems like someone got creative one year and figured out how to get the box to fold up and roll it all on wheels!

Sunday Gras! 026 mardigrasladders  mardi graw ladder box

The New Orleans Police force knows how to do Mardi Gras and keep control over hundreds of thousands of partiers for days on end during Mardi Gras season.  This video clip shows a couple of policemen getting into it with parade goers doing the Wobble.  Only in New Orleans!

Here’s the policeman back on the streets this morning during the Zulu parade doing the Cupid Shuffle with the residents!


Another only in New Orleans pictures…. NOPD officers handing out free donuts to the Carnival crowd from the back of one of their squad cars.

mardi gras donuts

The picture below is an old tree in New Orleans that has filled up with beads over the years and lives this way all year long!

mardi gras bead tree

I seem to be finding more videos of NOPD officers participating in Mardi Gras this year than usual.  The one below is of an officer leading a cheer with the crowd.

Since most of the schools close here for the week of Mardi Gras a good many families traditionally take a vacation to Disneyworld, Colorado or somewhere since most American children are in school and these high traffic destinations are a lot less crowded.  A bunch of people from our church in New Orleans where I grew up, Lakeview Baptist Church use to go skiing in Colorado every Mardi Gras.  The church flooded terribly in Katrina, was restored and is now a new church incorporated the original membership and another churches membership so I don’t know if they still do that.  But this type of tradition take a lot of people away from the city when it is it’s fullest with people from all over arriving for Mardi Gras.  This morning the news reporter asked one man where he was from and he said San Diego, then the next where they were form and they said New York and the next was from Washington DC.  While the New Orleanians are flying out, the rest of the world is flying in there!

There are plenty of parades before Mardi Gras day for the New Orleanians to get their fill.  Just the weekend before are Endymion and Bacchus which are the two super parades with spectacular floats every year.  FLOATS are professionally built and quite expensive.  TRUCK FLOATS are made by organizations and families and while expensive to make don’t carry quite the huge price tag that regular floats do.

Below are some floats related pictures of floats created by Blaine Kern at Mardi Gras World. Below those are three pictures of truck floats called that because they are pulled by either tractors or trucks.   In all the small towns we’ve visited when they had parades they were all pulled by trucks or tractors but none of their truck floats were like the ones in Mardi Gras parades.  I loved the small town parades but Mardi Gras has it’s own brand of parade truck float making!

mardi gras blaine kern float
One of the elaborate professionally built floats built by Blaine Kern
mardi gras endymion
Another professional float in the Endymion super parade
mardi gras inside bacchus
Inside the Superdome where both Bacchus and Endymion Krewes roll through, exit their floats and enjoy a wonderful evening partying!
mardi gras inside blaine kern
Inside one of the professional parade building buildings where all the big decorations are created and stored.

mardi gras truck float mardi gras truck float mario mardi gras truck float 3

Here’s the Mardi Gras Food Pyramid – don’t know why fried chicken is missing though!

mardi gras food pyramid

Okay, our little princess birthday girl just woke up from a good nap so it’s time to quit the blogging and have play time with her!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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