It has been a busy week, to say the least. Friday we left for New Orleans, stopping in Georgia along the way. Mardi Gras was in full blow as we arrived – beads being thrown everywhere. Literally. I came back today and looked on the sole of my boot, and there is a bead permanently wedged in.
Beads are a large part of Mardi Gras – and parades go on all day, all week with floats throwing out beads to the viewers. Tuesday is the largest day of the festival and we were out there to see it.
Some things we learned while we were there:
- Don’t pick up beads from the ground – it’s considered bad luck
- All the parades have different names and different beads.
- The city basically shuts down after the last parade on Tuesday. In fact, Bourbon street shuts down at midnight for Ash Wednesday. The police will go through with their horses first, then the patrol cars go through, then finally the fire trucks go through and hose down the street.
And of course, we walked around the city. Bourbon street is known for the crazy parties, but the French Quarter is the most famous neighborhood. It’s the oldest neighborhood in the city, and the buildings are relatively untouched from Katrina. The architecture is gorgeous, and we walked around for several hours.
And of course, when you’re in the French Quarter, you have to try the beignets at Cafe du Monde. Beignets are pastries covered in powdered sugar, and while they may not be the best thing to eat if you’re trying to watch your waistline (sigh), we just had to get some. The line was ridiculous, but the wait is worth it. The food in New Orleans was absolutely amazing: jambalaya, oysters, po-boys (a traditional Louisiana sandwich)… yum.
I absolutely loved New Orleans, and would love to go back someday.