Mardi Gras

February 24, 2015

[Pics in this post are clickable for bigger versions.]

My out of state friends might be lead to believe that Mardi Gras is a long weekend in February. In fact, it goes on and on forever.

Technically, Carnival starts on Kings Day (January 6) every year, and runs to a date that is chosen with some relation to Easter, which we all know comes from a ritual that the Pope does featuring chicken blood and full moons. I went to public school, so that's about all I know on how Easter gets scheduled.

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A super-fast swordsman before the Slidell parade.

If you were paying attention in French class, you know that "Mardi Gras" really only refers to Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Ash Wednesday. But most of the kids are off of school for that whole week, so it gives one the sense that the holiday lasts through that entire weekend.

Parades start in earnest late in January. Our first this year was a Slidell parade, which featured a handful of floats, a Waffle house truck, and hundreds of little girl dance squads.

The Waffle House float/truck.

The day after that, we went to New Orleans to retrieve some sort of thing for Mrs. theskinnyonbenny's parade. On our way home from there, we stopped at a lakeside restaurant in LaPlace, which was very good. As you know, I can't resist taking pictures of Louisiana waterways.

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Lake Pontchartrain from LaPlace

The next week, Mrs. theskinnyonbenny abandoned the rest of us on Tuesday to go down for parade prep. The kids and I ate Piccadilly, which holds one of my favorite policies -- treat dad's alone with their kids like they are incapable imbeciles. An employee hurried around to push one of our trays down the cafeteria line, and then carried it to the table for me.

K waits at the hotel bar for his Shirley Temple to be prepared.

We went down Thursday after school, caught three parades, which left the kids cold and exhausted. They were retired to my mother's hotel room, and the fun loving adults headed to the after party, which had delicious gumbo, and open bar, and a super-surprisingly good performance by Salt N Peppa. I didn't realize it, but Spinderella is the real talent up there. Let me add that she has aged extremely well.

Salt N Peppa HERE!

Friday was for rest and recuperation, if not for giving little kids baths.

Saturday, we were back down to New Orleans to catch another couple of day parades with the JC family, in town from fair Minnesota.

JC, the biggest kid at Mardi Gras

That still left Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday for Mardi Gras propper, but instead of staying in Louisiana, we boarded Velvet Elvis and pointed the bow toward Mississippi. More on that later.

Somewhere in all of that, the Louisiana Junior String Ensemble had a recital too. I have more pictures from all of this on the daily photo page, starting here. Yes, that's bullshit. I don't like backdated posts either. But Mardi Gras pics take us up into the beginning of March, and I have some more to post behind those.