Happy Mardi Gras! This was the first time in a decade that I haven't been down to New Orleans to celebrate the festivities.
So here's a little list of all things I love about Mardi Gras with Katie's family...
1) How there's almost a going-to-an-amusement-park feeling at Katie's parents' house. That is, Katie & her sisters have a few friends in town staying there, so: we all need to plan a shower schedule (some nighttime showers, some morning ones); we need to be out of the house the next morning NO LATER than 8am; everyone needs to pack a bag to bring to her grandmother's house with our necessities for the WHOLE DAY (no coming back home); we all pile into her parent's van to drive to her grandmother's, etc.
2) How, once we got out of college, the 8am departure from the house didn't really matter anymore (since our bodies were used to getting up for work). I remember when we were in college and had to get up at 7, it was the worst, most awful torture known to man.
3) St. Charles Ave. at 8am on Sunday morning. The sun is usually shining, but there's still a crisp chill to the air. Everyone is starting to wake up, ladders are laying on their sides (staking territory), and people are beginning to set them up. There's a certain calm-before-the-storm. Some people are jogging or riding bikes, making many of the hungover people feel guilty.
4) Drinking coffee and eating king cake for breakfast. And our morning time before the parades start. How the morning time went from laying around feeling like death/calling our parents to check in (in college) to helping Katie's mom & grandmother in the kitchen/calling our husbands/tidying up the house.
5) How we determined the perfect plan for drinking for the whole day: 1-2 cold drip coffees in the morning; 1 strong (or maybe 2 slightly less strong) bloody marys starting around 11; beer for the rest of the day/night. Do we ever drink water? I don't really have any recollection of drinking water - but certainly we must, or we'd be super hungover the next day, right?
6) The food! It's always delicious! Tuna/chicken salad for lunch one day. Cous cous salad. Pasta salad. Beer hot dogs for dinner. Doritos on the neutral ground. King cake. Cookies that people bring. Mmm.
7) And of course, the parades! I don't know how it works out like this (since we're getting older and older every year), but it seems like we always get ladders. So we just plant ourselves on a ladder for most of the afternoon and watch the parades go by. It shouldn't be as fun as it is - but, well - it is!
Anyway - I've had a lot of good times down in N'Awlins for the party gras. I missed it this year - but I'm pretty sure there will be many more in my future!