Je ne regrette rien

Our First Mardi Gras!

Posted in Uncategorized by Amy on February 19, 2009

I was anxious. Were we going to the right place? Would there be parking? What would we be dealing with? Would it be safe? Ever since I was mugged and had my wedding ring stolen, safety has been a big issue for me. In fact, it has probably been the only issue, causing me to sometimes shut myself off from the rest of the world in my safe little bubble. Then I start to think about how sometimes even bubbles pop and I don’t feel so safe anymore. Being outside, in the dark, doing something unfamiliar – ack.

We arrived early, nearly an hour, parked and walked a couple of blocks up. The street was congested, only because it had been blocked off, and we found a wonderful location, within the first block of the parade. We sat down and watched as the block came alive – a resident was interviewed by a news crew, the police mobile unit moved in, officiers watched the block, the city tow truck met up – and as the sky darkened, the band played, and the parade came alive.

This is our first Mardi Gras. My daughter, dressed in her cowgirl costume, held a sign that read: “Throw me something, Mister! My 1st Mardi Gras!” On the same was a heart with NOLA written in. I became as excited as she did, waving my hands in the air, cheering, screaming to them to throw me something. My daughter caught the attention of the camera man covering the Krewe of Druid parade. She became bashful, then waved to the camera.

We had our hands up, waiting for the coveted beads. Cups, stuffed animals, and doubloons came our way. A football. A little girl across the street came over, handed my daughter a cup with some beads and told her “Happy First Mardi Gras!”  Masks were thrown to her.

It was the most amazing experience of my time down here and I now know why I live with the day-to-day stress, the worries.

All you need to do is look around the street during a Mardi Gras parade, and watch the random acts of kindness and know – people here, people here are different.

The people here ARE New Orleans.

4 Responses

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  1. Isabel said, on February 19, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I don’t plan to go to any parades this year, but I feel that everyone needs to have fun.

    If you are in family-friendly areas, you can have fun for free!

    And it’s decent.

    Be really careful with parking, though.

    Your car can get towed. Bummer.

  2. Tim said, on February 19, 2009 at 9:54 am

    It’s late and I’m just catching up with the day’s email. So glad you had fun at the parade. Many of the other NOLA Bloggers were saying it was not such a great parade tonight–so there you go. Thursday night is MUSES, which is one of the best. Great themes, beautiful costumes, women that throw like crazy, funny marching groups and lots of bands. Hope you get out to see that one, too.

    Welcome to New Orleans, and peace,


  3. Elizabeth said, on February 20, 2009 at 4:31 am

    So glad you enjoying the Mardi Gras – you earned it. Hope to see you at Muses, those ladies know how to have a good time. Love, Elizabeth

  4. Jess said, on February 21, 2009 at 3:09 am

    Glad you had fun! This is my third mardi gras – it’s still this time of year that reminds me why I love New Orleans.

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