Mardi Gras, a Beginners Guide

2014.  My first Mardi Gras and first time in New Orleans. Our flight left KC at 8:30am and  I have to admit, I was somewhat annoyed with the LOUD woman that was already working hard on tomorrow's hangover. A little background on her: she's a cop and was jilted at the alter a year ago on Valentine's Day. As loud as she was/is, I never got her name, so for the purpose of this post, we'll call her Debbie. I've known more than a few drunken Debbies, and she's frightfully familiar. Before we boarded, Debbie was bragging OR complaining, that the beer she bought in the airport cost her $8. The woman is 45 years old. How does she not know, you can bring minis on the plane and they're within the TSA liquid limit??

I learned a few things sitting 3 rows back, not sure yet, how much I can actually use, but maybe it will help some of you:

  • Get you a mask and flash. That way you're not on YouTube-but you'll still have the "experience".
  • Don't pee in public.
  • Don't touch the horses.
  • Don't  show your hoohaw.
  • If you don't plan on flashing - keep your money tucked into your bra.
  • Stay away from the religious protesters. Everybody has a right to party or not.
  • AND - If you're not a professional drinker, only ONE Hurricane!

After 3 days in New Orleans I'l share what I've learned about what to wear and pack:
  • Bring COMFORTABLE shoes. Even if you travel by car, you will be spending a lot of time in the French Quarter, walking. Most of the parades and all the good food you can't park on the streets, most streets are closed except to emergency vehicles, parking is ridiculously High ($50 for 10 min or 10 hours - ouch, right?). The drinking/partying aspect of Mardi Gras involves walking around with drink winding through the French Quarter. (That's how you get all those Beads, baby). There are LOTS, I mean LOTS of parades too. Parades are a big source of beads and "throws" and most people stand to watch the parades. So, comfortable shoes people. (PS: nobody looks at your feet) 
  • Bring a coat, hat and gloves-no matter where you're from. Weather is too unpredictable. I got a sunburn the 2nd day and 
  • Pack light in Suitcase No.1.
  • Pack a costume in Suitcase No. 2. I highly recommend you where a costume, the crazier the better. Think David Bowie crossed with Liberace + Cher (in the 80s) times 10. Oh, and throw in lots of sequins and feathers. There is no such thing as "over the top" where Mardi Gras is concerned. Overindulgence is the norm.
  • Now, if you choose not to bring a costume, that's cool too, as there are more than enough places to buy Mardi Gras adornments, masks, costumes (both extravagant and cheap).

Take away: It's socially acceptable to be drunk before 7:30 am if you are on your way to Vegas or Nawlins.

Check back. There's plenty of pictures of  and assorted debauchey to come.


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