Mardi Gras 2005

I got up around 9:45 this morning and got ready to leave the house for the day. Ami had called the night before and asked to stay at my parent’s place for the remainder of her stay in New Orleans, for reasons I already well understood. She had asked that we pick her up in the morning so Dad and I left the house around 10:30 to pick her up from the place she was staying on Freret St. We were able to get there with little trouble although we had to take Tchoupitoulas to avoid the Rex and Zulu parades which were running this morning. We arrived shortly after 11. Dad dropped off Ami and I on Canal St. and took her bags home with him. Neither of us had eaten yet so we went to get some lunch. We walked to the Olde Nawlins Cookery. I got the crawfish etouffee and Ami got red beans and rice. Although I’m rather fond of the bread pudding there, I didn’t have any room for it. While we were eating, we talked with Bianca. She agreed to meet us a little later. After lunch, we walked around a bit, through Bourbon St. a bit and eventually made our way up Canal St. to where we’d meet Bianca. The Zulu parade was passing down Canal while we were walking so we saw a good portion of the procession. Bianca made it across the river while the parade was still going on. Ami and I were on the opposite side of the street and I thought we’d have to wait for the parade to end before we could cross to get to her. Bianca found a way though and surprised us by finding her way right behind us and yelling. We all stayed for the remainder of the parade and caught a handful of throws. After the parade, Bianca wanted to visit a couple of shop to we wandered through the quarter to one of them and only stayed for a couple minutes. We then took a ‘scenic route’ to the other one and found it was closed. We continued meandering our way through the quarter until we deemed it necessary to sit down somewhere for a while. Bianca hadn’t eaten yet so we eventually found a place and took a table in Angeli on Decatur. Service was rather slow but that didn’t matter much since we wanted chairs more than food. I just got a drink and Bianca got a sandwich. Ami had a piece of cheesecake. While we were there it rained for a bit, setting the tone of the weather for the rest of the evening. Ami wanted to go to the Virgin Megastore afterward. We walked there and found it was closed. We then decided to try the Riverwalk and made our way there. We walked through there for a little while. Ami bought some jewelry while there. We didn’t stay at the Riverwalk very long and eventually made our way out to see if there were any more parades to catch. We walked up Canal and took a spot to see the rest of the Trucks parade. It’s a pretty long procession of some rather generic looking floats pulled by big-rig tractors. Ami and Bianca had a lot of fun collecting throws from the parade. Ami built another weighty collection of beads around her neck. After the parade ended a little before six, we walked a short distance to McDonalds to get something to eat. We just took some seats for a little bit while Bianca tried to sort through and untangle all the beads they got. We eventually did get some food when the crowd in the restaurant died down a bit. Having sorted beads and eaten, we left and made our way to Bourbon St. We walked most of the length of the street in the quarter, treading carefully through the crowds and over the trash, as well as taking in the ‘sights.’ I found things to be reasonably tame as compared to the anecdotal evidence I’ve heard in the past. The crowds were pretty thick but not so bad that you couldn’t move. Having walked down a ways and past most of the circumstance, we walked across to Royal St., where the crowds and the atmosphere were a bit more subdued. We made our way to Caf Du Monde to sit down for a bit and get some beignets. We all split and order. Bianca said she needed to be home a bit early and wanted to take the bus home so walked with her up garbage-laden Canal St. to the bus stop and waited with her for the bus to arrive. It must have been about ten minutes for it to arrive. It did and we said our goodbyes. Ami and I then made our way down Common to the Pelican Bar at the Sheraton for my parents to arrive to pick us up. They went to Aunt Dionne’s this evening to visit and drop off my brothers who were spending the night there. We were there for a little while. We both got something to drink and talked for a bit. Ami called Khadijah and we both spoke with her briefly about her upcoming stay in New Orleans tomorrow night. My parents arrived around ten and we went home. After getting home I cleaned up and got some laundry started. I’ll also need to clean my shoes. Ami and I watched an episode of Carnivale we both missed from Sunday before going to bed. Ami took my room and I slept in my brother’s room as they were both away at present. I typed up this entry before going to bed at two o’clock.

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