Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday... Mardi Gras Style!

Hey everybody... I'm back from my vacation to New Orleans and wow, what a trip! Although it was the week prior to Mardi Gras, there was no lack of things to do, places to go, and people to watch! Until you're in New Orleans, you just don't realize how large and diverse this riverside town is... from the French Quarter to the Riverwalk... from the Garden District to the Arts-laden Warehouse section—and everything in-between—there was always something happening!

The French Quarter was an interesting mix of early 19th century 2- and 3-story row buildings, shops and yummy restaurants. In fact, I had some of the best food ever on this trip! Mmmmm mmmmm.
I loved all the old neon signs throughout the city (didn't know Walgreens was even around that long!).
And New Orleans is really creative with their new signs as well... whether it's a chalkboard announcing upcoming bands at the House of Blues (what a fabulous use of fontography!)...
...or the entrance to one of their many interesting shops!
Royal Street was always bustling with plenty of antique shops, cafés, street performers and bands. It was very entertaining!
Bourbon Street was crazy most of the time, especially after a parade... and well, at night... and, um, at 3 in the morning. Not for the faint of heart!
The Arts District was my kind of place with funky shops, local artisans and outsider artists. Made me want to go home and make stuff!
I did get out of town for a day to visit a Creole Sugar Plantation that was run by women (yes, that's right) for almost 200 years, beginning in the early 1800's!
One of my most favorite tours though, was a behind-the-scenes at Mardi Gras World, where all the floats are made. All these different shapes, figures and characters made from styrofoam or molded with fiberglass. It was like a giant Art Doll heaven!
I even got to see some of the float components being worked on... and then saw them in parades later on in the week!
And speaking of parades... I think I saw 8 over the course of the week we were in New Orleans. Each one is put on by a different group, and has a specific theme which is evident throughout the floats. And, let me tell you, when it comes to being politically correct... well, there is no such thing at Mardi Gras... as evidenced by one of my fave floats... Glazed And Confused!!!
And... let us not forget about bead acquisition... a huge part of Mardi Gras! It's actually pretty exciting, waving your hands, trying to get beads and more thrown in your direction. You put them around your neck until it aches and you still want more! It's addictive. I actually captured a drive-by-beading...
video

Oh, and let's not forget about the doggie parade... Barkus! No, that's not a crawfish honey... there's doggie in there!
Some doggies got a little tired...
And no vacation in New Orleans is complete without a trip to the Riverfront Flea Market to shop for fun souvenirs and a visit to Cafe du Monde where you can get Beignets covered—I mean buried!—in powdered sugar and a tasty chicory-flavored Café au Lait...
All-in-all it was a great trip and I can cross another one off the Bucket List. Thanks for coming along for the ride! Laissez les bons temps rouler!

2 comments:

  1. Dreamy Michelle!!!!! This is on our bucket list too.....would love to take the kids after they are 21. My son would love the jazz........I am so glad you had a great trip and it was a treat for me to celebrate Mardi Gras today by visiting your blog!

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  2. Try Jazz Fest-all the great food and drinks PLUS great music minus hard partying.

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michelle renee bernard
www.YesterdaysTrashArt.com