Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 2 - It's Mardi Gras!

It's Mardi Gras day! When we initially planned our trip, we were planning to arrive in Houma on Tuesday, Feb 24th. Then we learned that Tuesday was Mardi Gras. We could not pass up the opportunity to experience Mardi Gras so we changed our plans to arrive on Monday evening. Ever since, we have really been looking forward to our first Mardi Gras!! Don't worry, we were not planning to roll the triple stroller down Bourbon Street but rather do Mardi Gras.... Houma style!

Aunt Connie lives a block away from the parade route which provides a very convenient location to gather, eat some wonderful Cajun food - gumbo, jambalaya and King Cake before heading down to take in the parade. We did not have to rush to hold our spot as our family parks a truck on the route to save the spot for the family.

The boys ate their lunch and then dawned their new Mardi Gras shirts which were a gift from Aunt Connie and Aunt Sue and made by our cousin Shelly. The shirts had the jester with their names embroidered onto the shirts... very cute (THANK YOU AUNT CONNIE AND AUNT SUE!). It was a little cool that day so we wore them over our overalls. We headed down to the parade route in our newly converted triple decker stroller... no more infant carriers.

The boys were interested in checking out all of the sites. The parade started with the police motorcycles. There was a group of motorcycles that proceeded the parade to signal the parade is coming and to clear the street. They drive in circles up the parade route and are VERY loud. In the picture to the right, you can see how close we were to the street and in the picture, you can see part of the motorcycle. Everyone (including us) were curious to see how the boys responded to these noises. The boys, being parade experts, were not afraid of a little noise! While the boys did not cry, Wes clearly signaled that the noise was a little loud by trying to plug his ears. In the pic to the left, you can see Wes holding his hand to his ear.
Then, the floats started coming. The boys were trained by Grandma Sally to say "Throw me something Mister" and throw they did! As with Gasparilla, we spent most of the time protecting the boys from flying objects when each float passed. During the parade, the floats were spaced out leaving us a couple minutes to regroup between each float. This made the parade a little long but for parents of 10 months olds, I enjoyed an opportunity to take a breath between floats. For those that have never been to a Mardi Gras parade, the people on the floats do not toss a set of beads... they throw (HARD) large bags of beads. In addition to beads, they throw stuffed animals, candy, footballs, frisbees and my big catch of the day....

Yep, that's right Ramen Noodles!

The boys' were lucky enough to acquire much more interesting items. They were able to get both Mardi Gras colored footballs and frisbees. We handed them their footballs and they continued to drop them. Daddy came up with the great idea to place them under the straps of their seats and... whala... they were secure. In addition to these fun new toys, the boys (particularly Wes) enjoyed the sounds of the parade. When a band or float would go by, Wes would start to bounce his head to the beat. If this happened only once, I would call it a fluke but it was almost every time he heard music from the parade. For most of the parade, I was standing at the top of the stroller so most of the pics and video are from this vantage point. If it was a float that was playing the music, I didn't start taking video until the float had fully passed. As such, you can't really hear music in the video but you can still see Wes bouncin'. I was able to catch the music of one band passing. Andrew started to get into the action as well. Here is a little bit of Wes boppin to the beat. Enjoy...

video

The people, the sites and the sounds of the Mardi Gras parade were able to keep the boys' attention for quite a while. Near the end of the parade (and about an hour past nap time), we decided to head back to the house so the boys could get some rest, especially since they did not have a full night of sleep. We had a great time at the parade and may (key word may - Aunt Connie and Aunt Sue) try to make it again! If we come next year, please reserve us three spots in the bed of the truck because I have no clue how I would contain or protect three almost 22 month olds (almost 2 year olds)! However, we have never been ones to back down from a challenge or adventure so stay tuned.

Take care,

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