We left Austin this afternoon on our way to New Orleans for Mardi Gras weekend. More specifically, for the Endymion Parade on Saturday. This will be my fourth year to ride in this parade. As before, we will be returning home on Sunday rather than staying for Fat Tuesday — I’m sure we’ll do that one year, but I don’t know when.
We are staying in Lafayette tonight, which is just a couple of hours outside of New Orleans. This is partly to break up the trip and partly to save a little money as our hotel in New Orleans is much more expensive (as well as much nicer). A nice benefit is free wireless Internet access. I’m sure the Internet access for the rest of our trip will be far from free.
Tomorrow night is our Balcony Party. We have a reservation for a Balcony on Bourbon Street and we will be buying beads tomorrow afternoon. (We would have bought them when we were buying our float beads last month, but we weren’t sure we would have a balcony.)
Friday night is Beans and Jeans, which is a private party for the krewe. We have a lot of fun and then the Grand Marshall (Kid Rock) and the musical acts for the parade (REO Speedwagon) arrive and are introduced.
Saturday is the big day and is basically an all day (and most of the night) affair. The float ride is usually around five hours of throwing beads, starting just before dusk, but pre-parade prep actually starts around noon. The parade ends at the Superdome where we join the Extravaganza already in progress. The main acts usually don’t come on until well after midnight.
It’s. Almost. Time. To. Party!