Posts Tagged parade

NoVACon 2011 Recap

I finally took the time to go through the photos from my trip to D.C. for NoVACon and post them to my Albums site. I had a great trip and was happy to finally meet Cissa and Metalmom, as well as getting to hang out with Rachel, Bellaventa, Bubblewench, BlondeBlogger, Shiny, Poppy and Dawg again. Plus, several non-bloggers who were somehow still able to attend. I kid, it was great to meet them as well!

After my late arrival Friday night, I went into the city and met up with Cissa and her minions (aka kids) to watch the Cherry Blossom parade. We were eventually joined by her friend Courtney in time to watch an engine fire break out on one of the (under-powered) tow vehicles in the parade.

After a 30-minute delay for the fire, we watched the parade for a bit longer until we decided to head to the nearby Japanese Street Festival. We got some lunch there and Shiny met up with us to tour the festival for a while.

Eventually, we all went our separate ways and did our own things until the official meet-up in the evening. I accompanied Cissa and her kids on a quick tour of a couple of the exhibits at the American History Museum. Then, I walked around D.C. for a bit before heading to my (new) hotel to get ready for dinner.

Not Cherry Blossoms

As it happens, several of the other attendees were staying at the same hotel, so we got together before dinner and had a blast.

Eventually, it was time for dinner and we made our way to Otani Japanese Steakhouse where we met up with the rest of the attendees and had fun with fire. The group-agreed highlight of the event was when Wayne almost magically converted from a video image via Skype to an in-person appearance! Surprise! I’d been hiding Wayne’s presence in town until this moment.

Fire Demon - Not Wayne!

Back at the hotel after dinner the fun continued, though occasionally tempered (Think of the children!). A short rest later, much of the group met of for a last hurrah at the local Silver Diner for a late breakfast. Most of the remaining group headed home after breakfast; all good things must end, after all.

I, however, wasn’t headed home just yet. Instead, I accompanied Cissa and her kids to the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival on the National Mall. There, we met up with more of Cissa’s friends along with Shiny and his family. While I was walking around the festival taking pictures, a group of four international college kids asked me to take their picture in front of the Washington Monument. Without “any annoying kites”. With my camera. They were in high spirits and I can only assume it was some sort of prank, but I was happy to play along. I took a few shots including one I particularly liked, so I showed it to them. This resulted in a request to use their camera to take the same shot, which I gladly did. I have no idea what the point of the prank was.

As always, I’m already ready for another trip!

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Mardi Gras Here We Come!

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!

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Endymion Parade

I’m sitting in the costume setup area in the Superdome relaxing before the fun really gets started. We got our beads loaded onto the float this morning and ate a hearty buffet breakfast. In an hour or so we’ll load up on buses to head to the parade staging area where we’ll unbag scores of beads to get them ready to through once the parade gets underway

Hail Endymion!.

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