Mardi Gras in New Orleans

I am not sure where to begin. I usually breakdown an adventure by days but this time all the days are blurred together. It will try my best. This may end up being a long entry.

Let us start at the beginning. About 15 years ago I would go to single dances with DD. At an Orange County Dance I met Kellee who was just starting a 20s and 30s singles group. Even though I left California 8 years ago I still continued to stay on the emailing list. Not that I could ever go to anything over there but just for curiosity and to see how it was developing. I am glad I did say on. At the end of last year, Kellee had announced that she wanted to have her 40th birthday party in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I saw that and said to myself, hey that is just a couple of hours away and I even get 3 days off for Mardi Gras. (That is Louisiana for you.) So I emailed her and she emailed me the details. So months later on Friday, February 17th, I was in an awesome 2 story house only a block away from Bourbon Street. The other people who came with Kellee to celebrate was her sister Mollie, Jeff, Julie (who came here from New Zealand), Linda, James and his 2 brothers, Larry and on Saturday, my Dad. Also a couple who have come to stay in the house every year for Mardi Gras were Jon and Bridgette. That is 12 people in the house not including Ride the host and owner of the house.

James and Jeff would at different times cook something so we had home cooked meals at least once a day. From what I remember we had gumbo, roast, spaghetti and for breakfast pancake, eggs and sausage. I had also brought 2 king cakes from a Lafayette bakery thinking that most of the people had never had king cake before.

I arrived at the house in New Orleans (after going through some traffic. Luckily I know my way around). What a gorgeous house. Lots of antique furniture. The house is 2 stories with 5 rooms and a room in the attic. It is a block away from Bourbon street and we have our own balcony. My house mates and I went to see one of the parades but left early because we were hungry. On the way back we were separated because of the crowds. This is where Mollie had made out with someone she just met. When we all arrived back at the house and I found out, the competition was on. It was originally between Mollie and I (ya I know she is a girl and the would probably beat me but I wanted to try). Kellee said she was too picky early on and apparently threw that out the window when she was far behind in the competition.

It was getting late and most of us decided to eat dinner at the Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar and Bistro. The owner of the bistro, Pam, knows Ride and began visiting with us. We discovered that she also owns all the Tropical Isle bars and was the one who came up with the Hand Grenade. When I asked her how she came up with it, she answered that her and her friends were drunk and tried different combinations. She is a much older woman new (maybe past her 60’s) and she was really fun to talk to. Then back to the house to hang out with the other house mates.

On Saturday I went with Jon (he dresses every year as the naked Indian and ends up receiving a lot of attention on the street) and Bridgette (who comes with Jon to Mardi Gras every year also) invited me to join them at a party with at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. It is one of the oldest bars in New Orleans. He introduced me to a lot of his friends. This is also where my first make out happened. It was a nice kiss and she was quite pretty. Jon’s friends were a lot of fun. It also rained very hard while we were in the bar. When it stopped raining we started heading back to the house.

On the way back Jon would be stopped many times for people to take pictures with him. As we passed by a bar on the corner of our street, 3 girls in the bar wanted a picture with him so we went in. This is how Mardi Gras is. Sometime during the picture taking all 3 of us, at the same time, were each making out with one of the girls. Crazy huh. After that I gave the other 2 a lip kiss goodbye. I was ahead in the competition for now. Then back to the house for some hang out time before going out again.

In the evening we all went to The Boondock Saint bar. This is where a lot of locals and Mardi Gras regulars go. I met lots of people and got lots of lip kisses. I enjoyed talking to a cute girl who said that her dad use to play in the Steve Miller Band. Came back to the house since DD was arriving from the airport. Showed him the house and showed him where he was sleeping. Do not remember much else about this night. It was about 11p when DD arrived.

Sunday Kellee, Jeff, DD and I went to the St Louis Cathedral for mass and the archbishop was saying Mass. A nice cathedral and a great mass. Even the sermon was great and thought provoking. DD and I ate some gyros at Ali Baba’s. They are amazingly good gyros. We had gone there 3 times during this Mardi Gras trip. They were that good. Then just DD and I went to go see the Krewe of Thoth parade and then just walked Bourbon Street and watched all the crazy antics. Quite entertaining. For dinner, Jon wanted to take us to a nice local restaurant a block up from Bourbon. So we all ate at Deja Vu. Then more Bourbon Street fun. I also remember hanging out on the balcony of the Tropical Isle and one of the 3 cute girls wanted one of my fuzzy dice beads and would so something for it. So I said a kiss. She said she could not because she has a boyfriend so she got her friend to kiss me. Not a make out, but a nice 10 second lip kiss. She was cute and I still remember that kiss.

Monday, not sure exactly what happened. I remember DD and I going with Jon and Bridgette to the tropical Isle to meet some of Jon’s friends. DD and I hung out on the balcony and saw all the fun on the street. We also had some beads to throw off the balcony.

And the Freeks.

We then went with the rest of the people in the house to see a night parade. I think it was the Krewe of Orpheus. The New Orleans night parades are always amazing. While watching the parade I met a cute girl who was visiting from Argentina. It was fun talking to her. They wanted to see the carousel bar. It is a bar that slowly goes in a circle.

There was live music at the bar and DD, Larry and I went up to the dance floor and danced. DD of course had no problem finding a girl to dance with. Then DD and I went to a jazz club (can not remember the name). We then went hung out on the balcony and listened to the jazz that was coming from downstairs. While up stairs I met Megan, a gorgeous girl from a small city California, and her friend (can not remember her name). One of them wanted a nice bead DD was wearing and in the Mardi Gras way they both showed us “them”. Only during Mardi Gras do people just throw care into the wind and just do whatever. Oh, DD told Megan about the kissing competition. She wanted to help but she is married. She did however lip kiss me long enough for DD to take a picture. She was the prettiest girl I kissed in a long time.

Tuesday, Jeff made breakfast-lunch. He made eggs and can not remember what else he made. Whatever it was it was good. We (my house mates excluding Jon and Bridgette) went to go see the Krewe of Zulu parade. Then DD, Larry and I were hungry and also wanted to sit down for awhile so we went to the Arby’s near by. Then the Krewe of Rex started and we headed put to the parade. Then back to the house to hang and rest.

While I was hanging out on the house balcony I saw Dan, a fellow professor at my college, and his friend Adam. I invited them to come up and enjoy the view from the balcony. They thoroughly enjoyed being on the balcony. After resting and probably eating something in the house, Dan, Adam, DD and other house mates made there way to The Boondock Saint bar. My friend Kim from Lafayette was in New Orleans during this time and had been trying to meet up but always seemed to miss each other. She finally caught up with me at the Boondock Saint bar. I finally met her best friend Ashley. I told Kim about the make out competition and (as she put it later) pimped out Ashley. So I made out with Ashley after just meeting her. (Told you, crazy things happen during Mardi Gras). She is quite pretty and a good kisser.

I then followed Kim and Ashley to and S & M bar. I thought it would be exciting. It was a major disappointment. No real S & M. Just a dark, kind of gothic bar with hard rock blasting. I found out later that it was bought by someone else recently and it was not the same as it was. They then wanted to go to a lesbian bar by themselves so they escorted me back to the house. I gave them both a kiss goodnight and went upstairs. Kellee, Mollie and Ride were still up talking. Ride had just bought some oysters and asked if I ever had one. I never had so I gave it a try. I tried 3 of them. I like them. Different but good.

Wednesday, Mardi Gras was over. I took DD to Cafe Du Monde so he have some of the coffee everyone says is so good. I has some hot chocolate. I had had the hot chocolate on another trip to New Orleans in November a few years ago when the weather was cold so I knew the hot chocolate was good. DD also had his 1st beignet. We then walked around the French Market.

It was then time to pack up and go to my house. What an amazing trip. I made some new friends and the trip surpassed everything I imagined the trip would be.

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