Mardi Gras. I LOVE it. What is it all about, you ask? It is the period right before Lent for you to get your fun out! So...of course a self-respecting Mormon girl like me wants to jump right in and hang with the Cajun Catholics. Here in South Louisiana, it is an oppurtunity for people to spend LOTS of money to be in a parade (a Krewe), go to balls, and throw beads to the revelling masses. (me.) There is something so completely satisfying about catching beads. I don't know exactly what it is, I just know that it makes me feel very happy inside. Jon's view of Mardi Gras is somewhat different. To him, it is something to endure for the sake of his wife and children. This year, we all were happy. Jon went on a combined Laurel/Priest stake trip to Nauvoo, and my mom came down to visit us (read: grandkids), and see what Mardi Gras was all about. Let me just say that we have a new M.G. convert. While the Bishop was away, we played. :)
Our first parade was at Maya and Foster's school. The second grade got to make shoebox "floats" about a book that they read and put on their own little procession.
Here is Maya with her contribution:
Let me just say that I felt really bad. Apparently, the other parents spent "slightly" more time helping their child with their float than I did with Maya. Thankfully, she was so enamored with the fact that I got a horse to stick on it, she didn't really notice.
We went to the Children's Parade on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. It was a great parade, but we were very early. To kill some time, we walked over to the carnival that was being held at the Cajundome. It was ridiculously pricey so the kids only got to do two rides each.
Foster chose this alpine flyer thing for his second ride. As you can see, you get strapped down on your stomach, your little harness thing rises up to about fifteen or twenty feet, and you get flailed around and around and around. He was sooo excited to try this (I was freaking out inside... think of the word "Carney" and then picture this mental image setting up (probably while intoxicated or under the influence of some kind) a complicated metal structure that goes around at high speeds and then picture strapping your only man-child to said contraption. You understand.) Despite my inner turmoil, I tried desperately to get a picture of his face. As it started going around, he looked terrified which quickly to changed to the pre-barf face. (At which point I began visualizing cotton candy puke flying out in every direction at high velocity.) Thankfully, this quickly changed to elation which lasted for one more revolution and then the carney pulled the lever to stop the fun.
Maya, Foster, and Merrit all agreed that the Fun Slide had to be one of their choices. I put my money on Maya to win (thinking of my extensive Pinewood Derby knowledge of the heaviest car always wins), but fearless Foster got a really good start and flew down closely followed by scrappy little Merrit who picked up speed in the end. At least we kept the win in the family. Maya got the "coolest-looking car" award (which we all know is the kiss of death.)
Finally... it was time for the parade to start. About fifteen minutes before the floats start rolling in, the sirens start and then all of the LCRP's come by and slap the kids hands as they whiz by on their sweet motorcycles. (Of course you realize that LCRP's are our equivalent of CHiP's only instead of California Highway Patrol, "LCRP" stands for Lafayette Crappy Road Patrol. I often contemplate how they are even able to stay on their bikes with all of the van-eating potholes around here. Visit us here and you can see for yourself what I am talking about.)