Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mardi Gras 2009

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.

Ella lurved driving the jeep!

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.)

Waiting to get whipped in the face by her next pretty necklace.

I'd like some more please.

That's my girl imitating me.

The haul.


Jayme said...

One question...what do you do with all those necklaces :)

vicki said...

Mardi Gras can be tons of fun. You guys did it right by staying away from the Mon and Tues festivities. You can't go wrong with the Children's Parade. I didn't know that Maya and Foster went to JW James. Sophie went there for three years. We LOVED it. Just so terribly far away to drop off and pick up as I am the psycho Mom who doesn't allow her children to ride the bus. Last year Sophie was an Irish Princess in the school MG parade. I have pics and video here.

Courtney said...

Beads are SO MUCH more fun than candy! I can't STAND the candy throwing... it's so dumb! I guess my kids have expensive tastes, because they won't eat tootsie-rolls, etc.

It all looks like fun!

Musicmom-Amy said...

What fun!!! LOVE all those necklaces too.

Yeah, Courtney, we don't want to eat candy that's rolled around on the ground either.

JenM. said...

I am totally in mourning that it is over! :(

Jayme: Funny you ask... The day of the parade they came home and "organized" their beads into different categories. I let them play with them for a few days and once they went back to school after the Mardi Gras break I pulled out the really nice "fancy" beads and chucked the rest.

Vicki: Actually, they go to Ernest Gallet. JW James does the Mardi Gras thing, too? I love it!

C and A: I totally agree with you. Who knew that parades could be so much fun for children AND adults! It helps to be really tall! Besides the beads, they also throw coins (dubloons), stuffed animals, balls, cups, and dolls. Pretty great stuff!

Jenni said...

I would love to come down some time to witness all the hoopla. It makes me laugh that Jon was off being spiritual and the rest of you were living it up.

jenny said...

Hilton did the parade thing at Broadmoor too. Just the Kindergarten. Caroline said that 3rd graders don't get to do anything fun... neither do mom's... except at Mardi Gras, of course!

Lewis Family said...

The fun slide is still my favorite! Next year its on Foster you and me.

Tanya said...

It makes me teary and want to play Babs "Memories". Oh, how I will miss Mardi Gras. I hope heaven smiles on the man who decided to start chucking beads at people!! And for the record, I put my money on Foster to win - so THAT win stayed in OUR family. ;) But I was surprised that Merrit beat out Maya at the end and ended up going the farthest - weird!