When Mardi Gras “Carnival Season” arrives, I’m like a little kid on Christmas Day. I can’t wait to decorate with the colors of purple, gold and green. A large part of Mardi decorating,involves things accumulated from years before. Treasured “throws,” such as a specific Krewe’s medallion beads, doubloons, King Cake babies, plush items or prized throws such as a Muse’s shoe or a Zulu coconut are often displayed in each house. Since our arrival here in 2007, my Mardi Gras plastic totes, are running a neck and neck tie with 20 years of Christmas decorations (if that is any indication of how much I love it).
Parades hit St. Charles Street this week, while several other Krewes in different areas have already rolled. My daughter, Savannah, is as obsessed with parade-going as I am. In order to get ready for parading this season, we headed to the French Quarter on a brisk sunny January day. You can be anyone you want this time a year and many people choose to costume or mask. I’m not one to wear a full costume, but always do something fun. I already ordered our masks and can’t wait for those to arrive.
Our first stop in The Quarter, was Fifi Mahony’s for some wigs. We had a blast finding our 2016 wigs and I can’t wait to wear my purple locks. Then it was off to the French Market to shop for items to finish out our costumes. Mixed in with food, drink and general vendors, are some amazing local craft and art carts. There is no better place to stop first, than at the hand-crafter jewelry cart of Oscar. Not only is he a ray of sunshine and just someone worth stopping by to say hello to, but his products are amazing and reasonably priced. He had some new 2016 Mardi Gras earrings and I quickly gobbled up a few pairs.
Carnival Collectibles (Gumbo the gnome, dug their selection). We then made a stop for some lunch at El Gato Negro (I really just wanted one of their amazing Margaritas), right across from the French Market. No trip to NOLA is complete without some sampling at Southern Candy Makers, where we tried the King Cake fudge (interesting flavor). Next, we stopped at a store to help dress up our dog, Lola, for Mardi Gras. Turns out they even had a mask to fit the gnome! Our final destination of the day was Jackson Square as it is always alive with activity.
I can never get enough NOLA and local flavor…I’m a perpetual tourist in my own backyard!!! ~Greta~
Greta Perry is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad offering tips and inspiration to fellow travel enthusiasts. To join the Travelocity Gnomads community visit www.travelocitygnomads.
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