Have I mentioned yet that there was a lot of eating in New Orleans? Regardless, I can't seem to understate this idea. There was more food being offered than I've ever seen in my life. There was meatpies, pastries, crawfish, ginger chicken, beignets, and some stuff I couldn't pronmounce. This was all for breakfast, which took place between the hours of 10am and 1pm.
At some point, Lui's other sister Cris showed up with her family. Her son Christopher is a cool kid, very smart and full of energy. He ran around the house with great excitement, his tired father Ferdie trying to keep up with him. Youthful endurance is fantastically endearing.
After our feast, we decided to attend a Mardi Gras parade. I was happy we were going, but thinking a day parade couldn't be all that exciting. I've seen lots of day parades. Foolish.
Nothing can, or will, prepare you for the massive spectacle that is a Mardi Gras parade. The sdewalks are lined with people, all desperately vying for the silly items that were being thrown off of floats. There's lots of screaming, cheering and laughing. Enthusiasm pours off the crowd and the float riders. The floats are majestic, jutting beautifully into the sky with wonderful monster based themes like Frankenstein and Dracula. It's hard to describe just how amazingly detailed and extravagant they are.
I'm chiefly glad I was able to attend a parade with a child. There's nothing like joyful enthusiasm at such a huge parade. Christopher was running around, full of great joy and amazement at the enormous floats. At some point, I caught his energy and ran around with him, catching beads and toys. I didn't keep any of the toys I caught (what am I going to do with teddy bears and plastic figurines) but I did bring home an enormous bag of beads to share with my friends.
We left the parade, the general consensus was that we needed to eat again. My mind protested, but my body was surprisingly ready to go. Apparently all the running around had made me famished.
I'd never eaten Popeye's chicken before, and usually I tryand stay away from fats food restaurants. However, everyone insisted I needed to try it, and assured me tht it was a New Orleans experience in itself. So I bit in to the chicken, wondering what was in store for me. My reward was delicously lean and wonderfully spiced fried chicken. The sides were also worth the experience and could have made the meal on their own. I was still sneaking biscuits late that night.
After dinner I excused myself, realizing I hadn't spent time alone in several days. We were planning on going out in the French Quarter later that evening. I wanted to have some time to process the experience, so I went to the room I was sleeping in and laid down to watch television for a bit.
After a time, I walked out into the living room to find the entire family fast asleep in front of Olympic Ice Dancing. Oh well.