Day 183: Catching a Mardi Gras Parade.
We wish we can stay longer here but because of the Super Bowl, this weekend is completely booked. Well, the fact that half of the campground was not open due to construction did contribute a bit to that I suppose. We talked to one of the grounds person here and he told us that 9 times out of ten, a request to dry camp there would not be a problem. We thought about it but decided to just push on. Even though we still have about a month left before we need to be back in CA, we like the idea of getting closer before slowing down.
Even though we are leaving the campground, we are going to make a full day out of it in New Orleans. Because of the Super Bowl, all of the parades have been postponed due to the cities security capacity. Today, we will be headed to the town of Metairie to catch our first Mardi Gras parade just north of New Orleans.
Moving fast across the country means that getting mail and packages are a challenge. If we don’t stay at a place long enough or don’t know where we will be in the next few days, it is difficult to schedule delivery. Our 5-night stay here gave us an opportunity to get an Amazon package shipped to us. We have been anticipating this package as we have been planning to upgrade our smartphones. We opted for unlocked, international versions of new phones so it can be more flexible with our future plans of traveling abroad. We will blog in more detail about that later.
3 years ago, as we pulled into town past midnight in the the dark and not knowing what to expect, we came across this bridge. It was a nightmarish event for Marlene and she was glad that we didn’t have to drive across it to come into town from the east. As we are headed the opposite direction, we had to make this crossing on our way out. Luckily for her, it was done during the day. The two lane bridge was about as narrow as I remembered but driving across it during the day was much easier.
We scoped out a mall parking lot in Metairie next to where the parade will be held later in the evening and spent our afternoon there. We had several hours to relax before the parade started so we just hung out and did some window shopping at the mall before we headed out to the parade route.
The parade was scheduled to start at 6pm so we made our way there about a half hour earlier to get a good spot. Originally we were planning to unhitch the Mish and leave it at a parking lot in Bayou Segnette. The park is open for day use until 10pm so we figured we would have plenty of time to come see the parade, drive back and leave from there. It was a good thing that we decided against that. Apparently one of the parade floats busted an axle up the road and it never started until well after 10pm. The kids were getting pretty restless but they hung in there with the lure of colorful beads.
Mardi Gras parades are not really known for the quality of the floats. Don’t get me wrong, they were plenty festive but it feels more like a high school homecoming parade instead of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day. Having dozens of them throughout the entire Mardi Gras season all over town also means that these floats are used more than a few times. The kids were less picky and loved every moment. Even if it’s well past their bed time.
The girls were especially impressed with the cheerleaders. They were not just wearing costumes. These were real-life, legitimate cheerleading uniforms!
Do you think Ava as enough beads? Sure some of them might be soaked with beer and all are potential choking hazards in the Airstream for Luka, but it is a risk we are willing to take for Mardi Gras.
Mila was excited for some kind of stuffed animal shaped like a…. well, you be the judge.
As we finally got back into the van and got ready to head out, we decided to start making our way towards Baton Rouge. We didn’t know exactly what our plans were for the next couple of days in Louisiana but we knew that getting far enough away from New Orleans to avoid the crowd was top on the list.
As we headed out of town, we realized that we were starving. Before we got too far out, we saw a sign for a McDonald’s that was still open. Eating late at night while we are towing is a real challenge. We don’t want to wake the kids so getting something to go is preferable than going into a sit down place. On the other hand, fast food places that are open usually only have drive-thru windows available during this time of night. Trust me, you don’t want to tow an Airstream through the drive thru. I’ve never done it and would never want to try.
When we got off of the freeway after seeing the sign for a 24-hour McDonald’s with an open dining room, we realized that it was a 5 mile detour each way from the Interstate. At over $4 a gallon, it will cost us nearly a full gallon of diesel when we are getting only around 12 MPG. We almost turned around to get back on the freeway but instead our stomachs decided otherwise.
We made it to a little town called Laplace, LA. As we were driving in, we thought to ourselves, ‘who comes out here?’ Well, turns out, our new friends from Nova Scotia, The Wild Rovers do. I couldn’t believe it but as we were leaving McDonald’s, we saw their rig sitting in the parking lot of the Walmart next door to it. This is the 5th time we have randomly run into them starting all the way back in Cedar Key, Florida. It was late and I am sure they were soundly asleep so we didn’t get to chat with them. We thought about staying the night next to them for a morning surprise but ultimately decided to push on. It might have seemed a little creepy for us to just show up next to them in the morning
We made our way to Baton Rouge and made our nest in a gigantic Walmart. It was getting cold and we will figure out our plans in the morning.
over and out,
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