Mardi Gras for beginners

Happy Fat Tuesday!!

Doing anything to celebrate today? It’s also Shrove Tuesday, aka a day to indulge in some extra stacks of pancakes. I may have a recipe or two for you to try out.

Anyways, last week Penpal and I drove down to New Orleans and into the French Quarter to celebrate Mardi Gras for a couple of days. Both Penpal and I had never, ever experienced real Mardi Gras before, so this was a bit of an…. experience.

Besides a hangover, 8 pounds of beads, and a magic wand, I also picked up a few tips on how to enjoy Mardi Gras without floating away on Bourbon Street. Unless you’re into that sorta thing… 😉

1. Go during the week leading up to Mardi Gras weekend.

Still ridiculously fun, but slightly less insane, or expensive (for hotels).

2. Collect beads (and other loot!) like champions.

Watch out because you’ll probably get pelted in the face. I almost got a black eye by some erratic throwing.

I also got some other goodies, like a flashing ring, sparkle-covered clutch, and a magic wand. 

Don’t be jealous.

3. Come prepared.

Homemade “Dirty Golfers” aka spiked Arnold Palmers with lemonade and sweet tea flavored vodka (delicious).

I hope you didn’t think I meant toothpaste and clean undies. I obviously meant to bring your own drinks and snacks because New Orleans can get priceeeey.. Especially when you start losing track of how much you’ve spent. Or drank?

4. Eat at a locals place.

I love, love, love this restaurant, Capdeville. They have such a great vibe, and it’s off the beaten path. If the locals are on top of it, then you can bet it’s probably a good spot. Penpal and I had the best gumbo there, and some really yummy drinks. 

If you’re in NOLA, go there.

5. Drink classy. 

(Bad lighting, sorry!)

You don’t need a night FULL of sugary Hurricanes or green Hand Grenades, do you? I mean… not at the beginning of the night at  least. My favorite bar possibly ever is Carousel Bar the Monteleone Hotel.

It’s a bar that literally spins like you’re sitting on a carousel, and it makes you feel like a classy lady, even if you’re wearing ten rows of beads while doing so. Just saying.

6. Watch a Mardi Gras parade.

Or two.

7. Eat a pre-bedtime snack.

Welp. Enough said.

(And this was taken the morning after.)

Off to work!


Have you ever been to New Orleans? Any tips you want to share about surviving the French Quarter/Mardi Gras?

2 Comments on Mardi Gras for beginners

  1. katie @KatieDid
    February 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM (6 years ago)

    Looks like a BLAST. I’ve never been to NOLA but would love to someday, preferably around this time of year- I hear such fun things about it. We have a mardi gras parade this weekend that I’m looking forward to.

  2. Maureen
    February 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM (6 years ago)

    HOW FUN! I have always wanted to experience Mardi Gras! 🙂


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