Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Throw me something, mister!

Guess who just booked a flight to New Orleans on her birthday for Mardi Gras? I'll give you a hint. Rhymes with ME THAT'S WHO.

My dad had his first round of chemo on Monday and feels great. I want to get down there and visit while feeling great is the case. And I want to take Carlie to Mardi Gras. She's never been. I haven't been in at least the 11 years I have lived in the PNW and probably a couple of years before that when I was living in Houston.

A brief and informal social studies lesson: Mardi Gras is on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. And Ash Wednesday is a lents-worth of days before Easter. And Easter kind of floats around. So Mardi Gras floats around, too. Sometimes mid to late February and sometimes it even falls in early March.

This made my birthdays as a kid really exciting. Because sometimes Mardi Gras and my birthday coincided EXACTLY, which was THE BOMB. And oftentimes they didn't, but my birthday still fell in the "season," and that was okay too.

I loved having a King cake for my birthday cake. If you have never had a King cake, go here right now and order one. They deliver! Anywhere! And I loved the years that my birthday fell on a weekend in the Mardi Gras season and I spent my birthday at parades. This was back in the day when kids chased floats and there were no barricades between the parade and the parade goers and no one got killed at a Mardi Gras parade, or at least not often. (After I grew up and left N.O. it seemed like all I heard about on the news was someone being run over by a float every parade weekend.)

When I was a bigger kid, I loved marching in parades as part of my school's drill team. I wish I could dig up a picture of that. Oh, wait! I can! When I am in New Orleans at my dad's house for Mardi Gras! I need to make a note to myself to search for old photos. 

When I was an even bigger kid, one of my craziest yet most fabulous Mardi Gras memories includes a keg of beer being pulled through the French Quarter in a little red wagon. Back in the day, New Orleans did not have any open container laws and drinking in the street was the norm. (And in fact, they only passed the open container law in probably the last decade and it is not even enforced, especially at Mardi Gras I would imagine.)

But memory lane aside, I am looking forward to this trip immensely. Not for the drinking in the streets either, thank you very much, because I'll have my 10 year old with me and my sister will have her 2 year old with her. I'm looking forward to seeing my dad for the first time since his cancer diagnosis. I'm looking forward to seeing my brother and his family, especially their gorgeous not yet one year old baby girl. And my sister and her family. And since I am staying for a week, I may even have time to put the call out to hook up with old friends that I haven't seen in a long time. 

This is going to be sweet.


Anna See said...

I am so glad you'll be able to make this trip! Don't forget those drill team pics!

Fantastic Forrest said...

Have a blast, and give your Dad a hug from me. Wish mine was still around.

Are you a Commander's Palace fan, or is that just for tourists? We sure loved it when we visited!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Yay! Sounds like a memory-maker for sure, good for you guys :)

Blessings to your dad.

Deece said...

Yay for you!!

I hope things only get better for your dad.

And I always wanted to try a king cake.

Keetha said...

What a fun post! I could feel the Nawlins excitement. :-)

I've never been to Mardi Gras. When I was in school in Hattiesburg, New Orleans was just a hop, skip, and a jump, and friends and I went often on wkends, just never during Mardi Gras. USM didn't even have class on Fat Tuesday.

Sounds like a good trip for you.

Anonymous said...

hey shana, we're looking forward to seeing you soon.

how cool is it to have a birthday on Mardi Gras!! In my family when my brothers b-day falls on Mardi Gras which is Feb. 28, my b-day falls on easter isn't that neat. i thought i was so cool when my b-day was on easter.

we'll have to get in some good wine time while your here. don't worry about carlie, i have a wonderful babysitter, if we want to do something without the children.

HB said...

I have never been to NO - someday I'll make it! How exciting to connect with old friends & share time with family. I'll bet you are counting the days.

Nap Warden said...

Yay...have fun!

Fwiw, my birthday is on Cinco de's good for a free margarita...yay!

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I'm officially jealous. I've always wanted to claim NO as my own, never having stepped foot there, but always intrigued.

(I have to make a King Cake sometime. Again, haven't tried it. ug)

Hope your Dad's chemo runs smoothly.

My Name Is Cat said...

While at USM, we went to a parade in NO. We left the place we were staying at about 7am, had beer and Popeye's Fried Chicken for breakfast. I got tons of beads and the biggest prize of all - a Zulu coconut head. All that and I didn't even have to show anything. Although the whole "showing" thing hadn't really started back then. Have Fun!