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Tony and Margee's First Mardi Gras Vacation

Thursday February 22, 2001 - Navigated by Satellite using our GPS and our notebook computer to the Holiday Inn in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Friday - We drove around the Louisiana State Capitol buildings in Baton Rouge and stopped at scenic views of the Mississippi River. Traveled on to New Orleans and bravely traveled through the city to scope out the place. We crossed the Causeway Bridge to our room at the Best Western Inn Covington.

That night we went to Pat O’Brien’s in the French Quarter. We couldn’t find a seat so we enjoyed Hurricane drinks as we stood on the fountain.  As we strolled down Bourbon Street we negotiated for beads (lace only for Margee). We stopped to enjoy the Cats Meow Karaoke bar with live broadcasts on the Internet as we sipped frozen White Russian drinks, yummy!

Saturday - Cruise and tour on the Natchez Steamboat. We ate lunch on board while listening to a Jazz trio. The engine room was available for viewing the large steam engines and paddle wheel. We walked through town and then relaxed and leaned up against a tree at Lafayette Park to enjoy the Tucks Parade. Our first parade grandstand seating was for the Endymion Parade at Lee Circle.  We caught our first parade beads!!!

 Sunday - We ventured to the New Orleans Cemetery One, unfortunately it was closed, and so we decided to tour the Garden District by car in the rain. Walked to the Riverwalk Market and has Beignets (powered sugar donuts) at the Café Du Monde. Strolled to Jackson Square and back to Bourbon Street and we were blessed by a Pope on a balcony. Got a parking ticket (the sign said no stopping 3:00 to 6:00, it was 2:00, go figure?). Drove into the Superdome parking lot but know one was there and it said it was full?  Stood at Canal and Bourbon Street with the END OF THE WORLD banner holders and watched the parade bead throwers try to knock the dooms day sign holders down. Watched the Bacchus Parade from Lafayette grandstand. Larry King was toasted King of Bacchus. The Bacchus Parade was beautiful, the floats were enormous and long in size. We caught a lot of beautiful beads!!!

Monday Gras or Lundi gras - Mardi Gras Festival sponsored by Krewe of  Zulu on the Riverwalk. Jazz entertainers. Mr. Big Stuff and the Governor from the Krewe of  Zulu arrived by boat on the Mississippi River and marched with a Dixie land Jazz band to the Riverwalk stage. The Governor handed two golden coconuts to the audience, coconuts are very special prize.

Tony and Margee marched with Mr. Big Stuff, The Governor and The Band to the Riverwalk round stage to the sound of the sweet Louisiana marching jazz!

We had Po-Boys for lunch at the Jackson Brewery Mall. Headed on over to Bourbon Street for the Krewe of Elvis party at the Famous Door Bar. We were greeted by some of the Krewe members outside door and escorted into the party. The members gave us gifts of KOE beads, beanie Elvis doll, Elvis Get Out of Jail Cards, KOE cards, souvenir New Orleans cards and Elvis’ last prescription. We celebrated with the members with King Cake and drinks. Some of the members danced on stage and were a part of the chugging contest. One couple would be married that evening in the House of Blues. We met Dan and Cocoa KOE members from Oklahoma City and visited with other members as a parade went by the Famous Door.  We walked to Jackson Square and Margee had a palm-tarot card reading. She is basically healthy, rich in love and money, very generous and loving, but is misbehaving the last two days!!! We traveled over to Harrah’s Casino by Street Trolley Car for dinner. Yummy scrimp Creole and Crawfish. We had tickets for the Orpheus parade grandstand. The parade included special guest star Whoopi Goldberg who energetically tossed throws to the crowd. The sky poured rain and we called it an evening back to the hotel.

Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras - Tony transformed into “Elvis” and Margee transformed into “Cilla” to march in the 2001 Krewe of Elvis Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans French Quarter. We had to walk fast to greet the members in front of the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. As we rushed along people yelled “Hey Elvis, sing me a song” from their cars and people on the street said “Hey, Elvis is alive and he is in New Orleans!”  or  “Hey, Elvis I thought you were dead?” Tony would say “Hello” (with his hand in the Elvis salute) and of course “Thank you very much” when they complimented his attire! The ladies loved my poodle shirt with can-can. As we approached the Square we could see the white suits glowing! We celebrated with the KOE and of course the wonderful Elvis recordings. The crowd loved our creative costumes. There was Dead Elvis and Elvira, Spinning Elvis and Creole Elvis. Suits of Gold Red, White, Silver and Black, an African American Elvis and several ladies dressed as Elvis. We had a group picture with the banner and the crowd again loved the KOE and gathered to take a shot too! We began out march at 10:30 am through the streets of the French Quarter. We threw beads, the crowd threw beads and several of the Elvis’ shook and sang. Everyone loved the KOE!! After we pushed through the crowds and the cars tried to push through our parade we stopped off at the Famous Door Bar. All the Elvis’ were invited on stage to perform. The stage was full of Elvis’ and rocked to the Jail House Rock! We partied inside for a while then spilled out onto Bourbon Street to start our parade again. We met other Elvis impersonators, Aliens, almost naked people, Doctors with their nurses, Caesar, and various masked partiers. The parade was such a blast and a great way to become a part of centuries old Mardi Gras!! We made it back to Jackson Square and said see you next year we hope. Elvis (Tony) and Cilla (Margee) walked to Canal Street to catch some of the Zulu parade. Several people just had to have a picture with Elvis and Cilla, even an 87-year-old lady celebrating Mardi Gras! We changed in the car and headed to the grandstand to watch the Rex Parade. We timed it beautifully, Rex arrived just minutes later. We watched the toast to Rex and his parade and enjoyed sunshine and the joy of celebrating Mardi Gras!

  Our journey was over and we headed home…but our minds and hearts will stay in Mardi Gras until next time! Let the Good Times Roll!!!!!  

 

Our Videos

 

Bourbon St

Parades

City Sights

Krewe of Elvis

 

More Photos

Jester's Pre Party

KOE 1

KOE 2

KOE 3

Jester Video

Baldwin's KOE

 

mask

 

 

(Click on photo to see large version.)

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