If I had my way, I’d start every morning with a bagel from Stein’s and a king cake donut from District next door. I am not much of a desserts person but you will never see me pass on a slice of king cake. And last year, one of my friends brought over a box of District donuts for my roommates and me instead of a birthday cake. We had so much fun trying each of the flavors – even Sriracha – that I knew their king cake donut would be the perfect Mardi Gras breakfast.
Stuffed with a cream cheese filling that helps balance the sugar-coated icing and topped with the traditional baby, I enjoyed every last bite. Since Endymion Saturday fell on Valentine’s day they also had adorable rosewater donuts topped with heart candies.
After breakfast we walked to Washington and St. Charles to catch the Krewe of Tucks parade. They threw plungers, superhero capes and toilet paper all emblazoned with their krewe’s emblem. Throws have been a traditional part of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras for a long time and many of the items are considered valuable keepsakes (like that Muses shoe I caught on Thursday). Each krewe is known for different throws and Tucks likes to give away bathroom-themed items like their toilet seat sunglasses. In the spirit of giving, Brittany traded her purple cape for a yellow one and Karen traded our cape for a fun pair of knee socks. We caught more than our fair share of plungers…
I really love day parades because if the weather is nice there is no better way to spend a day outside. Along the route we finally caught up with a few of my friends that I haven’t seen since I moved away in May! As always, the parades flew by quicker than you’d think so before we knew it we were walking back towards downtown to stop at our rental before continuing to the CBD to catch the Endymion parade. The parade starts at 4 pm but takes so long to get down Canal St we had time to stop and pick up a few of my old coworkers and grab drinks and dinner at Lucy’s beforehand.
At this point we were exhausted but pushed on to the Quarter to experience some New Orleans oysters and oyster shooters. All the typical restaurants, like Acme, had lines down the block so we wandered a bit from Bourbon before finding a place without a wait and decent ratings – Mr. Ed’s. While the service was quick and friendly, the best dish according to our group was the jambalaya not the oysters.
The grande final for the night was a free concert at Howlin Wolf featuring Rebirth Brass Band. Not everyone stayed out for this but I somehow made it through most of the concert (followed by a late night pizza snack), walked all the way home (I wish I wore a pedometer so I could tell you how many steps I got in one day – insane amount), grabbed my suitcase and hailed a cab on Magazine in time for Brittany and me to make our 6 am flight. Don’t ask me how, but I did it.
The only thing I would change would be to extend the trip a little longer! Everything about this visit was so amazing and the lady we rented our house from was so kind. She nearly insisted we stay longer when I handed in the key and I would’ve if it weren’t for our flight. We made it back to DC just before flights started getting delayed from the wintery weather hitting the northeast.
Have you ever celebrated Mardi Gras? Is it on your travel bucket list to see Carnival in one of the renowned for their celebrations?
Heading to New Orleans on another weekend? Check out my New Orleans 3-day itinerary!
ga(‘create’, ‘UA-49466220-1’, ‘auto’);