Monday, February 22, 2010

The Mardi Gras Experience

I've been out of town the past week in New Orleans attending Mardi Gras festivities.  This wasn't my first time in  New Orleans, in fact it was my fifth.  This trip I stayed at the Omni on St. Louis and Royal.  Other trips I've stayed at the following hotels which are all in the French Quarter and just as nice.
  • Sheraton on Canal
  • Ritz Carlton
  • Sonesta Royale
  • W
Here are some of my notes and experiences during Mardi Gras 2010
  • Best if your accommodations are off Bourbon Street - noise and crowd level easier to deal with
  • If you don't like crowds, don't go to Mardi Gras
  • It can be cold in New Orleans in February. Make sure you pack some winter items, especially gloves
  • You don't have to lift your shirt to get beads on Bourbon St

  • Best to watch parades on Canal Street down by the Sheraton
  • There are many parade the week leading up to Fat Tuesday.
(Drew Brees - NO Saints QB - King of Bacchus)
  • You will collect many beads at the parades as they are thrown off the floats
  • Beads hurt when they are thrown off floats, especially when they hit you in the face
  • If you can go to a Ball, worth the money. Women need a gown and men need to dress in a tux.  The parade actually goes through the convention center.  You get lots of beads.
(Sean Payton NO Saints Coach holding the Lombardy Trophy)
  • The food is not heart healthy.  If it's not made with 2 pounds of butter, it's fried.
  • Elizabeth's has a great brunch.  Praline Bacon, Eggs Florentine (poached eggs served over home fries with a spinach sauce and 10 fried oysters)
  • I like oysters, but they don't like me.
  • Emeril's has the best Texas Red Fish
  • Mr. B's has the best BBQ Shrimp
  • Get your Beignets at Cafe Du Monde at midnight - there is no line.
(The girls with artist and gallery owner Matt Rinard)
  • Art galleries on Royal are worth going into and browsing.  They aren't as expensive as you think.
  • The climax of festivities is Fat Tuesday on Bourbon Street.  Make sure you go to the Bourbon Street Awards. It is the best costume contest hosted by Bianca.
  • Verizon cell service works best in New Orleans.  I was the only one with cell service all the time.  ATT & Sprint were not very reliable. (I guess the map on the commercial is true)
  • Most of all make sure your liver and stomach are up for the visit.  Bring plenty of Pepcid AC, Tums and Advil.

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