Friday, February 19, 2010

Mardi Gras

We got the Dod back on Monday with the brakes finally in working order. We spent the last day walking around the Woodlands and catching a flick. Don't go see "Wolfman", it's a terrible movie.
That night we loaded up and set our alarms for 5AM so we could head out and make it to New Orleans for the last day of the Mardi Gras celebration. However, the Dod stalled out before we even left Jenny's neighborhood.

Jenny drove around the corner to give us a jump, and we made it to the gas station where again the Dod wouldn't start. We got another jump but el Dodo stalled out again as we waited to pull out from the gas station.

A call to AAA got a tow truck and a truck driver named Bubba dispatched. As we were hauling the Dod back to the shop Bubba made it very clear to us his stance on homosexuals. We had told him we had spent some days in Austin and the only thing he could tell us about Austin is "that's where all them gays at. Me and them gays just don't get along. My brother brought me down to sixth street one time and I had to tell him to take me home. All them gays..."
After the awkward ride in the tow truck, Jenny picked us up from the shop because we needed to have all three belts replaced and it was going to take some time. By the time we got the Dod back it was almost 4 in the afternoon, which meant we wouldn't have made it to New Orleans till almost midnight. We'd heard that Galveston parties it up pretty good for Mardi Gras so we made the executive decision to make the 2-hour drive south to the Gulf of Mexico to celebrate Fat Tuesday there.

We bid farewell to Houston and made it to Texas' paradise island just in time for the last parade.
After the parade finished, folks of all ages clogged the streets, screaming for beads tossed from balconies that lined the streets. Live blues blared from one bar so Chris and I stopped in to listen.
Even the puppies joined the festivities.

As we walked around the street collecting beads we were stopped by a group of fellow Michiganders, Tahd, Marie, and Matt. It's pretty strange how Michiganders can always recognize one another. We're drawn together like magnets. Or perhaps it was Tahd and Chris' beard magnetism.
Marie and Tahd from Traverse City.

Matt, friend and Chris.

We joined our new friends at an outdoor bar to dance the night away listening to another live band play classic rock covers all night. One woman was especially appreciative of the music and the booze and showed her gratitude to the band and bartenders (and everyone else, for that matter) by flashing her boobs.

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A Jimi Hendrix cover, no doubt.

One drawback about the Galveston Mardi Gras, however, is that the whole shebang shuts down about 11:00PM. So we picked up some beers and followed our Michigan friends back to their campground to continue the party. Chris and Tahd entertained us with some acoustic guitar.

By 3:00AM we made our way to the nearby Walmart to crash for the night. Because it was a holiday we allowed ourselves to sleep in and treated ourselves to breakfast at the Waffle House. I recommend you order the hash browns covered, diced and topped (that's covered with cheese, mixed with diced tomatoes and chili for those of you Non-WaHos.) And a word of advice to my fellow soup enthusiasts: don't even try to order their "famous" chicken noodle soup. I don't think it exists. :(
We drove back through Galveston to see the town in the daylight. We coasted up and down Seawall Boulevard and admired the sunny coast. Then, we headed to the end of the island to hop on a free ferry.

We traced the coast North and East, through swamp and marshland, and hopped on another ferry. Some of the bridges spanned the swamp for miles and miles. Other times, we drove right next to the swamp offering us an up-close view of all it's beauty. There were dozens of white cranes perched on tree branches and pelicans soaring overhead. We even saw an alligator hanging out in the swamp! Her name was Gertrude.

That's some back yard...
Some houses were on stilts as high as 20'.

Front row seat on ferry #2!

After an eventless night in a Walmart in Crowley, Louisiana we drove to New Orleans. We faisons une promenade in the French Quarter and down Canal Street.

Hm, something must have hitched a ride from Roswell.
Voodoo dolls.
Window display on Bourbon Street.

We stumbled upon an eight-member band playing in the street. There was an accordion, trumpet, trombone, banjo, steel guitar, tuba, washboardist and chanteuse. We stayed for a few songs. I wish now we had bought one of their $10 CDs.

This guy was awesome!
A la Gumbo Shop.
Our delicious Creole sampler and cup of gumbo. Undoubtedly the best gumbo I've ever had.
In front of Cathedral Square.
Some boney guy tickling the ivories.
Entryway to the Hard Rock Cafe. Great happy hour.
Chris face on Bourbon St.
BOOGIE WOOGIE!!! :) Dedicated to my bff Chelsea Rysztak.
Having a grand ol' time on Bourbon St.
J'aime New Orleans.
We met Mike and Dialis at the Hard Rock Cafe. Mike is in a band called The 54. Check out their band at They have a tour coming up and the dates and locations can be found there. Dialis is a travel writer and has done an impressive amount of traveling herself.

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

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