While I live in South Florida, where the saying is “WE LIVE WHERE YOU VACATION!”, I have to travel quite a bit for business. One of the great advantages of regular business travel is experiencing what other cities have to offer.
My office is in New Orleans, where I visit one week each month. In the spring, I make it a habit to go during Carnival season. “Carnival”, which literal translation is “farewell to meat”, is the period before Lent, when some Christians give up meat and other things they may enjoy, such as sweets, alcohol, etc. So the Carnival season exhibits excessive drinking of alcohol, eating savory meats and sweets (especially King cake), partying, dancing, and other things before the first day of Lent – Ash Wednesday.
In New Orleans, there are many parades leading up the culmination of Carnival season, Mardi Gras (or “Fat Tuesday”). These parades run by groups called “krewes” featuring marching bands and lavish floats that throw handmade prizes, trinkets, and beads. Beads are also thrown of balconies on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Danielle, Ruben, and I spent a few nights catching souvenirs from the Krewe of Nyx, Krewe of Muses, and Krewe of Endymion.
Mardi Gras is definitely a party time in a legendary party town. If you find yourself with a few days off in the spring, try to get to New Orleans for an experience you won’t forget.