Last year we attended Mardi Gras in New Orleans, watching many parades and bringing home forty pounds of beads. That is certainly the premier Mardi Gras celebration in North America, but people all along the gulf coast enjoy this holiday as well. Here we gathered on the beach to watch a low key event, featuring mostly decorated golf carts rather than professionally made floats. However, these paraders were as generous as those in New Orleans and our necks were filled with colorful necklaces and pockets filled with candy. Watching a parade is always fun, but getting stuff focuses the attention. It was a challenge to take photographs and catch mementos flying by at the same time. Many of the folks who came to watch the parade parked their trucks in the sand along the route and sat on their tail gates. The beach is so wide there was room for the marchers and vehicles parked on both sides.
The paraders ran over the Portuguese Man O War that came ashore yesterday were now coated with sand, having been left stranded by the waves. They are 95% water and small boys and not so small boys had a good time jumping on these bright blue creatures and hearing them pop - a bit like bubble wrap. Hopefully, they had already expired. It's hard for landlubbers like me to distinguish a live one from a dead one.
We could have gone to a Mardi Gras party in town, but the campground was hosting a free customer appreciation dinner. There's nothing people living on a fixed income like better than free. The line was out the door of the lodge for the Texas style brisket served on buns. They only have this dinner once a season and we got here just in time. A local man visits the campground every evening selling home made burritos, so we stocked up on those, too. I have a feeling I will be taking home some of the food in the freezer than I put there back in December.