• brandenfugate

Road Notes: Day 115

After a full day yesterday, we returned to our campsite last night only to find it overrun with camera crews and huge, bright-as-the-sun lights. Something was being filmed, in the middle of the night, at our campsite. We curiously wandered over just to see if it was something we cared about. It wasn’t. NCIS New Orleans. What does NCIS even stand for, again? We were parked far enough away from the bustle to still get a reasonably good night’s sleep.

We woke up the next day, hastily got ready, and hurried over to the Garden District for the St. Patrick’s day parade. Wayne was kind enough to invite us to attend with him, his wife, and some friends that were visiting from California. Branden somehow managed to drive Large Marge (our massive Dodge Ram 2500) through the tiny crowded back streets, despite some close calls. Wayne greeted us with a few boozy iced coffees and we walked a few blocks to Magazine Street.

Waiting for the parade to start gave us some time to wander a bit, looking at all of the beautiful homes. If I were to live in New Orleans, this is where I would want to be. It seems like a cozy neighborhood with fantastic, historic homes. We were also able to talk to others in the group. Wayne and his wife had Airbnb guests staying with them from Austin. Since we are taking off in just a few days (in that direction) we had a number of questions. Their first reaction when we said we were heading there is if we were hitting up South By South West. Oops. Uh. We forgot about that. I have to admit, we have been pretty lucky with our timing. We knew we wanted to leave Florida towards the end of February, and it just happened to be in time for Mardi Gras. And now we just happen to be in Austin for one of the biggest multi-media festivals. This actually could be terrible for us in terms of traffic, finding a place to stay, and just the general mass of people that will be there the same time. However, we will definitely see if we can see some music while there. I guess that wouldn’t be so bad.

The parade was hilarious. Lots of men in kilts. Lots of floats and the typical ‘throws’ of beads...and some unusual things like socks, scarves, and toys. There were a lot of flowers too. The flowers were carried on long poles by middle aged guys. Traditionally, you give a kiss for a (fake) flower. Kind of a raw deal. In addition to the normal garbage that people don’t know what to do with post-parade, it is tradition to throw out cabbages, potatoes, and carrots because ya know…Irish. I came with a book bag in tow, hoping to cart away enough for a stew later tonight. I did not have such luck. Technically, I did catch a cabbage. A little boy and I both went for it. I caught it right over his head. Probably saved his life. Then he looked at me like I just kicked his dog, tears welling up in his eyes. So I gave him the cabbage. What kind of kid wants a cabbage? Freak.

We grabbed a crawfish pie, rice and beans, and coffee from Tee-Eva’s cafe. The cafe looked like it had been there forever, and the food was fantastic. After the parade, we debated staying around town, but were so beat. We returned to our camper and found the campsite overrun not by camera crews but army tanks and military personnel. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

We spent the evening cleaning our camper (which had been wildly neglected for far too long). Branden made chicken chilaquiles and we threw back a few cold ones. Pretty perf night. Needed some time to take a breath.

Road Notes are timed entries—written in thirty minutes or less at the end of each day.

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