. As the parade began it was evident that bead and plastic egg throwing would be an integral part with children also being tossed stuffed bunnies and other furry friends. I was not however prepared for the aggressive nature of this traditional NOLA pastime, and was completely caught off guard more than once by flashes of neon hurling at me from above. Many on the ground were just as ferocious about collecting these glittering necklaces. At one point I thought Liz was going to have to take out a man who had positioned himself (and his bead collecting bag) directly in front of us in the street, apparently willing to get run over if it meant he got their first. Derek's more subtle smile and wave approach seemed successful and with me just smiling and trying to avoid being injured we all ended up with more than enough necklaces to be festive and feel we'd taken part in the tradition even if it may not have been in the way that Bourbon St. generally brings to mind.
After the parade, a little more wandering and souvenir shopping it was back across the causeway to visit a place special to both Derek and me...La Provence Restaurant. I had surprised Derek win a dinner reservation here during our pre-cruise stay on our honeymoon and we thought it would be nice to come back to enjoy a glass of wine and the ambiance. This restaurant of Chef John Besh, a Southern Louisiana native, evokes a warm, welcoming Provenšal feeling on picturesque grounds including several acres of kitchen garden and some small animal pens
. It is filled with antiques from Provence, as well as photographs and paintings that contribute to the eclectic Provencal warmth of the atmosphere. An antique French bar presides over the sitting room, where here or on the patio, guests are able to peruse the day's offerings and make their choices. We ordered our wine and then took to the garden walking among herbs and vegetables on our way to visit the henhouse, pigs and goats. We overheard a woman tell her husband, "I knew they said the goat cheese was fresh but wow!" it was nice to enjoy the afternoon warmth in the garden and even nicer back by the bar with the AC. It was fun to sit amongst the families who were dressed to impress on a day where a call on the phone was as close as we could get to our own. A little later that evening we enjoyed another nice dinner which included a fire and s'mores, a memorable Easter to say the least.
Easter Sunday started off with a flurry of activity. The whole campground seemed to be busy as we got dressed to go in to town to catch one of the many parades taking place throughout New Orleans. I heard a few times of plans for egg hunts and that older siblings needed to help distract younger ones so the bunny could come. Luckily the bunny hadn't forgotten us either, using Liz as a vessel to send a little Easter cheer our way which was very exciting! One trip across the causeway and a short walk later we were set up on Bourbon awaiting the Chris Owens Eastern parade. We had a front row view and didn't have to wait long for the festivities to begin. The parade we saw wasn't huge but it certainly made an impact. It was so fun to see many of the men and women dressed in their Sunday best, huge hats and fancy ties to boot. Others were in less traditional dress, one of our favorites was the gang of people riding bikes that were decorated as different animals with heads off the front and tails off the back. Liz especially liked the grouping of miniature animals including a few mini horses; we saw a larger group including a zorse (zebra+horse) later as we were walking to he car