Soulardi Gras

Trip Start Feb 09, 2010
Trip End Mar 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
Comfort Inn

Flag of United States  , Missouri
Saturday, February 13, 2010

(written by Jessica)

Happy Mardi Gras! We woke up, got ready, had the hotel's complimentary breakfast then planned to go to Soulard. Justin called a taxi to pick us up and as we're heading towards our ride, we see another young couple outside. Justin asks them if they are heading to Soulard as well, and they are. Well why not share a taxi? The couple, Kim and Logan, are here on a weekend trip from school in Muncie, IL (I immediately think of "The Hudsucker Proxy": "You're a MUNCIE girl?")

We arrive in Soulard and there are so many people! We make our way through the crowd to watch the parade. Beads are flung from the floats passing by, and it suddenly seems important to grab as many as you can. It doesn't take long for the layer of beads around your neck to thicken up. Kim manages to push her way to the front of the bicycle racks separating the crowd and parade line; with her neon-orange sunglasses, she's a bead magnet and is soon wearing a brag-worthy collection. Justin was looking around on the ground for stray beads as he spots a small foil package on the ground that seems to be filled with air. Curious, (and unfortunately), he picks it up to examine it closer. It says "Fart Bomb" on the front and you can imagine what happens next: the little package explodes with a loud "POP." It's not so bad, though, it smells like someone had just struck a book of matches. Still, the crowd parted a little around us.

We wander around, making our way from stand to stand, buying over-priced beers. Things wind down around 6:30pm so we call for a taxi to pick us up. We say bye to Kim and Logan and say we'll contact each other if we want to go out somewhere later. Justin and I are pretty worn out, though, and don't feel up to going out again. It feels like it's at least midnight but it's only 7pm. I guess when you party early, it's likely to end early, too.

(written by Justin)

Wow! Crazy. It was everything I expected but with three times as many people.  Often all you could do was just go whichever direction the crowd was pressing towards.  Beer lines averaged five minutes but after the parade one took us over fifteen minutes.  Porta-potty lines averaged fifteen to twenty-five minutes, even though there were hundreds of porta-potties spread all over the city.  Still - it was a damn good time.  Cold, crowded, and crazy.

We had a fortunate coincidence - right as we were getting into our taxi to head to Soulard, I overheard a young couple speaking with the front desk clerk asking how they could get to Soulard - so we offered to share our taxi and we ended up spending the whole day with them.  It was nice to have some additional support keeping everyone together and we had a great time.  I would definitely go again - next time I would dress warmer, spend less money, and try to hang around until dark to see the rest of the party. 

I see Jessica wrote about the Fart Bomb.  Although it was unfortunate that I was the victim, I still think it is one of the funniest pranks I have ever seen.  As beads are flying all around us and everyone is jumping and springing to grab them - a small package flies towards us.  Thinking it is a trinket made to hang on beads like so many others we had seen, I rushed toward as several other people around us did - I was first and picked it up and bam - white sulfurous crap sprays on my jacket and one of the other guys that was trying to grab it. I would love to have had the whole thing on tape - it's okay to laugh at yourself sometimes.  I'm guessing it is activated by the owner and then thrown with a 10-15 second timer before the pressure inside breaks the plastic seal around it.  Classic.

The main reason we left so early is that there was NOWHERE around that you could get out of the cold weather.  Our feet, hands, and legs were pretty numb - we walked a few miles looking for an open building to go into but were forced to call our taxi home.  Still a great time and there are a few other stories left to tell that I won't write about here.
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