Mardi Gras!

Trip Start Dec 30, 2006
Trip End Jul 27, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Early morning to make flight that connected in LA on to New Orleans.  First flight left at 8:45am, which meant I had to be up around 6:30 to make it to the airport on time.  It was all good though, as I had planned my connection to go through LA instead of Denver so that my odds of sitting beside a Hollywood starlet would be increased greatly.  My plan backfired on both flights...just old dudes on both flights sitting next to me.  Dammit.

It was great to see New Orleans again...I hadn't been there since 2000 and wasn't too sure what to expect.  First thing I actually noticed was the cold.  New Orleans was cold...very cold.  Pretty much for the whole time we where there.  I wasn't expecting that as the two previous times I had visited there it had always been very hot.

Besides a few vacant stores and a couple of apartment complexes that where fenced off and condemmed that we saw on the drive in from the airport we saw no indication that anything had happened to New Orleans.

I never experianced service issues at restaurants due to the reported labour shortages and the french quarter/downtown area that we where staying in was not affected that much by Katrina anyways.  And, a huge police presence the entire time we where there - most likely to quell potential issues as there was a pretty serious murder / crime wave early in 2007.  I felt safer on this visit than I did when I visited in 1999 or 2000.

Hotel was in a great location - just off Canal Street steps from the daily mardi gras parades and across the street from the french quarter and the heart of the was, in fact, within stumbling distance.

Rest of the group arrived the next day so took it easy on the first night.  Lots of people out for Mardi Gras...thousands and thousands.  The airport wasn't terribly busy though (both flights I was on where sold out but airport is only running 65% of the number of flights since pre-katrina at this time).  It looked like most people came via car from Texas and Mississippi.

I did head over to Algiers on the free ferry - if anyone watched the recent Denzel Washington movie "Deja Vu" this was the ferry that was blown up at the beginning of the movie.  Thankfully it did NOT get blown up when I was on it.  Got some pics of downtown New Orleans from the other side of the Mississippi River from Algiers.  Came back and walked around the Mississippi River...  

It was good to see so many people out for mardi gras...the locals still say not quite as many as previous years but defentaly more than last year and should increase even more over next couple years as it gets back to pre-katrina volume.  I think some of the pictures speak for themselves in terms of how busy the french quarter was.

Mardis Gras was fantastic and is an event that everyone should experiance at least once.  In terms of what actually happened over the four days we where there - "what happens during mardi gras, stays at mardi gras". 

Good times.
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