mardi gras recap

Another Mardi Gras has come and gone, and it was mostly…freezing. From wearing shorts on Sunday to wearing enough layers on Monday and Tuesday to rival Randy, we braved the elements and caught us a literal ton of beads. Not that see-saw weather is anything new to Louisiana, but since WHEN has there been ice on Mardi Gras…especially in March!?

We did pretty well being green on all of our outings, except that we couldn't recycle all the beads we saw left on the ground, mostly because my bike basket was already five times over its weight limit. Maybe next year I'll pull a bike trailer and scoop up more beads!

We also brought backpacks, which turned out to be a better idea than I even planned on. Plus, it felt like practice for Festival International in April!

My Kanteen kept my beer deliciously cold for the entire parade. Also, it is very important to always remember your bike lock. So you don't have to skip going to the fair after the parade to watch the musical acts and miss out on seeing your friends. (Still upset with myself. But at least we got to eat while we were out that night!)

Even the weekly Farmer's Market got in on the Mardi Gras spirit with some music and a traditional Courir de Mardi Gras.

We finally rode on the new dedicated bike lane through UL's campus. It's great to see the university embrace bicyclists by making this happen. 

Riding along the parade route to get home was a fun little adventure. The cars were confined to the outside lanes, leaving the float lane open for us to cruise down the busiest street in town on a Saturday evening. Look at all that litter I was so disappointed to have to leave behind. 

Monday night: 32 degrees with a 22-degree wind chill. It was almost as rough a bike ride as those San Francisco hills. But we made it, and we didn't freeze anything off in the process!

Aaaaand Mardi Gras morning. Hey wait, where is everyone!? Oh, the 32-degree temperature, steady drizzle and layer of ice kept them inside? Wusses. 

Even though there were barely any people out, it was a fun day. We threw in the towel on riding bikes and drove to a friend's house just off the parade route, where we could hang out between parades and stay warm (and dry our gloves off!) Even making it out to walk to lunch was a little adventure.

And the lack of a crowd meant more beads for us! Even if it stung like hell when they hit our hands. 

Icicles on the recycling bin. As you would on March 4.

The combination of winter and spring.

The majority of the donation pile. The contents of that milk crate are still sitting in the back of my car, because these beads will just never go away! Even with giving away an entire parade's catch to some friends in a parade the next day and keeping the really nice beads for decorations, we still had this much left over! It's truly insanity.

If you've also got a ridiculous pile of beads to get rid of, here are some handy places for you to recycle them in Lafayette:
  • If you are attending the Monster Truck show next Thursday, March 13, one of the trucks will be outside the Cajundome to be filled with donated beads. Bring yours to add!
  • Visit LARC's website to view their drop off points and dates.
  • Bring your beads to any area Goodwill. They will get to LARC as well.
  • Give them to anyone you know who rides in parades.
  • Send them to friends and family far away!
  • Save the nice ones to use as decorations. I like to use them in vases and jars as centerpieces, plus I like to adorn my bicycle with them!
Until next year, Mardi Gras.

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