Beignets, gumbo + thirty pounds of Mardi Gras beads.

A full day of exploring and Mardi Gras weekend parades here in New Orleans.

Edward, Anthony and I head out to explore the French Quarter in the morning. We made our way down the closed off St Charles towards Canal st, wandering down the middle of the road amongst people on bikes, with drinks, food vendors, kids kicking footballs and people dancing.

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It was bright and sunny, and the mood was cheery. Everyone was excited for the first parades of the day. We made our way into the busy French Quarter, stopping off at Jackson Square, the famous Cafe Du Monde, and wandered Royal st watching street performers.

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Everyone was dressed up – even the puppies!

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We head to Gumbo Shop for a lunch of red beans n rice, jambalaya, shrimp creole, chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, and finishing up with the best whisky bread pudding.

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We made our way over to Bourbon st, and the vibe there was insane – people were drinking in the street, dancing, and dressed in the best Mardi Gras outfits.

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We stopped into Cafe Beignet on Bourbon st for some fresh, warm beignets.

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We started the walk back to the apartment to meet some more people before the parades – we found the famous Before I Die wall and added our wishes, and went shopping for masks and parasols. Anthony definitely should have bought this one.

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We grabbed some craft beers, I picked up a great smoked porter with Madagascan Vanilla Bean, and we started the drinking at Anthony’s. His apartment is right on the parade route, so pre-drinks and then down to the street.

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We met up with some more people, and spent the rest of the night dancing, laughing and jumping for beads and trinkets from the floats. I made out really well!

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Afterwards we head to Half Moon for breaded shrimp po’boys and chilli cheese fries, then danced to Rebirth Brass Band until early morning.

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It started to cool down at night, so I put on my sweater – but had a few issues with all of my beads!

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