(A friend and I after the Muses parade.)
A picture taken by my cell phone cannot convey the amount of fun that I had last night. I attended one of the most popular Mardi Gras parades, Muses, with some friends from school. Muses is the only all-female krewe (said like "crew") and their specialty throw is decorated shoes. Yes, high-heeled shoes. I didn't get a shoe (because I'm not assertive enough to get one), but I did get the 2011 strand of beads.
I've learned that contrary to the belief of tourists, attending a parade is not about getting all the beads you can. Instead, it's about getting the special beads you can't buy at the store and other items that can serve as a witness that you were there.
I also learned that you never bend down to pick something up off the ground while a float is going by. It's a good way to get your fingers crushed (I didn't do this personally). All you have to do to lay claim to something on the ground is to step on it and pick it up between floats. A big thanks to my boss for letting me know this one before bodily damage was done.
Floats, marching bands, prizes. Mardi Gras, done family-style, is just plain fun.