Our Family Mardi Gras Party 2016

  We were supposed to be writing this Mardi Gras blog post from our camper, either over at Toledo Bend or Chico State Park, but our poor ol' dawg, MarkyBear, did not enjoy his Christmas camping adventure, causing us to pack up the next day @ 2 A.M. and head for home, and thus, has kept us from heading out camping again. We love the old guy and want him to be comfortable, so, we stayed home...for now, til' we can plan on how we can go about it.
   Since our plans were now defunct, and we hadn't been to Lafayette with the family for Mardi Gras for a few years, we gladly jumped at the chance to go catch up with family! For many years now our family meets in Lafayette on the Saturday before Mardi Gras to party and watch the Saturday Children's parades.  This tradition started years ago, and the reason originally was to watch the family kids marching down the street in the parades.  Well, those kids now have kids of their own and the tradition continues.
    Since it is still four days before 'real' Mardi Gras, it is easy for the family to get together even if they have other plans for "Fat Tuesday" (Mardi Gras).  
   We always meet in the same church parking lot and have a tailgate-style roadside wonderful get-together, visiting, eating, and catching up with family and friends.
 Two 55 gallon drum bbq pits stay hot for four or more hours, and the family pitmasters cook anything anyone brings along with them.
 This year there were several different styles of bacon wrapped snacks, burgers sausages, boudin, and pork done several different ways, including the pork steaks I had brought along, all doctored up with my special spices. (A couple of the pork steaks followed us back home and ended up in a Super Bowl Jambalaya the next day) There were all manner of snacks and 'sides', including dirty rice and such.  There must have been ten different flavors of King Cakes and believe me, I did manage to sample some of them!
 We had a great time and Peggy put together a nice video of the day. 
Peggy here; I was FREEZING that day. I had on my long, heavy black leather coat with a hood, jeans, gloves, heavy socks and thick hiking boots, and I still couldn't get warm. You'd think, being an ex-Yankee, from upstate New York, that I wouldn't have shamed myself in such a way. You'd think that these Southern folks would be the ones who couldn't tolerate the cold, but Noooooo....look at Emily...the young beauty on the right in the photo above...short sleeves!! Watch the short video and you'll see plenty of others in Short Sleeeves!!! There aren't many cold, COLD days down here in South Louisiana, but the ones we get...this cold...it's a wet cold, this COLD goes right through you, to the bone. (lower 50's and wind)
  Speaking of Emily; she is a one woman welcoming committee. She's the first one to run and give us a big welcoming huggg. So sweet and so very much appreciated.
  And another thing: I took most of the photos and videos. If you'll notice, they are all mostly taken from behind, around, or near the bbq pit...where it was somewhat warm. I didn't get as many up close photos of family and friends as we needed and I'm sorry for that. So many wonderful people, like Aunt Bonnie, Aunt Margaret, Cousin Kim, Cousin Bernie, Lynn and Chris, Cousin Jennifer, etc....I KNOW I'm missing names, too. We heard Brian Robin was around, but we didn't see him, either. I should have invaded the warmth of Uncle Maurice and Aunt Margaret's "Rock Star Bus", as Cappy calls it, sitting temptingly over there.
   It was a great day and we were glad that we got to go. We left earlier than we wanted to, or should have, but I had been up most of the night with our pore ol' dawg, MarkyBear, who was sick and...

 well...not the life of the party anymore, it seems, but we love the boy DEARLY and worried about him, so we wanted to get back home and check on him. (I wanted to get warm.)
  This video is short by our standards, but it gives the flavor of a small home town Family Friendly (not BIG TIME New Orleans, for sure) Mardi Gras.

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