This weekend offered the first big Mardi Gras parade of the season, the Krewe of Centaur. For the past couple of years, with no kids to entertain, I've chosen to to stay in and watch the festivities on my TV, despite the fact that it all happens within walking distance of my house. But, this year, we invited Carmelle and her family to join us for the weekend, knowing the kids would enjoy it.
None of them knew anything at all about Mardi Gras, and had certainly never attended one of the parades. In fact, Ron had never even been to one of the parades!
But, first, came one of the winter "Fun Runs" with the Red River Road Runners. I know that running may not exactly sound fun to some people, and if you'd told me a year ago that I'd enjoy it, I would have called you crazy. But, with my a half-marathon looming over me in a couple of weeks, knew I needed to kick it into high gear this weekend. Chad joined us for the run, although he doesn't run regularly. He and Ron ran the 20K (12.45 miles) while I opted for the 15K (9.32 miles). Of course, I had to do some walking, and that awful blood blister on my foot gave me a little grief, but I finished it---in under 2 hours (yes, I know that is slow, but who cares)!! Woo-hoo!! Ron was hurting when he crossed the finish line, but was glad to be done. Chad should have come in ahead of him, but we waited and waited for him to show up, but, no Chad. Ron finally called him and he answered, letting us know he was completely lost. It took us a while to figure out where he was, but finally figured it out and drove to pick him up---about a mile past the finish area. Needless to say, he took a few wrong turns and made it a 20+K.
By the time we got home, we were pretty pooped, so we relaxed all afternoon, until the roads closed and the parade had begun downtown. We nibbled on a king cake, gave the kids masks and bags to collect beads and loaded up the stroller to walk to the duck pond.
Callie and Jordan met us down on the parade route and we waited for a while until the floats finally reached us.
While we waited we kept the kids busy
with confetti guns from Papaw ( "A" never really got the hang of shooting hers)
and light wands from a sidewalk vendor. (you can tell by the expressions on her parents' faces that "A" never really got the hang that toy either)
Naturally, there was the weird,
and even weirder (well, it WAS the Centaur parade, after all).
And then the floats rolled along
(that's my friend Jayne and her husband, Steve on the Oktoberfest float)
and we loaded up on beads, cups and even a ball or two.
By the time the last few floats reached us, the kids were pretty tuckered out
and we were glad that Carmelle and I had parked the truck nearby, even though the walk wasn't that long. We piled in the back for the short ride home---a good time was had by all!!