• Allison Hills

Mardi Gras Mambo 💚💜💛

My first January outside of Louisiana (college in Maryland) was a very RUDE awakening. What do you mean you don't celebrate Mardi Gras? You really can't buy a King Cake at the grocery store??

See, when you grow up in South Louisiana, you aren't sad when the Christmas and New Year's holidays end, because Mardi Gras is next! Although many believe that Mardi Gras is just a one day celebration of Fat Tuesday (before the Lenten Season), it is actually celebrated for the month or two leading up to Mardi Gras Day!

Now that we live in Houston, and thanks to my brother and his friends, we have been fortunate to attend the Bacchus Mardi Gras Celebration for the last few years. It is certainly one event that I look forward to every year! Here is an inside sneak of our most recent trip (with a few New Orleans lessons learned as lagniappe☺️)!

Flights: One of the best things about Houston is that SW flies to New Orleans about every thirty minutes😂. Because we are so busy with the kiddos extracurricular activities, this trip is a short one! We usually have to fly in on the Sunday morning of the ball, and this year was no different!

Accommodations: We have learned from our mistakes in the past and try to stay as close to the convention center as possible. The French Quarter and the other side of Canal street is just too far (and it is VERY hard to get a ride because the parade is already rolling!). We were late to book (surprise, surprise) because we were awaiting the kiddo's schedules. By the time we booked, our first couple of choices were sold out or not accommodating a one night stay. We ended up booking the Queen & Crescent hotel in the Central Business District (CBD). This hotel is one of Marriott's boutique autograph hotels. Although it worked out for our stay, I probably wouldn't choose it again and here's why: It was still quite a far walk to the convention center, I didn't feel like it was maintained nicely (even though it was recently renovated), and the hotel is broken up into two buildings and the walkway between the two is uncovered (it poured cats and dogs when we visited).

Itinerary: We are so fortunate to have family in the area! Right when we flew in, we were able to watch a few of the day parades in a grandstand along the route. In order to get in grandstand, you have to buy a ticket (price varies depending on the day and the parade schedule). My sister purchased tickets so we could enjoy the parades together before the kiddos left for the night.

After checking in to the hotel, Dave and I walked around and had dinner before the torrential downpour began. I also like to have my hair and makeup done because I am terrible at doing it myself🙈. For this trip, I visited Verde Beauty Studio near the riverwalk, and was SO impressed! I loved my makeup and the price was very reasonable too!

Finally, we returned to the room to change for the Bacchus ball! The Bacchus ball is a formal event (tuxes for the men and long dresses for the ladies). Super tip: I buy all of my Mardi Gras gowns used from a BST facebook group🙌! The evening starts with a band, then the parade comes through the convention center, then the band returns, followed by a DJ and all out party (till 3 AM!) The event is BYOB and you will see ladies in their gowns and men in tuxes pulling ice chests and wagons 😂. I really can't explain how fun it is, you'll just have to find a way to come!

On Monday we had breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast restaurants: Coterie NOLA (I am not going to lie, it has everything to do with the Bloody Mary!). Because the kids don't have Mardi Gras off in Houston, we headed back to the airport for a quick flight home.

If you EVER have the chance to visit NOLA for Mardi Gras, feel free to send me your questions. It really can be a family friendly event! You will definitely return home with stories for a lifetime😂