Mardi Gras 2020

Laissez les bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!).

It's a popular Mardi Gras expression, and that's exactly how we all felt.  Although not born in, I mostly grew up in Louisiana.  Going to mardi gras was something we did every year as a family, and then with friends as I got older and was able to drive myself around.  I am currently in the US and had the opportunity to go back to Shreveport/Bossier area for the "Crew of Centaur" parade.  My family and I made the drive over from Texas and stayed one evening.  We stayed close the to Boardwalk shopping area, which is seated along the Red River.  I used to come here often as teenager to shop, hangout with friends and eat dinner.  It was a trip down memory lane, but not near as entertaining as I remember it being.  I suppose growing up, moving, and seeing larger cities definitely changed my perspective on things.

Prior to visiting the Boardwalk we drove around some old neighborhoods that we used to live in.  I was able to see my old houses, and those of my friends from a long time ago.  Things haven't changed a whole lot.  After walking around for a bit we crossed the Texas St. Bridge into Shreveport.  Here you could see some of the floats lining up at the beginning point.  We still had about 2 hours before it actually started.

Blind Tiger would definitely be one of my recommendations for a place to eat in this area.  Quality and legitimate cajun food and atmosphere.  I can't remember the age but the building was very old and original as well.  They have a full bar along with all of the normal seating area.

Here is a gumbo plate.

And the cujun sampler I believe it was called.  Comes with all the good fixins.

It's been somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 years since my last mardi gras.  For those that don't know essentially everyone gathers through the day, often while grilling out and drinking with friends.  The parade usually starts a bit later before it gets dark and goes for 2-3 hours or so.  There are many themed floats that go by throwing out beads, cups, and other random collectibles.  Most of them play music and have some theme they are going for.  Also there are two parades and different weekends.  One is called "The crew of Centaur" and the other is "The crew of Gemini".  Feel free to google if you want to learn more :)

You will find lots of strange people out during these parades, so don't be alarmed lol.

My family at the beginning of it all.

The crew of Centaur cup (I think we brought home like 40 of them lol)

My brother and I near the end of the parade.

One of the many floats and people excited for goodies.

Later that night we got a pizza and went back to the hotel.  We were all pretty tired from the road trip and alcohol throughout the evening.  The next morning we were set on getting some coffee/breakfast.  There's a local specialty coffee shop called "Rhino Coffee" that I would recommend.  They have two locations.  We chose the one in downtown since it was closer to our hotel.

I usually drink regular coffee at home so I like to try cafe's signature drinks, lattes etc. while I am out.  I had one of those and a coffee cake for my breakfast.  I'm obsessed with cinnamon flavored foods  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

"Downtown" Shreveport has some neat southern architecture and churches you can see while you are there.  Also, it's very famous for it's river boat casinos.  It's not a big city by any means, but you can definitely go for a weekend and have a good time, especially if you are into casinos.

Just a few more of these cool old buildings.

Historic southern houses.  There were a few of these but I didn't take many pictures.

Lastly, the whole reason I ever came to living in Louisiana was because my dad was stationed at the military base when I was young.  I spent a lot of time there myself as I worked on base all through high school and college.  We stopped by to see what it looked like now and do a little browsing at the local exchange.  Just before we left we drove through the outdoor museum and I took this picture of a Blackbird.  It's such a cool plane.

That concluded our family trip aside from the 3.5 hour drive back to Texas.  I definitely enjoyed it although I doubt I will be back again anytime soon.  My brother will be moving BACK to Europe this weekend to work in the Czech Republic.  So hopefully I will be updating the blog with pictures of me over there in a few months :)  

Thanks for viewing!