Galveston celebrates Mardi Gras. Not quite as big time as New Orleans--but it's not nearly as large a town. Even before Ike washed away about half the population. So you wouldn't expect it to be quite as wild, or as big. But it's plenty big enough for me.
Saturday was Valentine's Day, but we mostly did Mardi Gras. There were three parades on Saturday, all down the seawall on Seawall Blvd. One at noon (Krewe of Aquarius, I believe), one at three (the Firetruck Parade) and one at 6 p.m. (Krewe of Gambrinus), complete with fireworks over the gulf at the 37th St. Pier. I was invited to ride in one of the noon parade entries--a convertible, not a float--and throw stuff at people. We had candy, beads and college promo freebies like keychains and rubber bracelets to throw.
There was a time I could throw a softball or baseball pretty well. But that was a LONG time ago, and I wasn't sitting in a car while doing it. Now--I basically suck at throwing. I have no arm, and I'm a klutz anyway. So I took on the job of throwing bracelets. I had to take each bracelet out of its little plastic zip bag, because if you threw them in the bag, they would plummet to the asphalt about a foot from the car, but if you took them out, they had a chance of flying a ways out, at least to a spot safe to pick it up. However, you must take into account the fact that I was throwing them.
Some of them flew right to the folks I was aiming at. Some sailed over their heads. Some sank like a rock. Some hit the balloon tied to the side mirror and went in strange directions. Some went practically behind the car because my arm got all contorted into a crazy side-arm sort of throw... Anyway, the bracelets were very popular, perhaps because they were different. Not your usual bead.
Saturday was a rainy day on the island. It sprinkled lightly while we were waiting for the parade to kick off. It cleared up right as we were heading out (we were about 30 minutes into the parade). Then it started sprinkling again harder when the parade was almost over. We ran out of stuff about 54th St. The parade went to 59th. Oops.
We went back to our house afterward--at about 2:30--to have lunch and warm up. It wasn't that cold out, but when wet--I had hot chocolate. It was wonderful. :) And while we were eating our homemade soup (I didn't burn it!) for lunch at 3 p.m., just as the firetruck parade was starting, the sky opened up and the rain POURED down. It rained really hard for about 20 minutes, then just rained for another half hour or so.
And after a little nap, we went back out to watch the evening parade and fireworks. We walked. It's not far from our house to the seawall. But we walked all the way down past 45th St. so we could see the fireworks. The rain had stopped, but it was still foggy and cloudy. I thought they were going to do the fireworks after the parade, but they started shooting them off before the parade reached us (which admittedly, was an hour and a half after the parade started). They looked very cool lighting up the clouds. We walked back to 45th St., met some friends and their kids and grandkids, and watched the parade with them.
The floats were fabulous, the people all dressed up on them, and I caught a lot of beads. Or rather, I picked up a bunch from the ground in front of me. I actually caught one strand. But I had beads up almost as high as my ears... And I danced with a member of one of the bands marching by. As former band members, we were hollering and cheering for the bands, so when this one--North Forest High School out of Houston--stopped right in front of us, and the tubas and drums took over the music, the kid took my hand and we boogied till he had to march off again. It was hilarious, and no, the fella did not get the camera out of his pocket fast enough to get a picture. (Thank goodness!) But it was fun. Then we went over to our friends' house for a glass of wine and some stuffed grilled jalapenos. Yum.
We have pictures. I'll try to remember to download and upload them when I get home.
We also finally found and ordered a sofa to replace our old ratty white one. We've only been looking about 2 years to find something we liked. It will be a while before it arrives, but not another year, which is probably how long we'd go before trying to shop again... We still need lamps and end tables and recovered chairs and... Lots of stuff. But not today.
I'm up to p. 33 on the book. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, right?