These 2 were like a pair of Shark vacuums sucking up everything thrown within 10 feet of their 26 pairs of greedy little hands.  Through what could only have been Divine Guidance, their parents appropriately named them Sneaky Snake and Sticky Paws.  While they carted off cases of Moon Pies, candy bars, hats, shirts and about 30 stuffed animals as well as the crown of King Felix, this year’s Mardi Gras King, Kalyn and I managed to salvage 3 strands of broken beads from the brushes of the post-parade street sweeper and 2 packages of Ramen noodles that had been flattened beneath the wheels of the King’s Float.  We usually make out substantially better at parades...

Although this picture is from a previous St Paddy’s Day, you get the idea.
The end of Mardi Gras marks the beginning of the Saint Patrick celebration for this generation of Irishmen.  We’ll be in Mobile on March 17th, Saint Paddy’s Day, for their annual Friendly Sons of St Patrick parade but, as a warm up for that event, we will be heading to New Orleans Saturday, March 11th, to our favorite St Paddy’s parade in the Irish Channel and Parasols’ Block Party with free flowing green beer, corned beef and cabbage and lotsa live music.  And if I just happen to run across Sneaky Snake and Sticky Paws in the crowd, there’s a strong possibility that I just might make a couple of donations to have their little heads shaved during the Saint Baldrick’s fundraiser at Parasols...

Well, folks, that about wraps up what we’ve been doing recently and our plans for the immediate future.  Let us know if you’ll be at the Irish Channel Parade next weekend and we’ll try to hook up.  Until we meet again. Hugs, CC and me

After whetting our appetite with the local parades, we made a 2-day trek though the Grand Parades of Mobile, catching 7 of the 42 parades of the season (February 10 thru 28).  Here’s a bit of the action…

One of the amazing benefits of living on the Alabama Gulf Coast is the plethora of activities available to suit just about any taste or lifestyle.  We have amazingly beautiful white sand beaches boasting just about any kind of beach bar or restaurant you could possibly imagine and adorned with frolicking beach bunnies of every stripe; inland waterways perfectly suited to everything from water-skiing and kite boarding to simply hanging out in a secluded cove and enjoying a quiet lunch while communing with nature; world class open water fishing for game fish as well as fresh water fishing for finny delicacies like speckled trout and redfish to magnificently grace your dinner plate; hunting opportunities abound for all manner of game from the lowly squirrel to deer and black bear; pitcher plant bogs and bayous, inhabited by a variety of carnivorous plants, alligators and snapping turtles, poisonous reptiles and biting and stinging insects that give me the willies just writing about; churches of every imaginable denomination and volunteer opportunities both church oriented and secular; Elks, Eagles, Moose and other social clubs for those of us that can longer move quickly enough to get away from a carnivorous plant much less an agitated alligator; and my absolute favorite…PARADES!!!!
Not unlike New Orleans, Alabamians will jump on just about any opportunity to get together for loosely organized barbecues, fish frys, crawfish feeds or simply live music in the park or on somebody’s boat dock or front porch.  But the parades are the epitome of the “let it all hang out” entertainment and when Mardi Gras season approaches you can attend any number of parades beginning 2 to 3 weeks prior to Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) and beyond into St Joseph’s Day.
Most people from other parts of the country are unaware that Mardi Gras festivities actually began in Mobile, Alabama, long before New Orleans threw their first string of beads to the chants of, “Throw me sumthin Mistah!!”  Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration began in 1703, 15 years before the founding of New Orleans.  The event has gone through several revivals through the centuries with the most recent being in 1867 when Confederate veteran, Joe Cain, and 6 fellow soldiers rode in a decorated charcoal wagon to celebrate the day bouncing along the streets of Mobile (watch for sightings of his “merry widow” in the coming collage of photos).  Joe Cain Day is usually celebrated the weekend before Mardi Gras. Although those first celebrations were more religiously oriented, today’s parades are geared more toward turning the badger loose for some good times and good food before the 40 days of Lent prior to Easter.
It seems as if every town, regardless of size, has a parade of some magnitude and ours is no different.  Although we don’t have the massive floats and exotic costumes, we DO have the same enthusiasm as our much larger neighbors like Mobile and New Orleans...

One thing I had forgotten, but was painfully reminded of, is NEVER stand near, next to or in the same zip code of cutesy little kids when you’re begging for beads...

   Mardi Gras 2017                                                           March 4, 2017