Working Mardi Gras (and the ensuing craziness)
Had one of the most crazy experiences of my life last week. I was assigned to work Mardi Gras in New Orleans! Yep, THE Mardi Gras!
I've never had the particular desire to go to Mardi Gras - the craziness of partying for a solid week straight hasn't appealed to me. (Besides, whoever heard of a Mormon-friendly Mardi Gras...?) :)
BUT, I can say that the ONLY way to do Mardi Gras is like DreamTrips did it. We stayed at the Astor Crowne Plaza, had a Canal Street balcony reserved for the parades, a Bourbon Street balcony reserved for a party, and we even got to go on a swamp tour outside of the city! It was awesome to take a breath of fresh air, soak in the bayou, and see tons of alligators. :)
I am blessed to have a company who supports my beliefs so I didn't have to work on Sunday (the day of the massive party on Bourbon Street). So my experience was as Mormon-friendly as possible. ;)
I loved the parades - especially the Zulu parade - and loved learning history from my co-host, Kris Kimball, who is from New Orleans. She told me of working in the hotel at the time of Hurricane Katrina, losing her home, and building back up as a city. She shared with me how far the city has come in the last 30 years in race relations. And she even shared with me about her time as royalty in the parade (a HUGE honor). (See photo)
We had a wonderful group that didn't go too crazy so it was a relatively uneventful weekend (always a plus when you're the host! :) ) I was able to work with a Deaf client that I met back on my Colorado trip last year - it's awesome to be able to get to know these travelers and work with them regularly!
All-in-all, this was the best way to do Mardi Gras and definitely what I'll set up for future groups. I don't know if I'll ever go back myself (unless assigned for work), but it was a unique experience, that's for sure! :)