Sunday, February 15, 2015

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler, Y'all!

It's all about the beads.  During the day, festivities are, for the most part, family friendly.
It's Mardi Gras season on the Gulf Coast!  New Orleans is a bit too far for us to drive for a day trip so we head to Galveston most years. I wrote about this before in 2012 and revisited yesterday. It seems that the party gets bigger and bigger every year. It's still not at the scale or notoriety of the festivities in New Orleans, but it's worth the visit nonetheless.

Security has been stepped up this year compared to previous years. The police had a very noticeable, but professional presence. 

One thing that makes The Strand different for Mardi Gras is that you can walk around with your drink.  This year there was a tent for craft beer drinkers. $4 for local craft beer. I enjoyed a Hopadillo from Karbauch and The Lovely Spouse got their saisson.  Any time we go to The Strand in Galveston we have a favorite shop for craft beer by the bottle: The Old Strand Emporium.  Large selection of beers and they'll provide a cup for anything in a glass bottle.

I, for one, am glad to see growing appreciation for craft beer. There's a lot of good ones out there.
A really good zydeco band. 

Best selection of craft beer in bottles and cans on The Strand. 
There are lots of options for people interested in food trucks, street food, and carnival food.

And vendors for beads and such.

The way to load up on beads is to go to one of the parades throughout the day. 

You never know who you'll see at the party.

Who Ya Gonna Call?
There's also a night parade. This one was hosted by the Knights of Momus, the society krewe in Galveston and Houston.  This is where you can seriously load up on beads. And before someone says "hur, hur, hur, what'd you do fer them beads", all you have to do is hold your hands up and ask. People on the floats are throwing them to the crowds on the sidewalks.

This high school band's color guard had the best leos ever for a night parade."

After the parade people stick around for more partying.  This is where we head out so we can drive home and sleep in our own beds.

The party continues until midnight on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. The final parade starts at 6:30 pm on the seawall and should be to The Strand by around 7:30 - 8:00 pm.

Where to eat if you don't want street or carnival food?  In the next 2 posts I'll discuss 2 excellent options: Eatcetera and Brews Brothers in and near The Strand district. Mediterranean Chef on The Strand is also quite good.  A couple blocks away from the strand you'll find a number of excellent options on Post Office, including Saltwater Grill, Little Daddy's Gumbo Bar, and Sky Bar Steak and Sushi. I've been told that Rudy & Paco's and The Black Pearl are also quite good but I haven't tried them.  Further afield, closer to UTMB, you'll find the Mosquito Cafe. For sweets and ice cream there's also La Kings on The Strand and Patty Cakes across the street from the Mosquito Cafe.

If you go, be forewarned that I 45 is in terrible shape.  Go early and expect delays of an hour or more. Watch out for lanes disappearing. When leaving the island a single accident can lead to several hour delays, especially if the accident is on or near the causeway. 

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