Mardi Gras in New Orleans – I’m Hooked on NOLA

Mardi Gras New Orleans

As January is coming to a close and Austin is already seeming like it is courting Springtime, I’m starting to get the pangs of FOMO as I think back on one of the rowdiest and adventurous experiences I’ve had – Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

I didn’t expect to fall as hard and fast for this city, but between Mardi Gras 2015 (a surprise romantic getaway from my super hot hubby) and the Buku Music Festival (with my bestie Maria), I found myself within city limits TWICE in 30 days. I now understand why a friend of mine would make the 8 hour jaunt to NOLA every other weekend. Is it voodoo? Who knows, but all I know is I’ve got the New Orleans fever.

Mardi Gras 2015

Even though the weather was verging on freezing – along with the sheets of rain that came with it – it was Mardi Gras that started the obsession. We’re lucky enough to know a NOLA native that was able to guide us through which parades to catch and when.

If there was anything I learned – it was that the local’s Mardi Gras is not all about the boobs and opulence found on Bourbon Street. It was all about camping out St. Charles with EZ Ups, a grill, plenty of booze, and a rental port-o-potty. Yes. A loo. An outhouse. My savior. Instead of paying an ungodly amount of money to surrounding hotels to stand in line (and miss the parades) to use their toilet, you can have your own – complete with lock and combination. Shitting becomes humanity’s new currency. You would be surprised what you can charge people to use it.

But I was enlightened to a few other things as well:

  1. It is mofo-ing COLD during this time of year, I have no clue how people show their boobs.
  2. You don’t actually need to show your boobs to get things. Local parades throw beads, animal plushies, underwear, and MOONPIES (which are some of my favorite things in the world). Moonpies are some of the most coveted items.
  3. People go crazy for the coconuts thrown during the Zulu parade.
  4. People go crazy for the un-torn bags the beads come in.
  5. People go crazy.
  6. Don’t expect to ever get a taxi or that public transportation is ever running during this period of time. Get used to walking miles. Invest in shoes. And a raincoat.

And even through the chaos, it is definitely worth going at least once. Here are some of my favorite moments as we spent a week in the city that really pushed my partying limits.

These floats are freaking HUGE! #NOLA #MardiGras #parade #Endymion

A photo posted by Erica Kuschel (@overyonderlust) on

View outside our window here in New Orleans. A little gloomy but 65F today! #NOLA #MardiGras A photo posted by Erica Kuschel (@overyonderlust) on

#MardiGras parade time with our friend Alice! #NOLA and the Mid-town parade!

A photo posted by Erica Kuschel (@overyonderlust) on

These textures are captivating! I’m having a series of eye-gasms. #NOLA #MardiGras A photo posted by Erica Kuschel (@overyonderlust) on

Pretty kitty in the French Quarter. #NOLA #MardiGras

A photo posted by Erica Kuschel (@overyonderlust) on

A little goofy in the cold rain. Nothing is going to stand in the way of #MardiGras! #NOLA A photo posted by Erica Kuschel (@overyonderlust) on

Meet Platypus the Chameleon. He is Shaun’s new friend. We got him at the #Orpheus parade. #MardiGras #NOLA

A photo posted by Erica Kuschel (@overyonderlust) on

36 degrees and everyone is still in good spirits! #NOLA #MardiGras #NewOrleans A photo posted by Erica Kuschel (@overyonderlust) on

Back in #NOLA and it feels like home. #travel #love #art

A photo posted by Erica Kuschel (@overyonderlust) on

Even as someone who loves to take pictures, there is no way to capture the warmth, the texture, the music floating through the air, and the grittiness you find in NOLA.


15 Responses to “Mardi Gras in New Orleans – I’m Hooked on NOLA”

  1. Fabio February 11, 2016 at 3:14 am #

    SHOW MUST GO ON! ;-D You have nice blog. Thank you for tips to traveling. Btw can u link ur camera please?

    • Erica March 16, 2016 at 11:45 am #

      Hey Fabio!

      In this case I was just using my iPhone! 🙂

  2. Hans March 18, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    What a magical place in America … I’m going to have to finally call up my friend Chris and visit him there!

  3. Christina April 2, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    What a fun place! So much to see and do.

  4. Neno April 3, 2016 at 11:19 am #


    Great post and some nice photos, but I have to ask the onvious question.

    Where are the boobs?


    • Erica April 25, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

      Believe it or not, Mardi Gras isn’t all about the flashing. That is mainly Bourbon Street.

  5. Xplorato May 30, 2016 at 7:42 am #

    New Orleans always seemed to have some sort of pull with me, from its culture to its people, this was a great read 🙂

  6. Megan June 13, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    I have always wanted to go to mardi gras!!!! I’m so jealous, it looks like you had a lot of fun!

  7. TravelEuropeTogether July 30, 2016 at 2:24 am #

    Wonderful pictures. An incredible place to visit and I know you really enjoyed there.

  8. Dan at Budget Jetsetter July 31, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    Wow, I’m headed there for the first time in late September and I’m excited. Mardi Gras is on my list but I didn’t realize it was that cold there even in February! Great post.

    • Erica July 31, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

      Yes! I didn’t realize it was that cold either but I near froze my covered tatas off. Be warned. Also, you’re going to LOVE it!

  9. Deb at Headout August 20, 2016 at 2:16 am #

    Wow, Mardi Gras is on my list, but I did not know what to expect. Your blog has made me excited. The photographs are awesome; now I know this trip will be a great one. It seems like you had a lot of fun. How cold is it? Will the regular winter wear do? Do I need to carry anything specific? The floats look beautiful, and I like the architecture too.

    • Erica October 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

      Winter gear will be fine. Just be prepared for ~35-40F nights and RAIN!

  10. Mark @ NWRoadtrips September 3, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    Mardi Gras in New Orleans is an experience everyone should have AT LEAST once! Great write-up and nice photos. Brings back so many awesome memories.

    • Erica October 15, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

      Missing NOLA so much!

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