One bucket list item for many Louisianans is DC Mardi Gras. This year I had the opportunity to fulfill that dream. It was such a wonderful experience. While I have no complaints, there are a few things I might do differently next time.
Direct Flights? Yes Please!
After spending most of the day traveling, I saw Representative Valarie Hodges shared news of direct flights from BTR Metro Airport to Washington Reagan National Airport. The flight only seats 76 people, but its worth a try. Layovers in Atlanta are nothing to be desired. It is also a good idea to fly in a day early, which I was not informed of until after I booked my flight.
The Other Hilton
Be sure to book the right hotel. I was surprised and excited when I was able to book a room. When The LYFT pulled up to the hotel, everyone in the car got the giggles. We were told “Capitol Hilton” but the event was at the “Washington Hilton.” The good news it, it was not a far drive and we saved money. It was also a great conversation starter.
Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler
Much of my time was spent checking out the hospitality suites. These were great for networking and snagging a picture with some of my favorite elected officials. They all had a touch of Louisiana through things like king cake or music. I enjoyed all of them but a few went the extra mile.
If there are awards, Garret Graves deserves one for his Speak Easy entrance. At first I was puzzled by the Port O’ Potty in the hall way. When Kim Powers and I decided to take a peek inside we realized just what it was. We had a good laugh and it made the perfect phot booth.
This Krewe outdid themselves with Louisiana Alive. There were acrobats and people walking around on stilts. Beads were thrown as I walked around the room passing different booths. It was a lot to take in and so much fun!
Of course, when you talk about Mardi Gras people think of the ball. The decorations, the costumes, the ball gowns, the music… it was something words or pictures could never do justice.
I joked about wearing sneakers but wore heels instead. Many of the ladies there were wiser than me and managed to make sneakers and ball gowns look cute together. Next time, I will pack the dress sneakers.
Somewhere between hospitality suites and people watching there was time to hit a couple of museums. If you have never been to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History or the Smithsonian Museum of American history, I highly recommend. I got to see Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the Hope Diamond. Old voting booths, campaign merch, as well as the women’s suffrage section were fascinating. I was tickled when I saw they put a mask with the first lady’s dress display. There was so much more I wanted to see, but we had a Speak Easy to get to.
There were events, such as dinner that I did not attend. Not to fret, the lobby was the place to be. I got to enjoy live music, marching bands, dancing, and second lines. I also got to see some of my favorites! It truly felt like Louisiana in Washington DC.