Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mardi Gras

Tuesday wasn’t just any Tuesday; it was Fat Tuesday. Practically every ski resort has at least one tree near a chairlift that is covered in beads and various undergarments. We were wondering if the undergarments were brought in pockets for the specific purpose of throwing on trees or if they’d actually been removed while the lift was in motion. It’s hard to imagine removing a pair of underwear from under ski pants, long johns, etc., while on a chair lift twenty feet in the air. Then again, stranger things have probably been done. After a full day on the slopes, though, we didn’t see any more adornments being added to the trees, so our questions went unanswered.

Later in the day, Breckenridge hosted a Mardi Gras parade down Main Street. “Parade” is a generous term, as the procession consisted of fewer than ten vehicles total, but there was a decent crowd on hand to partake in the silliness. There was a large group of older ladies from Florida on the sidewalk attracting attention by showing off the most “skin” of the night. There must have been a dozen of them. Sarah had her picture taken with a few:

The parade kicked off with a police escort followed by a walking group of gun-toting cowboys that were shooting blanks. Boy, were they loud! Next up was a group of guys riding in a snow-covered SUV with no doors. Check out the dude in the blue pants -- he is brave! Also notice in the last photo the driver of the vehicle is about to spray him with champagne. Brrr! He was rewarded with lots of hoots from the crowd.

Their truck was also towing this sad blow-up skier:

They were followed by the Bud Light truck, which was typical of most of the parade’s floats – a moderately decorated vehicle containing people in masks and/or hats throwing beads.

The most elaborate float was the snow-sculpted “Ship of Fools”:

They were towing a couple of live skiers, who seemed to be having an easier time of it than the blow-up doll:

The parade finished off with another couple of generic floats:

Then the Florida ladies joined in:

After the parade, we went to a couple of Mardi Gras parties at bars in town. First, we decided to check out the Motherloaded Tavern (the name is a play on the area’s mining history) since we’d never been there before. We sat at the bar and each had a hurricane. Though the place filled up, it was relatively subdued, so we moved on to Napper Tandy’s.

Napper Tandy’s is our happy-hour favorite because they have great specials and good food. When we got there, the only table left was in the corner, but this gave us a good view of the action around the room. The Mardi Gras Rex and Queen were there, in full costume, and the Rex spent much of the night dancing with a very drunk woman about half his age who kept doing cartwheels. While we were sitting there, we kept getting free or very cheap stuff. We got beads, Brian got a long-sleeved Bud Light shirt (Bud Light and Budweiser sponsor everything around here it seems), and we got lots of food. Our corner table placed us right next to the servers’ area, so when other tables mis-ordered or over-ordered, our waitress kept giving us free or very cheap stuff. Our total tally for the night – 16 bbque wings, four huge potato skins, one pitcher of Natural Light beer – all for $5.15! This is a new record for us for amount of cheap food:

(Oddly, notice the subtotal, tax, and final total.)

Later, here are Jay, Isaiah, and Casey (the kids who live upstairs) showing off all the beads we gave them.


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