Five Reasons Dauphin Island Mardi Gras is the Best
Now that the Holidays are over, it is easy for our minds to wander to thoughts of spring time along the Gulf Coast. Before we get to the long spring afternoon floating in the surf, anchored on Sand Island, We must brave the last throes of our stinted Wintertime. Usually one of the last weeks of our Winter time is Dauphin Island’s Annual Mardi Gras Celebration.
The two Island parades are the first two of the entire Mardi Gras Season and serve as a warm-up for the larger and older parades in Mobile. Make no mistake, Mardi Gras was first celebrated in the new world in Mobile, Alabama. Some years later the originators of America’s first Mardi Gras took the tradition to their neighbors in New Orleans and helped form the societies. In all fairness, Mobile & Dauphin Island were part of Louisiana at the time of the first Celebration, so everyone can claim a Win!
New Orleans & Mobile’s Parades are bigger and older, But Dauphin Island’s are my favorite. Here’s why:
Park in the middle of the road- Ok, so please don’t really park in the middle of the traffic lane, but you are welcome to park in the median on Bienville Blvd. The whole parade route fills up and becomes a tailgate city of sorts. Parade enthusiasts start staking their spots out several days ahead of time. Using caution tape and lawn chairs to designate your turf is perfectly normal. On parade day, bring your party gear and set up in your spot! Grills, coolers, cookers, lawn furniture, tents and decorations are all normal and expected. Please tidy up and take everything with you when you go!
We are the Family Friendliest Mardi Gras anywhere- You won’t find a family friendlier parade atmosphere anywhere! There is plenty of room for the kids to run around while they wait for the parade. Remember to try to stake out a good spot and bring something to entertain the kids while you are waiting for the parade. If you come early enough, consider walking down to the Estuarium or Fort Gaines for an excursion. It is not out of the question for it to be beach weather after the parade. It won’t be swimming weather, but building sandcastles is still fun! You just never know what the weather will be like.
The Bicycle Parade is almost as good as the real one! No, seriously, plan to get here early, or plan to stay late. Get a group on bicycles and cruise the Island. Yes, there will be RECORD-SETTING-People-Watching opportunities. Bring a back pack. If you are going to do this right, bring a little cash to stop in the local establishments.
Bring Your Dog! Dogs on leashes are welcome. There are “pet clean-up bag” Stations along Bienville Blvd. Don’t forget to bring some water for the dogs! It is not uncommon for people on the floats to throw treats for your dog!
It really is better if you stay. The party the night before is usually epic and it’s a long drive anywhere after a day reveling in the streets. Don’t let the fact that I work for a real estate company misguide you. Yes, you can rent a house from us. Yes, I would, in fact, be glad to sell you a home on or near the parade route. But the truth is, it really is better to stay the weekend and have the time to really enjoy Mardi Gras, Dauphin Island Style!
New Years Resolutions For Your Home- 2018
As 2017 grinds to its end and we get ready to embark on our journey into 2018, I wonder what the new year will bring. We moved to a new home last year and even though it looks good on the surface, there are a few things that are wearing on us. I’ll give you a hint… Don’t open our closets. Any of them, or you will get caught in an avalanche of decorating items, science books and old Jaycee posters.
Year after year, I have made resolutions for me. Some have worked (Nicotine free for 10 months now), and some haven’t. (Se Habla Espanol? Not Really). This Year Melynda and I agreed to make New Year’s Resolutions for our home. Yes, I’m still going on a destined-to-fail-fad-diet, but we are going into the new year together with big plans for our home.
Never leave a room empty handed- My sister swears by this and it works. Every time you leave a room, take something and put it back where it goes. If it doesn’t have a home, it may be time to get rid of it. I thought I was doing well at this, until my wife told me I wasn’t allowed to just throw everything in the junk drawer in the kitchen. This is truly the “eating the elephant one bite at a time” method of de-cluttering. This goes for the laundry room as well. I have now begun to entirely put laundry away with this method. When I go to the laundry room to get a shirt, I make myself come back with a stack of clothing to put away.
Support the local thrift shop, or make some new friends having a garage sale- Why do I have three-hundred Tee-shirts? 200 of them are from the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. Only about 20 of them fit any more. Jackson’s closet looks about the same, and Melynda has just as many Junior League shirts. This is the year that I will LET IT GO. There are plenty of under-privileged fishermen in the area that would enjoy some of my “Large” size fishing T-shirts. This is it -this is the year that I will have a giant yard sale! (Or call the church to pick up all this stuff and sell it at theirs.)
Make home improvement projects fun- A few days before Christmas we had time to do a few chores around the house. It was a pretty afternoon and we got a lot of little things done. Melynda had made some Champagne Poinsettia Punch, so we enjoyed a few drinks and each other’s company while we sorted through boxes. We hung shelves in the laundry room, picked some paint colors, and fixed a few odds and ends. At the end of it we both laughed about what a great afternoon we had. It really was fun, like a date! We have planned another “Home improvement date” for this week.
Be Green (and save some)- One by one, we are switching our home to the Compact florescent bulbs. They are a little more expensive but last a lot longer and use a ton less electricity. It is a bigger investment per bulb, so we are whittling away at it one room at a time. We also subscribed to a local recycling pickup service. Yes, It costs a few bucks, but it is a lot easier than driving our cardboard to Mobile to drop off! Our next project is to start a little compost bin for the garden we haven’t had time to plant yet.
Entertain more to keep ourselves motivated to finish projects- We love entertaining. We love to cook, drink, decorate and plan a party. We have finally admitted that the only time we get anything done is when someone is coming over. We really love having company, we have big plans for projects at home, so this year we are planning something at least monthly at our home to keep us on our toes and motivated to finish on time.
Yes, I will still start the New Year off right with a fad diet. Even as I type this, I have just texted my wife to pick up supplies for the all cabbage diet cleanse. I may even continue my quest to be a Spanish speaking Realtor. But this year, we will stick to our resolution to have an organized and complete home!
What will your New Year’s Resolutions for your home be? Whatever it is, We hope that the New Year finds You Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous!