Fat Tuesday is the last day of Mardi Gras and last day to party before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Many of you might be familiar with Mardi Gras especially if you live in the south. It is one big party full of floats, costumes, beads, moon pies, and so much more!Fat Tuesday 2016 was the best experience I’ve ever had during the Mardi Gras season. I was invited by a good friend to take a party bus and go to New Orleans for a whole day to celebrate Fat Tuesday. The bus was full of friends, food, drinks and laughter. It was an amazing experience and I’d like to share the experience with you!On that Tuesday morning we all met up at the charter bus location before 6 a.m. in the morning. We were all trying to wake up, trying to load all of the necessities that we needed into the tour bus, and accomplish this before our scheduled departure time at 6 a.m. With a little over 40 people that was definitely a challenge that we faced. However, thanks to our fearless leaders who organized the events we managed to leave Pensacola on time to head to The French Quarter in New Orleans. The bus ride was a little over three and a half hours and was full of excitement. Everyone was talking about what the day held for us in New Orleans. It is pretty cool, that by renting a tour bus to attend Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, that you get to start drinking and doing gummy bear vodka shots. We were in a race with another tour bus heading to the same destination to get a prime parking spot in the French Quarter, making it easy for us to participate in the festivities and to make it back to the bus on time.Now, I will say that I had reservations about attending a full day in New Orleans. However, my friends are absolutely amazing! They know about my disabilities and they know what I’m capable of doing. Plus they know when to push me and one when not to push me.When we arrived in New Orleans, the 40-plus people on our bus started splitting up into their own groups with their closest friends. I ended up with my tribe of amazing ladies that I have known for a couple years and that I hang out with quite frequently on a day-to-day basis. So we grab the things that we needed to carry around with us and started heading off into the French Quarter to celebrate Fat Tuesday.We stopped and watch some parades and danced along the streets of New Orleans. Then it became “5 o’clock somewhere” so we started heading down Bourbon Street to go into the bars and to have some fun. And boy did we accomplish that with flying colors!We stopped many times on our walk down Bourbon Street to people-watch and take pictures. At that moment, I realized that there were many disabled people throughout the streets of the French Quarter having fun with family and friends.We went to a couple different bars during our time in New Orleans. And I noticed that a lot of bars were grandfathered in and we’re not exactly the easiest accessible for those who are handicapped or have mobility issues. However, they were so accommodating to anybody with a disability. We went to one bar and restaurant and was able to walk up to the second floor via their staircase to go stand outside on the balcony. The staff was so accommodating to try to help me walk up the stairs even though I really didn’t need help because I walk one step at a time, it was nice to know that the staff was there and really cared about their patrons. We took some amazing pictures from the balcony looking down on Bourbon Street watching the crowds of people below, walking and screaming for beads.
We decided, after a wonderful lunch in a hidden court yard to meet up with the rest of our group at Razzoo’s on Bourbon Street. Razzoo’s is known for Amazing Music a huge dance floor and outside Courtyard and a rather entertaining and very fabulous DJ and Emcee. We setup on one of the sidebars and danced and watched people throughout the entire night, not to mention the drinks that we had. It was so nice to be with a group of friends having fun and enjoying life to the fullest. There were so many people there in costumes having fun and all around enjoying the last day of Mardi Gras. I do have to mention that we ran into one of the best shot girls have her address. She was so amazing so sweet and was always available to us when we wanted shots. What was so special about this particular shot girl was that she had the best personality ever end even though Razzoo’s was very busy she stopped and took a selfie with me and my friends.The day slowly came to an end, or maybe fast depending on how we looked at it, and we needed to head back to the bus to make it on time to leave to go back to Pensacola. I will say that after walking through New Orleans I was starting to get a little bit tired however, thanks to my amazing friends their husbands, and boyfriends; even at my slow pace they kept up with me to make sure that I made it to the bus safely. This is one of the best adventures I have had of this year!I realized that no matter what medical diagnosis I may have, I am definitely not defined by that diagnosis. I may have Spina Bifida, but it does not and will not ever dictate what I am truly capable of doing. I encourage everyone to focus on their abilities so they can enjoy life to the fullest like I did in New Orleans on Fat Tuesday. Challenges may come your way during events like this when there are tons of crowds, however don’t let that stop you from going and having the best time with your friends!!!
Shuffle on my friends!!!!