Nola and Nopsi have a standing reservation for lunch on the Friday before Mardi Gras at GW Fins. The Diva Parade begins and ends just acoss the street at Arnaud’s, so they get to have a great meal and see all of the festivities. They have done this for a number of years, and while there has always been a big group that joins them, I have never been able to make it.
Until this year!
Kenny generously took off of work to be the official parent for the day while Jackie and I joined Nola and Nopsi in the Quarter. UJ, Aunt Dede, Uncle Dean, Jordan, Peyton, Taylor, his girlfriend Molly, Uncle Dana, Yank, and Leslie rounded out the rest of our table for 14. We also saw our cousins John and Mary and QP’s friend Debbie. It was the place to be the Friday before Mardi Gras!
It was a beautiful day to celebrate Carnival. The restaurant was all decked out in purple, green, and gold decorations, a jazz band was walking around playing music, and the Pussyfooters even came through and performed. Plus there were Mardi Gras goodies on the table for us and the food and drinks were delicious as always. Such a great time.
We noticed the Divas emerging from Arnaud’s right around 1pm, so Jackie and I went outside to see them start their walking parade. We were both so impressed with the detail on their costumes: each Diva wears a custom-created bustier made of beads and other accoutrements. Absolutely incredible. My cousin Ellie is a member, and it was so cool to see her outfit in person this year.
Right before we went back into Fins to finish our lunch, Jackie was gifted with something very special: a beaded bra, which is a signature throw of the Divas. She thought the cat lady Diva was just lending it to her for a picture, and she tried to give it back. But of course the Diva told her, “No, sweetheart, that’s for you.” So funny; she had no idea!
Once we made it back inside and finished our lunch, we got to hang out with Scott and Jacque, who were sitting at the bar. They even treated us to a chocolate martini! Thanks, y’all.
We were at Fins for just over 4 hours, but the party didn’t end once we left. We snapped a few pics outside (including a group shot with Donatello and Michaelangelo!), took a quick detour to Fleurty Girl so Jackie could do a bit of shopping, and then met Nola and Nopsi at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone, where they were having drinks with Nola’s good Jazzercise friend Kenny.
We finally called it a day around 6pm. It would be the last time we were in the Quarter during Jackie’s trip, but we sure did have a great time.
We both collapsed into bed very early that night. We had a big day ahead of us on Saturday: Jackie’s birthday, a visit to Lizzie, and Endymion!