With a free place to stay, it just made sense to time out visit to Paul in New Orleans so as to coincide with Mardi Gras. For the uninformed, like us before we went, the festivities actually run for several weeks and ends on 'Fat Tuesday'--marking the beginning of Lent. While some parades take place on the last day, the 'biggies' take place on the preceding Saturday and Sunday evenings.

But first to get in the spirit, Paul took us in his two-tone 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 to the bayou. After a tour of the swamp we sat down for a table heaped with crayfish We avoided the French Quarter since Paul and Michael simply refused to bare their chests for beaded necklaces. So we went off to the parades.

On Saturday night, it was Endymion going down Canal Street with Jason Alexander as King. On Sunday night, Bacchus went along St Charles, led by Nicholas Cage. Our photos just could not do justice to the floats, marching bands or the tossing of necklaces and doubloons. Here's just a small sample of our 'stuff' (collected even before either evening parades).