Mardi Gras vacation part 1

On Wednesday, we took off for our annual trip to Mardi Gras, starting with pancakes at the Kettle Restaurant, snow (or maybe just frozen rain) in San Antonio, and big bull ball keychains (next to novelty beer bongs) at a random Texas gas station:

Traffic was clear the whole way, except a tiny bit in Baton Rouge and a 2 hour sitting still delay for no apparent reason about 19 miles outside the city.

Even so, we got in early enough to walk to Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter and have 3 dozen raw oysters (so good!) and crawpuppies (so good!).

Out of all of the great New Orleans food and restaurants, this is the one I miss absolutely most. So much that the next day for lunch, I only wanted to go back for more raw oysters. Acme was too crowed, so we tried the oyster house next door:

I pretended to slurp one off of a shell, but the truth is the only way to eat raw oysters is to put each on a saltine cracker with a decent dollop of sauce (cocktail sauce mixed with lots of horseradish) and put the whole thing in your mouth:

So good! But with oysters, corn and crab soup, and shrimp po-boy, we decided to skip dinner for dinner and have dessert for dinner instead that night:

Decadent! Creme brulee cheesecake and white chocolate bread pudding with some kind of cognac-y dessert liquor drinks.

It's been pretty cold (in the high 30s, low 40s) with occasional sleety mist and rain, so all of the parades so far have been canceled, although I think tonight's will roll. D. is riding tonight, he is in the French Quarter right now in a walking parade but I decided to stay cozy in the hotel room until my sister should be comes in a little while to keep me company. (I can't wait.)

The hotel room here is pretty nice, with a huge private patio really high up, that you can just barely see down to the parade route, the most pillows I've ever seen on one bed:

and Mardi Gras decorations in the lobby:

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