March 1, 2012 by seriesofassortedevents
Sunday, February 19: We went to mass at St. Jude like normal and this week I wasn’t even worried about what to do about the giving peace situation! After mass we ate lunch and went straight to New Orleans. Henry and Morgan met us there, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about this but what could I do. Once in New Orleans we got settled at Ms. Tracy’s house then drove to the apartment where we were invited to watch Bacchus. The apartment next to ours belonged to the Mannings, lucky for us both Eli and the other one were home! As you can tell by my memory of their names, I thought it was cool but obviously not enough for me to remember, ha. Bacchus was fun, but not as fun as it could be. I felt bad for Antoine because we couldn’t meet up with his other friends to watch the parade together. He watched it with my family which was fun, but not exactly a genuine Mardi Gras experience. After the parade Gauthier, Thibaud, and Floriane came to the house to eat dinner, so they at least got to see each other for a short time.
Monday, February 20: We woke up and had breakfast, then had some down (boring) time. My mom and Ms. Tracy went to a store of some sort, so we kids just stayed home and watched paint dry. At noon we got tired of playing ping pong in the basement, so we went on a walk down Canal street. (Side note: this is why I love New Orleans, you can walk everywhere.) We ate lunch at “Juan’s Flying Burrito” and met my mom here. After lunch, we drove to meet our friends Becky, Mimi, and Marit, who was hosting Alicia. This is when the fun began! We watched the two small parades Orpheus and Proteus with them and I had the time of my life! In the beginning it was somewhat awkward because I usually am not very close to these girls, but as the night went on we loosened up. What made us loosen up could have been the environment or could have had something to do with our drinks, but either way we were loving it! We would dance for each band that passed and between each float we would dance in the middle of the street. Usually we did the Coke bottle dance my mom and Ms. Tracy had thought up. They said the girls in the dance teams learned to dance by putting a 2 liter coke bottle on the ground, touching the bottle (with their crotch), then “screwing on the top”. We called it “touche le boutille et screw on the top”. This was such a fun night! Antoine and Alicia sat and watched for a while (I’m sure we were a sight to see), but eventually got up and had a genuine Mardi Gras experience with us!
Tuesday, February 21: Joyeux Mardi Gras! After talking it up the night before, we all decided that we just couldn’t leave New Orleans without going to Zulu. We spend the night saying things such as”Zulu is such a tradition, I’ve always wanted to see it, how cool would it be to get a coconut? Antoine needs a Zulu experience”, so I was pretty hyped up to go. Well, as always happens, my motivation was somewhat lacking the next morning at 8AM when I was dragging myself out of bed. Either way, we got there on time and found a spot to watch the parade. I am in no way racist, but I am also not color blind; we were the only salt in a sea of pepper; the only cream in the coffee. The floats weren’t ornately decorated, but the bands were just as fantastic as always. It was crowded, hot, and humid, and they were throwing absolutely nothing. Not a single bead, and even less coconuts. After about an hour of standing in the crowds trying our best to catch anything at all, my mom sweet talked her way into a coconut by using the “we have a French kid” card. After giving Antoine the coconut (he didn’t seem to excited about the accomplishment of the coconut), we decided that was enough Zulu and we could leave. There was no traffic leaving New Orleans, so we were home by noon. I went straight to sleep and Antoine went to work on his journal. After a good recovery, I woke up and we took Frank to the lakes to swim. After the lakes, we showed Antoine Mike the Tiger and he loved it. We also walked around the PMAC and got excited about the basketball game for Wednesday. That night we went to eat with Marit and Alicia, then saw a movie with those two plus Amelia, Coline, Clea, Brian, and Corey. Fun day overall!
Wednesday, February 22: Welcome to Lent! First, we went to mass to get our oh-so-attractive ashes (that I ended up wiping off 2 seconds into the car). After this, we brought Antoine to the LSU shop to buy some LSU clothes for the game. He was so adorably excited by it all! He bought a t-shirt, sweatshirt, basketball jersey, football, and he even ended up going back to get a jersey for Thibaud, how sweet?! We walked around the PMAC, did some spying, and saw the practice facility. I think Antoine was really getting pumped up for the game! Il pete le feu! After this we came home and gave Antoine some very rare down time to work on his journal. While my widdle baby son was occupied, I went on a quick run around the lakes, Merci Dieu! Wednesday evening, we brought the excited Antoine to the PMAC for his first (and probably only) LSU basketball game. We met Thibaud and Gauthier, Amelia, Coline, Clea, and Brian. The game was really fun! The boys intently watched it while the Americans chatted and the French girls meandered around looking at hot guys (we were really good at Americanizing the girls). The boys got pictures with “pom pom girls”, players, and some coaches as well as autographs. After we went out for frozen yogurt. It was a really good evening!
Thursday, February 23: Antoine’s last full day😦. In the morning, we went on an airboat tour with Leah, Neal, Thibaud, Gauthier, and one other French girl and her host. It was fun for the French kids, but to me it was just another swamp and the same moss I’d always seen. We came home around 4 and had a thrown together football game with some other French kids. Marit/Alicia, Amelia/Coline/Clea, Brian, Corey, Kevin (sober this time), Henry and Morgan, all of the siblings, and some other Americans met us there. It was really fun! We threw around the ball for a while, then split into teams and played a sloppy but still very fun game! Antoine said it was his favorite part of the trip, he loved playing Reggie Bush. Antoine’s a fast little Frenchie so he got some good plays in, too! That evening we had a dinner at Boutin’s with the entire exchange program. It was also really fun! We Cajun danced some, ate some, and interacted alot. Gauthier and I danced, Antoine told all of his friends that I was really cool, and Simon taught me to say “Je suis style”😉. I felt so close to everyone, it was breaking my heart that this was our last night. After dinner, everyone from the football game met and did the most awesome scavenger hunt. The list of things were hilarious things such as being naked enough in public to get attention, making a homeless sign, standing on the road like a prostitute, and making a lemonade stand in Wal-Mart. It was really fun and a good final-hoorah. It’s ironic that when the French kids come to town I begin meeting new Americans, but I met two new Americans because of Antoine.
Friday, February 24: We woke up early and had Antoine to the airport by 8:45. We stayed with him until we couldn’t any more, and his flight left at 10ish. It was so sad to say goodbye to everyone! Some were crying, but I’m always the only dry eye. It was heartbreaking to see them leave, but in about a month I’ll see them again..IN FRANCE! I can NOT wait. We facebook frequently and still keep in touch, so it isn’t THAT terrible, but I do miss them dearly. Antoine’s mom said that they have a guest house that we’re welcome to this Summer, and the way my parents are talking about it makes it seem very possible! Cross your fingers!