Travel Journal - Shock Platoon Trip to New Orleans
Day 3 - Feb 28, 2003
The big day of the Mardi Gras Drill Competition started off pretty early. We had to get into town for a TV appearance on New Orleans' top-rated morning show. We were all fairly nervous to be on live TV, but we settled in, and Cadets Angoy and Hickey performed great for the cameras, letting the city know the Shock Platoon was in town. Seeing how a news show is put on was pretty interesting.
Then it was off to Tulane University for an intense day of competition. We'd never been to an event so large and one that was held outside. The rainy weather held off, thankfully. With over 50 teams in attendance, we managed to hold our own. At the end of the day, we had one trophy and one medal in hand for the Color Guard and Cadet Angoy's impressive solo routine.
A celebration dinner on Lake Pontchatrain ended the night, with the entire restaurant of crazed New Orleans locals joining in to sing Happy Birthday to Cadet Brian Hickey.
Day 4 - March 1, 2003
Finally, we had a day that started after the sun had come up. Saturday was all about the Endymion Parade, the biggest of the Mardi Gras parades. A New Orleans Mardi Gras parade is nothing like any of us had ever seen. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets, the floats were huge and colorful, the high school bands were wild, and the beads were flying in every direction. The route was long, and the entire parade took close to 6 hours to complete, but we had a good time and enjoyed the warm welcome from all the onlookers. We went home exhausted and with a large bag of Mardi Gras beads in tow.
Day 5 - March 2, 2003
Pre-dawn once again as we load up our trusty vans and head to the airport for our trip home. There were lots of sleeping Cadets and chaperones on the flight, which landed on time in a much-colder-than-we'd-become-used-to Burlington International Airport. It was an incredible trip, and we can't wait to do it again next year!
firstname.lastname@example.org, March 2003