So yes, y'all! A Bucket List item got crossed off my list....
Meet this one year veteran member of Krewe of Cleopatra!
So here it is My Top 10 list about why I loved riding in Cleo:
1. Westbank - holla! Proud bestbanker here. I saw a few "I heart the westbank!" signs on the parade route - thank you for the love, Eastbank Americans! Cleo started out as a Westbank krewe, and lots of Cleo girls (like me) are Westbank-American Princesses.
Call us "WAPs" ha ha!.
My beautiful friend Kimberly was Queen in 2012 in this photo. But anyways, Cleo also has women from all over now. I met some lovely ladies who come in from Mobile, women who reside in Uptown and Metry, and River Parishes.
Our Den is in St. Rose. But I just love that it's origins are from the Wank. See look, at the bridge in this photo during our float load up.
2. The Pre-Party! Our pre-party is at Generations Hall, and it was off. the. chain! The DJ was so super fun, and everyone is care-free and just enjoying the moment. Dancing like nobody cares in the middle of the day.
These days we are all so over scheduled and busy, and multi-tasking, and rushing around, and honestly I had forgotten how it's like to just "be". It was so fun to shake my tush and sing and dance with 700 other fun ladies.
We also had a ball two weeks before the ride and another ball in the fall when they picked the court. And those were all about the fun too.
3. Some of my Greenie Gals ride in Cleo too! Enough said, love my Tulane fans! It's how I decided that this was the krewe for me. My peoples.
4. We're first! I like that we ride first at the beginning of Mardi Gras, like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Yeah Krewe du Vieux blah blah, but this is the very first night of the Uptown route. This is when shit gets real.
This is me lying on the ground at the end of the night. I could barely move. I was in so much pain, but it was so worth it. All of it.
Don't know what we were thinking, but we were troopers getting through Mardi Gras. If I had riden just days before our marathon of balls I would be in traction or something. Next year, I am booking a massage for the next day.
5. Cleopatra is such a cool and beautiful icon. Really, I have been having SO much fun finding Ancient Egyptian themed "stuff". Come follow my pinterest board!
Coach Hullabaloo even had this beautiful charm made for me for Christmas and I love it. #RideCleo!
Totally love all the cute finds! More excuses for shopping!
6. The cups! So every krewe has a signature "throw" now. And as much as it stressed me out to be racing to make these - I really did enjoy being creative for creative's sake and not just because I was under pressure to make a deadline for a client. It was fun coming up with ideas and figuring out how to attach things to the cups.
I did two day long marathon cup making sessions, and even enlisted my trusted and favorite intern, Coach Hullabaloo, to help me finish hot gluing and bag them up the week before.
7. The RIDE! I was exhausted and ached from every muscle and joint in my body, but it was so worth it!
Our float had it's own DJ and the music was fun, the people we rode with were fun. We laughed and danced and shared snacks and drinks during stops. It was amazing to be able to see my friends on the route with signs, and screaming for me. This year I rode with my mom who loves Mardi Gras more than me!
Yes! That's Barry Manilow watching our parade!
8. We make it rain! I should have taken a photo, but the ladies who rode next to us on our float had throws for days. I calculated pretty well and ran out in front of the Marriott on Canal, but the ladies by us probably had enough more stuff to throw for an entire other parade.
And yes, I have already started the purchasing of throws for next season. I can't wait til they announce the theme so I can start being all theme-y with my throws!
9. Miss Tuttie - she is the cutest Krewe founder in all of New Orleans. Seriously how precious is she?
10. It's such an honor. I loved making little kids happy and being an actual part of "the show" that thousands of people enjoy. It totally made me appreciate Mardi Gras so much more when you are actually the rider and not just a spectator. What an honor it was! There was an adorable little girl on the route that was all dressed up in a Cleopatra costume screaming for us to throw her things and I wished I'd had my phone handy to snap shot it, because I just loved that!
So Save the Date y'all: Next year's ride is February 17th!
Or if you want to be part of all the fun - sign up to be a member! www.kreweofcleopatra.org