Monday, February 27, 2012

Carnival is in the air . . .

Carnival kicked off the weekend before last, which is a HUGE deal here in Eindhoven. It's bigger here than even in Amsterdam so I hear. The kids were out of school all week and everyone celebrates! People were asking us if we were going to see the parade, so we thought, "Why not?" It's not every day we get to experience things like this so it's important to us to take advantage when we can. I would hate to miss out on such cool experiences with lame excuses like "the weather's not too great" or "it's hard to get out of the house with the baby" . . . yada yada yada. We could make excuses all day long and miss out on life. I have no intention of doing that!

So Saturday afternoon we got bundled up and headed to the City Center to see what all the fuss is about. Now for those of you who have been to Mardis Gras and the like, it's pretty much like that apparently, though I have never been. There was a huge parade and people were dressed up like I've never seen! And when I say "people" I mean EVERYONE -- babies, teenagers, families, and old folks . . . no one was exempt from the craziness. There were "traditional" costumes, by which I mean things that are pretty recognizable: army uniforms, Mario Bros, Bert and Ernie, witches, sailors, hippies, etc. Then there were other get-ups that one can only assume are in some sort of competition called "How Gaudy Can You Get?" People dressed all in gold or glitter or big-wigged or face-painted . . . it goes on and on. We took some pictures but it's really hard to capture the essence of Carnival. It's one of those things you must experience for yourself.

So while pictures will never really do Carnival justice, here are a few of the many we snapped that day!

I spy a mullet!
Watching the parade
Trying to stay dry!
polar bear on a bike . . .
. . . some sort of royalty I presume?
more parade watching

There were marching bands everywhere!
The mild crowd before the craziness commenced . . .
After lunch we were headed back to the car and it looked like the fun was just getting started. The streets were crowded with people in costume going in and out of bars, signing in the streets, big bands playing instruments, and lots of yelling and drinking going on. I said to Keith, "This would be a lot of fun if we didn't have a kid . . .  and we were 22." But alas, we are neither of those things and the whole debacle just looked painfully crowded and not very much fun. Who wants to fight their way to the front of a smoky bar to get a half a beer only to get back in line and do it all again?? Not this mama. Maybe next year Liam will dress up for Carnival!


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