Mardi Gras - Cowboy Style

Mardi Gras in Bandera is an event that I have been looking forward to for MONTHS. Quite a few of my friends from Burleson County have been planning to go. Some of us had Airbnb's reserved and others were in the campgrounds. I had the Airbnb. I thought about bringing my camper, but the slide went out after my last camping trip and I wasn't sure it would be repaired in time. I drove in by myself.

I got into town just after lunch on Thursday and checked into my cabin for the weekend. It was on the way into Bandera and just a couple miles out. The place was spacious and quiet and I LOVED the porch! Would be a great place to sit around and listen to someone play the guitar (or fiddle). The owners were very pleasant. The cabin had everything I needed. Bedroom, bathroom, full-sized kitchen, coffee pot, couch, TV, washer/dryer, heat and AC (and I need both). It IS Texas after all, y'all! I could easily hang out here long term. They even had a fire ring out back fully stocked with wood. But it was a busy weekend and no time for that. 

I went into town and went by the General Store to get those Justin boots that I had been eyeing back in December. They were still there...dang it! Cha-ching. Then I headed out to Bandera Crossing RV Resort where my friends were staying and we just hung around and relaxed for a while until it was time for us to head to 11th Street Cowboy Bar for the first night of festivities. 

💚 Laissez les bon temps rouler! 💛

Our group took over the back corner just like we did last year. Geno Delafose was up first. It was country-style zydeco and my Cajun side LOVED it! Mickey & The Motorcars took over at 10 pm after the pet costume contest. I got to break those boots in pretty well! (Backup boots were in the truck). I was able to dance with a few of the guys from our group. Thankfully, their wives let me borrow them for a bit knowing full well I'd give them back. 11th Street cranked up the big fire pits and we were glad for the heat. 

Before heading "home" for the night, I did make a stop by Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar. If there was ever a place that speaks to me, it's definitely at the top of the list. I have loved this place since I first went there many years ago. 

It was late on Thursday and most of the crowd was still at 11th Street (or not in town yet). But I like it better like that when it's not so crowded. It's more relaxing. 

Remember I said I need AC AND Heat in the same day? When I left, it was plenty warm and the AC was on. When I got in, it had gotten colder and the window units only go AC OR Heat. They don't switch from one to the other. It was quite cold in there! And with the vaulted ceiling, it took a long time to warm up. Thankfully there were extra blankets. In the morning, I found out the "fireplace" heater actually cranked out the heat pretty good so that helped take the chill out of the air.  The porch was a good place to have my coffee, but it was still pretty chilly out. 

Friday: The OST Steakhouse is a good place for breakfast, lunch or supper. Had to hit there mid-day. I went to the BNB and this time I set the HEAT on. Then it was back to 11st Street for round two with Wayne Toups followed by Kin Faux. I left and went to the Wild Horse Saloon for a while. The night went horribly wrong after that. SAD personal story. 😭

Saturday: I gathered myself together and made it to the parade at noon. I'm glad my good friends were all in town (minus one)! One of my cousins even made it in. This is a parade like no other. Regular floats, horses, camels, lots of ATVs. Of course every one of them was throwing beads. After the parade, it was in to OST for lunch, then to the BNB for a nap.

Was NOT in the mood to go back to 11th Street again, so that night, I went to Arkey's and then to Wild Horse Saloon to meet up with a couple that I met last year during Mardi Gras (last year was wonderful all the way around) and one girlfriend I had met the last two times I was in Bandera over the past few months. Then I went to the RV park and hung out with my good friends there until it was time to go back home and crash again. It helped being able to just chill out and breathe. 

I had to go to the Cowgirl Coffee Company up top at the Old Forge. They had King Cake and I had to get my final fill of Mardi Gras. Since my Mama is from New Orleans, that side of me LOVES it. I was going to go by the Cowboy Church just out of town that I have visited on my last trip, but I was just not in the mood and I headed home for the 4 hour drive. 

This weekend did NOT turn out like I wanted it to and even the weather was sad on the trip home.

462 miles all totaled