Thursday, February 2, 2012

Walking The Plank

During my trip to Calgary last year as we sat at the parade for Stampede, I made mention of the fact that it was similar to Tampa, except for instead of the city turning into cowboys and riding horses, the city turned into pirates and rode in on large ships. 

It started with just Rachel/Hugues. Then Mom said she'd like to come too. Then my brother decided to drive down from his base. And Jackie and Delane, God love them, skipped a trip to New Orleans for the National Championship game so that they could instead spend their time off in Florida with us.

And so began the Malone/Lefebvre/Stallings Gasparilla Weekend 2012.

We got the weekend started with G. Love & Special Sauce. The McFarlands and the Watsons also joined us that night for some funky blues music. 

Good friends and Good Fridays. And the lady in front that totally photo bombed our picture.

Saturday morning it was time to pillage. 

Jadoo got in on the action, too

We all got brunch tickets at the convention center so we could have our own table and watch the invasion up close and personal. Nothing beats coming face to face with sweaty rum-carrying pirates.

Waiting for the pirates to invade

My sister dressed as Tinkerbell, and had mentioned to me that she was "nervous" how people would take it. 
Deep down she secretly knew everyone would love it, and follow her around like paparazzi and get interviewed by a local radio station.
Her husband was Captain Hook.

Best part of the costume? The green chuck taylors.

The pirates invaded, captured the mayor, and stole the key to the city.

It was time to head to the parade route.

This is the part of Gasparilla that always ends up with the best (worst?) stories. Luckily for the Malone/Lefebvre/Stallings clan, it was all good stories since we had reserved seats and had an area to move around with some personal space (Can't say so much for the other side of the street, where debauchery unfolds each year, but let's just say it's not for the kiddos).
It's reported that 400,000 attend Gasparilla festivities each year.  From ages 0 - 100.

Speaking of which.....

Is this your grandmother??
If so, I would like to meet her.

Anyone that can pull off an eyepatch, a nose ring, and a wig with bandana at that age deserves a medal. I want to be like her in 70 years.

The parade began and the beads started flying through the air. It's amazing how little pieces of plastic that probably cost no more than ten cents to make can cause people to hoot and holler and get into fights.

The girls came out with some good loot while the boys were throwing all of theirs to unsuspecting pillagers across the street. 

We can thank the Kraken for that.

It was a long, hot, fun-filled day, and the sun (and the Kraken) got the best of us, so we headed home to rest up.

The rest of the trip we visited with family, went to the beach, scored some great deals at the outlets (Tory Burch dress for $25, what's up!), and went to the Lightning vs Capitals hockey game. 

Sadly, now it's back to the real world. 

But not without a little sunburn. And a little more loot.

No comments:

Post a Comment