I am optimistic that there will be a Part II this year, hence the title. That said, with predicted rain, a busy weekend filled with activities and birthday parties, and a trial starting on Monday, I am just not altogether sure it will happen. With that in mind, and because of the incredible weather yesterday, we couldn't pass up an afternoon at Jazz Fest, Luz's 4th and James' 1st (he was just too tiny and the weather was too lousy to brave it last year).
A very kind lady took our photo right as we were walking in. I am sure she thought we were tourists. It makes for a perfect backdrop for the quintessential Jazz Fest family photo - so here you go:
In perfect Jazz Fest serendipity we walked in right as some Mardi Gras Indians were starting to strut their stuff and it was awesome. They were resplendent and totally patient and humble while adoring fans snapped photo after photo after photo. I tried to get a few but couldn't capture any on their own. Each picture has an Aunt Edna or Cousin Nancy or Uncle Al in it and it just doesn't look right. I will try harder next year.
One of the first stops once we were in was the Strawberry Lemonade stand. There was not much of a wait but I think I might've figured out why. Something happened to the recipe this year, or else we had the end of a 'just not right' batch. What a bummer. Fortunately, the meat pies and crawfish bread were right on, as usual:
From there we hit Congo Square for Juan Luis Guerra where James had a meltdown brought on by sunscreen dripping into his eyes thanks to buckets of sweat. Once we had James (sort of) settled we were off to catch Shawn Colvin at the Fais Do Do stage. Have I ever told you about my years working as a barrista at Espresso Royale Cafe in Athens, Georgia - me and every other diminutive brunette in the city- and about how all we listened to was Shawn Colvin, Lush, Beth Orton, K.D. Lang, and, well, you get the picture? Interesting times.
Luz got a little impatient at the Fais Do Do stage and was attracted to the zydeco sounds coming out of the tiny cajun cabin. I have never - in all of my Jazz Fest years - spent any time kicking it at the cabin, so this was a new experience for me. I enjoyed it, especially watching some of the crazy, old Cajun ladies dancing. After some zydeco we checked out the kids' tent, another Jazz Fest first for me and it was there that we struck gold. We could camp out comfortably. There was plenty of shade. There were other kids - tons of them. There were tents filled with kid-focused and friendly foods and games, an 8 by 10 mat covered with wooden blocks...I could go on....I am kicking myself that I didn't know about how perfect this area is for kids on the verge of a meltdown. The music was great too. I think we narrowly missed the Imagination Movers and were there to catch most of Gal Holiday and she was fabulous. Luz and James couldn't help but dance, Luz in her own, 'don't mind me, no, really, don't' kind of way and James in his 'people, I am truly bringing the party' kind of way. The only downside, many many many hipster parents that couldn't get over James' too-cool Decembrists t-shirt (I wanted to put him in a sunsuit, I swear, but didn't have time for the battle after his nap and just left him in the filthy shirt) calling after their Tallulahs and Ryders and Wolfies and Stellas. Yes, they were all there, but then so was I and I had the kid in the Decembrists shirt...
We rounded out the afternoon with the Hot 8. A perfect NOLA send-off after a perfect NOLA day.