• You know how to spell boudin, pronounce boudin, and how to find the best boudin.
  • You aren’t surprised to find bait, ammunition, and movie rentals all in one store.
  • You still marvel at the nearly 400-year-old Sallier Oak no matter how many times you've seen it. 

    Sallier Oak
  • You’re “fixin’ “ to do something.
  • You stand in the rain or cold at parades to catch Mardi Gras beads even if you already have tons of beads from the last Mardi Gras parade you went to.

    Mardi Gras merch by Lisa Addison
  • You eat Sno-Balls (snow cones) instead of throwing them.
  •  You can't go grocery shopping without running into someone who remembers "your mama and them." 
  • You know that you can travel the world but will never find a more scenic drive than the one along Shell Beach Drive with its moss-draped oak trees and stately antebellum homes on one side of the road and our beautiful lake on the other. 
  • You have an allegiance to three football teams: McNeese State University, LSU, and the Saints. Heck, you know people who even planned their weddings or other special events around football schedules.
  • You start talking about Mardi Gras months before it arrives. 
  • You can wear shorts and flip-flops year-round. 
  • You know how to pronounce “geaux.”
  • You go out to dinner and spend the whole time talking about all of the other great meals you’ve recently enjoyed at other local restaurants.
  • You always look for the crossed pistols in the iron work when crossing the I-10 bridge.

    Pistol Bridge - Interstate 10 in Lake Charles, LA.
  • You're ready to make a gumbo at the first hint of cool weather.  
  • You know what a King Cake is and where to get the best ones. 
  • You know that everything goes better with Tony Chachere’s seasoning and a little Tabasco for extra measure.
  • You can properly pronounce “Calcasieu,” the name of our parish. (Louisiana is the only state with parishes instead of counties.)
  • You know that a little bit of humidity never hurt anyone.
  • You put a pot of rice on the stove to cook before you even know what’s for dinner because whether it’s gumbo, red beans and rice, or simply rice and gravy, you'll probably be making something with rice in it for dinner. 

  • You know that that the four seasons of the year are really: Crawfish, Crab, Gumbo and King Cake.
  • You didn’t learn until high school that Mardi Gras is not a national holiday.
  • Your last name isn’t pronounced the way it’s spelled.