ReneC, do the names stella, v.j, rex, beth, connie mean anything to you? If so, I think I know you---very well.
As for King Cakes, in the 'olden days'---when I was young---they were brioche, a cakey bread type thing. none of the children really enjoyed them. not sweet enuf, i guess. also, there was no doll of any kind, only a bean in the cake. If you got the piece of cake with the bean, you were king or queen, and you gave the party the next weekend. that custom continued thru Carnival season---a King Cake Party every weekend.. (it was NEVER called mardi gras until about 1968 when the travel indusry decided to advertise it; ergo, mardi gras. that's when CARNIVAL was lost to city residents because it became a tourist attraction. as a matter of fact, we didn't even call Tuesday "Mardi Gras"---we called it CARNIVAL DAY!!