Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Catching up... New Orleans

Ok, this week I've given myself the job of capturing what we've done over the past year... I guess I had thought as the boys grew up we'd have MORE time for projects like blogs, and photos and art - but really we just keep staying busy and filling our time with more on the go activities.

But you'll see how we fill our time.

Without further adieu (a do?) remind me to figure out the proper way to type that - too enthralled in updating the blog to start now.

Ahem - One year ago - New Orleans

Last year, my Aunt Becky turned 60, and her daughter Melissa did a wonderful job of planning a fantastic adventure with Becky's sisters and their daughters/ daughter-in-laws, whoever could make it. It was Becky, Melissa, My mom, Moi, Aunt Susie and Betty. The hotel was beautiful, the food was incredible, and just having some really REAL family/ women time was great. I'll post a few of my favorite photos and let Betty tell you about the adventures.
Cafe Du Monde!

Elaine and Sue holding the baby alligator

Cousins.... having a drink mid morning (When in New Orleans!)

The ladies 

Beautiful swamp land

To read up from my cousin Betty's blog (she does a wonderful job keeping up to date and capturing beautiful photos and stories - check out her take

copied below:

travelogue: nola

it's been on my bucket list for a while.  to visit new orleans.  when i worked in theatrical distribution at dreamworks, new orleans was one of my territories. i grew to love this place just from talking to people over the phone. my boss was from louisiana and i adored him.  kind, generous, happy.  i imagined that everyone who lived in this lively city would be like that.  i quit that job just a few weeks before a planned work trip. but i knew i would see it someday.

and the day came.  bobby's aunt and cousin invited us along for her bucket list/birthday trip to the big easy.  with the kids settled in at school and my less hectic days, how could i say no? and believe me i tried.

sue and i met at lax early friday morning and we were on our way.  i mentioned this already but i read the amy poehler book on the 3 hour flight there and 3:30 hour flight back and laughed and thought and enjoyed myself.  took some of the anxiety away of being away from the fam.

we landed, took the shuttle and met the other ladies at the french market inn.

funny story - we took a walking city tour on friday night and our tour guide asked us where we were staying.  when we said the historic french market inn he said "my mama used to joke that the only historic thing about that hotel was the towels."

i loved this place.  the rooms were a nice size, we had a great view of the mississippi river and it was centrally located away from the noise but close enough to walk everywhere.  and we did walk everywhere.

that night we took a city tour that took us to see architecture and listen to the history of the city.  it was the perfect way to get acquainted with this place and learn about all of the cultures that make up new orleans.

we saw a second line for a wedding - the first of many we would see throughout the trip.

i don't think i would bring the kids here on vacation - too grown up for them.  but i do wish jordan could see and hear the music that floods this city at all times during the day.  it is kind of magical.

then the grown ups went to bed and the "young" ladies went to bourbon street. wow!  we literally walked into a wild time.  dancing, drinking, bead throwing, music, street performers. an overall party atmosphere.

i didn't know what to think at first but then i just went with it.  and when i found out they threw beads to anyone, not just those willing to expose themselves, that became a fun activity.

so hey, welcome to new orleans.

the next day we were up bright and early to go to the swamps.  we had booked an air boat tour to see the alligators.

and we did, sort of.  it was an overcast day so the gators were hiding under water.  but our guide was able to frustrate one out of his usual hiding spot.  he hissed and snapped at us from under a tree limb. and yes, the boat full of women screamed.

he also brought out his pet alligator, dollar, that he keeps on board his boat.  and yes, the boat full of women screamed.   but then we got over it and each took a turn holding it.

he was softer than i had imagined and actually quite cute - for an alligator.

but what was most impressive was how beautiful it was here.  picturesque, peaceful and inspirational. i could have stayed here the entire day.

this was one of those things i didn't know i wanted to do, but was so happy we did. a definite highlight of the trip.

that night we also took the grown ups to bourbon street. you can imagine the horror and delight.

sunday the saints were playing at the superdome (in fact our flight in was filled with 49ers fans). everywhere we looked we saw drew brees jerseys. we stayed away from the craziness of a home game but everyone in town was watching.

instead we booked a voodoo cemetery tour.  again something i never would have imagined i'd do but it's a must.

our guide, n'awlins nate, was fantastic and a wealth of knowledge.  i have to admit that he scared me at first but then i was captivated by his stories. he had us thinking and trying to keep up with him. i loved the way he spoke even though i couldn't understand every word. turns out he's not the usual guide but was filling in at the last minute - lucky us.

we visited historic spots like this one; a laundromat that was once a recording studio for fats domino, ray charles and little richard.

we saw the home and the tombstone of the original voodoo queen and learned about the history of voodoo, hoodoo and shoedoo. don't fall for the shoedoo!

on monday we headed out to the garden district and did a self guided walking tour of the homes.  oh man, i could live here.  the homes here are ridiculous.

large and charming.  it was fun to walk around the area and imagine life here back in the day.

this sign cracked me up.

that night melissa and i took one last stroll down bourbon street to see the performers and get more beads.  

now i know what you're thinking.  you never ate while you were in new orleans? you poor thing. au contraire mon ami, we never stopped eating.  but that's a post for tomorrow.

comme ci, comme ca.

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