Sunday, September 8, 2013

All aboard for The Big Easy!

Talk about a grand finale!  To return the boys to me, mom and dad took them to New Orleans on the AmTrak where I met them.  We spent 2 fun filled days exploring the city before heading back.  It is kind of the "halfway" point for me, mom and dad and Tracie.  They loved the train ride!  Any ride on a train is cool when you are 7&4.  
I picked them up nearby at the train station!  I was sure glad to see those two after 2 weeks away!  I think they were kinda glad to see me too!
 And here you have the REAL reason we decided to meet at the "halfway point"!  I knew if we had a little "vacation", that Tracie wouldn't miss it and with her comes Allie Gray! I hadn't seen this baby since mother's day which is unacceptable and I needed my fix!  She was totally worth it!  This look means " I love my Aunt Jamie"  (or more likely, "you look almost exactly like my mom but something's different")  If you could have only seen the look on her face as she looked at us from one to the other trying to figure it out.  Guess we do look a little alike afterall.

 We stayed at a GREAT VRBO for far far less than we could have stayed at any hotel room!( ) We had 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms!  It came in handy for getting up and at em in the morning.  It was on Algiers point about 4 blocks from the ferry so we rode it into Jackson square the first day.  It was a super quick and easy ride.  And free!

 There was even a super cute park next door to the house!  It was the perfect (and safe!) place for us!  We could walk to breakfast and dinner!

I wasn't going to set foot in the city of NOLA without trying the famous Cafe Du Monde.  It didn't dissappoint.  Now it was far too hot for the cafe au lait but we indulged in the beignets and they were divine!  Who doesn't like a heavy dose of fried dough covered, no slathered in powdered sugar!

 I " mustashe" the question: Who's that guy?  Never a dull moment around this family.  Dad found it humorous to use the palm tree bark for a makeshift mustache!
 Jackson square was both beautiful and historic...and HOT.  Remember we were in New Orleans in AUGUST.  It topped 100 each day and the humidity was even worse than Houston.
We stopped for a snack of cheese and crackers and Lincoln went to chasing the pigeons.  He heard if you put salt on their tail, you could catch them.  He was out to prove it!

 The one cool thing we found to do was take a trolley ride down canal street!  It was great until it got a little crowded.  I'm thinking Dad wasn't a fan of the close quarters of public transportation!  Why didn't we learn our lesson in NYC?
 Yep, right here's the reason I planned this whole trip!  Just look at that cutie!
Although we were tired and HOT, we pushed on through the Insectarium and we were glad we did!  It was cool inside and the bugs delighted two boys I know!  
 They had a butterfly atrium where we spent lots of time!  It was cool to have them choose you to land on!
 They had a 3D underground bug exhibit where the bugs were life size.  Wouldn't you know, I was the first to turn the corner and have one of the life size robotic creatures jump out at me. I squealed and Tracie laughed.  She's always thought my fear of spiders was funny.  I see no humor in it at all!

The following day we spent touring the garden district and the cemetery.  The history in the graves and the homes was fascinating.  While we listened to the tour, the boys went off to chase lizards.  My dad included!   
Can you see the light rays and the purple orbs in the bottom right photo?  They do say some of the graves are haunted! 
 The homes were so beautiful, but it was still excruciatingly hot!!  
After the tour, on high recommendations, we headed down to the 9th ward for "the best fried chicken of your life!"  Willie Mae's scotch house wasn't much to see from the outside.  It was in an area that had suffered devastation from Katrina and needed lots of renovation.  I had my doubts but we pushed on and to our surprise, we were served "the best fried chicken of our life" for lunch.  There wasn't a single scrap to take home with us but we certainly filled the fried chicken void and I know at least for me, the bar has been set and it's HIGH!  
 Next we headed to City Park.  I knew it was going to be hot but I think even we underestimated spending the day outside and how it can drag you down.  The park was beautiful and the sculpture garden was so intriguing.  We all said how enjoyable it would be to come DECEMBER!  We did find a reprieve in a place of the park called Storyland.  It's a playground themed like children's storybooks and it was so neat!  They boys had a blast inside and we enjoyed the shade provided by the giant live oaks!

 My NOLA native neighbors said it wasn't a trip to the big easy without a snowball and who am I to disagree?!  In my neck of the woods we just call these shaved ice but whatever you call them they are GOOD!!
 Our last dinner was at Ye Olde College Inn.  Another recommendation by my neighbors and it was delish!  We met our cousin Bev from Baton Rouge there and dinner was yummy!  We were so full after lots of shrimp and grits but we managed to all share their famous fried bread pudding for desert!  It was everything it sounds like and then some!

We covered a lot of ground in those 2 days.  You put me and my mom together and you can expect the trip of a lifetime + a TON of walking.  We don't want to miss a thing!  It was a great "end of summer" trip for all of us and I'm glad to know that we can all be together in a matter of 6 hours.  Living far away is tough on us all but we do what we can to make the best of it!  

No comments:

Post a Comment