Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Vacation to the Big Easy

Someone once told Drew, if you go somewhere with your kids it’s called a trip and if you go somewhere without your kids it’s called a vacation.  Drew and I went on vacation to New Orleans!  We went with Ed and Jamie.   I was the only one of the three who had never been down there.  We headed out Wednesday morning after we dropped the kids off at school and we made it to Birmingham around dinnertime.  We stayed at Jamie’s parents’ house that night.  They fed us a yummy dinner and we got to see Jamie’s nephew, Jack. 

Bright and early we headed out to finish the trip to NO.  Since we got there around lunch, our first stop was Dooky Chase.  This place had been visited by multiple presidents and the owner was the inspiration for the Princess and the Frog Disney movie.  The food was okay – although I tried okra for the first time and theirs was amazing.  We left lunch and headed to our hotel to get checked in.  We stayed at a cute little place called the Prytania Park Hotel in the Garden District.  We got checked in and settled and we headed down to the French Quarter.  We just walked around Jackson Square, in a few shops, down Bourbon Street, and over to Frenchmen Street where we ate dinner at the Praline Connection.  We stayed on Frenchmen Street and went to the Spotted Cat to hear our first jazz of the week.  We also went to the famous Café du Monde and got the obligatory beignets.  Drew got coffee and I got hot chocolate – so what if it was 85F!  The beignets sure were yummy!

Friday morning we woke up to cloudy skies.  Drew and I started to walk up to the Walgreens to get our street car passes when it started sprinkling.  We ended up jumping in the car and it was a good thing because the bottom dropped out on us!  We decided to drive around a little bit while we were waiting on Ed and Jamie to get ready.  We ended up driving all over and getting stuck in some rush hour traffic.  We saw some serious flooding on some side streets and this was just a rain storm.  We finally picked up Ed and Jamie and headed for breakfast at the Camellia Grille.  It was sooo yummy.  A really cool place with just a counter for seating.  They made the most amazing omelets.  We all really enjoyed breakfast.  We left there and headed to the National World War II Museum.  It was the perfect activity for a rainy day.  It was a great museum and I really enjoyed it.  I normally get bored in museums but it was really interesting.  We went to the 4D movie about the war that everyone found really amazing.  I found it amazing as well – until I fell asleep.  I never ever nap and somehow I nodded off during a movie that was super loud and the seats shook on you.  What I saw I really enjoyed!  We also did a submarine simulator that was kind of fun.  Everyone was given a job on the sub.  I had to do the radar and Ed, Jamie, and Drew were all controlling the speed of the sub.  By the time we were done with that it had stopped raining.  Jamie and I left the boys and we went shopping on Magazine Street.  We did more window shopping and very little buying but it was fun to check out the stores.  We ate dinner at the Rum House that night and headed back to Frenchmen Street and ended up back at the Spotted Cat for more music.

Saturday Jamie and I headed to the French Quarter and we walked around the French Market.  The boys headed out to some battlefield.  The French Market was huge!  We walked around forever and finally met the guys for lunch at Coop’s Place.  Coop’s Place had been recommended by a friend who called it a little dive bar with great food and they recommended the rabbit jambalaya.   Dive bar it was!  They were out of the rabbit jambalaya but we stayed for lunch anyways.  After we ordered but before our food came, a roach dropped out of the air onto Jamie’s head and she knocked it on the table.  The boys didn’t see this at all.  Jamie and I were up and backed away from the table and I could only say, “Oh my god, oh my god.”  It scurried across the table towards Ed and was starting to crawl up his shirt.  I could only say, “Ed, Ed, Ed.”  He finally saw it and knocked it off.  It went from the table to the wall to the ground where he finally killed it.  I was so grossed out it made me gag.  We ended up staying for lunch and Drew claims it was some of the best fried chicken he’s ever eaten in his life.  The rest of our food was fine – but I just couldn’t enjoy it much after what happened.  After the incident we headed up to City Park and we walked around the Sculpture Garden.  We had wanted to do more in the park but it was thundering and getting pretty dark skies so we decided to head out.  We drove through a couple cemeteries and then we ended up stopping by the house of one of my old high school friends to say hi.  Jamie and I were excited to see inside a NO house!  ha!  We headed back to the hotel to rest before we headed to dinner at the Butcher.  It was one of my favorite places we ate.  My sandwich was so good.  We walked downtown and headed to dba to hear John Boutee – who was by far my favorite singer of the week.  He was so smooth.  My high school friend, Davis, met us out too.  That was fun to get to hang out with him.  He was my first boyfriend in the state of North Carolina.  ha ha! 

Sunday was all about food.  Fancy food at fancy places!  We walked down to Commander’s Palace for our 10:30am reservation.  It was fancy on a whole new level.  There was a three piece jazz band that was great.  They asked us if we were celebrating Father’s Day.  Ummm yes, we just left our fathers and our kids at home.  ha!  It was way too much food to eat.  We left stuffed and we went and took a nap!  We finally got up and around again and we headed down to Bourbon Street to do a little shopping and we had a 3pm reservation for a late lunch/early dinner at Galatoire’s.  Another fancy place, but nothing like Commander’s Palace.  It was another good meal and we left there stuffed too.  We headed back to the hotel to rest some more – by this time the late nights were getting to us.  We are not used to going out every night anymore – too old for that!  We finally rallied for our last night and we headed to Oak Street for our final meal and final jazz show at the Maple Leaf. 

Our experience at the Maple Leaf was crazy.  It was wild and unique at the same time.  Every Sunday night they have a crawfish boil and then Walter Wolfman Washington plays.  A little after 10pm they brought in like 6 laundry baskets of food and they just dumped it on the tables that were running down the middle of the room.  People – including Drew – were just lined up down the tables and were going to town.  It was crazy!  There was so much food being inhaled!  After people started to get full the music started.  It was a crazy way to end our trip!

Monday morning we headed out bright and early and headed up to Atlanta.  We pulled into Turner Field a little after 6pm – perfect timing for the 7pm Braves game we had tickets to.  It was my first Braves game as well.  We left at the end of the 8th inning to avoid traffic but the game ended up going into 13 innings!  It was tied 1-1 when we left and then the Phillies scored 5 runs in the 13th inning and won 6-1.  Glad we didn’t stay for that!  It was a lovely night of baseball and I enjoyed my first Braves game.

Tuesday we headed out mid-morning and stopped for lunch in Greenville, SC.  Drew and Ed lived in Greenville, SC when they were young and they went to a big church downtown.  They have great memories of playing church league basketball.  Ed has always kept in touch with the youth pastor so we stopped and had lunch with him.  We enjoyed seeing downtown Greenville – which is crazy nice.  It was funny to hear stories of the Southern boys’ middle/high school days from their friend David.  We finally made it back home around 6pm on Tuesday night.

A good time was had by all.  It took me multiple days to catch up on sleep after that trip.  You can tell we are getting old!

First stop for lunch.

Our cute, little hotel.DSC_9735DSC_9604DSC_9605DSC_9609
First street car ride!DSC_9611DSC_9610
Jamie and her hat in Jackson Square!DSC_9621
St. Louis CathedralDSC_9622
First night listening to music at the Spotted CatIMG_4851IMG_4854
Late night beignets at Café du Monde.  Yum Yum Yummy.DSC_9640DSC_9643
Breakfast at the Camellia Grill.  DSC_9645DSC_9646
At the World War II Museum.DSC_9652DSC_9662DSC_9665
Messing around in the Crescent CityDSC_9671DSC_9672
Inside St. Louis Cathedral.
Walking along the Mississippi RiverDSC_9683
At City Park in the Sculpture Garden.  This was my favorite sculpture.
I’m not sure if I was getting attacked by Jamie’s hat or the spider!DSC_9703
Blue Dog
Red Dog
Another favorite sculpture.
Cruising in a cemetery.  Picking out what I want my tomb to look like.
Sunday morning before going to Commander’s Palace we walked through another cemetery.DSC_9732
The famous Commander’s Palace.DSC_9734
The swanky Galatoire’s.  DSC_9740
Cool picture from the French QuarterIMG_4919
Hanging with Davis, my high school friend.IMG_4929IMG_4953
Crawfish Boil at the Maple Leaf BarIMG_4971
Walter Wolfman Washington
Ballgame at Turner FieldIMG_4979IMG_4980

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