Sunday, August 29, 2010

Trip to New Orleans. Phase 1.

I don't know how it is, but I NEVER run out of things to blog about. In fact, I cannot keep up! For instance, I haven't even blogged my kid's birthday party, our trip to New Orleans, which began last Wednesday, or the awesome fun we had in Shreveport this past weekend for Tashia's 40th birthday. Seriously, I try to keep up. There is just a whole lot going on round here!

So, let's just start with the beginning of our trip to New Orleans. First off, Daddy had to keep my vehicle, due to carseat situations and needing to haul the kids around. Sooooo, Jessi agreed to drive her Four Runner. Ok, my first car out of college was a Four Runner, and may I just say, things have really changed! WOULD YOU LOOK AT ALL THE SUNGLASS HOLDERS?
I did not have a single sunglass holder when I had this vehicle. And now Jessi can service a family of five and all their eyewear needs! DUDE!

Ok, so we are in New Orleans to attend a LANO (LA Assc. of Non-Profit Organizations) because we are representing JOR Foundation, as well as MMPT has considered starting a non-profit to access funds which may be available through grants to help service people, namely kids, who cannot afford insurance and who need therapy. In LA, it is a pretty desperate situation!

So, Karl, Jessi, and I hit the road and met Staci and Don down there.
This is Karl. We think he is a rabbit!
This is Staci and Don. They are NOT rabbits.

Although, if you look at Staci's disgruntled face, it is because, as she put it, "WHERE is my HAM!? and LOOK AT ALL THIS LETTUCE!" Now, understand, she ordered a BLT! She was thinking club, so we were pretty cracked up when she couldn't understand why she didn't have ham. We explained that would be a HLT!
I took pictures all around the French Quarters, honestly, just for the bloggers who may have never been here. I have been here a ton, and I NEVER get tired of it! I love coming to N.O. There is such a CHARACTER to this city!
It is a very artsy city. Lots of artists set up and paint right there on the street where you can watch.
And you know I love everything about that!
Of course, there are Saints signs and paraphenalia (?) all over the place! We were pretty proud of our Ain't's winning the Super Bowl last year. Our state needed that boost!
Jessi, Staci and Don... looks a bit like the Beatles, wouldn't you agree?!
Blurry pic, but there are beads of every size, shape, color, body part.... I will explain/ show that in N.O. Phase 2~
Isn't the architecture awesome!?
I just don't think there is a place like it in the whole United States!
There is some very rich history here.
My hubby has been collecting these LA themed coasters, as he had intended to tile his bar with them. As it stands, we have to get IN that dadgum house, so now, he just collects them! We will do something cool with them someday! I got him the Jax Beer, Dixie Beer, (see a theme?!), Lucky Dog hotdog cart, and the cathedral!!
When I was checking out, these little tokens were lying at the checkout. You know, our "word" was always "believe" when Jake was sick. And afterwards, I personally and professionally (mission statement contains "joy"), claimed "joy" as my word as healing. I thought this was kinda cool I felt Jake saying "Thanks for keeping my memory alive" over and over during this trip! My hotel room was 811!
I am quite concerned that when my kid is able to come with me to N.O., she will be asking me to buy her an outfit like this. Except with lots of bracelets!

Of course, the beads and masks represent all things Mardi Gras. You really need to experience that at least once in your lifetime!

I can't remember the name of this cathedral. It is at Jackson Square, the heart of the French QUarter and directly across from Cafe de Monde, home of the greatest beignets! I could look it up, but I'll let you! I don't care that much. Just know many, many weddings are held there. Lots of history here.
There are also lots of palm and tarot readers. They freak me out! I am kinda scared of what they would see and say. Even if I dont' really believe them anyway.
There are horse drawn carriages that take you on tours all over the city.
ANd kids get out of school and head right downtown with jar lids on their shoes as taps. They are really unbelievable considering the makeshift taps they wear!
There is no shortage of these places!
That beer is about 15" tall!
And oh my... when I saw this place... I KNEW I had to go in for the sake of my 3 year old! She would have blown a gasket!
I got both my kids one of these to wear at Maddi's house.
I'm kidding!
Just as fine art is everywhere, so is MUSIC! And I mean, you can't go to eat anywhere without a band set up to entertain. I love that!
Of course, food is a big pull to the Big Easy. Gumbo being one of our favorites!
ANd stuffed alligators are in abundance.
ANyone recognize this name?
More proud Saints gear.
And this is the band at Landry's, where we had dinner.

Our little mini group shot.
Omg. Can you even believe this dessert!? It was worthy of a picture! It is Bananas Foster. Crepes filled with ice cream, smothered in chocolate sauce and topped with caramels and whipped cream.
Dig in! Even Karl had some!
New Orleans is most known for its nightlife. It gets kinda crazy at night!
as well as kinda sleezy!
Anybody see/read "A Streetcar Named Desire"?! This is where it all went down!

and only if you have really, really, really taken part in the beverages so generously flowing would you be compelled to eat a street cart Lucky Dog. But, if you HAVE taken in those beverages, they are about the best thing west of the Mississippi! Wait, East. Wait. What's that you described to me, Don? We crossed the river only once on the way down, LA to MS? Oh, whatever!
This is what a typical night in N.O. looks like. This is usually who are yelling, "Show my your
T--ts". And those FOOLS who do, get a strand of plastic beads to wear around their cheap necks. To each his own.
Hey, it's Larry Flynt's place!
And I took this picture because one of my friends lately was getting breast augmentation. I told her she would be so sore! She said, she wouldn't really because she wasnt' getting a lift. I asked her how they decide who does and doesn't get a lift. She explained that the doctor told her that if you could hold a pencil under your breast, then you need a lift. I found this one and wanted him to know that I could handle this OR a box of 64 crayons. Just sayin'!
More stuffed reptiles. Amphibians? reptiles?
ANd of course, the trashy stores.
Oh yea, baby. Mama needs one of these!
This band was parked RIGHT under our window and didn't stop til after midnight. They really captured the heart of the brass band on New Orleans, but I wish they'd captured it about two blocks down!
In case you were wondering what beignets were. I have no idea. Just a puffy pastry that you pour powdered sugar all over. Does it get any better than that?
And that concludes Phase 1 of New Orleans. I have more to share. Mostly for those who have never been. I love my state. I love New Orleans. Hope you have come to love it too.


Melanie Christian said...

I can't believe you took a picture of horse poop! That's hilarious! I enjoyed all the pictures. I've never been to New Orleans, and I think now I've got to urge to go. No showing T*#$ for me though!

SarahBeth said...

girl, you be looking skinny in that pink shirt up there!! fun time!

jessie said...

i also LOVE new orleans! NEVER get tired of it!

Amy K said...

You are an awesome tour guide.

Sharidrew said...

Thanks for the tour Mel! I don't think any amount of beverage would prompt me to eat a snap dog. Eww. New Orleans looks like a fun place! I've been to a Bubba Gump Shrimp place but it was in Colorado! HA.

Happy Monday!
Shari from Missouri

tricia said...

Thanks for sharing the pics of New Orleans. It looks like an absolutely charming city. I have to see it for myself one day.

Steph said...


Thank you for all of the New Orleans pictures. This New Orleans girl misses home! At this point I have lived longer away from New Orleans than I lived there, but since I was born and there and lived there until my 8th grade year, it is still home!!! You can take the girl out of Louisiana, but you can't take Louisiana out of the girl!

Zhohn said...

I LOVE New Orleans! Everyone needs to visit. Only being an hour away I visit way too often! Love all the pics, you are doing a great job showing new orleans.

breanna said...

I still CAN NOT believe that y'all were here without me!! I am inviting myself to tag along next year...I will be the organizer or something completely indispensable :)

FYI--it's the St. Louis Cathedral, beignets are french doughnuts, and new orleans is east of the Mississippi...unless you go to the westbank :)

MaryH said...

I am interested in the street sign that says "Ursulines" as my sister is an Ursuline nun and they have a convent in New Orleans. In fact, the nuns refused to leave during the flooding because they wanted to be there to help their neighbors. Hope you get to take a couple of great big breathes, Mo and regroup. Sounds to me like moving a few things into the new house may be just what you need to help you see some progression. Also, all the projects on the house don't need to be completed all at once - those tiles that you have been collecting will find their perfect spot after you have made the house a home and your are acquainted with the life of the home and your lives in it. Have a great weekend - I get to play with my grandson all weekend - they arrived last night and are here until Tuesday - now, I just have to get out of this office.......