Saturday, March 29, 2014

i love my boy

ollie loves getting mohawks in the bath!  and playing with bubbles!

papa and dad taught him to rub his head when we say "nuk nuk nuk", just like curly from the three stooges

yogurt face.  he refuses to let us feed him these days.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

if i had a million dollars: feeling fancy

do you ever get that craving to dress up and be fancy for a night?  my anniversary is coming up, and a nice dinner sounds like a great excuse for getting dolled up.  or can someone get married soon so i can use that excuse to get dressed up?  i love weddings...

necklace - heels - clutch - dress - beautiful place setting

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Adventure: New Orleans, Day 7

Our Mardi Gras get-ups!

Floats on the Freeways, in the pouring rain!

King Oliver
Happy Mardi Gras!  During breakfast we pawned off the last of our extra beads and stuffed animals that we can't bring home!  The people here are so nice!  We watched a little of the Krewe of Zulu parade, but it was freezing and pouring rain, and Ollie was not loving it!  According to the news, this is the coldest Mardi Gras here since the early 80's.  On the drive to the airport, we saw multiple open air floats on the freeway, throwing out beads to the other cars!  Those people are crazy!  It was literally pouring down rain on them!  We had an incredible corn and crab bisque, biscuit and creole hot dog at the airport.  We needed to get our last fix of Cajun food!  Then we flew on home to California!  Ollie had a hard time on the flights, as he is getting sick with the flu, but he wasn't that bad!  It was strange getting back to California!  All the buildings are newish and boring, and there is so much open land compared to New Orleans!  All in all, this is one of the best vacations we have taken!  I love New Orleans, and miss it already!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Adventure: New Orleans, Day 6

The Mighty Mississippi

Algiers Point

Today was freezing cold!  So much for the shorts weather yesterday!  We started the day off by walking to the French Quarter, and leaving hoards of beads on fence posts throughout the city.  Quite frankly we had caught way to many necklaces during the parades, and knew there was no way to transport them all home to California, so we were on a spree to get rid of much of our loot!  We had lunch at the famous Bon Ton Cafe , which had delicious turtle soup!  Then we checked out the Riverfront and took the ferry over to Algiers Point.  We walked around a little, and made some friends at a local playground.  Dinner was at the French Market again.  We had to get one last fix of alligator, so we ordered a po'boy, and thought we would try a New Orleans style Boudin, thinking it would be like our great Boudin bread famous to San Francisco.  Boy were we wrong.  It was a nasty pork and rice filled sausage that you squeeze onto bread and cover with mustard.  It was disgusting!  We purchased some artwork at Jackson Square and enjoyed the fireworks over the Mississippi River.  Then we headed back to the Garden District to watch the Krewe of Orpheus parade and enjoyed a Bananas Foster waffle at Copelands!  So good!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Adventure: New Orleans, Day 5

Since today was Sunday, we walked 30 blocks on St. Charles Avenue to go to Church, which had it's own New Orleans twist.  We are not used to hearing people sing their testimonies Southern Baptist style, nor people talking with such strong Cajun accents that you literally can't understand a word they are saying!  It was awesome!  After church we found a spot on the parade route in the family section, and had a blast watching parades all day!  Some friendly locales shared their Praline King Cake with us, which was so good!  We saw Krewe of Okeanos, Mid City, and Thoth, then went on a stroll through the garden district to see the beautiful homes and oak lined streets.  We tried to have dinner at the Commander's Palace but were kicked out when they saw Jason was wearing shorts.  Dang you nice weather!  So instead we relaxed in some small Italian restaurant and had the spiciest Cajun pasta I have ever tasted!  Holy Cow!  We finished off the night watching the Krewe of Bacchus parade, and some other nice locales let Ollie sit in there Mardi Gras ladder to get the whole parade experience!  It was wonderful!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

adventure: new orleans, day 4

this is the courtyard of the bed and breakfast we are staying at.  charming, quirky, slightly unsafe.

for breakfast we dove in to a king cake!  so good!  and jason found the little baby Jesus inside, so it looks like he is in charge of making our king cake next year!

baby alligators!

there were so many squirrels wobbling in the trees

the slave quarters

our family at the creole laura plantation

oak alley plantation

The Felicity Plantation, where the movie the Skeleton Key was filmed

Evergreen Plantation

Ollie trying on his beads!

When we finally decided to wake up today, we went and bought a king cake and enjoyed it for breakfast (healthy, I know) in the courtyard of our b&b.  It was so darn good, and definitely a tradition we are going to have to start in our home!  Then we hit up the krewe of iris parade for awhile before we were picked up by our tour guide for our plantation tour.  He took us to the swamp where we got to see baby alligators swimming around!  Then we headed off on old river road and saw some gorgeous, old plantations.  Our tour was at the Laura Plantation, which is the last standing creole plantation open for tours in the area.  French was the language of the household, and it had a really cool Creole layout that I have never seen before, along with beautiful sugarcane fields.  The family that originally lived there were runaways from France that had to flee after a killing a person or two in duels.  The original story of B'rer Rabbit was recorded in French here, as taught by the slaves to their children.  The slave quarters were also really interesting to me as all the old houses I have toured in the past were out west, and don't have that history.   After our tour, we were able to see the Super Dome lit in Mardi Gras colors, and pass over the huge krewe of endymion parade on our drive back.  Dinner was at Copelands, which was so good but crazy expensive for how tiny the portions are.  It was another great day in New Orleans!

Monday, March 17, 2014

adventure: new orleans, day 3

beads stuck in a tree from the past few days of parades.  locales tell me you can see them year round on the parade route, because no one takes them down.

parade stands along st. charles avenue

st. louis cemetery #1

the voodoo queens tombstone, complete with xxx voodoo marks and gifts to honor her

love those balconies

i love that they advertise apartments by whether they are reported haunted or not

artists at jackson square

voodoo gris gris for sale

what every home decor needs

this picture does not capture the massive size of this muffaletta.  it was ginormous.  bigger than a football.  bigger than a human head.  ginormous.
This morning we had to haul to the French Quarter bright and early to make our scheduled cemetery tour!  He told us all about the history of New Orleans, and we got to see Congo Square and the St. Louis Cemetery #1 with all of its strange tombs.  It was actually really cool.  Afterwards we enjoyed the most amazing lunch ever!  A muffaletta from the original Central Grocery Store, where they were created over a hundred years ago.  We ate it and some classic New Orleans Zapp's chips at the French Market across the street while listening to a great Cajun street band.  I love New Orleans!
After lunch we checked out an old Pharmacy Museum followed by a VooDoo museum.  It was actually really interesting, and we even got to see an albino snake with blue eyes that the VooDoo priest pulled out for us.  Near Jackson Square we found a great band called Swamp Kitchen.  We loved their music so much we bought there CD, and can't stop listening to it.  Then we decided we needed a little dessert so we went back to Cafe du Monde for more beignets.  They were that good that we had to go back two days in a row!  On the way back we tried to walk on Bourbon Street to see what all the fuss was about, but holy crap was it crowded.  It was like trying to navigate with a stroller through a can of sardines, everyone was packed so tight.  And did I mention drunk, so they were a little dumb and oblivious to our little family trying to get through the crowd.  We gave up after a block or two, and felt grateful that we were staying in the family area on New Orleans, and not with that unsavory crowd! 
That night we enjoyed the Krewe of Hermes and Krewe D'etat parades!  They were incredible!  And we met a bunch of locales who started the Krewe of Tucks parade that will pass tomorrow.  Unfortunately we won't make the parade, even though they offered to hook us up with throws, but they were very kind and told us all about life in a Krewe, and were quite surprised when they invited us to cocktails and we told them we don't drink alcohol.  I suppose it is strange to people in New Orleans if your not a drinker!  It was a great day!

May: Mothers Day Adventure:Santa Cruz

Trolley ride for Oliver