Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Orleans...

Two weeks later, here I am...finally getting to our New Orleans trip...

We had a GREAT little family vacation in NOLA! Our timing couldn't have been better, as we had near perfect weather while there, but that changed right after we left. Thankful for blue skies and humid/hot days -- ok, maybe just the blue skies. I don't know that I've ever experienced as much humidity as I did there. While James barely noticed, Sam and I were red-faced and sweaty almost the entire time...clearly we don't handle such climates very well. (Can I go back to WA now? Ha.) With that aside, it was wonderful! I feel that even though we were there for just a few short days, we saw a lot and got a nice feel for the town. I've said it before, but James and I travel like the Griswold's -- cramming a LOT into a short period of time. We love it that way though and would be incredibly bored if we didn't experience cities in such a fashion. Luckily, Samuel adjusted just fine and went with the flow...

On our way there, we stopped at a bbq place in Mobile, AL that totally rocked! Saucy Q Bar B Q didn't have much of an appearance, but with its raving reviews, we decided to stop. I'm glad we did! I'm not much for spare ribs (I prefer baby back), but these were awesome. They fell off the bone and their bbq sauce had the perfect flavor. Yum...

Loved the walls inside the restaurant. I always find it interesting to see what people write -- kind of like how I noticed Acts 4:20 on this wall...


Upon arriving in New Orleans, we went straight to our hotel to unload. Apparently, it was a former Confederate hospital among other things -- so much history! We really enjoyed the French Quarter for things such as that -- not to mention the European feel. Oh...how I miss living overseas...

Just outside our room...


Loved walking around the French Quarter...





You can kind of see the smoke from the marsh fire burning in New Orleans East...


And, of course, while we didn't spend any time on Bourbon St., we had to grab a quick picture...


Amused by the unique shops...


And loved the little details along the way...



Considering the fact that our hotel was in the French Quarter, we spent a lot of time in that area. Jackson Square was so peaceful...


The hero of New Orleans...


A beautiful little walk inside the gates...



We considered taking a carriage tour, but 100 degree heat mixed with being pulled behind a mule just didn't sound appealing -- the smell while walking by was enough...


Sam was just barely in the shot, ha...


There's just something so peaceful about the water...



Of course, Samuel slept the afternoon away...


The architecture of New Orleans was not the only thing we enjoyed...the food was awesome! I must say...Apparently I live under a rock, because this was the first time I had ever heard of (or tried) a blintz. Am I the only one? If you're like me, go find one and try it. We loved them!


A good friend of ours recommended a local cafe that happened to offer such things. We're so glad we took the advice and checked it out! Not only was the food great, but the decor was fun to check out. Who doesn't love a fun chandelier?


Plus, the staff was super sweet. While we were there, our waitress loved on Sam and told us to treasure every moment with the little man. She went on to tell us about how her granddaughter is her precious (living) angel and that she will always treasure her, as her daughter can't have anymore. I didn't get into our story, but we totally understood (more than she'll ever know!) the love this waitress had for that little girl and how much she meant to her considering the circumstances. If you're ever in New Orleans, check out The Old Coffee Pot...


And if you love a good breakfast -- preferably french toast like me! -- check out Montrel's Bistro.


The staff pulled us in and I'm glad we listened! You can't tell me this doesn't look good...


We definitely got our fair share of good food while we were in New Orleans. Heck, we went back for beignets twice!


Yum...


On our first stop there, Sam and I were worn out from the heat...


So we soaked up the a/c inside the building...


But during our second stop there the next day, it was much cooler at the time that we went so Sam paid no attention to the detour...


That was until we decided to get a few pictures with him...



Poor Samuel...After each day, Samuel seemed to enjoy finally getting to the hotel and taking a break...




And as always... he loved listening to James do the "This Little Piggy" nursery rhyme. Depending on where we are, James adjusts the lyrics accordingly. "This little piggy when to the French Quarter, this little piggy went to Cafe Du Monde..."


However, he's still not a fan of tummy time...



After a good night's rest that first night, we drove out to the Garden District to check out the beautiful homes and then see the cemetery. I didn't end up really taking any pictures of the homes -- except for Trent Reznor's former home. This one's for you, Deb! (My sis LOVES him!)


While we only spent a few minutes in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, I did grab a few shots...




I clearly didn't know my New Orleans history before visiting, as I didn't realize this wall was actually made up of vaults...



Such a beautiful place, yet so sad. While reading some of the tombs, we noticed there was one that included several young children that died from yellow fever. How sad...


Once we were done in the Garden District, we decided to go check out the swamp. During the drive, Sam decided to help me...


With a full belly, we hit up the visitor center to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. They recommended the path that would be suit a family and gave us a map. Let me just say...the Bayou Coquille Trail was beautiful, but it kind of gave me the creeps. Before we left, they advised against holding onto the railing on the boardwalks, as there may be poisonous snakes. And apparently...on a hot day, you can see gators in the swamp. Yeah...as we started on the hike, I started to wonder why we thought this was a good idea. On the other hand, it was the handicap friendly path...how dangerous could it be???

It looks innocent enough, right?


As we entered, we read the history and began our walk. I later found out that gators could've possibly been right in front of us at this point. Nice...


As it turns out, we didn't see a darn thing. That is...except for an evil squirrel that scared the crap out of me! When it happened, I screamed so loud that James laughed and said he was embarrassed, ha. The little punk jumped out as we walked over this boardwalk...


Laugh if you want, but this section made me think of the Jurassic Park movies when the raptors jumped out. The plants were as tall as we were...


Of course, there were no raptors. Just a spider with an interesting looking web...


The end of the trail left you with a great view of the marsh...


On our way back, I made James stop for a picture...


Then as he walked off, I realized there weren't any pictures with Sam so we had to grab one...


It was absolutely beautiful -- minus the deer flies. And with no gators, snakes, or anything else in sight, it was a very peaceful walk. Plus, as a baby loss mama, I enjoyed this...we were surrounded by dragonflies almost the entire time...


For our last stop before leaving NOLA, we did what any history buff would do...tour a famous battlefield. James loves this sort of thing. The Chalmette Battlefield was the site of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815...


On the same grounds was the Malus-Beauregard House. Talk about quality construction! It was over 100 degrees outside and the doors were open, yet it was actually chilly inside that home!


And lastly, the national cemetery on the same grounds. Apparently, among the soldiers buried there, some were members of the famous Buffalo Soldiers...





As you can see, Samuel was fascinated by it all...


I love those chunky thighs...


Just in front of the cemetery is where they assume the British artillery was located...


And with that, we headed home. While driving through Mississippi (along the coast), we wondered if this was what remained after Katrina got a hold of it...


As we drove on, we continued to see nothing but white sand beaches. About halfway across, we couldn't help but stop so that Sam could experience such things. He wasn't thrilled with the idea at first...



Oh, but it feels so good and now he can say that for himself...



After that little detour, we realized that next on our list of things to buy is a hat for Samuel...


And that ends our little getaway...


With James now in class, life will probably slow down a bit, but I definitely enjoyed the last month of travel! So many memories created with our little man...

3 comments:

  1. Wow What GORGEOUS photos! I've always wanted to visit New Orleans but I admit I'm such a huge lover of Cemeteries I'd get there and then spend all day in the cemetery just walking around.

    It looks like a wonderful trip!! Thank you for sharing it!

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  2. It looks like you guys had a wonderful vacation. The pictures are great! Sam is becoming such a well-traveled boy! He is adorable. <3 I am so glad you are experiencing all of this with Sam.

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  3. beautiful pics! i don't even know where to start... you did quite a bit on your get-away!

    and samuel... every picture i see makes me want to hug, hug, hug him.

    love you guys!

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