Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Orleans Vacation

As our last getaway before school started we took a trip to New Orleans! What a blast we had!! It was the three of us, John, myself, and my Nana C. We flew up on a Wednesday morning and came back the following Saturday morning. I honestly think we did every single thing possible!
This picture sums up our entire trip!

Let me start on the left... I had the honor have getting to meet a local children's book author who has published her first book, with a series to follow along! She even offered to 'Skype' with my students and read the book with them and answer questions... how cool is that?? (Now, I just have to figure out HOW to actually use Skype...)

When you look at my picture you will see two different photographs... one with a cute New Orleans Cat and the other with the fleur-de-lis symbol. An upside to renting no car, nor calling a cab is being able to see sooooo much more of the french quarter by walking it all! While walking the Quarter, we were able to see many local artists' galleries. Our favorite gallery of the entire trip was the Craig Tracy: Painted Alive. Going on his site will totally 'wow' you of such a rare, beautiful talent.

Moving on through our trip... Cafe Du Monde. Need I say more?? The most scrumptious, delicious, tasty, airy-filled beignets one has EVER put in their mouth!! Plus, the frozen Cafe Au Lait (half coffee, half milk) makes the experience so much more amazing! In the two and a half days we were there, we went twice... Yes, my jeans are officially too tight. Agh... summertime, what have you done to my body or should I just say specifically my rear end? Anyways, we bought a box mix to make the beignets at home. John says I have to wait awhile. He is not quite ready for a pound of powdered sugar, but I told him I would be more than happy to eat what he doesn't want. :)

Next up on our AWESOME trip to the Big Easy was the New Orleans School of Cooking. All that I can say about this experience was that it was so much fun! Our host and cook was very educational, but also sooo entertaining! They gave us great recipes to try at home. I have tried one so far, the Crab Corn Chowder. It was wonderful! So says my husband. He is basically the only taste tested I have here all of the time. From the looks of his empty bowl, two servings later. He must have REALLY enjoyed it! So, if you are ever in New Orleans, you like to cook (or watch people cook), you like to eat (yes, they feed you!),  YOU MUST GO TO THE COOKING SCHOOL!!!

In the picture above, there are also some little keep sakes... post cards, a christmas ornament, etc. Yes, I bought a Christmas decoration in July. I just had to! We have been buying ornaments for our Christmas tree ever since we got married. I think we have one from almost every place we have been.

Another thing that I became OBSESSED with while on our trip their was the fleur-de-lis. 
It is just one of those symbols that is: 
A. Just beautiful! 
B. Has a wonderful story of religion and history behind it.
C. Is the TRUE symbol of all things Louisiana!
So, me being an obsessive person, I bought salt and pepper shakers with the symbol, a necklace with a key charm that has the symbol in it, a wall piece, our piece of art that I have already talked about, and knobs. I know, where am I going to put fleur-de-lis knobs, right? Well, I have absolutely NO idea. I just liked them. That I know! I will one day figure it out and John will understand why I had to have them.

Of course on our table spread we also have some business cards from the places we went to eat. If you are a FOODIE, like we are, here are the links: 

  • K-Paul's Kitchen- a wonderful staple of New Orleans, but wasn't anything I couldn't cook at home... BUT we can say that we have been there!
  • Acme Oyster House- Another staple of N.O.L.A. This place was great! I have a wonderful po-boy there! And John tried the oysters. We would go back!
  • Muriel's- This place has a resident house ghost! Cool and corny, I know. BUT the food was also amazing! I had the BEST vanilla bean creme brulee I have ever tasted! I loved it! I just wanted to eat it forever and ever. I miss it already.
  • Court of Two Sisters- We went here for a jazz brunch buffet. It was a grand buffet with all sorts of interesting and delicious things! Very neat experience.
We also took a tour of one the many old homes. It was filled with beautiful furniture, books, dolls, etc. It was a nice historical aspect of New Orleans.

We went on a ghost and vampire tourof the French Quarter... I would tell you more, but I don't have much to say about it... we were at Pat O's for three hours BEFORE the tour. Lord Chaz was VERY theatrical though. And we did have a BAR break halfway through the tour at a local New Orleans bar.

So...speaking of drinking, we stopped at Pat O'Briens every-single-day we were in New Orleans. This is a landmark of New Orleans and if you DON'T go there, then you have not experience all NOLA has to offer.
Words cannot describe the FUN we had while sitting the courtyard area of Pat O's. All I can do is show a picture...


We did soooo much more, but these were indeed the highlights of our trip to New Orleans. I believe everyone should go here at least once while they are young and then again when you have kids or grandkids. We had a blast with my NanaC. Like always, we make soooooo many memories together! Especially when tall, pretty drinks are involved. :)

Next trip: Possibly the windy city of Chicago for Dave Matthew's Band last tour stop... 

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