Showing posts with label Derek and Me. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Derek and Me. Show all posts

How We Saw New Orleans In Two Days (And What You Should See If You Go)





I am pretty sure we squeezed every ounce of New Orleans adventure that we possibly could out of 48 hours in the city.  I landed in New Orleans at 1:23 PM on Wednesday, and left for the airport at 12:50 PM on Friday - it felt like a strangely relaxing whirlwind!  I am so glad we took the chance to have a pre-baby getaway to a place that was brand-new to both of us.

More on where we went and what we did below, but first, pictures.

DAY ONE















I am pretty much a mountain girl, and rarely spend this much time in the city...so while I think my urban photography skills could use some help, this whole trip gave me a great chance to practice!

Here's what we did the first day:

-Arrived in the afternoon at Hotel Monteleone, which was so pretty! It also is home of the Carousel Bar, which is a rotating bar - we didn't get anything there, but it was cool to see it.

-Derek finished his conference class, and we set out to explore the city!  We walked to Jackson Square and saw the oldest operating cathedral in the US.

-We also found some pretty doors to take pictures in front of.  So many of the streets were so picturesque!  If I lived there I would be hunting for good photo spots all the time.

-Stopped at Bourbon Street - that would be the picture where I am not grinning.  It was so gross!  Nothing pretty about that street at all, unlike the rest of the French Quarter.

-Went to the Palace Cafe for dessert.  Derek got the bananas foster, which they made right in font of us!  I got the lemon pie.  Both were excellent!

-We also grabbed dinner, just at the Marriot because it was most convenient that night.  We discussed baby names!

-Went back to the hotel and crashed at like 8 PM, home time.  I was so tired from traveling.

DAY TWO
















What we did on the second day (our only full day):

-Got some coffee at French Truck Coffee.  I loved that place!  It was clean and pretty, and they played oldies.  I already waxed poetic about it on Instagram, see more there.

-Walked back to the hotel and waited for my tour bus to arrive while Derek went to the conference.  I booked a city tour with Cajun Encounters, and it was definitely worth the money.  The tour guide (forget his name, looked like Ashton Kutcher) was one of the better tour guides I've ever had.  I wouldn't have seen nearly as much of the city without it, and I learned so much!

-The tour stopped by one of New Orleans above-ground cemeteries.  It was creepy and interesting, because the reason they bury that way is not what I expected.  Much too gruesome to describe here for all my posterity to read, but comment if you want to know and I'll explain.

-Other things I saw on the tour: Creole millionaire's row, Creole neighborhoods, Jackson Square again, the Tomb Of The Unknown Slave (which was interesting but so sad), the Garden District, and of course the cemetery.

-The tour also took us to a cafe called Morning Call, and we got free beignets and coffee as part of the tour!  Score!  These were actually my favorite beignets from when we were there.

-After the tour I went to a buffet for lunch (a little intimidating walking through the city by myself, it is so busy there).  The food was okay, but the desserts were amazing!  Every dessert I got in New Orleans was fantastic.

-Went back to the hotel and waited for Derek to get off from the conference. This was when I washed my hair - a turning point in the trip, because I washed out all my good products from home, and my hair responded way differently to the humidity without my products!

-I had intentions of sitting by the pool, but it was actually raining that afternoon, so I sat at one of the covered tables on the pool deck and started narrowing down our list of baby names and looking up meanings.  Derek and I really wanted to use our time alone on this trip to get a short list of names for our girl!

-We decided to go ahead and book a riverboat cruise!  When Derek got out of his class, we got dressed and walked over to the river (we might have stopped and bought some maple fudge on the way).  It was a jazz dinner cruise on a steamboat called the Natchez, and it was an excellent decision to go.  The music was amazing, the views were so pretty, and the the steamboat horn was so deep and cool-sounding.  We got back when it was dark, and the city lights were so pretty!

-We took a pedi-cab back to the hotel - good because our feet were hurting, scary because our driver was nuts!  I thought we were going to tip over!  But hey, a 15 minute walk only took her about 3 minutes, so she was efficient!

DAY THREE






















What we did on day three:

-Got more coffee at French Truck Coffee.  I miss that place!

-Walked over to Cafe Du Monde for beignets and orange juice.  

-The humidity was out of control that morning!  My hair was wet by the time we got back to the hotel, but we stopped at several gift shops and a gallery on the way back (partially to escape the heat!).  I practiced more photography in the city.  We bought pralines for the kids, and a Christmas ornament with Santa riding an alligator.

-The gallery we stopped at had these unique paintings - the artist layered the pain on really thickly, so it had a 3D effect,  I wish you could see it better in the picture, it was pretty cool!

-At this point Derek had to leave me again, and I took another shower before packing up my things.  Derek had already packed and gone, because his flight left several hours later than mine, and he and some of his co-workers were going to do a swamp tour that afternoon!  I have to admit, I was a little jealous of the swamp tour.  He got to feed alligators!  And hold a baby alligator!

-After washing my hair, I went to lunch at Mr. B's Bistro, right across from our hotel.  I had the gumbo and the molten chocolate cup cake.  Oh my goodness.  It was so good!  I gushed to Derek in a text about it, so he and his coworkers ended up stopping there too before they flew home.  It was just really good.  In my book, you pretty much HAVE to go there if you visit New Orleans.

-The airport shuttle picked me up, and home I went!  I was sad to leave, but my hair was not sad.  I worked on middle name pairings for baby while I waited for me plane.

I am so glad Derek and I got to explore New Orleans as much as we did, and it was a great time to reconnect (and think of some names!) before our little girl arrives in less than three months!  

So if I was to make recommendations for a quick trip to New Orleans:

-Take a tour.  They are definitely worth the money, and you see so much more that way!
-Jackson Square was really pretty, definitely walk over there.
-Eat at Mr. B's Bistro.  It's a must.
-Try to find somewhere to listen to some jazz music!  We did the riverboat, but I'm told Frenchman Street is a good place to go too.
-Bring your good hair products if you have even a slight hint of curl/wave!  Your hair will thank me for this one, trust me.
-And get some beignets somewhere!  It's kind of a New Orleans requirement, I think.



Two Dates (This Never Happens, People)

(Note: This is not actually what I wore on our date, I just am feeling lazy about taking a new photo this morning, and outfit photos seemed like a good fit for this post.)

Derek and I went on two, count 'em two, dates last week!  This is very noteworthy.  I know there is that big push to do a weekly date night as a married couple, to which the only thing I have to say is - "ha!".  We have four kids under the age of six.  There is no possible way we could do a weekly date night.

Babysitters

For our dates, we rely exclusively on the goodwill of our families as babysitters.  Which made me curious, does anyone hire babysitters for their kids?  If you do, I have questions.

Where did you find your babysitter?

Have you ever regretted who you hired to watch your kids or felt the need to switch babysitters?

What is the going rate these days? I'm pretty sure I can't afford it (x) four kids.

I only ask these things because I am curious, because I think it would have to be a pretty special young lady for me to feel like she could be an acceptable substitute for grandparents.

Bowling Date Night

First date night - we went bowling! (Thanks to my sister for watching the kids!)  I haven't been bowling in forever, but Derek and I have been thinking of starting a monthly bowling night for the last...three years?  We clearly can't seem to get our act together.  However, they just opened a new bowling alley in our mall, so we went to check it out.  It was so fun!  

I've determined I need to develop my bowling style though.  I always feel self-conscious when I see everyone around me (my dear husband included), bowling with such flair, and I pretty much just walk straight up and swing the ball.  Derek tells me my style is girly, but I know it's also boring!

Even though I wore something else for our date, this would be a good bowling outfit, no?  Just switch the boots out for bowling shoes (I am proud to say that I actually have my own bowling shoes.)








Earrings: $0.50 at Forever21
Shirt: Francesca's
Moto Jeans: JustFab
Snap Sweater: Jane.com
Bag: JustFab
Button socks: Target
Booties: A Christmas gift.


Lunch And Shopping Date

This was our early Valentine's Day date, because next weekend is Wyatt's birthday, and the weekend after that we already have plans.  So we dropped the kids off for a day with Gramie and Poppa, and went out to lunch at Macaroni Grill.  I got the lasagna, but unfortunately it was cold.  We asked them to heat it up, but I didn't finish it because then it felt soggy.  You win some, you lose some.  After lunch we walked around the mall, and Derek won his way into my heart (again), by telling me to pick whatever candle I wanted in Yankee Candle (Yankee candles may be my love language).  

I chose Meadow Showers.  I was going to pick Emerald Isle, but they only had three of those left, none of which was oily enough.  If you don't buy a really oily Yankee candle, it's just not worth the money.  But pick one with lots of oil, and it will fill an entire floor of your house with scent.

We topped off the date with ice cream at Cold Stone creamery! 

Notice The Lack Of Movies

We did not go to a movie for any of our dates, and the reason is that I am convinced Hollywood can't come up with anything worth seeing anymore.  The last three movies we went saw were a disappointment, and I just wasn't sure I was willing to risk more money on a movie I might not enjoy.  Derek and I have discussed at length what we think the problem may be, and here are a few of our theories:

1) They can't come up with anything original anymore.  So many movies lately are remakes of stories that have been successful in the past.  And they still manage to mess some of those up!  Case in point - Tarzan.  One of the several movies that have been a big old "wah wah wah" over the last year.

2) Someone in Hollywood needs to take a class on character development.  The last several movies that I've seen, one of my main complaints is that I can't seem to connect to the characters.  I don't know who they are as a person, their personalities aren't presented well, I can't see the progression of their relationships in the movie, I can't really figure out why their problems are such big problems to them personally, they aren't relatable.  In short, I don't really care about them.  And that's Hollywood's job, to make me care about the characters! Something is going awry, and I would tell them how to fix it, but then what are we paying them the big bucks for?

3) Did someone forget that there is a category called "romantic comedy"?  The last time I saw a decent romantic comedy...well no, a romantic comedy at all, was several years ago.  So many of the romantic movies that are out right now are so serious and/or depressing.  What is going on here?  It's almost Valentine's Day, shouldn't there be a wealth of this category at this time of year?  Where are all the rom coms?  Am I missing something?

Basically, we've decided that there are no recent good movies except ones that are based on true stories.  If we want to see a movie these days, it better be based on a true story, or there is a better than likely chance we aren't going to enjoy it.  

Am I the only one with current movie woes?  Have you seen anything good lately (that wasn't a true story)?

Old School Blogger Shoutout

These are a couple ladies that I've gotten to know largely through social media over the last couple years, and their blogs have become some of my favorites to read!  They share thoughtful, encouraging posts, and I'm happy to introduce them to you today.

Gina at Baby Blue Mom - Gina always has great insights and encouragements for moms, and she really inspires me to be a better hostess!  I love her hospitality tips.  She is expecting her third baby, due pretty soon!  Her husband also works at White Horse Inn, a great resource that I have been enjoying (when I have time to read something other than books for review!).

Elisha at Grateful With Two - Pronounced "uh-lee-sha"!  Elisha is homeschooling her two boys, and she is also an avid reader...so I think you see why we have become friends! She is a sweetheart, and I love reading her thoughts!

Also, a repeat shout-out to Meghan and Alex, old-school blog friends who had their babies over the last couple weeks!

What I'm Drinking: Vanilla Jasmine herbal tea.  With candy hearts, of course! (A delight for my tastebuds, a bane for my waistline.  I will not be too upset when Valentine's day is over and this temptation is out of my life.)

P.S An old-school blog friend, Brittany, is throwing me an Usborne book party! If you are interested in joining the Facebook party on Thursday, let me know in a comment and I'll send you the link to join - otherwise, check out Usborne books here!  I'm hoping to have a post up tomorrow about my Usborne wishlist for homeschooling next year, so stay tuned!




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