Takes A Lot of Water….To Wash Away New Orleans

I know I missed last week’s blog…..but I was on vacation!  We took a trip to New Orleans with my Daddy’s side of the family.

I have some….thoughts…..about NOLA, but let me show you some of the sights we saw around the city.

We stayed in a large rental home on the North side of the Gentilly area on an inlet from Lake Pontchartrain.  The Wi-Fi was non existent unless you were at the bar, and it was quite far away from the French Quarter so we had to Uber in and out everyday, but it was a lovely house with plenty of room for all nine of us.

Stop one on morning one was Cafe du Monde.  Wait in line and commune with the pigeons while you shove steaming hot beignets covered in powdered sugar into your mouth.  This is the way every morning should start.  Coffee and sugar covered beignets can never be a bad life choice.

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We maybe went to Cafe Du Monde……a few times……..

The French Quarter is beautiful….if you can get around the overwhelming amount of people and ickiness that that many people in a small space create.  There were small glimmers of time when there would be on one else on the streets and you could see the buildings for the beauties that they are, but the crowds and craziness takes a lot away from it.

Most of the food we ate was underwhelming.  Maybe we all just had really high expectations of what Cajun and Creole food was supposed to be.  Even Momma, who isn’t widely known for her love of spicy food, was adding hot sauce to most of her dishes.  One place I would go back to anytime if given the chance was Jacque-Imo’s!  It’s a ways out of the French Quarter but still easy to walk to using the Green street car line through the Garden District.  Also, apparently dessert is complimentary!?  We had no idea, but even though we were all exploding with food we did manage to power through creme brûlées and bread pudding.  I don’t even really like bread pudding, but I’d willing eat huge plates full of theirs any day!

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Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake

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Duck and Andouille Gumbo

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Seriously…..get in my belly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s vacation without a few selfies?!?!  Most of them include alcohol because you can drink anywhere you want in the city.  Most restaurants and bars have tables or shelves of plastic cups by the exits for you to transfer your drinks into when you leave.  This probably contributes to some of the ickiness of the city, but I guess it’s all part of the vibe that is New Orleans.

 

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The humidity was surprisingly fine.  I was expecting much worse but my hair has seen much worse days!

The trips out to the plantations were maybe my favorite part of the trip, but I just like that sort of thing.  It was a little weird to learn that the plantations weren’t as wide apart and open as the idea everyone has in their brain.  The plantations were all located on the river, so most were quite thin areas of land that extended back from the river several hundred acres.  It’s very possible that you would have been able to see your neighbors from you house, which wasn’t the vision I had in my brain.

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The Whitney Plantation—Photo by my Sister

Exterior stairways are also something you’d never see in the North!  The Whitney is only one room deep!  Large doors on the front and back of each room can be opened to allow the strong river breezes to blow through and cool the house.

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The Laura Plantation

Raised up almost 6 feet off the ground to protect the living areas from the nearly continuous floods of the Mississippi River…..again, something you could never do in the North….you’d never be able to keep it heated!

Oh the crowds!!  We were all told this parade would be very risqué and worth the crowds.  Once again, I think we were all just a little bit underwhelmed.  It was a good experience and we all had a good time, but I think it was a bit over hyped.  Maybe this is just what happened when you’re hanging out in a high tourist destination??

We took a cemetery tour, and more to the credit of our guide than anything else, learned quite a bit about the history and founding of the city.  Not that the cemeteries themselves are all that interesting, but they are an interesting thing to see.  That’s probably confusing, but wandering cemeteries where you don’t “know” anyone isn’t necessarily the most interesting.  However, seeing the different styles of burials and frankly the totally random layouts of the old cemetery was interesting.  Also, we saw Nicholas Cage’s purchased eternal resting place…..a white pyramid…so that was a thing I guess!

We also swung through a few famous locations through out the Quarter.  We had drinks at the Carnival bar, although the bar was too full for us to sit and spin around.  We caught some local jazz and zydeco music at The Spotted Cat, and had drinks at the oldest bar in the country, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.  On a side note…. the Carnival Bar hotel had these flowers planted outside in their window boxes…..anyone know what they might be!?!?!

 

The whole French Quarter was full of these gorgeous gas lanterns.  I had never seen anything like this, but I’m quite sure that at some point in my future I’m going to have these!

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While I was away seeing new sights, Scout-a-Roo was staying with the BFB and the Hubby in Law.  I’m so lucky that they don’t mind having her and that she’s comfortable staying there.  I’ll leave you with some pics of my nugget in her home away from home!

Things to be Thankful For

As we wrap up the Thanksgiving festivities and rev up for the holiday season, I think it’s important to spend some time reflecting on friends and family.  In an unfortunate turn of events, my Dad’s whole family had to gather together and bury my Grandpa.  Maybe he had it all planned out that way, because traditionally we wouldn’t all be together as a family for Thanksgiving, especially since everyone has gotten older and most of the grandkids have started families of their own.

We have always been fortunate to be able to take family vacations.  We’ve been to Alaska, Europe, Disney World, and San Francisco.  However, one vacation destination that has always been the go to has been Williamsburg Virginia.  I’m not sure why we ever started going there, I just know that now when we “need” to go on vacation, if no where else is decided, Williamsburg is really the answer.

In celebration of Thanksgiving, and being thankful for family, and because Williamsburg always feels particularly festive….I present to you:

Williamsburg Through the Decades

There are no photos of infant Mishappenings enjoying the colonial capital of 18th century Virginia.  The camera or the film didn’t cooperate and all the pictures came out black.  My very first vacation, and there’s no evidence I was even there!

These photos were from a trip we made in 1992.  There are still plenty of overly friendly and carefree squirrels and gingerbread cookies to be had, and it’s good to know that sometimes things don’t change.  Somethings, like traveling with our baby blankets, have changed.  Also, luckily for me, my fashion choices have changed….some…..

 

1997 was the trip of hats and bonnets.  When enjoying the capital city, it’s important to be fashionable and on trend.

 

2000:  Someone was still trying to embrace colonial fashions, I had maybe outgrown that need by now.

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We went in December of 2004 shortly after my birthday and were there for the start of the Christmas season.  I had just been given this sweater for my birthday and as you can see I was quite please with it.  This was also my phase where I was pretty convinced that my green hi-top Converse All-Stars went perfectly with any and all outfits!

Sadly, the gentlemen in the photo passed away a few years ago, but he had been a familiar presence on all our previous trips.

 

2009 was the last time we all travelled to the colonial city as a whole family.  I believe it was in the spring.  It was the first time that I had to fly separately and meet my family there because I was away at college.  I also recall that I had to fly with several text books in my suitcase because lab reports don’t stop being due because you’re on vacation!

 

 

2016: Our first big family trip without Dad.  We decided that something familiar might be nice, so we headed back to Williamsburg.

 

Other things that never change are my love of the apothecary shop, and the need for my parents to take slightly posed photos of me in the shop.  I present to you the difference that 16 years can make!  I think it’s important to note that that jacket still fits me….so I’ve been basically this same size my entire life!

 

Another change is they now have beer….and I’m old enough to have it!  

Colonial Williamsburg now offers a selection of beers that you can purchase throughout the historic area.  We also tried out a modern restaurant right on the edge of the Historic District that had one of the largest beer menus I’ve ever seen!  If you’re ever in town I would recommend the DoG Street Pub.  It’s loud but the building is a nice blend of colonial and modern, and the food was delicious and huge in portion.  Easy to find right on the corner of Duke of Gloucester street between the Historic District and the campus of William and Mary.

If you aren’t into beer and American fare, then Sal’s by Victor needs to by on your to do list.  Again, I’m not sure how we ever found it, but it was a favorite of Daddy Mishappenings and we ate there often.  In fact, we ate there twice on our most recent trip….because why mess with a good thing!?

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Yes….I ate the whole thing……TWICE….on our trip!

 

We don’t always get along, but when we do…we take snapchat pictures and embarrass my mother in public.  The face swap photo is probably hands down the worst picture of both of us that has ever….and probably will ever exist!

 

 

These are just some pictures of my favorite places and spaces around the Historic District for your viewing pleasure.

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