Friday, June 12, 2015

TToT82: NOLA!

This summer is gonna be travel heavy, you guys. I mean, we're gonna make the Woodruffs look like stay-at-homers.

We headed out of the starting gate this week with a trip to New Orleans, LA. Brian had a conference, and as much as we would have liked to see some of him this trip, it was mainly a sightseeing trip for three.

The one time I visited New Orleans before was in my single, childless 20s for JazzFest, so this was a very different trip. But let me tell you, New Orleans is a great place for families to visit. Fasten your seatbelts for a post of pictures.

We were rather disappointed the streetcar wasn't running on our section of St. Charles because of road contruction, but the bus system is easy and straightforward and got us to any destination too far of a walk for short legs. Then, when we finally we got to ride a streetcar, it was blase for this seasoned public transportation rider:

I love, love, love that the trees along St. Charles still sport the memories of Mardi Gras. Year-round decor!

Leo was pleased by this, as well. Especially with the fallen ones.

I took an absurd number of pictures of trees. I grew up around trees like this, and I miss them--the ones whose branches are so long and heavy they drag the ground and you can walk right up. All that moss, all that heavy shade.
This one's over 250 years old!

New Orleans boasts a zoo and an aquarium, and I recommend both.

Great variety of animals at the zoo: rhinos, giraffes, gorillas, orangutans, and more! There was even a two-headed snake (birth defect). This horrified me so much I couldn't even bring the children's attention to it.
Two Komodo dragons!

The highlights of the aquarium were the sting ray touch pool and the frogs, according to my children. I liked the penguins and the piranhas (not together), but the kids couldn't be bothered with them.

And during the hot afternoons, what child doesn't love the hotel pool? Leo mastered the skill of scooting around the edge with me hovering nearby. He also learned what happens when you let go of the side and is none the worse for wear.

No trip to NOLA is complete without good food and I satisfied my cravings for gumbo, a muffaletta, and even ordered this extraordinary crawfish dog (made of crawfish and topped with crawfish etoufee, ohmy).

Next up: a quick trip to Asheville for a friend's 50th birthday party and then Utah!

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33 comments :

  1. I have wanted to visit NOLA for the longest time. My bestie (Kathy) divides her time between New Orleans and Tallahassee and I have yet to go south to visit her. I must work on that. I love looking at your kids enjoying themselves. Leo just cracks me up. He's at such a cute age. I love New Orleans style Andouille sausage, spicy and good. I'll look forward to seeing more photos from your travels. I'd like to visit Asheville someday, too. And Charleston, and London again, and Italy and everywhere. Have fun!

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    1. You should! We really had a great time, but it's a ton of fun sans kids too.

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  2. What a great trip! Your pictures are awesome. I've never been to NOLA, but your pictures certainly make me want to go. I love that the aquarium has touch pools ... and penguins. Very neat! And two-headed snakes at the zoo? Okay. I'll pass on that. Otherwise, your trip looks amazing and I'm so glad you shared its highlights in your post this week. Thank you!

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    1. Just the one two-headed snake. Still gives me the shivers. Thanks for reading, Marcia!

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  3. I love the way that tree looks! All those heavy old branches, it's fantastic. The aquarium looks pretty cool too and I would have loved the penguins best, because penguins are adorable.

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    1. I have a thing for trees, Vanessa, so yeah, it is fantastic. Penguins are adorable, though stinky.

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    2. Finding out that penguins stink is a bit disappointing. Kind of like finding out Matthew McConaughy is stinky.

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    3. Ha! I just read that to my husband who told me he (MM) doesn't use deodorant. I did not know this was a known fact. I guess we can just admire him from afar.

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  4. What a wonderful trip - well, minus the MiA Brian part. Those faces! I want to pinch them both so much. :D
    You should send that tree pic to Beth Teliho - she'll love it.
    And mulfaletta - now I'm hungry.
    OK, that's three sentences in a row with the stupid dash thing I apparently do. I am way past the time I promised I'd sleep tonight and I have a shit-ton to do tomorrow morning. Wish me luck! Catch up with you later, OK? XO

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    1. I really should send it to her - I thought of her, for sure. I hope you got some sleep - especially after the party.

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  5. wow! lots of travel! I ADORE the tree! I also love all the photos! Your kids are great sports! THey really take to all the change when you think about it! Pretty cool! Have fun with all the extra travel!

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    1. You made me stop and think there. They do adapt, don't they? I think it helps that we're pretty much always together when we travel. No separation.

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    2. Iguess Im thinking all shrinky but I think they are adapting constantly, especially considering the school bus anxiety in the beginning... this will be a great thing to reflect back on about not having to be in your own environment to have fun.

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  6. Yay travel!!!
    I have only spent 4 hours in New Orleans. Loved it. Someday I'll go back, and now I know it's a good place to take kids, so thanks!
    I have a thing for trees, too. You captured one of my favorites.
    Love the photos of the kids.

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    1. Trees are perfect. You and your kids would have a BALL in NO.

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  7. Of all the places that I want to go in the US, that is probably one of the top places. Seriously. It looks like so much fun. I love your little traveler. What a doll. All business that face.
    And the food!!
    I could totally do without the two headed snake though. Yup. You can't wash that out of your memory.

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    1. Seriously still gives me the fantods. Horrifying. You can have a grand time in NOLA. Without kids, too. :)

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  8. Awwwwh it looks like you had SUCH fun. And I'd love to meet the two headed snake and walk along a road where the trees drip garlands of Mardi Gras jewels :D Beautiful pictures, and LOVELY summer plans. I hope they all go swimmingly.

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    1. The beads made me think of you, Lizzi. They seemed right up your sparklytwinkly alley. Don't you worry: you'll hear all about our travels. :)

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  9. I liked the penguins and the piranhas (not together)
    you have a gift for stimulating visuals! lol ( "Battle Royale!! the tuxedoes versus the sneering teeth! ")

    … hey! Utah!! Bonnevile Salt Flats!! ya gotta go! If for no other reason than you will feel that 'hey! I was there' when you see about 90% of car and car-related photos on the TV

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    1. I had to go look up the salt flats. I know almost nothing about Utah. I kinda figure I'll figure out what there is to do once we arrive.

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  10. Fantastic pictures! I especially love the ones of Maggie on the streetcar and Leo in the pool.
    I've never been to NOLA. I am not a fan of crowds, and I always think of it as a crowded place full of drunks. You have proven otherwise.
    You could not get me to eat crawfish. We used to dig crawdaddies out of the ditch with a stick and watch them walk backwards on the sidewalk. I also had a fine collection of pinchers that my brother told me was because two crawdads got in a fight and that was all that was left. Probably a lie.
    Is that sphaghnum moss hanging from the awesome tree? My mom used to tell me my hair looked like sphagnum moss when I was a kid at the pool.

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    1. Oh, I detest crowds. Now that I think about it, I think maybe that's why we had such a good time--so few crowds! I think it must have been that we were doing our sightseeing mid-week. And it's not Mardi Gras, of course.
      I LOVE crawfish. I grew up going to crawfish boils--like low country boils, but with crawfish.
      I had to look up sphagnum moss to see what it was. I think this moss is Spanish moss, though.

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  11. Wow, glad you had a great trip to NOLA. I wish I could go some day. :)

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  12. sounds like you are having a great start to your summer .. a lot of traveling and your pics are wonderful.. I'm not a crowd person so New Orleans was not in my radar to visit but lately I've been thinking that I'd like to visit and just focus on the food - an actual food crawl...OK maybe a food and drink crawl. :)

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    1. OOooh, I'm not a crowd person either, but it wasn't Mardi Gras so it was just fine. In fact, because we were sightseeing on weekdays, it was really uncrowded.

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  13. I may be going to NOLA later in the fall. And I would be up for all these 'kid friendly' activities!

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  14. I love New Orleans! My Grandmother grew up there and one of my favorite things ever was her taking me there and showing me around. We did the zoo and aquarium on my second trip there, they are amazing.
    Asheville is beautiful too, and I've always wanted to go to Utah. I have heard Bryce Canyon is a must see!

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    1. I'm really excited about the UT trip. Going to NOLA with a native sounds perfect! I bet it was a wonderful trip.

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