Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Deep South Weekend

This past weekend, the three of us ventured out of Texas and into the Deep South. (For those of you who aren't aware, Texas isn't really considered a 'southern' state in these parts, it's just, Texas. It's when you head east of us, you enter the true South - the Deep South).

After our weekend, I now see the distinction between the Deep South and Texas. Don't get me wrong, Texas has its crazies, but you get that anywhere you go!

We were incredibly honored when our friends, Margie and Paul, asked us to be godparents to their daughter, Taylor. Paul is stationed in Mississippi, so we decided to make the most of the drive and make a stop in New Orleans (aka 'NOLA'), since E. J. nor myself had ever been there. So we pulled out of the driveway at 5:50 a.m. Friday morning and safely made it to New Orleans by 2 p.m.

Louisiana is different in every sense of the word. The people, the landscape, the Cajun accents, and even the roads (the story goes that the Federal Government withheld funding for highway maintenance because Louisiana did not raise their drinking age from 18 to 21 until 1996. The National Drinking Age Act was passed in 1984. From my very light research, this seems to be true).
Driving over a bayou
Once we arrived in New Orleans, we got comfortable in our hotel and soon after packed up all of our belongings to move to a different room. E. J. discovered that the toilet wasn't properly bolted to the floor. Whoops! It was a little annoying moving to a different room, however, the hotel gave us free passes to their breakfast buffet for the next morning, so well worth it in the end!
Checking out the views
Margie and Paul were so sweet to drive to New Orleans to meet us for dinner. I forgot to take a picture of our dinner, but it was a huge plate of fried seafood deliciousness - crabs, catfish, shrimp (lots of shrimp), crawfish dressing balls which were very tasty, and french fries. E. J., Kathryn, and myself shared it and ate the entire thing. Yum! If you're ever in NOLA, I recommend Deanies Seafood! (This is coming from a person who didn't like seafood until about 5 years ago.)

After dinner we walked around to explore The French Quarter. Nothing says inappropriate quite like pushing your child down Bourbon Street (even at 6:30 p.m.) as she dances to the music pumping out of the strip clubs, as strippers are coming out of the clubs to lure customers in. Yeah...

Seriously, we looked like conservative Puritans right out of the history books compared the how some were dressed (or not dressed).
Picture kindly taken by a happy drunk lady
It was like no place I have ever been. I can't even begin to imagine what the scene looked like later in the evening.

We made a special stop to Cafe Du Monde. This was one of my must-go places as it's famous for it's beignets, which did not disappoint! Thankfully we went Friday night because the line Saturday morning was at least an hour to get in!
Beignet's are french doughnuts with lots of powered sugar sprinkled on top. DIVINE! I also got a sweet frozen coffee concoction (cafe' au lait), also delish. Great experience!
Miss Independent wanted to be at her own table
Back at our hotel and K giving Taylor her gifts
(she had been talking about giving her gifts for a week!)
Saturday morning we enjoyed our (free!) breakfast compliments of the Omni Hotel!
Who doesn't love a free breakfast?!
And then we ventured out for a 5-mile walk around the French Quarter. The architecture in New Orleans was really beautiful.
Kathryn got a lollipop from a robot street performer
Trying out her lollipop
One last walk down Bourbon St (trash everywhere from Friday night partying)
Just so we can say we had a drink on Bourbon St, E. J. got the famous 'Hurricane' and I got a margarita daiquiri. Kathryn opted for a nap on Bourbon St.
We packed up Saturday afternoon and headed to Margie and Paul's house Mississippi.
I die when I see her in this backpack full of neat toys that the hotel gave her
When we arrived in Mississippi we got to hang out with Margie and Paul and even see where Margie works. Talk about a pretty commute along the Gulf.
I hope these girls become great friends, especially when Margie and Paul move back to TX!
We went to Taylor's beautiful baptism service on Sunday.
Taylor was as cute as can be!
After a delicious lunch, we said our goodbye's and prepped for our 500 mile journey home. Thankfully, Kathryn did great with the ride. Thanks for the great hospitality, Margie and Paul!

Of course, we brought some of the comforts of home for the ride and sleeping at night.
Although our trip was a long one, it was filled with fun memories. In total, our three days of traveling = 18 hours and 21 minutes in the truck, which was 1,034 miles. It was good to be back home, but I'm so glad we got to share that time together.

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