Sunday, August 29, 2010

NOLA Part 3

On Wednesday (free day!) we went to The New Orleans Museum of Art with Mom and Bill.

I'm not sure if you're
supposed to climb on this sculpture. There were no signs indicating you shouldn't. And they were determined - took them a while to figure out how to do it.

Outside in the sculpture garden.

The next morning I left the boys at home with Mom, picked up Rick at the coffee shop (where I think everyone knows his name; Norm:Cheers::Rick:coffee shop), and headed to Dina and Dean's to meet Baby Elliana. (We did get to eat dinner with Rick, Jo Ann, and Kathryn the night before, but no picture proof.) And here she is!

Considering these were taken almost two months ago, she's probably doubled in size now.

After a nice visit, I dropped Rick off at home, headed to Mom's for lunch, then headed out again with the boys to meet Ellen and her kids at Edward and Rebecca's. We walked a couple blocks up Magazine to a new frozen yogurt shop, and it was tasty. Alas, I didn't get the camera out before Ellen went home with little Rebecca (not so little anymore), Georgia, and Jack. So, I played the will-you-please-email-me-a-picture-of-your-adorable-children card again, this time with Ellen. Thank you, Ellen!

did get a parting shot of Edward and Rebecca with Andy and Sam. I was pregnant with Sam the last time I saw them, over five years ago; time flies. It was good to see them.

We returned to "Christmas in July" at Mom's house. Earlier Mom, Andy, and Sam were making Christmas ornaments. At some point one of the boys lost interest and lamented that it didn't
feel like Christmas. So out came a tree, on which hung the newly made ornaments, carols on the stereo, some lights, and, to quote "I'll Be Home for Christmas", by the time we made it back from our Uptown visit, there were presents on the tree.

Mom and Bill.
Auntie Claire and Andy figuring out his new game.

Jay (Claire's boyfriend) helping Sam assemble his car.

Join us next time, when we'll explore our quick trip over to Lake Jackson and Victoria!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Orleans Highlights - Part 2

While in New Orleans, we drove over to Abita Springs to visit the Insta-Gator Alligator Ranch and Hatchery.

The first hands-on experience.

Andy and a turtle.
After an introduction and some background information (for example, did you know that all alligator eggs hatch in September?), we were brought to the area where the alligators grow up, en masse, and we fed them marshmallows.

Better angle if you turn your snout.

Lots of gators!
Andy, Sam, Emma, and Sophie holding a gator! (With its mouth taped shut.)

We then visited the baby gator tank, where for a mere $5 more per person you could pick up live baby alligators. Here are Mom and Sam picking one up, tail first as instructed.

Andy with one, and Emma behind him about to pull one out.

Sophie, Sam, and Emma.

Emma, Tanya, Sophie, and Bill, with Andy on the left.

After the alligators, we visited the UCM Museum (aka the Abita Mystery House). This place houses the most unusual array of miniature scenes, knick knacks, paint-by-numbers, and more than you can imagine, tucked into every nook and cranny, and has a great little gift shop to boot. Next time you're in the area, have a visit!

This hymnal-made-angel caught my eye.

Andy was fascinated with the rotary dial phone.

The Hot Sauce House, which probably had every hot sauce known to man neatly arranged inside.
Tanya beneath a ceiling of keyboards.

I had never seen a soft-shell turtle before. The owner of the museum, John, came out to bring the kids some food to feed to the turtles.

See how big he is compared to the plain ole' box turtle? He's big and flat, like a pancake. A turtle pancake.
We topped the day off with a swim at the pool at Mom's gym in Slidell.

Whew! Long day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Orleans Highlights - Part 1

Andy, Sam and I traveled down South at the beginning of July, and had a great time visiting with family and friends. We weren't able to see everyone that I would have liked, but I think we did our best with the time we had. The first place we headed after Mom picked us up at the airport was Morning Call for beignets (at eleven at night). And the last thing we ate before Dad took us to the airport were beignets at the Cafe du Monde in Metairie (or is that Kenner?). I have pictures of neither occasion, but thought I'd let you know where our priorities were.

The first day we visited the New Orleans Children's Museum. Here are Mom and the boys swinging on the porch of Mister Rogers' house.

Andy and Sam scaling the Mississippi River ferry.

Driving the street car....

and a tug boat.
Sam posing as Andrew Jackson in front of St. Louis Cathedral.

And Andy serving some food at the cafe.

My hand on the plasma globe.

We then cooled ourselves off with a snowball. Thanks, Mom!

AND Claire treated us to some ice cream after dinner that night. Thank you, Auntie Claire!

Otto was even able to hop over and join us for a couple days because of a conference in Houston. Yay! Him and Dad enjoying their tasty treats.

The next day we headed to the amusement rides at City Park.

Having fun on the carousel.

Riding the train around the park.

The skyline from the Ferris Wheel. Very pretty!

It was Sam's first ride on a Ferris Wheel! He held my hand and made me feel better when we came up and over the top. :o)

Then the kids played in the nice new fountains in the park, complete with gardens, a beautiful lawn, and lots of big double-sided bench swings.

The fountain was kicking Sophie's long hair up in this shot.

A couple days later we were able to have lunch with Kim, Lupe, Isaac, Nathan, and Gabriel, who were on their way from Texas to move to Georgia. We had a yummy lunch at Deanie's, then a short walkabout. I thought we could walk over and see Lake Pontchartrain, but it proved difficult/perilous, so we settled with checking out the 17th street canal instead. And a parting shot next to a pretty crepe myrtle. (It had been so long since I'd seen one, I forgot what it was called!)

It was the 4th of July, and that evening we headed to Zephyr Stadium to catch a ballgame.

There were fireworks after the game, AND the kids were able to run the bases. Here they were running home!

We also saw our friends Nicole, Wayne, Sullivan, and Harrison at the game for a bit, but had a longer visit the next day at their house. Here are the boys posing with the inlaid street names at the corner by their house.

So I took a picture of their corner, but forgot to take pictures of them. Nicole graciously gave me permission to use this cute picture from her collection.

And more to come later....