Monday, September 2, 2013

Back to School Trip to New Orleans

It was a whirlwind but our little weekend family getaway to New Orleans was a LOT of fun!  We left straight from carline Friday, had dinner in Brookhaven and pulled into the Windsor Court with two tired boys.  Jeff scored us a deal of a beautiful suite--possibly the nicest room I've ever stayed in--and the extra room was so nice.

We were up bright and early to hit Cafe du Monde Saturday morning.  We were literally the first people seated so we could beat the rush (Y'all know this planner is on a SCHEDULE!) and the boys loved it!  Preston was eating hunks of powdered sugar...right up his alley!  Then, we headed to the St. Charles streetcar to ride to the Audubon Zoo.  It was, of course, the boys first streetcar ride--and John Cole was saying "streetcar" by the time we left today. Smart boy!

The zoo was HOT but FUN!  Many thanks to Katie C for telling me we definitely needed to hit the Splash park inside the zoo.  The boys wore their suits and then changed after at least an hour of nonstop water fun.  This is a MUST DO if you are in New Orleans with kids.  I was wearing my workout clothes and got SOAKED but it actually felt great.  We did all of the attractions there--dino exhibit, train, carousel, etc.  but were done around 2:30.  It took well over an hour on the streetcar/bus to get to the zoo so we took a cab home.  John Cole enjoyed his first cab ride!

We were all hot and gross so we decided to hit the pool before dinner.  The Windsor Court pool isn't exactly designed for the toddler set, but as you can imagine the boys were entertaining EVERYONE there.  After a while we decided to get ready for a family dinner out.

Our meal at Drago's was pretty good.  Preston LOVED his fried catfish.  (I think he was starving....) Jeff and I really enjoyed our grilled oysters.  After dinner we strolled around the Quarter (not going too far in!) and then had some Pinkberry for dessert.

Sunday morning we had my favorite meal of the trip at a little place called The Ruby Slipper.  Maybe this is the delicious mimosa talking--but it was a great breakfast!! I was so proud of Preston's choice of oatmeal when he could have had anything on the menu.  Jeff and I both had delicious omelets with shrimp and cheddar cheese (NO CALS THERE!) and we polished them off.

We were at the Butterfly Garden when it opened.  This attraction is also a MUST SEE!  Of course, Preston loves, loves, loves bugs but I really think kids of all ages would really enjoy.  And the butterfly garden was one of the neatest things I've ever seen!  We all had butterflies sit on our shoulders and they were just beautiful.  We will go back :)

Next we hit the Aquarium.  Don't get me wrong--it was fun.  But it was SUPER crowded and the boys were both just kind of overstimulated at this point.  We saw most everything...but quickly and in the midst of LOTS of people.

We had lunch at the first place we saw without a wait that was kid friendly-lol-because we were starving.  We were kind of talking about the rest of our day and Preston had seen a sign for a Swamp Tour and he REALLY wanted to go.  So we got on the list and headed back to the room for a brief siesta.

I was skeptical about the swamp tour....but it really was fun.  And luckily John Cole was hot and tired so he wasn't trying to jump out of the boat.  Or maybe(more likely!) God was smiling down and was helping us out. We saw four alligators up VERY close and even learned a few things along the way.  Preston of course enjoyed driving the boat.  We did the "Cajun Encounter" if you ever want to try one out let me know I can fill you in :)

Sooooo, long story short it took a LONG time to get back to the Quarter, so the kids had McDonald's and Jeff and I had room service Sunday night.  Yep, room service for dinner.  Too late to take the kids out plus we all smelled like swamp.  It was actually quite relaxing....

We had one more delicious breakfast this morning at The Fleur de Lis cafe, saw the 3D Shark movie at the IMAX (which was quite good), did a little shopping at the Shops on Canal then headed home.  I know we will treasure these family memories always....

**Prayer request**
I won't go into gory details but my Gran is suffering from C. Diff and is in the hospital in Alexandria.  Please pray the Flagyl gets the bacteria under control and she can begin to gain her strength back.  She is very weak.

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