Tuesday, June 10, 2008

5 year anniversary trip to New Orleans!

*** WARNING: this is a LONG post but I wanted to journal all my details so I know what happened when I look at this years down the road!!

*** All of our Baton Rouge and New Orleans pictures are posted on our family photo website if you're interested: http://www.neilkathrynclaire.shutterfly.com/action/

Neil and I had our first big trip by ourselves this past weekend and it was so much fun!! When we first got together, I was going to school in Baton Rouge so BR and New Orleans are both very important to us and we get pretty nostalgic about them. It's where Neil first told me he loved me, where we spent our first Valentine's Day together, where he proposed to me, where we got our first cat together, our first Mardi Gras experience together and many more wonderful memories!! It was the perfect place to be celebrating our 5 year anniversary this month! Time sure flies but we're enjoying every minute and so grateful for where we are in our lives right now.

So many people take trips to visit the sights and visit people and even though our main priority was to visit our good friends Beth and James, the trip was really about eating good food at all the places I remembered!! So we left SA on Friday and got to Houston for lunch at Raising Cane's - one of our favorite fast food places from Baton Rouge that I've actually posted about before. They only serve chicken fingers and they are the best you've ever had! We're anxiously waiting for them to make it to SA.

Then we were on the road with torrential rain and all. We got to the LSU campus just before sunset to see how different the campus has changed in such a short time. They now have beautiful apartments in place of my old dorm - Graham - the oldest dorm on campus. Also known as "Ghetto Graham" but it was home to me for 2 years and I was a little sad to see it torn down. After finding a cute LSU outfit for Claire, we were off to another on of my favorite places to eat in BR - Chimes! It's a bar with great food right on the corner of campus and everyone loves it. While Marie and I were freshman without cars, I remember many Friday or Sat. nights when we'd get dressed up and walk to Chimes to "go out" before we rented a movie to watch back in our dorm room. We were wild and crazy cats!!

We finally arrived in New Orleans that night and visited with Beth and James till we passed out from all our travels. Saturday it was up a lot later than usual (8:00) to get a start on our French Quarter visit. We started at our favorite place in New Orleans for breakfast: Cafe Du Monde. We enjoyed beignets and Cafe Au Lait while listening to a trumpet play Neil's favorite hymn, The Old Rugged-Cross.

Then it was off to walk the streets on the quarter and do some window shopping. We went to the market where we found a cute bracelet for Claire with her name on it. We also found a really unique Christmas Ornament at a store I'd never been to next to the market. We liked the store a lot because it wasn't the touristy places with the t-shirts, magnets and snow globes but one full of pottery and original art. Then we went down to the cathedral and Jackson Square to catch a narrated carriage ride that was the best I'd ever had!

We watched this artist while we waited for our carriage to fill up. Neil didn't notice the "no photos" sign until after he took the picture. Oops!

Us on the carriage ride - I really love this picture! We look so in love - even after 5 years of marriage!

After our carriage ride it was off to lunch at The Market Cafe with Beth. This was the first restaurant Neil and I ate at together in New Orleans when we had only been dating about 6 weeks. We shared a yummy muffelatta and had a chance to catch up with Beth. James drove to meet us too but he got stuck in a traffic jam so we were done eating by the time he drove by to get his food to go.

Saturday night we just hung out! Beth and I went to another one of my favorite places, CC's Coffee and lost track of time. When James called to check on us it had already been about 2 1/2 hours since we left the house! It was great to relax and just talk while enjoying my favorite drink, an Irish Cream Mocha. Now I really wish they would make their way to Texas because they would kick Starbuck's butt in the coffee house business.

Sunday Neil and I slept in till 9:30 a.m.!!! It is the longest both of us has slept in for a REALLY long time!! It felt great but we were supposed to be out the door by 10 so it was a quick get ready. We got to Copeland's, another LA favorite of mine, for brunch and I got my favorite appetizer in the world: spinach artichoke dip with fried bow-tie pasta. It is SO YUMMY!! Not really a brunch food item but Beth reminded me that I can have whatever I want and the whole reason to go there was for that dish! It was so good and well worth it.

Before we left town on Sunday the four of us went to an IMAX film about Katrina and the diminishing wetlands. This was taken by the aquarium on the Mississippi River.

We left shortly to drive back to Houston to break up our long drive. It was a wonderful trip and even with gas at $3.85 it was worth it!! Not sure when we'll get back there again but a great way to celebrate our anniversary.

Now many of you are wondering "Where was Claire while you were off in Sin City?" and she was in good hands my parents on Friday and Saturday and Neil's parent's house on Sunday and Monday morning. She had a blast but was glad to see me when I walked in to pick her up. She loved her bracelet and broke her snow globe on the tile floor 2 minutes after I gave it to her! She's still adjusting from spoiled-grandparents time and can't wait for us to leave her again. Honestly, it was very hard for us to leave her. It was actually harder than we thought it was going to be. We were both teary leaving her behind and called about 6 times a day on Fri. and Sat. We know we needed the time away as a couple but it makes you realize just how much you love being a mommy and a daddy too. She even looked different when I picked her up and was saying things I've never heard her say before. Oh I'm so glad to be back with her!

1 comment:

Anya said...

FYI...Cane's is now in the San Antonio airport!