Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Being a tourist in our (new) hometown

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of family visits! We got to play tour guides, first to my parents and then Marie, and show them our favorite spots and the famous tourist ones too.

Saturday October 6

First up was a swamp tour on a pontoon boat. The first one we went on, 3 years ago, was the Cajun Critters Swamp Tour and we liked the guide so much that we always use him when we go. We placed guesses as to how many alligators we'd see. Greyson won with his guess of 10 - we saw 9. This time of year they are slowing down as they are getting ready to hibernate. We also saw a TON of birds!

After we finished the tour we headed to Parkway for po'boys. Parkway has served po'boys since they were invented in the 1920's to feed the striking street car conductors.

Then it was on to City Park where we rode the minature train around to get a look at the park.

We then headed to Old New Orleans Rum Distillery for a tour that we had bought for a good deal on LivingSocial. We learned lots of interesting facts about rum distilling and New Orleans info. My kids were the only kids on the tour. They seem to get quite the education on adult topics!

Sunday October 7

We started out the morning by attending services at St Luke's UMC. Then we hopped on a street car to take us to the French Quarter for lunch at El Gato Negro. Yum!

Then we meandered over to the Old US Mint. We bought a Louisiana State Museum membership, but this museum is now free! The first floor has displays and information from when the building was used as a US Mint. The second floor has a display on Preservation Hall and New Orleans Music.

We then headed to Jackson Square since that is the most recognizable French Quarter spot. We thought we'd get beignets, but the line for Cafe Du Monde was down the street! So we headed to Johnny's for ice cream.

We caught the trolley home and cooked out for dinner after the kiddies swam at Grandma & Grandpa's hotel.

Monday October 8

We went to Oak Alley Plantation for the first time. And it was definitely worth it! The alley of 300 year old Live Oaks was amazing and everyone enjoyed touring the Big House. We ate lunch at the restaurant and all the adults enjoyed mint julips and burbon twists.

We ate dinner that night down the street from our house at Lakeview Brew which has great sandwiches, as well as salads & soup.

Tuesday October 9

Grant had been sick the night before, so the kiddies and my mom and I mostly hung around the house. We did take a little time to go over to City Park and play on the playground and tour the Sculpture Garden. Alex took my dad on a tour of projects he works on.

Dinner was my favorite restaurant Dick & Jenny's. The first time Alex and I went there was for our 10th anniversary. I almost always get the appitizer sampler for dinner and have the ice cream cookie sandwich for dessert! I have never been disappointed with their eclectic food.

My parents left the next morning but it wasn't long until my sister Marie arrived!

Saturday October 13

We ate dinner at The Velvet Cactus which serves Mexican food. Yummy dinner and yummy drinks! We then headed over to City Park and saw a wedding taking place as well as other special events set up.

Sunday October 14

Again we took the trolley downtown and this time we headed to the Audubon Aquarium and then on to the Insectarium. I've always enjoyed the Insectarium because it's so different! There are not many places you can go to see and learn about bugs. Plus Marie and I sampled cookies and candy with bugs in them! We then walked to the other end of the French Quarter and ate at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen.

Monday October 15

Monday was my first day of work and the kiddies went back to school, so we didn't get to spend as much time together. But as soon as I got home Marie and I went out for frozen yogurt - YUM! After picking up the kiddies from school we ate at Theo's Pizza. Yep, with kids you end up eating pizza a lot! We like Theo's because of the yummy toppings they have!

Tuesday October 16

Again with the work and school ;) That day Marie and I got Creole Creamery Ice Cream when I got home.
It was also Alex & my anniversary so Marie volunteered to watch the kids. We went to Ralph's on the Park across from - you guessed it - City Park, for an adult dinner. Marie & the kiddies had Magazine Pizza.

Wednesday October 17

I don't work on Wednesdays, so Marie and I were off to do some of what she calls "lower-48 shopping." We stocked up on Halloween goodies at World Market, and holiday scents at Bath and Body Works and had lunch at our favorite chain - Jimmy John's! The kiddies had a half day of school, so after we picked them up we headed to the Audubon Zoo to check out our favorite animals. For dinner we went to DatDog, a restaurant we were introduced to by our friend Katy. Lots of different kinds of 'hotdogs' with lots of yummy topings! Marie and I topped the evening off with a visit to The Columns Hotel for drinks.