Monday, June 11, 2012

New Orleans

Jason and his friend (except I really refer to him as his boyfriend) Brent, both turn 30 this year! So, Tara (Brent's wife), thought it would be fun to surprise them both with a trip/joint birthday celebration. We managed to plan most of the trip without telling them about it, but we both eventually caved and told them. They were so excited! Jason and Brent have a serious "bromance." I sometimes feel threatened... just kidding. Anyway, Since they live in Texas and we're here in Alabama, there aren't many vacation hot spots between us besides New Orleans, it's pretty much the only place we could think of to go that wouldn't require plane tickets. In May Jason got a couple of weeks off of school between the end of Spring semester and the beginning of Summer semester, so it was the perfect time to make the trip. We had so much fun! New Orleans is kind of a ridiculous place for young Mormon families with 4 kids under the age of 2 to go... but we just embraced it and enjoyed every minute! 
Jason and Brent woke up early and played racquet ball everyday, we also went to the park so they could throw the football, hit pop flies, etc... all the stuff boys love to do but never have enough time for.  The rest of the trip seemed to revolve around food. There's just so many unique foods that New Orleans is famous for. Of course we had to try everything! Anyway, here are the pics:
 Eli liked Tucker's cowboy boots.
Unfortunately this was our only trip to the pool. It rained most of our trip.
 Eli was kind of a wuss, last year he loved the pool but this year he was scared and wouldn't get in. Every time we tried to put him in he cried.
Daddy and baby bug, she loved the water!
 Tucker trying to show Eli the ropes... Eli did eventually get in and has since mastered all fear of water. He dives in when I'm not even watching! It's scary.
Ha ha! Fearless!
 The famous Cafe Du Monde. All tourists must go here to eat beignets. Except, we realized you can get way tastier beignets at other (less touristy) places.
These were still really good though!
 Kyah-Lynn and Austen loved their beignets!
 Boiled crawfish. Also, YUMMY! You maybe have to be an adventurous eater to enjoy some of the food in New Orleans.
We had no idea how to eat a crawfish, so this guy was nice enough to give us a quick tutorial. 
Atta girl!

We did a horse-drawn carriage and cemetery tour:
 The cemeteries are all above ground because New Orleans is technically below sea level. They are pretty neat and definitely have some creepy stories. For instance, the one above on the left had all these XXX marks on it and random stuff left there as "offerings." I guess the tomb belongs to a Pagan Goddess or something? Our tour guide told a lot of crazy ghost stories, he kept saying "We have ghosts in this town like termites, it's ridiculous!" Ha ha. He literally said it 5 times throughout the tour, we couldn't get over it. Maybe you had to be there?
 Look alive kids! Is it even possible to get a decent family picture with young children?
We thought if the carriage went down Bourbon street then we could say we'd been there without actually having to "go" there.
 It was a little bit shocking!
 Kyah's got her thumb in her mouth! In fact, she has now almost completely converted from her binky.
 Irene's for dinner. Our carriage tour guide recommended this place and I'll admit it was good but honestly, don't take children there.
 Teri, if you read this blog, Jason took this picture for you. Apparently this is your favorite place? And PS, Dale's gumbo was not matched on this trip!
A pretty site that I don't remember the name of.
The boys loved this fire truck!
 The next day we at breakfast at the Ruby Slipper, it was so good! 
The food!
 Sometimes maybe, just maybe, I put some Coke in Eli's sippy cup in order for me to enjoy my dining experiences. Tucker saw Eli drinking Coke and wanted some, too, so I let him him borrow Eli's cup for a little while. Brent was not too happy that I used my bad parenting tactics on his child... but Tucker really liked the Coke! Maybe they were both a little bit hyper later...

Not happy.
Look at Tucker in the corner downing every last drop of that coke! It's a little bit funny, right?
 City Park was an awesome place! They had a little amusement park for kids and huge open grass areas where Jason and Brent got to play catch. Unfortunately, it started pouring rain so we weren't able to stay as long as we would have liked, but the time we did get to spen was a lot of fun.
That's pretty cute!
 Kyah doesn't like baby Mum-Mums, but if we give her a packet of them unopened, she will chew on them all day. And this particular day, she chewed on this packet for at least 5 hours.
 Enjoying another fire truck! Eli didn't want to leave this truck, every time we tried to move on to a different thing, he cried to go back to the truck.
I haven't actually been on a big slide like that since I was little. It was kind of scary!
 Notice she's still got her Mum-Mums packet!
Playing baseball in the rain.
I have to say traveling with Tucker was awesome. I want to borrow him for all of our trips! He and Eli played so well together, it made our jobs as parents a piece of cake!
 Oysters on the half shell.
The little ladies.
 I gave Kyah some of the bread from my Po-Boy, she loved it and as you can see, made quite a big mess!
As I said, these boys played great together. We were all just hanging out in the hotel room and we look over and saw they had both climbed in the stroller all by themselves!

That's all! It was such a fun trip, we ate so much food the whole drive home Jason and I kept talking about how much we needed to go on a diet the next day... unfortunately, of fortunately (depending on how you look at it) we were all greeted with an awful case of the stomach bug the day after we got home! Not only did we forget about going on a diet, I am proud to say that after 7 months, I finally reached, actually no, I exceeded my pre-pregnancy weight! Well, for like a week until I gained it all back. Ha, but still!