Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fat Tuesday on a Wednesday

Well, I guess it's appropriate that I document our trip to New Orleans on Ash Wednesday since yesterday was Fat Tuesday which is the end (and the main event) of the big Mardi Gras Celebrations. Which means Mardi Gras is literally an eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we will repent kind of celebration.  Therefore, it's the type of party we try to avoid, especially when we bring our almost two year old along for our trip.  So we thought we would be safe going to New Orleans on February 19-24.  Little did we know that Mardi Gras celebrations and parades start much earlier than just Fat Tuesday so we actually got to see some of the parades and I'm sure the much more family friendly version of Mardi Gras.  I'm not going to lie, it was a lot of fun!

Michael had meetings near Baton Rouge most of the week and Adelaide and I joined him on Wednesday.  The weather was remarkable (except for a brief tornado watch for some of the area.)  We toured a beautiful plantation called Houmas House.  The gardens and the house and the neighboring Mississippi River and the history and an amazing tour guide made this tour absolutely worth it.  The house is still lived in today so we were able to walk through and touch many things that would normally be roped off in other houses.  Including a Steinway Piano built in 1905 that is only one in fifty left in the whole world.  Our tour guide was telling us about the amazing beauty and features of the piano and asked if anyone played the piano.  My hand shot up in the air.  (If I'm given an opportunity to play on an extremely rare, historic piano, you bet I'm not missing my chance!)  There was some sheet music on the piano so I started playing that and then our tour guide joined right in singing along the rest of the piece.  It was epic.  During the intro, I made sure Michael was documenting it.  Our little girl was a bit restless so she didn't allow him to record it, but it was so so so fun!

We stayed a couple night just outside of New Orleans where a supplier had invited Michael to their New Orleans parade  and party set up.  It was incredible.  They had a trolley take us to the parade route where they had a private stand next to the street.  They had beads, food, hot chocolate, cake, and drinks. We enjoyed playing and catching some beads at the parades.  Laila loved waving hi to everyone.

Finally, we stayed one night in downtown New Orleans with a view of the parade route from our hotel room!  We walked around French Quarters, Bourbon Street (before 4 PM we were told is the safest g-rated time), along the river and enjoyed a really big New Orleans parade.  It was raining on and off throughout the day and the poor people in the parade were soaked.  Half way through the parade it started pouring again and by then everyone was soaking, but they just kept marching on!  We had so many beads and stuffed animals by the end of the parade. Laila loved all the stuffed animals she got and her "pitty neck-aces" (Pretty necklaces)

(I think Laila's dress-up jewelry is set for life!)
Before our flight we took a walking tour around the Garden District which was so picturesque.  We walked through a New Orleans style cemetery and learned some fascinating facts about them.  Then we saw many incredible homes in the area including Sandra Bullock's, John Goodman's, the Manning's, and Nicholas Cage's (former) homes.  It was so interesting! Laila loved being in charge of the map and taking the trolley!

^Cutest tourist ever! 

 ^ Sandra Bullock's home

 ^John Goodman's
 ^Manning's (Michael's Favorite)

^Nicholas Cage's before he foreclosed

Monday night we had quite the trip home due to our United flight out of New Orleans making us (and at least 13 others) miss our connecting flight for no apparent reason.  Don't worry, our luggage definitely made it onto the flight but we all got to wait three hours for the next flight. Meaning we didn't land in Phoenix until midnight.  That was not so fun but thankfully, it didn't offset the rest of the fun we had while in Louisiana.  We loved the history, the charm, and learning more about the culture.  It was a great trip and I'm glad we got to go.


  1. I love seeing all the homes!! I have to agree, she is the cutest tourist!

  2. SO MUCH FUN! You guys have had some awesome vacations. So glad you get to follow your hubby on his trips. Now…post more home stuff???? ;)

  3. Those house are beautiful! I wouldn't mind living in one of those. I've never been to the south and it sounds like so much fun. Glad you had a great time

  4. By the look on her face, Laila sure loves those beads! I didn't realize some of those celebrities had houses in New Orleans. It looks like a fun trip!

  5. I really want to go to NOLA! It is kind of driving distance from TX, but I don't know if I'd stand that many hours in the car. For some reason, the story of that place fascinates me!

  6. The ninth picture down is my favorite - it's darling! And wow! I'd agree that she's set as far as dress up jewelry goes, hahaha!