Friday, July 31, 2009

274 Girl's Weekend 2009 - NOLA

I can't believe I actually did it. I managed to leave the kids for a weekend. I didn't even cry, although it was close when Connor refused to let go of my shirt and clung to me like a monkey. Katie was just excited that her Mimi and Pop Pop were coming up to stay for a few days, and it didn't phase her too much that Mommy would be gone. And Chip? I am pretty sure that he was not looking forward to being the sole parent for a night, but he managed not to cry.

Andrea and I loaded up the minivan, and we headed South! We brought along movies, but they never made it into the DVD player (well, not on the ride down at least). We spent the ride between Memphis and Oxford getting caught up and laughing ... A LOT. In Oxford we made our first pick-up. We were just in time to see little Molls and give JoeB a hug before we added Julie into the van and headed even further South. Just north of Jackson, MS we made our second and final pick up. We got to see Tracy's new house (which is gorgeous) and admire Anna Catherine's closet (which is huge) and give all our Crawford's big hugs! Then we loaded up the rest of the stuff and headed off on the final leg of our trip to NOLA!! We talked and laughed our way all the way down. Its a good thing since we didn't make it to Katy's until about 2AM, and all the laughing kept me awake. And of course we couldn't fall into bed until we had all talked and laughed for about an hour. Suffice it to say, there was A LOT of talking and laughing all weekend long.

We had to be up and out of the house on Friday so someone could come by and do a home inspection, and where else are we gonna go in New Orleans than to the French Market!? On the way we had to drive down some of the Mardi Gras parade routes and I just love how all of the trees are wearing beads.

We grabbed lunch at The New Orleans Cafe.

Several of us bought prints from this shop. Julie bought enough to decorate the soffets in her kitchen.
And then ... on the way back to the car, we passed a Margaritaville! And of course, we were hot and tired and in need of a nice cold drink! Some of these pics are from Tracy and Julie, you can tell which ones because I am actually in them)

On the way back to our cars we had to pass back by the Dutch Alley Artist's Co-op. If you get a chance to go in, you really must. AMAZING artists!! You can also follow the link to check out their online site. I couldn't afford an original, but I did get a print from one of my favorite artists, Terry Schwall.

New Orleans is (was) the home of Jax Beer. Several of my online friends have taken to referring to me simply as Jax, so I had to take a picture of this sign.

We met one of our college buddies and his fiancee at a little bar Friday night. I did not take the big camera in the bar, so all of these pictures are courtesy of Tracy and Julie.

One of the women at the bar came over and offered to take a picture of our whole group. Not out of the kindness of her heart, but because she kept mistaking the camera flashes as police car lights.
And then, we took our old, exhausted selves to Dot's Diner. The coffee was hot and .... well, it was open.
The food left a bit to be desired, but after a few drinks it tasted pretty good. The big hit of the night was the bottle of butter. Oh yeah, you read that right, a BOTTLE of butter (think mustard and ketchup squirt bottles). I did not have a use for it, but I am sure it would have been very handy. *shudder*
On Saturday we needed to go pick up Riley from cheer camp. Katy hesitantly told us they would be doing a little demonstration of what they learned if we wanted to go. OF COURSE WE WANTED TO GO! One of the best things about these girls is that we not only love each other, but we love each others kids. You couldn't have kept us from going and smiling and clapping like she was our own. And seriously, how CUTE is she!!??
Saturday night was our final night, and we headed out to dinner. We were nodding over our food. It took effort not to fall asleep. So Sad! But, when we got back to the house we rallied. We spent the night talking and laughing into the wee hours. Luckily we had picked up Katy's brother earlier int he day and he was able to take another group shot of us in front of the taxi :). Poor girls forgot how to open their own doors that weekend, gotta love the power doors. I hope they weren't too disappointed when they got home and had to open their own doors.
So, I survived my first weekend without the kids. They did okay with Mimi and Pop Pop, but they were glad to get me back home. Katie had a fever, and Connor just needed mommy snuggles. It has been tough getting Connor re-adjusted to going to bed. I think he is still afraid I won't come back. Hopefully he will have an easier time NEXT YEAR!!! I can't wait!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

273 Love in the Street

I am not sure what this is, probably gum. I came across this little bit of street art while walking Katie to her friends house. Thank goodness for camera phones (and also, I apologize for the pic from my camera phone). My neighbors think I am weird enough without hauling my camera out to take pictures of a blob of gum in the street. Well, most of my neighbors. I do have one neighbor that would probably grab her camera and come out to see what I am taking pictures of ... and take pics of me taking pictures of the street and laugh her butt off at me for years. Did I say neighbor? What I meant to say is friend! Because who doesn't want to be friends with the girl who is just as weird as she is?! Seriously, how often do we come across people who share our passion? I am lucky enough to have one within a camera toss from my house. (my heart hurts a little thinking about throwing a camera)
So, Candy ... this blob of gum in our street is for you. A girl after my own heart.
No no ... the blob on the left!
The blob on the right confuses me. Sometimes I think, stork delivering a baby. Sometimes it looks like the illustrations of the Emperor in Mulan (or that type look) - beard blowing in the wind. Pelican diving for fish? Santa Claus?
But that blob on the left ... definitely a HEART!
Happy Love Thursday y'all! Visit Chookooloonks for more Love Thursday .... ummm, love.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

272 And then ...

The slip'n'slide made the trip back to Mississippi with us, and it has been used frequently. There are multiple grooves worn into the lawn to prove it. And because we believe in testing our limits, we added the slide into the equation. There is however a slight drop-off from the slide to the slip'n'slide and so it was dubbed "Break Your Booty Day". And then we attempted to revive the pool. Left to its own devices for a few days it had reverted to a slime filled pond, but we drained and bleached it, so it was ready to go AGAIN (dang the water company LOVES us)! The kids can never wait for the pool to fill all the way up, so as soon as it gets over a few inches they are trying to get in. Katie couldn't even wait to swim! At least I didn't have to worry about her sinking.

And then, in Atlanta we had found a "Decorate your own Lamp" kit at Goodwill for $4.54, and who can say no to that?? Katie had a blast decorating her lamp with first Kaitlyn for the painting, and later with Mia for the embellishing. She ended up with a pretty cool little lamp ... and one worth a bit more than $4.54 after she discovered my rhinestones. All those old scrapbooking supplies are getting used in various ways these days.-of course Connor had to use the paint. I had a papier mache bowl from last year that needed some color. And then, we had Kaitlyn's birthday party. It was nice and overcast, but if the sun came out for more than a minute we started to sweat. I managed to bring my camera without the memory card again ... by the time I made it back from the quick run to our house they had opened presents and sang Happy Birthday. That's okay, it was on to the waterslide and Connor's first meeting with a trampoline. And a pinata!

And then we headed down to Oxford to visit our nephew and his family. It was an impromptu visit since Chip's parents had decided to go down for a visit. We got to hang out and the boys were able to get in a round of golf together. Connor loved playing with Chiefer (also known as the best dog EVER). This dog is so gentle and so patient! I am so sad that he has been "fixed"!!
I was able to escape for a little walk around the Ole Miss campus. Just like the first time I walked around when we brought Geof out right before my Junior year of high school, this place always feels like home! I breathe easier here. It is calming to me to walk around campus (especially now that I am not on my way to class).
This is the Walk of Champions that the Ole Miss Rebels walk down before every home game. It leads through The Grove where thousands will be tailgating. The Grove was a Civil War battleground (like most of the South).
In the area in front of the Lyceum is a statue to commemorate the Confederate dead.
And in the area behind the Lyceum is a fairly new statue that depicts James Meredith's historical entrance into Ole Miss.
I spent A LOT of time at the J. D. Williams Library during my time at Ole Miss. Not that I was a bookworm (okay, so I really am) but I worked there. I am very good at alphabetizing and counting by decimals.
Since we have left Ole Miss they have converted it into a walking campus. Where this fountain sits used to be a parking lot.
And where this building is ... parking lot and road.
We had more fun in the pool, of course. One of these days we will get to the "floating around, soaking up the sun" phase, but for now it is all cannonballs and splashing.
And then, another birthday party. This one was for our sweet little Cheyenne who turned two!!

And then .... it was a fabulous Girl's Weekend in NOLA! coming up next!