Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Rest of NOLA Christmas 2010. Finally.

So Christmas was about three weeks ago, but I still haven't finished my post on the rest of our trip to New Orleans. I am going to tie that up right now.

One night while we were down there, Jonathan asked my parents if they would keep the kids for an evening so the two of us could go out on a date. My folks were ecstatic, and so were we! The kids were taken away to the mall to eat at CFA and explore all there was out there, including wearing our Grandpa to pure exhaustion. Meanwhile, Jonathan and I roamed the streets of uptown New Orleans. We drove up and down St. Charles Avenue, looking at all of the old and historic homes (one of our favorite past times). We stopped in a very old hotel called The Columns for a cold beverage, where we sat and sipped and chatted for a while before dinner.

My fruit punch and his draft beer.
The Columns.  Isn't it beautiful!?
A gorgeous church across the street from where we parked.

After The Columns, we went to dinner at a famous New Orleans restaurant called Pascal Manale's. They are famous for their barbecue shrimp! There is a long story connected with this dinner, including waiting for over an hour and a half when we were told 20-30 minutes, but I won't ruin the moment by reliving that frustrating experience. Needless to say, the food was good....not worth the incredible wait, but good....and my company was wonderful.

After dinner, we ventured over to Magazine Street to have desert at the infamous Sucre. I haven't been there before, so we were dying to try it. We both got a cup of decaf coffee and enjoyed some unbelievable desserts. I had a white chocolate bread pudding and JB had some sort of chocolate mousse something.


Random: Picture of Liam loving on his Grandpa during lunch one day.  Sweet.

Another night we were there was the night my sister, Emily, cooked us a three course Mexican dinner. It was divine. It required so much preparation and work, however, that it turned into a full functioning kitchen with Emily as head chef and Hillary and I as her soux chefs. We had such a great time, and all of her food was incredibly delicious!

On the menu: homemade salsa and guacamole, chicken tortilla soup, homemade black beans, and shrimp and pork carnitas (or tacos), plus some honey-lime chicken tacos. UGH! IT was SOOO GOOD!!!!
Patiently waiting for dinner to get cooked.  Daddy reads to distract them.

Our last full day in NOLA we spent with one of my closest girlfriends from back home: Brigette.  We go WAY back to sixth grade, braces, and crushes on the same boy.  She will always be in my life, I pray, and when we get together, it's like we were never apart.  Brigette has a two year old son named Eli, and she is also pregnant with a daughter due in February.  She came over to visit, then we took the kids to eat lunch at Wendy's and to play at The Bounce Spectrum for a few hours before naptime.

The only pics I got of my kids at the bounce place were of their back sides.  They were too busy running away from me to go play in the jumping things.  Fun times!

The last night we were there, we were able to be a part of a very special night for a very special person in my family's life.  My dad owns his own business and has for the past twenty years.  Jinx, his office manager, has been a part of his business for years (I don't know the exact number), but as far back as my memory goes, Jinx has been a part of the business, and in turn, a part of the family.  Anyway, Jinx has decided to retire from Johns, Pendleton Court Reporters and will be moving to Chicago in the near future where her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren live.  She will be greatly missed, but I am so excited for her that she will get to be spending some precious and priceless time with her family.

Anyway, our last night in NOLA was a surprise retirement party for Jinx!  She was SHOCKED!  She thought my parents and my dad's partner were taking her out to dinner, but instead she was thrown a wonderful dinner party in her honor.  I was busy taking pics on my dad's camera that I only managed a few with my own.  Here are some shots of my Dad's speech and then Jinx giving a gift to my dad and Jane, his partner.  I was so glad to be there and we had such a great time!

There are so many other things we did while in New Orleans, including visits with my other girlfriends Chrissy, Steph, and Hope with all of their kiddos. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera to that occasion, so I'll have to make up for it next time. We got to enjoy dinner with my two aunts one evening, and we even squeezed in lunch with my Aunt Donna and her two girls. We ate and ate and ate and ate. We laughed and played and shopped and cooked and slept and played and laughed and ate some more. It was a wonderful Christmas, and we are so blessed to have a family that enjoys each other so much. Till next time....

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