Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My first time in NOLA

This past Friday, December 11th, was my Mom's Birthday :) She wanted to do something fun this weekend, and decided that a road-trip to New Orleans, LA would be the best fit... and yes, you heard right... ROAD TRIP! My Grandparents, Hubby and I agreed to go along on the adventure with her... and boy, was it an Adventure!

On Thursday afternoon, we hopped in the Van my Mother had rented, and started on the 13 hour drive. Many stops later, we finally made it to Madison County around Midnight, and decided to stop and rest for the night, after a little over 6 hours of driving. We stopped at a Days Inn, and checked in for the night...

The next morning, we went to the Denny's next door for our free breakfast (included with our stay), and then headed off to NOLA... around 3:30-ish, we FINALLY arrived... this, of course, after many stops, etc...

Unfortunately, when we arrived on Friday, we found crappy weather, to say the least. It was cool, in the 50s or so, and rainy, which is not a good combination. After our LONG commute, we were kind of tired, so we decided to rest up a bit, and have some Dinner. My voice teacher recommended this place in the French Quarter called "Gumbo Shop", so we thought we'd check it out... it was DELICIOUS!!! The food was absolutely fantastic, to say the least... Everything that each of us had was wonderful. Of course, after sharing a cup of Gumbo with the Hubs, I had some Crawfish with pasta. Mr. R had some Crawfish Etouffee, my Mom had some Jambalaya, my Grandfather had Red Beans and Rice (a creole FAVORITE) and my Grandmother had Catfish Florentine. It was definitely a great place to visit!

The following day, Saturday, it was raining a lot, and we were stuck in the hotel. We decided to book a tour that would pick us up in the Hotel, which was better for my Grandmother since she cannot walk far enough to catch the Gray Line, and less in the rain. After booking the tour, we decided to kill a little time before we got picked up by heading over to Canal Place - It's kind of like a mini version of Bal Harbor or Merrick Park, with nice stores, and it is connected to a really nice hotel with a glass elevator, and a nice view of the river, and French Quarter.

We returned to the Hotel, and got ready for our Tour. It was in a smaller bus, so it took us all over the place! We really got to see New Orleans, despite the circumstances, with the rain and all. We even got a chance to stop for a snack mid-way. Mr. R wanted to try "alligator sausage". It was delicious!

We drove through the Garden District, which is gorgeous, and through the areas devasted by Hurricane Katrina. It's a shame to hear about how the walls that were meant to keep back the storm surge where not properly reinforced, but it's good to know that they are continuing to work towards strengthening the city's defenses against this type of natural disaster for the future.

After the Tour, we had some Wings, Crawfish Pies and Pizza at the Hotel, and called it a night. It was raining so bad that parts of New Orleans were flooded! There was a flash flood advisory in place until 1 in the morning, so that was it for that day...

Sunday came, and it was time to start making our way back home... but not until we swung by Cafe du Monde and picked up some Beignets and Coffee/Hot Chocolate. Those things were DELICIOUS!!! The rumors are true... and boy, was that place packed!!!!! I bought a few Voodoo Dolls at the New Orleans Doll Company, and we headed home, through lots of fog which seemed to follow us all the way through Northern and even Central Florida... I had never seen so much fog before... it was very eerie.

We spent the night in Kissimmee, ate breakfast on Monday morning at Cracker Barrel, and started on our final stretch home...

It was a long trip, but in the end, we had a good time... and finally, I had a small taste of New Orleans... I will SURELY be back soon :)

Happy Blogging! :)

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