Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lil Tip on Vacations

Just a short note before I go to bed to rise before 0500 so that I can go to boot camp tomorrow morning -

should you go on vacation and you tell your trainer, you will suffer upon your return.

That is all.

Go team go - ugh!

Hot Sauce and Ring Staring

Have you ever been woken up by someone in the middle of the night?

Have you ever been woken up by someone in the middle of the night because he is trying to get a picture of your first night together as an engaged couple?

Trust me - when that flash went off - I freaked out.

And then I had to get up to use the potty, and he took a picture of a ginger zombie stumbling to the bathroom.

No - those pictures will never been seen.

EVER.

But when we finally did get up and get moving, we packed all of our belongings and realized that they had grown exponentially.

We got the car out of hock, I mean valet, and then began our drive home.

This was all I could to during the drive:


So to get my eyes and my mind off my ring, we decided to go tour the Tabasco Plant on Avery Island.

It is such a neat place if you are in the area.  It is about 40 minutes south of I-10, but the tour is free and the tastings of the Tabasco ice cream makes it worth it!



Right outside the door to the plant there was a very cool sign talking about how Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted the family the rights to make Tabasco.

I tried to take the picture and I wound up taking about 6 shots before I got a good one.  The Fiance took 1 shot to get his picture.  I used mine out of spite!!!



We went in and joined the tour and watched about a 20 minute video of the history of the Tabasco Plant, the sauce, and the McInhenry family who founded it.



And then you walk through a hallway where you see this:

 

After you go through the hallway, you are dropped off in a room where you can see how the mash is made and feel the white oak barrels where they store the mash for up to 3 years (8 years for the Tabasco Reserve).


Finally, it was time to leave and get back into the car to finish our trip home.

It had been one of the best birthdays I have ever had.  I am so grateful to The Fiance, my family, and my friends!

Thank you all!


Go team go - home

Two Weddings and an Engagement

New Orleans is a city all of it's own - one like no other.

Here people parade down the street after they get married with a small jazz band leading the way.

The day we checked in we saw one of these wedding parades, and another one Saturday evening.


Who would have known it was an omen!!!

We set out for our dinner cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez.

We had dressed all nice and we can clean up really well.

But then on our walk to the dock, it began to pour.  So by the time we got there we looked like drowned rats.  We waited under a tent until it was time to actually board, and by then we had dried off some, only to have to jump back out into the rain for climb up the gangplank.

But we made it aboard, The Boy found us a few drinks, the rain stopped and the sun came out, so we posed for some pictures while waiting to depart.




Once we were underway, we went up to the bow of the boat and listened to the tour guide point out points of interest as we steam along.  It was the most enjoyable thing we had done all trip, and we had done so much!

Finally, it was time to get a bit to eat and we headed into the fancy ballroom for our turn.  We had a lovely table next to the window and we could see the side of the Mississippi as we sipped our champagne and ate our meal.

Couldn't have been better.

Wait yes - it could.

After dinner, The Boy and I walked along to the stern by the paddle wheel, and there he and I stood chatting. Until I turned around, and he was no standing.  He was kneeling.

I cried.

Oh be quiet - you would have too.



So with that - I end my birthday.

He was holding his glass - I promise I wasn't drinking alone

I had a wonderful day with The Boy - who is now to be called The Fiance.


Go team go - speechless!!!!

Birthday Morning

Sunday was my 36th Birthday!

The Boy and I were in New Orleans to celebrate - and celebrate we had done - but this morning we had a city tour and a fabulous dinner cruise planned.

We started our day with beignets and drinks (non-alcohol, it was a little early for the other!), and then headed off to meet the tour bus.



We again headed down the water front stopping for a couple of photo opportunities and then we arrived at the port where we were to meet our tour guide and bus.



The Gray Line Super City tour was quite interesting, and Gerald, our guide, was a very informative man.

You hop onto a large bus and he drives you all over the city showing your sights and giving you history.  Our only stop off the bus was at St. Louis #3 Cemetery for some walking and photos.





 Back on the bus we drove through the Garden District, down the Esplanade, through the Audubon area, and around such beautiful sights.  I will admit that at first I was disappointed that it was a bus tour and we wouldn't be stopping somewhere in each location, but then I remembered that it was late June in the South.

No problem - I will stay in the AC thank you very much.

When we got back from the tour - and I would suggest going, the prices are great, the range the offer is fabulous, and be sure to ask for Gerald - he is wonderful - we walked down to the aquarium and sat in e very nice a chilled IMAX theatre and then roamed around their tanks and rain forest to cool off.

Yes - I know I look silly - it was the heat!

After the aquarium we started to head back to the hotel via the Moon Walk.

No joke - the Moon Walk.

And no - we did not do the moon walk on the Moon Walk.  We simply trudged along in the heat.

The Boy wanted to stop and take some more pictures, but all I wanted to do was get in the shade!

I give you my grumpy smile

But we finally got back to the shade and roamed through Jackson Square looking for a memento to take home.  Artist place their wares on the fences of the area and you can wander around the garden and look at all of this amazing art work hanging on the fence posts.

We finally settle on one on our second time around, packed it up, and headed back to our room for some more AC and wine.

We had a few hours to kill before we were to go back out for our Jazz Dinner Cruise.

Go team go - hooooooooooootttttttttttt 

Abita Springs and Awesomeness!

Saturday morning we crawled out from under our headaches and prepared for a day in Abita Springs, LA.

It turns out that having a room so close to the action means that SOME people can't sleep with the street sounds.  I slept like a rock, but sadly it was not a restful night for The Boy.

So we dressed and headed to the local pharmacy for some ear plugs so that he could hopefully sleep through Saturday night.

We arrived in Abita Springs just a few minutes before our friends, so we decided to take some shots of us using my new Gorrilapod tripod.

There was a large park with some water features, so I set up the camera and we hit the fountain button, and ran for seats.


After we shot some pictures at the water feature, we headed to the park to get a few there.



The Boy jumped on the zip line and I got us set up for a shot on the tire hammock.

Little tip -  tires that have been sitting in the sun for a while are VERY hot.  So rushing on to them during the 10 seconds you have for a camera timer is in interesting experience!

After we had goofed around long enough we met up with our friends and toured the Abita Brewery.  I had been here years before, but they have since upgraded the tasting room and downgraded the tour.


But we all sat around and talked and drank free beer until they kicked us out for the next tour group, and then we went to get some lunch.

I was so thrilled to be spending with my friends.  It was the first time they met The Boy, and it had been ages since I had seen them - so I couldn't contain my happiness.

Or maybe that was the beer.

Trust me - there was one called a  Triple Haze.

I felt hazy after a couple of those.

And then I was treated with this:


That's a lot of candles!

I love the second picture because I might have been more than a little tipsy by then, and it was a big fire, and my friend's husband backed away from me (note his leaning) so as not to get singed.

I had the most wonderful time and I can't wait to see them again.

But in the end The Boy took his drunk and put her in the car, The Friend took her hubby and put him in the car, and we all went our separate ways home.

On a side note - I want to thank my family and friends for making this birthday celebration weekend one of the best!  I celebrated with my parents right before I left, and then with The Boy and friends during the weekend.  I can't express how grateful I am to them, my parents, The Boy, and my other close friends for their support and friendship!

My biggest regret in taking this job in Texas a few years ago was leaving behind such quality friends.  I miss them dreadfully!


Go team go - lil drunky

A journey of a thousand miles began with a

ferry ride!


And so it wasn't quite 1000 miles - but it was about 370 miles one way!

When we finally reached New Orleans, The Boy went to try and find a parking spot and I took our stuff up to our room.  I opened the door and was shocked by the sight:



The only reason we chose to go to The Bog Easy was because the price of the hotel room was dirt cheap, so imagine our surprise when we found that we had a full size balcony and our room was overlooking one of the major streets in the French Quarter!

When he got back, we immediately opened up some wine that my Mom had graciously packed us and sat on the balcony.


Our view from our room

After we rested for a short while, we decided to head out and explore the Quarter.

We started out at the famous Piano Bar at Pat O'Briens



From there we took our leftover drinks (his) and then walked along the waterfront until we were hungry.




I was going to crop out my KISS tee-shirt, but I actually think it looks even more romantic with it in!

Finally, we were starving - so we headed to my favorite place - Deanie's Seafood.

We had to wait about an hour, but we got lucky and some seats opened at the bar.  So we chose to just go ahead and eat our dinner there.

Deanie's Barbeque Shrimp

Before

After

Since we had just eaten enough to pop the buttons on our pants, we decided to go for a short walk before our next stop.

Then when we just couldn't go on without sustenance - we stopped at a place suggested by one of my best friends - the Erin Rose.

Frozen Irish Coffee

After a long day of driving, drinking, walking, and eating - we stumbled back to our room to begin the party the next day - in Abita Springs!!


Go team go - birthday weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!