Wednesday, August 10, 2016

new orleans [part 1]

Way back in June [how does it already feel like that was a year ago?!], after our vacation at the beach, we went to New Orleans. Landon had a conference he had to go to and since it was on our way home, the boys and I tagged along. Not that we really had much of a choice to not go. Also, we kind of planned it so our vacation would be right before this conference. Landon had two conferences in back to back weeks. Fun fun, right? 

Although the drive to New Orleans wasn't terribly far from where we were staying in Florida, it was still a drive. We were all happy to arrive and be out of the car, though at that point we were all so very ready to be back home in our own beds with our usual routine.

But we were there so we wanted to make the most of it. Neither of us had ever been to New Orleans before so we wanted to explore a little bit and see the city as much as we could during our time there and with Landon's limited availability.

The first night we were there we went to see the French Quarter and walked around a lot. From where we were staying the best way to get around was to either walk or take the trolley. We could have driven, but then we would have had to find parking and pay $40+ for parking - even for a few hours. We didn't feel like fooling with that and since the trolley was on a track and not on the street with cars, I felt okay taking the boys on it. 

We did a lot of walking and Emerson was such a trooper, walking nearly as much as we did. When he would get tired of waking, Landon would put him on his shoulders or he would take a turn in the stroller.

You may notice Emerson's special backpack - and yes, he wore it every time we went out. I got it for him to wear when we went to Kansas earlier this year, because well, he's three. Taking it with us to New Orleans was an obvious must since you know, he's little, it's a big city, he could wander.... I will be am that parent, but hey, he was safe with us the whole time and that's what the most important thing to me.

Because have you been to New Orleans? A big city? Have you met a three year old? My three year old? It scared me just thinking about what could happen. I was right with my thinking and was so thankful for that little owl backpack [with a leash attached ;]. New Orleans is a very colorful and lively place, especially where we walked. People were everywhere and some got a lot closer to us than I liked/felt comfortable with. But it's a city, so people will be everywhere and people will be close.

One of my favorite parts was walking around on the not so busy streets and seeing the old buildings. There is so much character there and so much history. I loved seeing the older buildings and reading the few signs that were scattered about giving a snippet of history for one building or another.

And holy goodness. New Orleans is hot y'all. Hot and sticky and muggy and hot and sticky . . . Almost as hot as Bangkok. So, pretty hot. Pretty, pretty, pretty hot. I was so thankful to be done nursing at that point because I wanted nothing more than to peel my clothes off at the end of the day and take a shower and not have anyone touching me at all. To nurse while being that hot and sticky is just - ugh - no. SO thankful Oliver was weaned!

a little bit blurry, but I had to include this ;)

Like I said, Landon was there for a fancy conference [see above photo ;] so the boys and I got to do a lot of exploring/playing on our own. I never ventured too far with the boys, but I went out and about enough to discover the perfect indoor play area for us. Thankfully our hotel was close to a mall and the conference center, so that's where we spent most or our time during the day. I was so relieved to discover the play area our first morning there, after walking miles with Oliver strapped to me in the carrier while pushing Emerson in the stroller - in the New Orleans heat. It was no joke. Morning or night, it was hot.

I was so excited to see this indoor play area and loved that it was a padded floor and soft-ish animals and things to play on. I sat and watched the boys run/crawl around and climb all the things. They loved playing there too and I'm pretty sure we all enjoyed the air conditioning!

It was such a neat little play area and it was never too busy when we were there. Usually I see germs when we go to play places like this [at the library/parks/indoor play places], but I was soooo hot and exhausted and desperate for a place for the boys to play that I didn't see a single germ while we were there. Thank you, Lord.

In the afternoons I'd take the boys back to the hotel room and thankfully they napped, and napped well. One afternoon it stormed like crazy while they napped, and it didn't even make Emerson stir a bit, which is so unusual for him! We had a little suite of sorts so the boys were able to sleep in separate rooms, such a gift! And once they fell asleep, they slept hard. That heat gets to ya.

There was an aquarium near our hotel and I tried taking the boys there twice, but then it turned out that it was further than we thought and I wasn't about to take both boys on the trolley by myself [you had to fold the stroller up and all, so it just wasn't going to happen]. So we played on the lobsters and alligators at the indoor play area in the mall a lot.

I walked through the mall a few times and during one of those walks, Emerson threw the biggest fit of all time in the middle of one of the stores - so much so that I had to set Oliver on the floor of the store, hope he wouldn't crawl too far off or eat any of the expensive leather purses, and shove Emerson in the stroller with all my might, all while he was kicking and screaming and squirming out of the straps. Fun times.

One night while we were there we had dinner with a soon to be co-worker of Landon's. She was at the conference with her husband so we met up with them for dinner. While talking with them we discovered that the aquarium was a lot closer than we thought. Or rather, it was as close as we originally thought, but just couldn't figure out how to get there. It turns out the aquarium was at the end of the mall! I had walked that mall a handful of times, right to the very end, but never gone outside, because, well, the heat. But it was right there! I felt so sad I never realized it until it was too late to take the boys. Oh well right? They had fun climbing alligators and probably liked running wild more? That's what I'm going to go with anyway.

I'll stop there for today and save the rest of our New Orleans trip for another day ;]


Lindsay at Lindsay'sSweetWorld said...

We love NOLA! I want to go back!

Love seeing all of your pictures of the babies!

Ashley Brickner said...

These are the sweetest, cutest pics!

Amy said...

I had no idea you guys were there! You sure made the most of your vacation.