Friday, August 12, 2016

new orleans [part 2]

Happy Friday! I was considering sharing a few random things today, but then I decided I really didn't have much random to share. So ... you can thank me later ;) Instead I'm going to try and finish up our time in New Orleans, it has after all been well over a month that we were there! 

I mentioned the other day that we visited the French Quarter and walked around, a lot. While walking around [on day two I think it was] Emerson declared he had to go potty. Thankfully we were able to find a public restroom and walked towards it. As we were walking to the bathroom a man started following us, fairly closely. We walked faster, he kept up. So much so that it was making me really anxious about Landon leaving me to take Emerson potty. I didn't even want to go in the ladies restroom because it was a fairly empty area and well, I have a vivid imagination. As Landon was getting ready to take Emerson in the bathroom I told him where I would be waiting - on the busier side of the street. Hopefully busier at least. The man was still so close. We parted ways and the man was still behind me. Thankfully I wasn't far from the street, as I was hoping more people would be around I heard a Gospel choir singing nearby. I walked out of the little alley way where the bathrooms were and towards the singing, thankful to see a large crowd. I found a spot near enough people and Oliver and I listened to the choir while we waited for Landon. Thankfully the man wandered off while we were waiting and my nerves calmed down a little bit. And who knows, it was probably nothing more than a man walking the same way we were, but ... I have a vivid imagination. Help us. Landon and Emerson joined us shortly after and we listed to the choir - and saw they were being filmed, like for a movie or something, which was pretty cool! 

While we walked we saw lots of tours, carriage rides, friends out and about, and a lot of characters. New Orleans is full of vibrant colors and people and there never seems to be a dull moment. The few pictures I have of "empty" streets were after lots of walking and going down a few streets not populated with restaurants and bars and such. I loved seeing the buildings and just the architecture in general. It was so "New Orleans" and southern. Obviously. We both really enjoyed the charm and character of the city. 

For the most part, we walked through crowds of people. Weaving in and out, trying to keep our boys close and safe, feeling the heat, but focused more on our surroundings and the environment. While walking the busy streets I never stopped to take a picture because well, they were busy streets and my mind was just working to figure out the best way around each puff of smoke in the air [some puffs were of the "special" variety - if you know what I mean], the overly friendly man, or the group of friends walking down the road. 

We brought our stroller with us for the trip, and were so thankful to have it! We brought it to use mainly with Oliver, but while in New Orleans we ended up letting Emerson ride in the stroller for the most part, because we did a lot of walking and his poor little legs, even though they did so well walking, just couldn't walk that much. The second evening we were there we went to the French Quarter again and walked around to Bourbon Street. The concierge at our hotel said it would be fine for us to go see as a family and "family friendly". I didn't really know much about it or have any connotations about Bourbon Street, which I guess was good because otherwise we probably wouldn't have gone. After getting off the trolley we decided to put Emerson in the stroller and that I would wear Oliver. And the heat. So I strapped the carrier to me, put Oliver inside, we buckled Emerson into the stroller and headed off. And walked Bourbon Street. Smart decision. Emerson was safe in the stroller, Oliver was safe on me, and that's how we walked the "family friendly" Bourbon Street. Turns out - it's not so family friendly. Yikes.  

I'm not a fan of the heat or crowds, and when you mix them together it's even worse. I get anxious and tense and my eyes and mind start searching for a way out. I maneuver the crowd and just work to get out of the way. We saw and heard and felt lots of color on that street. It was lively and full of character. And I cannot imagine being there for Mardi Gras. Holy Cow. After walking the street that night I was good and happy to never go back. But that just happened to be where the restaurant Landon's soon to be co-worker picked out, so the next night we had to walk it again. Fun fun. 

Trying to shelter our boys from the smoke clouds, the loud greetings, the colorful people, the characters that were every where was a job and once we left the restaurant we tried walking towards the trolley station to get back to the hotel - we ended up walking all the way back to the hotel instead, because that was the best/quickest way out of there. haha. We decided after that, we'd had our fill and seen enough of that part of the city and were happy to stay close to our hotel and the conference center. 

Thankfully there happened to be a children's museum a block down from our hotel, so one morning we headed there. Emerson loved running around and looking at all of the things. Trying this and that. Doing a little craft. Grocery shopping in their little people grocery store. It was adorable. Soon after we arrived four different preschools came - and ohmygoodness. Wow. But, we just stayed close together and tried to escape the big groups of kids as best we could [are you seeing how much I don't like crowds? even if they're just kids? ;].

It was such a neat museum and they had different stations to play/explore/learn at. Emerson love driving the tug boat and probably could have stayed there all day. We made it in time for a story time and it was fun to listen to a story with him and Oliver. 

There was even a little toddler play area, perfect for Oliver to crawl around. He was still very clingy at that point and feeling miserable for being away from home and cutting teeth and molars so he didn't play too much. But it was fun to see him explore a little bit on his own.

After we explored the children's museum we stopped at their little shop and Emerson got to choose one thing. I tried to encourage him to get something that wasn't so junk like, but he was adamant about one plane and that's what he got. Oh well... He had fun picking it out - and playing with it for all of one day. haha. While walking around the French Quarter the night before we had let him choose one thing from a shop there, and he picked an alligator [that was bigger and cost less than his airplane]. He plays with that alligator all the time and keeps in in the car for when we go out. He loves that thing. The airplane? eh... it's at the bottom of the toy bin. You just never know what they're gonna like, right?

It was so much fun watching Emerson explore and do the things that interested him. He ran around and loved that it was a place he could try all of the things at. We had lunch afterwards and did lots of walking to find some food. It was a hot mess, and he didn't last long before snoozing a little bit in the stroller. Thankfully he was worn out enough that he still napped in the hotel room after lunch.

We enjoyed our New Orleans trip and were very ready to come home by the time it was over. We saw a lot, did a lot, and were so thankful to peel the sticky clothes off and bathe and then fall into our beds at the end of each night. And the boys slept so well each night. I can't imagine why ;)

Our last night there I packed up our things, Landon worked on getting it out to the car and packing that up, and then around three or four in the morning we woke the boys - or was it Oliver woke us? - loaded them into the car and headed for home. Home sweet home.

If you made it this far, though all my fuzzy iPhone pictures [but thank goodness for those at least - there was no way I was about to haul my camera around on our adventures] and stories you've made it to the end our our trip. And aren't you exhausted?! ;)

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