Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Summer Flashback: The Long Road Home Part 2

In honor of Mardi Gras, today I'm sharing the highlights of our visit to New Orleans last summer...

Day 3:
With 2 days left of an almost 2-week vacation with all 4 kids, we we all feeling the "effects".  But today's destination was the one I was most excited about for our return trip home: New Orleans!  I have many treasured memories of trips to New Orleans to visit my grandmother and since my mother was born and raised there, I feel a special connection to the city.

But to get there, we had to spend most of the day driving through hot, sticky Mississippi.  It's the kind of suffocating heat and humidity that takes your breath away and sucks the energy clear out of you. 

Here we have Miss Mikea glistening with sweat at our stop for lunch.  Poor baby looks so tired.

Daniel strikes a catalog modeling pose.  (I don't think he wanted his picture taken.  Or maybe he was just hot.)
Adrian found more sticks, of course.
But this stop also provided fun in the form of.....pine cones!
After lunch we drove through pouring rain and I prayed we wouldn't run into a tornado.  By around 4:00 we reached our destination and I drove straight to the neighborhood where my mother grew up.  I was a little nervous driving around because the streets are super narrow and we honestly didn't know how safe the neighborhood was anymore.  We found St. Paul Lutheran church, founded by German Lutherans in 1840, where my great-grandfather was pastor and where my parents were married.  The church still operates a school and I encourage you to check out their website, especially the photos on the What's Happening section. The church and school are an amazing ministry to the community.  You can also read testimonials from parents, including one family who left the area after Katrina, but moved back because they missed the quality of education their children received at St. Paul.
We also drove past the cemetery where my grandparents are buried.  I wanted to go in, but the cemeteries are considered unsafe to visit unless you're with a group.  And I don't think our "group" counts! 

We were just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the French Market, our next destination.  Below you will see the 500 Babies standing in front of the mighty Mississippi!  A bunch of squirmy kids standing feet from the river was enough to make me nervous so we soon left to go find the famous Cafe Du Monde.
The place was crowded and then some, so we had to wait very patiently for our beignets.
Oh, but they were worth the wait!
Powdered sugar bliss.
After our snack, we walked around taking in the sights.  Our visit coincided with the beginning of the National Youth Gathering for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, so there were hordes of Lutheran teenagers everywhere!  At one point while we were walking down the sidewalk, Daniel lost his shoe.  A kind young man found it and brought it to us.  Daniel had walked almost a block barefoot and didn't even tell us!

The kids were fascinated by the street performers, especially "Robot Man" and Billy convinced them to stand next to him for a picture.  As cool as Robot Man was from a distance, the looks on the kids' faces tell you that he's a little unnerving close-up.
We had to say good-bye to New Orleans sooner than I would have liked, but dinner and our beds were calling.
Day 5:
I only have one picture of our last day.  This is in front of the swamp next to our hotel right before we loaded up and spent one more day driving to get home.
There's not much more to say, other than it was an amazing trip and I can't wait to do it again, this time with one more little passenger added to the mix!


Bill Senior said...

It has been some time (shame on me) since I have checked into the site and I am amazed at how big my grandchildren are getting! They are all so adorable. The Michigan clan really misses you guys a lot. Have you figured the camera out yet?