Our New Orleans trip provided an odd mix of old and new. Though I’d returned to the city a few years ago, when evidence of Hurricane Katrina showed its face more readily, that trip focused on business, and I travelled alone. This time, Adventure Guy and I visited together for the first time since before we became parents. Unlike our initial bus trip from College Station to the A & M vs. LSU football game during college or our most recent trip when we shared a funky bed and breakfast spot with the best man from our wedding and his wife, this time we stayed in more upscale digs and treated ourselves to fancier fare. But we couldn’t break our old habit of visiting Pat O’Brien’s piano bar, spending a memorable evening Sunday singing along to tunes like David Allan Coe’s You Never Even Called Me By My Name (which is, of course, the perfect country western song) and Don McLean’s American Pie.
We browsed the streets of the French Quarter, finding the perfect gift for our annual white elephant Christmas gift exchange. Really, we couldn’t resist when we saw it hanging in the shop window. We also did a bit more highbrow shopping, taking in the antiques stores and art galleries.
We ate. A lot. Our best meals came from our pre-Valentine’s dinner at Arnaud’s and our first night’s impromptu meal at Mr. B’s. If I had to choose, I’d probably return to Mr. B’s over Arnaud’s because of the more relaxed feel. Arnaud’s provides classic New Orleans ambiance, but in a buttoned up way. Mr. B’s food was just as good, if not better, with no jacket required.
In between eating, drinking, and shopping, Adventure Guy did manage to successfully complete his twentieth marathon on his quest to run one in each state prior to his 50th birthday. He’s on pace to meet that goal, and I can’t complain about the opportunities I have to tag along to cities like New York and New Orleans. I’ve even adjusted to wandering around the expos looking at running gear and performance enhancement products–goo anyone? This expo came complete with two adorable dachshunds checking out the scene with their owner.
Our own dachshund and his two canine friends fared just fine on their own, thanks to DD1’s ability to ferry herself and the other kids back and forth to our friends’ house for overnight adult supervision. In between, the kids hung out at our house and at their various extracurricular activities, taking care of dog care responsibilities along the way. There are definite advantages to having older children!
It’s also fortunate our trip proved so relaxing. Thanks to the ongoing, unexpected snowcation during the prior two weeks, I have plenty of work to catch up on now that I’ve returned to the office. There’s nothing like trying to squeeze three weeks of meetings into one week of time–I think I could use a Spring Break!