I found my list of things we did while we were in Louisiana last year, and I just wanted to write down a couple of memories before I threw the receipt away (oh, receipts... the perfect places for my many lists). Then I'll start writing about our second Louisiana adventure!
Last October was filled with a lot of good stuff...
October 13th: We made a day trip to Pensacola, FL (about a 4-hour drive). The Naval Aviation Museum had us captivated for far more hours than we expected (Dad, you would have loved it), so we were a little late getting to the beach, which in itself was worth the 4-hour drive. Michael nearly cried and just rolled around in the silky soft, white sand before running like a mad man into the sparkling blue, warm water. We were in love with the place (and have great plans for the three-day weekends Michael has every other week). For dinner we pulled up to a local Greek festival, but the line for food was around the block, so we observed for a while before heading home. All in all, one of the best days!
October 19th: Jefferson Parish had a huge sale of library books they were no longer using. Just tables and tables lined with books for $1-$5. We bought Harry Potter 1 and 2, Jurassic Park, and The Essential 55 (a teacher-improvement book... more on that later). The search was just as enjoyable as the finds!
Later that night, Stephen and Kayla Tersigni invited us on a date to a Vietnamese restaurant in Metairie. We loved chatting with them, and they told us a secret that consumed us for the rest of our stay--bubble teas (watermelon, kiwi, and raspberry) with tapioca balls. Dude. They very nearly replaced Blue Bell. We went every night for three nights in a row, and at least once a week after that. Yikes. But so good.
October 20th: We're going to the zoo! With the Halls! We sure do love those sweet babies. Michael was amazed by the enormous silver-back gorilla who was incredibly human-like, posed in the shade and occasionally wiping his nose with his hand. And we got to pet an elephant, which was totally cool.
October 26th: After chatting on Facebook about my new-found Yo-Yo Ma obsession, Kayla Tersigni called and invited me to a secret rehearsal that young students (including her son, Thomas) were invited to. We took awkward photos of his back and then he turned around and waved at us. I geeked out, maybe hyperventilated a bit, and then sat in awe during the rehearsal. (Thanks, Kayla!!)
October 27th: I finally got to meet Michael's coworkers and go on a tour of the Monsanto plant during the work Halloween party. (And, if you didn't know, Michael's a good salesman, even if it's only of spinning the Wheel of Safety). Later that night was the ward Trunk-or-Treat (we're lame and didn't bring any candy or dress up... Thanks JJ & Lauren for letting us pass out your candy).
October 31st: Michael was sick. I was really sad. Halloween is Jason's birthday, and Jaime threw a rockin' Clue-themed surprise Halloween/birthday party, complete with a live game of Clue and beautiful food. We trick-or-treated with the kids around Mary and Russell's neighborhood and had a lovely time. We missed Michael though.
Meanwhile, we were reading a lot (Harry Potter and Catching Fire and Lord of the Rings) and watching some serious Downton Abbey. We also played Clue about once a week with Adam (Jennifer had headed back to Utah to get ready for baby William) and Andy. Guys, we're pretty darn good, and even developed a one-on-one game.
Around this time, I was also having my bi-yearly why-the-heck-am-I-an-English-major? break down, and after a lot of discussion, prayer, thought, and patriarchal blessing reading, I decided to apply to the English Education major (and got in this last February!)
November was also awesome. It was so beautiful outside (I could definitely get used to shorts and tees in the "winter"), and one of our favorite Saturdays we took our bikes down to St. Charles Avenue and rode up and down the streets looking at beautiful houses and other buildings. Another weekend, we found the one Korean restaurant in the New Orleans area and cooked our own food.
My parents came to visit!! Hooray! I cried when they got here and when they left :) With them, we visited the WWII Museum again, ate some great food and heard some of the best jazz music we've heard yet in the French Quarter, and did a little souvenir shopping. The next morning we toured the beautiful Oak Alley Plantation, became obsessed with Zydeco's Cajun Restaurant, and searched for gators at a state park (can't quite remember which one). I sure loved having them with us.
For Christmas my parents gave us plane tickets to Chicago so we could spend Thanksgiving with Elise, Christina, and Daniel. I'd never been and, in spite of the cold, loved it. We had a gourmet Thanksgiving meal, ice skated next to the Bean, experienced Chicago architecture on a frigid boat tour, walked through Macy's (twice), had some serious Chicago pizza at Giordano's, loved spending time with family, and officially began the Christmas season by going to A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theater. (Note: The night before we left, I was giving my dear husband a hair cut, was doing some trimming, and went in with the clippers instead of the comb. Needless to say, he had to shave his head. I was embarrassed, but luckily he's a good sport!)
We left around the middle of December. Before we went, the Rich's and the Hall's threw us a great see-you-soon party, complete with games, antlers, and Christmas gifts. On one of our last weekends, we finally did our cemetery tour before packing up the car and driving again. The drive went well until we got to Colorado and the snow was too thick to see more than 10 feet in front of us. The two-day drive turned into a three-day drive when we stopped in a small town rather than continue slipping off the road. In the end, I was too stressed to just sit there, and Michael graciously let me take over driving.
It was good to be home! We spent Christmas with the Davis's and went back to our sweet little apartment in Provo to start school.
Bless you if you made it through this post... Check back soon for more recent adventures!