Thursday, April 11, 2013

Weekend Travels

Brent's 20th high school reunion was on Saturday night. In New Orleans. My goodness, it took some planning...

But I'll tell you about that in a minute. We completed a little project before we left:

Old 6 pane windows? Perfect, easy to change frames for the kids' art work (good call Daddy)! Mary Louise and David just beam when I put their beautiful pictures on display. This was so fun, easy and super cheap. I'll put their easel in front of the windows and art supplies on shelving Brent is building (sweet Brent has been hard at work each weekend completing a list of projects).

Back to the trip...

We'd planned (mistake - always a mistake to plan here! ha!) to have Mary Louise and David's eyes checked Friday and attend the reunion Saturday. Their doctor's office called to let us know something had come up causing our appointments to be cancelled. After a bit of hemming and hawing (it means we'll have to make another trip in that direction quite quickly as their eyes need checking after 3 months in glasses), we decided to go for "it" and make it a fun weekend for all.

I pulled favors from a neighbor: who watched our house, cat and picked up mail, Uncle Kyle who watched the dogs in Houma, Mere and Pops for offering loving arms and energy during our trip to the zoo and Mommom and Uncle Sean who baby sat the 3 sweet LeBlanc kids while Brent and I enjoyed the most child free time we've had...since having kids probably. (We did sneak away overnight a couple of years ago for a wedding.)

We had a lovely time. First we went to Houma for 2 nights.

We played in the grass:

This play may or may not have included a few test tastes of leaves:

We found sticks to conduct imaginary orchestras:

I love how much these sweet babies enjoy music...

We had dance time...lots of dance time:

We went to the Houma library - which is all sorts of amazing:

Chalk board tables:

Tiny doors:

and ships to snuggle into with a great book:

and I'm pretty sure Everett's favorite part was the bubble wall:

But the big kids loved that too:

Then we went swimming!!!

The big kids tried their new puddle jumpers -which worked beautifully! David jumped in (away from the wall!!) more times than I can count. Mary Louise was nervous at first, but warmed eventually and tried floating, put her face in, kicked around, etc. Everett took about 30 minutes to relax - but eventually did and enjoyed floating on his back with his head on my shoulder. He almost went to sleep at one point! Not bad for a first time!

We went to the YMCA. I spent more hours, days, months, years there was second only to school. Home was easily third in usurping time. I competed in US swimming for 7 years and did high school swimming for 5. Looking around there: the smells, the water, the people - it was wonderful, nostalgic, full circle.

I love simple, happy, busy days - the kind that the kids end up bleary eyed and relax into their pillows with sweet smiles on their faces...

On Saturday, we left Houma for New Orleans. Mommom was with us and we met Sean, Mere and Pops at the entrance to the zoo. It. was. packed. The day was stunning and people came out in droves.

I'm so glad we had so many adults to keep track of our fast dash kids!

Sweet girl loves that Easter dress and asks to wear it almost daily.

David said he was going to taste the tree...Mary Louise thought that was just hilarious. Momma just said, "please don't lick the tree David." (Pretty sure I didn't ever expect to have to say that...ever)

I tried to get a group picture. bahahaha!

Seriously. The 1 year old cooperated best?!

(He does adore his Pops time...I dare say almost as much as Pops enjoys his E time!)
Flowers in her hair:

Climbing trees:

We made our way to the hotel for the evening with just enough time to clean up and change clothes. We got a room across the street from the reunion venue just in case things went south with the baby sitting (namely, with Everett as it was during his evening nursing / whiny time). I'm pretty sure I check in 3 times...minimum. But it was a wonderful night.

Brent and I were "those people" - oh yes. first ones there by about 30 minutes. But we used the time wisely: sat in a corner and had a fabulous visit with each other. We had such a good time that we didn't even notice the room fill with guests! ha!

The next morning, we took a ride on the street car. I may have mentioned that David LOVES trains. He was beyond excited to ride on a "real train" (close enough).

My sweet little snuggle munch was just fine in his carrier:

We rode until the last stop and decided to get off at the Museum of art for a look around the sculpture garden.

Playing games:

Squishy face was happy:

Mary Louise and David asked lots of why to those people have dirt in their laps?

(Mommom said it was because they'd been sitting too long)
Everett and I found a sweet meditation spot:

and had a nice sit down chat:

We walked back to wait for the street car and played until one came by:

Ummm...someone got a little hungry and thirsty while waiting...I'm not naming any names though...

*cough* everyone - ha - but that's a cute pic anyhow!

We went back to the hotel to get the car and check out. On our way to grab some lunch with Sean, Mommom and I went to a fabulous store: Lush. If you've never had a bath made fabulous courtesy of Lush products, I am sad sad sad for you...not really - but the products are 9 kinds of fabulous. no exaggeration.

So while we dashed in, Brent took the kids around the block and met us a while later. The staff at Lush saw our wee ones and immediately set to work with product demonstrations - letting the kids take part - so the grown ups could shop! Mary Louise and David are STILL talking about the bath bombs and bubble bars they tried!

When we left there, (are you tired yet??), Brent took us around the corner to a fire station that was open and selling NOFD shirts. Yes. They gave us an out door tour and let the kids climb in the trucks. If you're keeping track, that makes 3 separate fire departments that have now allowed us to invade their space - happily.

To our "big kids", (David in particular), these impromptu tours NEVER get old!

So proud of my sweet peas!

The funny thing was that the fire station was here:

I stood in that very spot 5 years ago and smiled for Brent after his last reunion. We had no kids, I was working at the charity hospital much has happened...tons of happy...and quite a bit of garbage too...the "new" cans seem appropriate - ha.

We met Sean for lunch and headed home - exhausted, full, happy. We spent an extra night at Mommom's to recoup and made our way back to Lake Charles on Monday morning.


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