Friday, December 9, 2011

Couple Time in the Big Easy

I think it's been two weeks since my last blog and I was seriously worried that this blog entry wouldn't make it up due to the craziness of this week, but alas, here it is!  Last weekend, Matt and I headed to New Orleans on our first couple vacation since our honeymoon over 4 1/2 years ago.  American Society of Health Systems Pharmacy (ASHP) was hosting a convention in the Big Easy and this is a must go for pharmacy students who are looking to do a residency after graduation.  Fortunately, it is also a must attend for those pharmacists who are currently in a residency, so we used it as an excuse to meet up with our old friends from Maryland!  We didn't get to see everyone or spend a long time with everyone, but it was still a blast.

Before I get into the pics and weekend rehash, I would just like to say that I had some serious misgivings about this trip.  I don't think we made it three days into our honeymoon before I made Matt leave our hotel room one morning while getting ready because I needed "10 minutes by myself."  With this story in my mind, I was very concerned that we would get sick of each other on a "just the two of us" vacation, but I will admit it...I was wrong!  I loved every minute I got to spend with Matt and I didn't feel the need to get any alone time at all.  It's truly a testament to how long we have been together and how in sync we are that we can not only spend long amounts of time together just the two of us, but we can do everything we plan on doing without getting too stressed!  All in all, the trip made me appreciate my amazing husband even more than I already do!

On to the weekend recap...

Our flight out on Friday was delayed so we ended up getting in to New Orleans at 7pm.  By the time we got to the right hotel, checked in, and cleaned up, it was about 8pm.  Our first stop was the Acme Oyster House for some amazing grilled oysters, red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo, and bread pudding.  We both left feeling we could have just ordered mass amounts of grilled oysters and been completely happy.  They were really amazing!  After a delicious dinner we strolled down Bourbon street.  I guess I didn't really know what to expect, but Bourbon street is EXTREMELY seedy.  Lots of strip joints and scantily clad women.  I expected some flashing and bead tossing, but I really didn't expect that sandwiched between every bar would be a strip club.  I realize the fact that I was not intoxicated greatly hindered my appreciation, but I'm not really sure Bourbon Street is my kind of vacation destination.  Needless to say we were back in the hotel room and sound asleep by 10pm.  If you are a parent, you will truly understand how amazing 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep can truly be, so for us, the best part of this vacation may have the sleep we got!

We were up nice and late at 7:30am the next morning!  After a quick shower, we were on a mission to find an authentic N'Awlins breakfast.  We ended up stopping at Cafe Beignet for Cafe Au Laits, Crawfish Omelet, and a breakfast sandwich.  A delicious start to a busy day! 

We headed towards St. Louis Cathedral (pic below) and really enjoyed all of the artists and their work set up around Jackson Square.  Matt and I always try to get a painting or drawing from a local artist as a souvenir on our journeys, so this was the perfect destination for us!  I don't have pics of our new art collection, but once I finish setting up my office you will get to see a lot of the art in its final resting place!

We were able to join a horse drawn carriage tour around the French Quarter and it was perfect!  It allowed us to check out the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, home of the first pharmacist, and the best hurrican in town at Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop!  Below is a pic of Matt outside the Pharmacy Museum (isn't he handsome)!

For lunch we headed to Central Grocery, home of the original Muffaletta, and seriously overestimated our ability to eat this sandwich.  We thought splitting a full sandwich would be fine, but we should have stuck to splitting a half.  The sandwich was HUGE!  I really should have taken a picture because I'm pretty sure the sandwich was bigger than my head. 

After walking through the French Market and picking up some more art, we headed to the famous Cafe Du Monde for Beignets and Cafe Au Laits.  Below is a pic of us before we got our beignets.  If this was an after shot, we would be covered in white and possibly look like we should be charged with cocaine posession! 

The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up with a good friend before our AMAZING dinner at Emeril's restaurant in the Warehouse District.  This is his flagship restaurant and it offered us an awesome dining experience.  We were lucky enough to get a seat at the kitch bar, which is a bar-height counter overlooking the kitchen.  We got a close-up view of all the kitchen action and it definitely helped us to decide what we wanted.  Not sure if you can tell from the pic below, but Matt's pork chop was HUGE (we stood his fork next to the chop for heigh comparison)!  We stuffed ourselves silly, but enjoyed every minute of it! 

The next morning we headed to the Court of Two Sisters with two friends for their jazz brunch.  My camera died the day before, so I wasn't able to get any pictures of us enjoying brunch, but it wasn't bad.  The eggs benedict was probably my favorite dish they served, but the rest is your regular brunch fare.  When you are at the Court of Two Sisters for Jazz Brunch, you are really paying for the atmosphere!

After a longer than necessary trip on the St. Charles streetcar, we arrived in the Garden District for a walking tour.  I was able to get one good shot from my camera phone of Lafayette Cemetary.  Since it was Sunday, we weren't able to go inside, which was a bummer, but at least I could get one pic.  Call me creepy, but I am a huge fan of cemetaries.  I think they are really beautiful and can tell us so much about history.  We visited the St. Louis Cemetary, which is one of the oldest in New Orleans, but it was so worn down it was not as exciting to see. 

While on our 2 hour walking tour through the Garden District, we were able to see the houses of Sandra Bullock, John Goodman and...The Mannings!!!  I was super excited about seeing the Manning's house, I really wanted Peyton or Eli to be visiting but it was Sunday during football season so I knew I was asking for a miracle.  Normally I love walking tours, but Matt and I had walked everywhere the day before and I am 5 months pregnant, so this was not my favorite experience of the trip.  If we ever went back to New Orleans again, I would definitely do another walking tour, but I would also definitely make sure I wasn't pregnant!

I'm sorry if this recap of the weekend was a little boring, but I did want to make sure to include all of our activities.  Just to cheer you up, below is a picture of Morgan in her new outfit and boots from Grandma!  Grandma wanted to make sure she had plenty of clothes during Grandma and Grandpa's babysitting adventure!  Morgan's daycare always comment on Morgan's stylish clothes.  Someone even told Matt that she would be a natural for Toddlers and Tiaras...I think we may hold off on that one!

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