Wednesday, July 17, 2013

And then the not-so-lazy days of summer

UPDATE: I actually began this post two weeks ago, but I never finished it.  This really took place the 4th weekend in June . . .

So last week our lazy days of summer turned into the not-so-lazy days of summer.  As Jennifer put it, they came and busted up our lazy party.  It was so very exciting to have my Aunt Hairnet (Harriette), Jennifer, Carter, Maggie, Jada and Kennedy make the 9-hour drive from Georgia to visit us in Louisiana.

When they got here, Aunt Harriette kept asking, "Can you believe we are here?!  Can you believe we are REALLY here?!?"  My parents have visited, and my bestie has visited.  But this is the first time in the 13 years I moved away that family has come to LA to see us.  I was so very excited to see them.  I really needed something familiar, something from "home."  So it was just a much needed breath of fresh air for me.

We grew up right across the street from each other, went to the same school, same church and same college.  Jennifer and her sister both stood with me on the day I got married.  I babysat them (even though I'm only three years older than Jennifer) when Aunt Harriette was completing her education degree and had night classes (we won't talk about how Jennifer used to lock me out of the house!).  So, yes, it was so . . . odd . . . to see them in LA and not GA.

Here we are . . . Jennifer holding Kennedy, who is hiding from the sunshine in her eyes, Aunt Harriette, Maggie Grace, Carter, Ellie, me, Mason, Hannah Kate and Jada.
When they got here, we "beaded" them!  Mardi Gras beads are a must when it's your first visit to Louisiana!
For supper that first night, Seth and I prepared a little Louisiana buffet . . . fried speckled trout, fried eggplant topped with a creamy shrimp sauce, mini crab cakes, crawfish etoufee and bread pudding.  I'm showing off my pot of crawfish etoufee.  It was my first time making it, and it was the right color!  Because apparantly that's important here.  One would rather eat something that's the "right" color but doesn't taste too good than something that's the "wrong" color and tastes nasty!  I don't eat crawfish, but my husband said I did good.  And he's hard to please.
The next day we all went to church together.  Afterwards we showed off our little town of Grosse Tete.  We visited the Swamp Shop . . .
We visited the Welcome Center / Tourist's Information Center . . .
Here they are posing with the alligator heads in the Swamp Shop.  My favorite thing about this picture is Mason's expression . . . because this is so Mason!
And the Mardi Gras room at the Swamp Shop . . . everyone loved the masks.
We went swimming and later grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.

The next day we went to New Orleans and toured the French Quarter.
You can't go to New Orleans without eat beneits (French donuts) at Cafe Du Monde.
This Kennedy girl cracks me up!  The beneits were gone, but there was still plenty of powdered sugar left in the bottom of the bag.  She, however, took care of that!
And you can't go to New Orleans without dancing to a jazz band.
These two girls are such kindred spirits.  Hannah Kate had such a good time playing with Jada.  They have a lot in common.
And then the day after that we went on a swamp tour in the Atchafalaya Basin.
We were looking for alligators, but they were all hiding.  The water was still pretty high, and there had been a lot of boat traffic because fishing was good.  So we saw a baby one but that's it.
Here's my Ellie girl on her first swamp tour.
I don't think Kennedy had enough beads!
Carter really wanted to try some fried alligator.  I wasn't exactly able to accommodate that, but I did find some alligator jerky at the French Market in New Orleans.  So we brought some home, and he loved it!
That evening after the swamp tour, we visited downtown Baton Rouge . . . saw the state capitol grounds . . .
We even went to LSU and visited Mike the Tiger.

I've not been to GA in a year and a half . . . February 2012 was the last trip.  So it was really fun that GA came here!  I think they enjoyed themselves enough to come back one day!

1 comment:

Harriette Connell said...

We had a BLAST!!! You all showed us the time of our lives!!! Your home is gorgeous and you know I love your babies. Really wanted to take them home with us! This was THE BEST! Excited to see y'all tomorrow! We will catch our supper(hopefully) and Uncle Donnie will fry it up for us! LOVE YOU!!!!