Monday, June 28, 2010

Southern Plantation

On day 5 of our trip, Sunday, we planned on staying at the rental house and relaxing.  It was Father's Day and we didn't want to get in the car again since we'd be traveling on Monday and Tuesday.  But Kelly's family had a later start than planned, so Cruz got his morning nap in and we decided to tag along to lunch and then possibly to tour a plantation depending on how tired we were after lunch.
We're so glad we decided to go.  The place Erica had planned to take us for lunch had a 2 1/2 hour wait so we ended up going to a local fast food place called Raising Cane's.  It was the best fast food we've ever had.  They had about 4 things on the menu, and the main dish was chicken strips.  This place blew Chick Fil A out of the water.  It was awesome. 
After our quick lunch, we decided to go to the plantation with everyone.  We were very impressed when we got there. It was beautiful.  The yard and trees alone were enough for us. 

We went ahead and took the tour of the inside, but the boys didn't last long.  They weren't very interested in listening to the history of the house.  They were both running in circles.  Craziness.

Before long, Kelly took them both outside.  Cruz fell asleep in his stroller.  It was extremely hot and muggy out, so he was soaking wet.  He was soon awakened by his big brother and grandpa ringing the huge bell in the front yard.  We took the opportunity of having the whole family together and took some family photos.  It was really hard getting the right exposure in all that deep shade with so many opinions of where and how we should stand and what we wanted in the background...anyways, here's how they turned out.

And one of our little family.
I could have stayed here all day taking pictures.  But everyone was getting hot and tired, so this is what I got.

After the visiting the plantation, we went to Erica's parents house for a bit, then headed back to the rental house to get it cleaned up and things packed.  Kelly's parents were leaving early the next morning and we were headed back to New Orleans to be closer to the airport for our flight out Tuesday morning.
On our way to New Orleans Monday morning, we stopped at an outlet mall.  It was great! They were having awesome sales and there were a ton of stores.  Outside each store they had kiddie rides and vending machines with ice cream and drinks to choose from.  The boys were very well behaved and had a good time themselves.

From there, we went to our hotel and swam in the pool then hit the sack early.  We were so ready to get home!

The flight home went very well.  Cruz fell asleep in my arms within minutes of the plane taking off and Bo played his video game most of the way.  The car ride from KC was a little long due to the fact that our DVD players suddenly stopped working, but like I said we were so glad to be home!  Now if I can just get them both back on their good nap and bedtime schedule :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010


We just returned from a trip to Louisiana.  Kelly's brother was getting married in Baton Rouge, so we decided to stay for a week and make it a little vacation. We drove into KC on Tuesday so we could fly out Wednesday morning.  It was a super cheap flight with no connecting flights, which was VERY nice, but we stayed in a po-dunk hotel that was VERY stinky and the 3 hour drive was long for the kiddos. So, I guess I could say it was worth the drive and the stinky hotel in order to save a couple hundred bucks and bypass any connecting flights.  Here's how it all went down.

Day One (Wednesday)
We arrived at the airport about an hour and a half early.  The flight there went better than expected :) Once we arrived in New Orleans we had to rent a car and drive an hour to Baton Rouge.  It started thunderstorming and downpouring as soon as we got into our car.  We brought our dvd players for the car...thank goodness!  We spent a ton of time in the car driving from place to place the whole week.  Once we made it to the house we were renting for the week we were very pleasantly surprised!  After staying in the po-dunk stinky-ass Travel Lodge in KC, we felt like we were staying in the king's castle walking into this house. 
We found it online at - I highly recommend staying someplace like this on your next vacation.  I don't think we'll go back to staying in hotels when vacationing.  This was just too convenient when it was time for Cruz to nap, and we didn't have to go to bed when the boys did like we would if staying in a hotel.  Everyone was super excited to finally get a break from traveling and stretch their legs and eat some real food in a real house.
Kelly's parent's and sister drove 15 hours from Kansas.  They arrived around 6:30 and were also super excited to get a break from traveling.  The boys took advantage of the company and wore their auntie and grandma and grandpa out by playing.  Kelly's brother showed up and needed a haircut, so Kelly and Steph's boyfriend Antowine took turns with the buzzer.  I was a bit skeptical about this - he was getting married in 2 days. Not much time for hair to grow back if there was a slip of the buzzer!

We hit the sack fairly early that first night.  We were exhausted, and excited about having no plans for the following day, except for the wedding rehearsal, but that wasn't until 6 o'clock.  Bo slept in his sleeping bag beside our bed, and Cruz's pack n' play fit nicely in the master bathroom closet attached to our bedroom.

Day Two (Thursday)
Thursday morning we woke up refreshed and ready to relax.  The guys had planned a day of golfing, so Kelly's sister, Steph, and I decided to hit the nearest Target to purchase a baby pool for the boys.  By 10:30 that morning we were in the backyard sunbathing and the kids were swimming.  It was great.
With a house full of people all needing to get ready and be at the same place by the same time we knew we'd have to start getting ready early.  The guys didn't get back from golfing until late in the afternoon, so we were pretty much ready for rehearsal by the time they got home.  The church was a good 30 minutes away, so we made our way there around 5.  Rehearsal went well despite the fact that Cruz and the other little flower girl started screaming while being pulled up the aisle in a wagon.  The pastor decided the wagon was too big of a distraction, so me and the flower girl's mom ended up carrying them down the aisle.

Kelly's cousins were there for Bo to hang out with.  Let's just say they all showed us how much we are out of the technology loop.  They all had IPhones for Bo to play games on.  So that's how Bo spent the majority of the next two days...playing video games. 

That's the bride and groom at rehearsal. And here's one of us at rehearsal dinner. It was around 9 o'clock by the time we got our food, so I was glad the boys were holding up so well.

We made it to bed around midnight that night.  We were all very tuckered say the least.

Day Three (Friday)

The guys had another day of golfing planned for Friday morning.  Steph and Kelly's mom had to be at the salon to get their hair done, so it was just me and Kelly's dad left at the house with the boys.  We attempted another relaxing morning of swimming and sunbathing, but the boys were pretty crabby and tired, so I didn't get much relaxing in.
Once I got Cruz down for his nap, I steamed the boys' tuxes and started to get ready for the evening's festivities.   Kelly got back from golfing and the girls got home with their hair all done up and it was pretty much chaos the rest of the afternoon getting ready for the wedding.  Bo did not want to wear his tux, that's why daddy is dressing him.  Cruz didn't take an afternoon nap, so I was glad when he fell asleep for a few minutes in the car on the way to the wedding.
The boys looked very handsome in their tuxes and with some last minute changes as we were headed toward the aisle, we all made it to are places for the ceremony.  Bo and the flower girl that he was walking with ended up walking with me and Cruz and the other little flower girl and her mom.  We were quite the site trying to squeeze down the aisle...if only I had a picture of it!  Here are a few from before and after the ceremony.
I couldn't believe how this little boy's personality came through while we were on our trip.  He was a  social butterfly!  Any chance he got he was flirting with the ladies or hamming it up for everyone.  It was very cute!

And from the reception and dance...

That's Kelly's sister, Steph on the left.  Very pretty girl.
Cruz loved Steph's boyfriend, Antowine...they were best buds all weekend. :)

And Bo loved this IPhone game all weekend .
Sadly, that was pretty much his best bud all weekend.

The night of the wedding we didn't make it to bed til after midnight.  We were beat, but excited for our plans of a trip to New Orleans the next day.

Day Four (Saturday)

We woke and immediately started getting ready for the hour car ride to New Orleans.  A couple of Kelly's aunts and uncles were meeting us there for the day.  After a lot of waiting around and an hour car ride that turned into a two hour car ride, we made it to an aquarium near the French Quarter.  It was a Saturday, so it was very crowded and busy.  Bo was super excited and he latched on to Erica and pulled her around the entire time.  Cruz was pretty excited about all the fishies too. 
From the aquarium, we headed toward the French Quarter.  We walked several blocks along the river to our first stop, Cafe Du Monde.  I forget what they are called, but we all at these fluffy fried pastry things that were very similar to funnel cakes.  Tasty, but I was ready to get out of there with two antsy children in that HEAT.  From Cafe Du Monde, we headed towards Bourbon Street.  Kelly's aunts weren't thrilled to let their sixteen year old boys go down there, but we all insisted that we couldn't come to New Orleans without seeing Bourbon Street.  All of the old buildings and atmoshpere was very interesting, but let me just say, that place was stinky.  Just walking down the sidewalk towards Bourbon Street, there was a stench.  It was a mixture of stinky water smell mixed with trash.
Anyways, not long after arriving on Bourbon Street, it started downpouring and thundering and lightning.  We stepped into the nearest non x-rated store and waited it out.  After the thunderstorm, the boys tracked down some tasty hand grenades for us.  Wowza!  Those things were STRONG.  If we were going out for a night of drinking, that is all I would've needed. The hand grenade is doing the talking in the picture of me to the right. (And obviously the sunbathing didn't pay off for me!  Look at those pasty legs! Or wait, don't!)
We can now say we've been to Bourbon Street, and Kelly even caught some beads.  We'll forget the fact that he was holding a baby in one arm and catching the beads with the other ;)

Day 5 and 6 of our trip....coming soon!