New Orleans β›ͺ️

I had long promised to take the kids to New Orleans, one of my favorite cities and a place I thought the girls would really like. With Claire almost off to college, this spring break was one of the last chances to take both girls on a trip, at least as “kids”.

Moly has turned into a bit of a Francophile, learning French in school, so New Orleans should be extra fun for her.

So off we went on a five-day road trip to the glorious crescent city.

We decided to stay in Houston for a night on the way since Molly had wanted to see the Galeria shopping center, which was apparently famed at her middle school. Despite many visits to see my parents in House, we had never set aside time to really “do” the Galleria. So we did it right this time – dinner at La Madeline (to match the French trip theme) next to the skating rink and taking our time to gawk at all the fancy stores. We all agreed it was certainly the most celebrated shopping center in Texas, at least. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Once in NOLA, we enjoyed some surprisingly cool weather and settled into our AirBnB on Magazine Street in the lovely Lower Garden District. I told Molly that New Orleans had a New York feel to it, and she was happy surprised to see how diverse and cosmopolitan it was.

We caught the swamp tour south of town. Despite the non-swampy, we saw more than a few big gators, who were friendly enough. The tour guide recruited Molly as a “volunteer” to jump into the swamp and find some small gators for everyone to bring home. He promised we’d come back to get her in an hour. πŸ˜† Molly was a good sport about the whole ordeal and calmly stayed in the boat.

We explored the Lower Garden District and are a lot of delicious food, including Korean BBQ, Vietnamese, old-school and pizza in our neighborhood. Somehow we discussed World War 2 during our entire pizza outing. It started with, “Dad, can you tell us about World War 2?” πŸ˜† And of course we hade the long-promised beignets in the French Quarter. The beignets took about an hour, but it was worth the wait.

As we ate at the chef’s counter at St. John, I was sitting between Claire and Molly. Somehow they invented a game where Claire spoke Spanish and Molly spoke French, and I had to translate between the two. Claire kept getting stumped on the phrase “slow metabolism”. πŸ˜†

We also enjoyed a crowded streetcar ride down St. Charles to Canal. Claire was drawn to the paranormal on this trip, first hit a voodoo store, which was more of an Apothecary & BotΓ‘nica store. I almost bough some Tabasco cologne but didn’t quite feel it. Claire got her tarot professionally read in the French Quarter while Molly and I had a coffee and Italian soda across the street. Claire’s results were apparently helpful but not discussed with us. πŸ˜‰

We left with plenty more to see in New Orleans, but I am so happy to have brought them to this beautiful and unique city just the next state over. Molly added it to her list of possible places to move because she liked the active, urban vibe. πŸ™‚

Not bad for a quick trip. πŸ‘

Blazer Tag

Molly and I love Blazer Tag but got out of the habit of going during the pandemic. We kept saying, “We’ll back back after the pandemic.” We today, like General MacArthur’s return to the Philippines (well, sort of πŸ€”), we returned triumphantly to Blazer Tag.

The actual laser tag crowd was sparse but lively – we got our butts kicked by a 10-year-old girl. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

But we had fun doing it! And we did alright at the arcade games. This time, instead of saving up for some big prize that costs 50,000 tickets we got a few handfuls of candy and some cheap bracelets, enough to share with everyone at home.

Bye bye, pandemic. It was (not) nice knowing you.

Endless Uno

Molly, Kari, and I had the world’s longest Uno game. It lasted well over two hours.

Molly and Kari both “almost” won several times, just to be dashed by a wildcard or a +2. It got ugly at times. When I betrayed Molly with a +2 card, she said, “I thought we were friends, Dad.” with that perfect Molly deadpan delivery. πŸ˜†

We played songs on the HomePod to reflect the mood. I asked Siri to play, “I Don’t Care Anymore” by Phil Collins. We all just wanted it to end.

We ate Tootsie Rolls to keep our strength up.

Eventfully Kari won the night with a sneak run and a small mistake on Molly’s part (or was is mine?).

Maybe next time we’ll play Ticket to Ride. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Heart-Shaped Hands

Claire has been pretty into making a “heart” shape with her hands like this lately.

She’ll spring it on you. Suddenly there’s just this heart-shaped hand in front of you, and it’s like “whoa!” and she wants you to complete the heart. πŸ˜† Apparently I’m the worst at it. Claire’s like “That’s so ugly, Dad!” πŸ˜‚

American Girl

Molly is finally ready to let go of her American Girl doll (and accessory) collection. We did a photo shoot today to post for sale. Molly was incredible at getting everything arranged just right for maximum presentation, insisting on outdoor lighting for starters. πŸ‘