Nana, Papa-T and Liam arrived minutes after we got home Friday afternoon and Luz and Liam got ready for Fantastic Mr. Fox at the CAC. I stayed home with James, much to his dismay, and was bummed to miss out on this event after hearing about it. Luz and Liam talked about it all weekend and I still have only a vague notion of what it is they are doing over there. There is no doubt that it is something incredible - it left an impression. If you have a kid and live in or near NOLA I suggest checking it out. I have plans to catch it before the already extended run finally ends. Here is a link in case you would like to know more:
On Saturday morning after a lovely but rather cold long run (yes indeed, I am still planning to run the Mardi Gras 1/2 Marathon in a few short weeks) we bundled the kids up and headed to Storyland and City Park. Luz and James are always entertained at Storyland and I think Liam had fun running and climbing. But I think the kids would have had fun anywhere as long as they were together.
The kids, still for just a second at the rocket ship:
Taking a snack break and feeding ducks at City Park:
We headed to the French Quarter for lunch at Masperos, thinking there would not be many people out since it was so cold. We were wrong. The FQ was packed and the Masperos line was daunting. We made it though, with the help of Angry Birds and other cell phone games. What did we do to distract impatient kids before cell phones? Brief sidenote : I saw someone's post on FB today that commented on a study about 2-5 year olds and iphones - something to the effect of "90% of 2-5 year olds can operate an iphone and only 9% can tie shoelaces". My children fit squarely within that stat - is that a bad thing? Does one really need to know how to tie shoelaces by age 5?
On Saturday night we took Nana and Papa-T to dinner to celebrate Richmond's birthday. We met up at Cure for pre-dinner cocktails. I love this place, especially in the evening before it gets too crowded and loud. After a few drinks we headed to Cafe Atchafalaya for dinner and we were a big enough group to merit our own room, the poker room. I had not been to Atchafalaya since before Hurricane Katrina...I know. My dinner (I actually did not have an entree and opted for two smaller plates - the soup du jour, which was a tomato soup, and a roasted beet salad, because I cannot ever resist) was delicious and I think everyone had a great time.
We spent most of Sunday morning at the zoo. We go to the zoo frequently and yet it is big enough that it is like a new experience every time. We usually head straight to the monkeys/chimps/gorillas but on Sunday we hit the swamp exhibit and I loved it. The alligators were in hiding, which was a bit disappointing, but there were plenty of other cool things to check out.
I do not know what it is that compels kids to climb on these bronze sculptures, it is certainly not the first idea that crosses my mind when I see them:
Liam and Papa-T:
They enjoyed pulling James in the wagon and later James enjoyed pulling them - he is crazy strong:
On the train, for James:
The weekend ended with a trip to Tipitina's to listen to some Cajun music, watch the dancers, and maybe even learn a little. I have always been curious about this Sunday night phenomenon and was impressed. It seems to be a close-knit group of really lovely people who love and respect Cajun music and dance. I felt privileged to have a glimpse into what is obviously a very special part of their lives.
At Tip's, they were pretty much done at this point but I was determined to catch Liam's first time in a bar:
All in all we had a lovely couple of days. It was a much needed distraction on the heels of a few weeks of sad news about people we know, though not well, which served as yet another reminder that what we are doing here (whatever it is) is being done on borrowed time and that none of "this" is permanent. It is the gut-wrenching reality that leads me to cherish every moment and appreciate the simplicity of a beautiful weekend spent watching my children make the happiest of memories by doing nothing more than having fun with the people they love.