They flew in last Wednesday and stayed through the weekend and it was GREAT! Zack was busy with orientation during the day but I got to hang out with them and show them all over the city and then of course in the evenings, he was home and got to go play with us too. We did a little of everything while they were here but probably the activity that consumed the majority of our time was eating. Seriously. I'm estimating that we consumed an average of six thousand calories a day while they were here...and it was glorious. You just can't come to New Orleans and NOT eat I've decided, because this town is absolutely food crazy. We made sure that they got the chance to try as many of the "classics" as possible. We started out with Po' boys, then worked our way up to bar-b-q shrimp at Pascal's Manale and beignets at Cafe Du Monde. (And yes, I had to look up the spelling of beignets). We took them to get SnoBalls at the Snow Wizard and we had boiled crabs (it is crab season after all) at Deanie's. On Thursday night we ventured into the 9th Ward to eat at The Joint, which was not surprisingly this tiny, dirty, hole-in-the-wall cinder block building down by the river. It was also where we had some of the best bar-b-q I've ever eaten in my whole life. Zack learned about this place last week during his volunteer project and he insisted that we had to go back and try their ribs. For those of you who are fans of the Food Network, this place was apparently featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives a while back and let me tell you, not only did it exceed my expectations, it blew them right out of the water. This place was incredible. We may or may not have been in grave danger while we were there but since we all came out of this experience alive, if not a few pounds heavier, I'd say it was definitely worth the risk.
Believe it or not, we did manage to squeeze in a few non-food-related adventures in during their visit too. The thing about having Leah here is that she's my best shopping buddy in the world. You better believe we spent some time getting acquainted with the shops on Magazine Street! And while you might think that Jordan would get sick of traipsing along behind us while we shopped, you'd be wrong. Ok, maybe he got a little bored with it but what can I say? He's a trooper! I took them via streetcar down to the French Quarter and we spent a good deal of time just driving around the Garden District looking at all of the big old houses.
Probably the best thing we did though, and by best I mean most awesome, was the swamp tour we took on Saturday. Zack was able to go with us since orientation was finished at that point, so we all got to experience the awesomeness that is the Louisiana bayou. Did we see any alligators you ask? Why, yes we did!
We saw a bunch of them actually. And these guys weren't the least bit shy either...they swam right up to the boat and a couple of them almost acted as if they wanted to climb aboard with us. The fact that our tour guide was baiting them with hot dogs and marshmallows probably had a little bit to do with their interest in our group but considering the fact that alligators can apparently jump vertically out of the water the length of their body, there was truly some amount of risk in having them get so close. I'm not necessarily a huge fan of large, man-eating reptiles, but I've got to admit, seeing those things up close was pretty sweet.
Riverboat houses we saw during our swamp tour.
A big old alligator!
The only unhappy part of their whole visit came early Sunday morning when I had to take Leah and Jordan to the airport to catch their flight back home to Kentucky. I've missed them like crazy since we moved down here, and having them get to come for a visit only made me realize all over again just how much that is. Having lived with Leah essentially my whole life, its so weird not having her around all the time anymore. We text like 100 times a day which is great, but still not quite as good as seeing each other in person. Luckily, it rained a good deal while they were here (yeah I know, shocking huh?) so there were several things such as visiting the zoo that they didn't get to do. And we barely even made a dent in the surface of the culinary side of New Orleans. Guess they'll just have to come back for another visit soon!