Sunday, March 25, 2012

Days Eighty Four and Eighty Five - New Orleans, Louisiana

 On Sunday, March 18th, Barry and I got up very early in Austin, Texas and drove to New Orleans! It was a ten hour drive. We crossed the Louisiana state line sometime around noon and arrived in the Big Easy around 2.

I love New Orleans. The architecture is beautiful, the food is great, there's music and art on the streets everywhere, and the weather is usually warm. We arrived there on Sunday afternoon and left on Tuesday morning. I can't remember what happened on which day. I'm just giving you all the pictures I liked rather than a play by play in chronological order. We took a lot of pictures! Here are some shots from all over the city.

Driving down Esplanade Avenue, we saw houses painted every color. I took most of these from a moving car. They're not the best quality, but the houses are so cute!



This is the French Market. It's kind of like a straw market you see in the Caribbean, but it's under a pavilion and a lot of the goods are Hello Kitty themed.

Bear and Charlie in the market!

Here I am in a park outside the French Market.

Now here's another montage of the streets of New Orleans! I didn't want to include these in the first montage because that's boring. I keep my people interested.

Almost every street has a cute plaque like this.

Barry and I ate lunch at the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. It was so much more than pizza and one of our favorite restaurants from this entire trip. Here's the outside of it. It's actually right across from the French market, on the corner of Barracks Street and French Market Place.

This is one thing we ate. It's shrimp and corn maque choux. It's like a creamy, garlicky, spicy sauce with lots of corn, green onions, red peppers, and black pepper. Then there are amazing grilled shrimp on it, which are charred and lemony. I'm drooling on the computer right now. I want to eat it every day!

This is bread made in the pizza oven. It's a lot like naan bread, if that helps anyone. It was covered in what they called pesto. I normally dislike pesto, but this wasn't oily at all. It was mostly just basil and garlic. We ate other things but I didn't photograph them because I was too busy eating them. We also had grilled artichoke hearts and Barry had gumbo.

Here's little Chuck waiting while we eat. Such a patient doggy.

I saw this sign and I wondered, what are the other options? Isn't that it?

Some guy on the street was making these crazy statues. It's hard to see, but this is a life size statue of a woman covered in all kinds of mosaic tiles.

This little girl saw Charlie and her face lit up and she yelled DOGGIE! We stopped to let her pet him and she couldn't stop hugging him. Charlie is such a good sport, he just stood there while she poked his eyes, pulled his collar, and yelled excitedly in his ears.

In case that wasn't enough torture for the dog, then I put his head through one of these silly things.

A picture of the park with a church and a horse carriage.

Barry with a zombie voodoo statue thing.

No one told us it was fedora day. It wasn't.

These line certain areas of the street. Horses to tie your horse up.

That's the end of New Orleans! We left for Perdido Key on Tuesday. That'll be the next post!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day Eighty Three - Austin, Texas

Saturday, March 17th. Our last day in Austin. St. Patrick's Day. The eighty-third day of the road trip.

There's a serious food truck movement in Austin. They're everywhere! On Saturday we went to have doughnuts, which were the size of my head. Here's a shot of the whole place...

Here are a few of the menu items. These are all doughnuts, just with all different toppings.

I got coconut chocolate and Barry got blue balls. I'm pretty sure there were more than 100 grams of sugar in these.

Since it was St. Patrick's Day, the streets downtown were packed.

There were also a lot of political activists around. Some I didn't quite understand, like this strange fellow.

Here are some green clad St. Patrick's Day partiers on the roof of a bar.

Some guy on the street was giving out these sweatshirts for free. It's difficult to tell in this picture, but the gold print on the front is supposed to look like a giant gold necklace. Ewwww.

We stopped for a margarita at a Mexican restaurant and there was a camel in the parking lot.

The final picture from Austin has to be this fellow. He was walking down the street in a green, full torso man thong. Gross!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day Eighty Two - Austin, Texas

Friday, March 16th. Barry and I went to Twin Falls in the morning. It's a path that runs along a river. Eventually you get to a wide part of the river and there are waterfalls! It was so cool.

Wildflowers. Ooooh.

Here's the river...

Ben jumped right in! I didn't think we would like the water because his legs are approximately four inches long. Maybe six. He loved it.

Barry frolicking in the waterfall.

Here's Barry jumping off the cliff. I'm sorry the video is tiny. I don't know why it won't get bigger. Can you tell what he does at the beginning? He casually throws our little doggy off the cliff first. 

Later that day, Barry went to make some art with Rita. She's one of my mom's good friends. They've known each other forever and is actually my dad's cousin. Rita makes beautiful sculpture and jewelry. Here are a few of her pieces. I pulled the pictures from her website here.

She offered to show us some of the things she does. Barry was super interested in making something so he went over a couple hours before I did. Rita helped him make a metal sculpture of a turtle. Here's Rita soldering something...

Showing Barry how to do it.

Here's a close up picture of the face of Barry's turtle. He's kind of scary, just like Barry's actual turtle.

After the art lesson, we went to see the bats. There's a bridge in downtown Austin where thousands of bats nest. At sunset, they all fly out to go hunting for bugs. In late summer, there are an estimated 1.5 million that fly out. It's the largest bat colony on the continent. While we were there, there were not very many yet. We could still see them, though, and it was very cool. Here are Rita, Susie, and I waiting on the bridge for the bats to come out.

Kayakers waiting for the underneath view of the bats under the bridge.

This is a bat tour.

Bicycling kayakers.

Even though we didn't see many, it was a beautiful night to be near the river. After the bats, we had really good Mexican food. I kind of wish I had some more right now.