Last week Rhett and I took our very first "Mommy & Daddy" trip and went to New Orleans for a few days. It was fantastically wonderful. We didn't even turn the radio on for the 5 hour drive from Birmingham. We just talked and talked about politics, theology, the kids . . . you name it. We basically just caught up. It was really nice. We did learn that if you stop to eat in Mississippi and you want to eat in a non-smoking section you have to ask for really non-smoking in order to actually not be seating in an area where you choke on smoke (that is what the hostess at Cracker Barrel told us as she lead us to a really non-smoking table). The other interesting thing on the way down there was the FEMA trailer graveyard somewhere outside of New Orleans. There were THOUSANDS of those white trailers parked on the side of the interstate. It looked like Talladega race weekend times a thousand. I would hate to be the person who had to clean those things out. Anyway, we finally got there and saw this . . .A beautiful drive across the bridge to the city. We settled into our hotel, The Monteleone, and got ready for a quick glance around the French Quarter and our first of many awesome meals. It was so easy just getting myself ready for a change. I took a really, really long bath and took a really deep breath that has been three years in the making. Ahhh. Relaxation. We went to dinner at a place that was recommended to us by several people who are from or live in New Orleans . . .
James Carville sitting by the front door when we walked in that we were in a good spot and it did not disappoint. I had lobster and mushroom risotto that was off the charts. Rhett had trout that he said ranked in his top three meals of all time. Can you tell we liked it? We topped everything off with a slice of frozen lemon ice box pie.
Anyway, after a street car ride down St. Charles Ave. our day was complete and we got ready for our next big meal at a French restaurant called Restaurant August. It was very fancy and very French. We enjoyed being somewhere that was so outside of our normal life. I thought it was funny when as we sit in this fancy-smancy French resturant munching on freshly baked bread Rhett looked at me and said, "What does it say about me that the best bread I've had this week was at the Olive Garden?". (You have to admit those freshly defrosted breadsticks are yummy!). The thing with French restaurants is when reading the menu they will have me except for one ingredient that I'm just not sure about. Like it all sounds good except for the goose liver or braised pork belly or roasted marrow. Not exactly the type of establishment where you can ask to leave things off (wouldn't want to offend the chef) so you just have to go with it and not think about it. I had speckled trout prepared three different ways that was fantastic and Rhett had lamb. It was a fun night for us.
Cafe du Monde and had bingets, freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee for Rhett and hot chocolate for me. YUM! A great substitute for Krispy Kreme! I loved sitting outside and sipping my hot chocolate watching the sights of the city around us. We then went on a walking tour of the French Quarter. A lovely older French woman lead the tour (just us and a lady from Ireland) her accent really added to the ambiance of walking through the quarter and stopping in the beautiful courtyards. We grabbed a po boy for a late lunch and then hit the road back to Birmingham.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first day in 3 years that I haven't changed a diaper and all of the uninterrupted adult conversations that Rhett and I were able to have. It was a great belated celebration of our first 5 years of marriage. We are looking forward to another trip to New Orleans sooner rather than later. I really fell in love with the city - the culture, food and history. It is a real gem. I was reminded of Haiti several times with the architecture in the French quarter. It felt familiar. This may be the last time we have Mommy/Daddy time for a while so it was really special.