My trip: April 2009
We stayed in a cozy hotel named Hotel Provencial in the heart of the French Quarter. After a short rest we headed out on foot to see the local shops and restaurants; chalk full of ornate masks, beads, tourists and tourist collectables the city was more crowded then we could have imagined. We strolled along cobblestone streets, the smells of seafood, coffee and good old fashion beer blowing in from the Mississippi River and out of the many outdoor cafes. Water dropped into our hair from freshly watered plants that lined the balconies along every street. Each balcony was adorned in beads or local art; it seems Mardi Gras is an ongoing annual event. A quick walk down Bourbon Street, where the streets really do flow with beer, we just as quickly decided not to go back there ever again. Apparently, the Pirate Festival coincided with our trip so we dined in the infamous French Market Restaurant with the local mates. I had never had fried oysters before, or Crawfish for that matter, so we feasted like wild tourists and enjoyed the live jazz in the outdoor dining area.
The food was so good we went back the next morning for the Sunday brunch! I think my favorite part of New Orleans, besides the fried foods (shrug), is the people; everyone was so laid back, charming and helpful and I just LOVE how they all say "Yes, Ma'am."
A few more stops in the Big Easy, and it was time to head out toward the panhandle of the Sunshine State...
We arrived Sunday evening and I met the family...and I mean the entire family, including the cats: Dusty, Nash, and Pitty, along with Jack and Jill, or more commonly known as the 'kids'.
We took a few road trips down the coast into the local fishing towns of St. Joe, Apalachicola, and Carabella. We even hit a beautiful stretch of land called Cape San Blas (where we would eventually go back to ride horses.) One of our favorite destinations was the tiny island of St. George.
Candid Shot: After kayaking with his Dad, Ryone rinses off in their state of the art outdoor shower!
On out last night, perhaps my favorite, we all ate dinner out at the St. Joe Harbor. As the sun set magically on the Gulf we shared our seafood and enjoyed the good company. I will remember this night forever.