Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Scary Hair

Back in high school I used to get teased about my giant hair all the time. Its practically the same hairstyle now as it was then. One of my friends upon being able to locate me by the back of my head said "Oh Liz we can recognize you by your hair." In a school of silken haired girls, mine crazy curls were like a beacon of dorkdom. Apparantly it lives on in a more sinister way. I teach the valiant 10's in Primary (basically Sunday School for kids.) On Sundayy a boy in class randomly blurts out, "I used to be scared of your hair." What?! He goes on "yeah I'd sit in church and see you and thought your hair and your kids were really scary. Once I asked my mom who's that lady with scary hair and kids, she looks mean. But I don't think you're mean now that your my teacher." Umm thanks? Glad to know my hair frightens children.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mississippi Trip

Thanks to the "kind" people at American Express who gave me a ton of miles for getting a card then piling more on it, I had a free ticket that needed used. And thanks to a great husband who has been willing to be ditched with all of the kids on more than one occasion for me to go on trips, I got to go on a girls only trip at the end of January. Nik and I have been friends since 7th grade. She introduced me to the church and her husband baptized me (back when they were "just friends".) We went from living across the parking lot from each other to living across the country from each other, needless to say, its been rough. Funny side note, Nik's husband, Da, once made a comment in Sunday School that if Nik and I could be sealed to each other we would. Da did clarify he meant like a friend sealing, but of course a few guys at church couldn't resist running with it in the other direction. We thought it was a great idea. In lieu of the instatement of a friend sealing, we're settling for arranged marriages for our children. We figure it'll work out in a round about way. ( clairification for the non-Mormons out there: when we get married in the temple, we are sealed for time and eternity. Children born after a couple are sealed, are born in the covenant of that relationship. This chain of eternal families goes on and on. We figure that if our kids got married, since they are already sealed to us, we'll be guaranteed to hang out for eternity also)
Jackson Square in New Orleans.

We went to Gulf Shores, Alabama first. We left Sunday after church, unfortunately I seem to be incapable of Mapquesting because I led us on a two hour detour. A decade ago this might have seemed a funny adventure, not so much now. It wasn't terrible, or wrecked our day or anything. You see we drove Nik's old Corolla that she drove in collge. Fun but zero cushion on the seats and squishier than I remember. Sad to say but after all of these years driving our cushy mini vans, with a lot of leg room, that old college car felt pretty uncomfortable.

Gulf Shores has a beautiful, white sand beach. It wasn't exactly swimming weather, but it was still nice to roll up our pants, ditch our shoes and walk on the beach. I hadn't ever seen that part of the Atlantic before, so that was pretty cool.

The other really cool thing about Gulf Shores is the giant outlet mall! Yeah! I love to shop. Bummer is I married a guy who hates it, and thankfully is a bigger tightwad than me. Otherwise I'd be bankrupt. I love any shopping, bargain or window. Just because I can't afford it doesn't mean I don't like to look. Lucky for my budget, we found some STEALS. Celeste, I did not take a picture of my bargains, sorry. Anyway, it was really fun to just shop and be able to score some cute new stuff without feeling guilty. I mean really who can complain about $1.50 tee-shirts?

After our shopping adventure, we took off for New Orleans. I've wanted to go there forever. Its got so much history, and a lot of books and movies have been based there. The French Quarter is obviously where all of the tourists go. Which means its safer too. The old parts of the city really are beautiful and interesting. We opted to skip Bourbon Street, and once it was dark we hit restaurants and movie theaters. The architecture definately lived up to my expectations. The only thing the dork in me wished for was a plaque or something explaining the history of each and every house. That would have been so great. Instead I had to rely on the guidebook, I'd gotten from the library. Some of the houses histories were in there, but I was afraid to walk around with it out all of the time. I didn't want to look like an easy target, which one should definately keep in mind there.

The buildings above is one of two identical townhomes built on the east and west sides of Jackson square. There's a cathedral to the north, and waterfront to the south. (you were dying to know that part I know). I wish I could remember the exact story behind the buildings, but I do know they were built by a Spanish woman who married a French guy. They both had a sordid (but seperate) love life, after which she divorced him, made off with a truckload of cash (he was some sort of French nobility) and moved from Paris to New Orleans, which she'd always considered home. She built a bunch of fancy buildings, and started the whole fancy scroll work balcony thing. Her life in New Orleans sounded even more sordid, and I believe involved some prominent people. Apparantly there is even an opera about her life that is very popular with the New Orleaners. What does it say about me that I kind of thought she soundedcool? I meant the whole making a name for herself way back when, not the sordid affairs part.

According to a local construction guy we met on the street, this is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's house. We were trying to orient ourselves on a map and he came and asked if we were looking for Brad Pitt's house, so maybe it's legit.

This is part of Lafayette Cemetary 1, which I convinced Nik to hunt down with me. The cemetaries there are really cool looking. They had to do above ground burials because of the water levels. They use them over and over again as bodies decompose. Creepily interesting.

On the beach in Alabama. Boy my hair never looks so great as on a beach, when its blowing wildly out of control.

Nik on the beach. Already sporting the baby bump at 14 weeks. That's what happens when your so incredibly thin there's no where else for the kid to go.

The other great part about traveling the south is the food. Oh my gosh. The food there is so dang good. I literally gained 10 pounds, I came home to tight pants! There are so many good places to eat and so many things to try, we didn't even come close to touching on the possibilities. We had alligator, crab stuffed catfish, crab stuffed fried mushrooms, jambalaya, cheese fritters (awesome btw), po boys, amazing honey rosemary glazed fried chicken. beignets (extraordinary French donuts and I don't like donuts much), croissants. Mmmm. Oh wait and I had a side salad once. We'd eat when we weren't hungry just to try it all. Combine that with two days of airport junk, and its easy to see how I could pack on a few. Can you tell I like to eat?