Spring Weekend in February

Now, I don’t want to jinx anything but it has been *whispers* sunny and warm in Michigan for the last week.

In February.

January through March is the worst time of the year but it’s been between 40-60 degrees lately and the sun has been making an appearance, at least for a portion, of most days lately.

If you don’t live in the midwest, you won’t know how it feels waking up day after day to a dull, gray sky, low temps and bitter winds. To say it’s utterly miserable and depressing is a vast understatement.

Not recently though! This weekend it was in the 60s and the sun was constantly out – which worked perfectly for me. I took a much needed personal day and spent as much time outside, wearing sunnies and being unburdened by a heavy coat as I could!

Three days of waking up without an alarm clock to this face with nothing to do but roll out of bed and make breakfast and slowly enjoy a big mug of coffee.

 photo IMG_1458 2_zpskpknlwfn.jpg

 photo IMG_1460 2_zpsp625kfip.jpg

 photo IMG_1462 2_zpswtrg30zp.jpg

Saturday, we played in the yard and the Wolf got a much needed bath.

Is there anything better than a soft, clean pup?

 photo DSC04112_zpsi0omy3so.jpg

 photo DSC04114_zpscsc2etho.jpg

 photo DSC04113_zpsep17b8ml.jpg

Completely exhausted, Lu dried off in the sun while I worked on some work (taking more study breaks than I’ll admit to go cuddle).

 photo DSC04123_zpsvwqpmkui.jpg

Now, you know how much I love my Sunday mornings. Cuddles first and then coffee in bed while reading a good book. I live for mornings like these.

Being able to crack the window and let in some fresh air and hear the birds chirping was just icing on the cake.

 photo IMG_1494 2_zpsvbizyg89.jpg

 photo IMG_1513_zpslhyzy1og.jpg

When we finally rolled out of bed, we harnessed up for a walk in the sun along the lake. Shedding jackets as we went and stopping here and there to point out our dream houses.

 photo IMG_1531 2_zps80ajnklq.jpg

 photo IMG_1538_zpsu2mxyyhv.jpg

 photo IMG_1536_zpsl7aj53c4.jpg

 photo IMG_1540_zps73o3mncw.jpg

 photo IMG_1539_zpshs80ph4l.jpg

 photo IMG_1541_zpsovodlqdy.jpg

The face of pure happiness.

 photo 615678AA-B31A-4A56-BB32-E558A1EEBBC8_zps4o8nk5rs.jpg

Completely exhausted, we came home. Lu to nap and me to get ready for this week’s midterms.

Studying isn’t half as bad when you can do it next to a window with the sun streaming in across your face.

 photo DSC04159_zps7rrzuado.jpg

 photo DSC04160_zpsjrk19xh8.jpg

As much as I love sweater weather, this weekend gave me a taste for the summer and it cannot come soon enough!

Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari

My favorite part of the day is the morning. I wake up early, make breakfast and settle in at the table, reading, eating and enjoying a big mug of coffee. Everything’s quiet, the house is still and whatever craziness is in store for the day hasn’t happened yet.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 4_zpsydhgsyjg.jpg

The past few weeks have been crazy so last week, I picked up Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance thinking I could use a little humor to start my days. As I’m sure you can tell, I’m a huge Parks and Rec fan. I think Aziz is hysterical in the show and I couldn’t wait to read his book.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 3_zpsmsb3vytf.jpg

I’ll admit, I didn’t read anything about the book before I bought it so you can imagine my surprise when I started reading it and quickly found out it was not a comedy book or hysterical memoir. It’s a sociological look at romance in the 21st century.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari_zpscbix35ey.jpg

Aziz teamed up with a sociologist from NYU and interviewed people from all over the world about their romantic lives and takes a look at statistical information from online dating sites and apps.

He talks about everything from the changes in dating from our grandparent’s generation where geographical proximity was key to today when dating apps open up the world to us to find our soulmates.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 5_zpsadtvukpy.jpg

He goes in depth about texting conversations, the history of online dating, what people look for in profiles and how picky we are and quick to judge others by the limited of information we initially share.

The most interesting chapter, I thought, was when he interviews people in other countries. The differences in dating in the U.S., Japan, Paris and Argentina are extreme.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 6_zpsmzqz4wb6.jpg

While it’s not the laugh until your belly hurts book I thought I was getting (don’t get me wrong, there are definitely funny parts – come on, it’s Aziz Ansari, you know there had to be) I still really enjoyed the book.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 2_zps9ehnnbp4.jpg

I thought it was completely fascinating and well worth a read.

Tell me, have you read it? What did you think?

Galentine’s Day 2017

What’s Galentine’s Day?

 photo 1A9F74CA-EA3A-40EF-97D6-0FBDB5A42C78_zpsx2zouztd.gif

(image)

I love Galentine’s Day! I’m a firm believer in the importance of having strong women in our lives and a holiday that allows you to celebrate these women, what could be better?

If you don’t know what Galentine’s Day is, it was invented by Leslie Knope on Parks and Recs.

“Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and boyfriends at home and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”

 photo 624B1BD8-5109-403E-818E-A0A3C54890C7_zps5xuirvqd.jpg

 photo 108D57B8-16F8-4384-A455-1363C4F349FC_zpspyqjiyqo.jpg

 photo 1D050DF8-4DDD-438F-A6F9-B9F2E0D2B9BA_zpsmki6nqed.jpg

 photo 97285FF3-5E51-4BD9-8B9E-07EA611AA37F_zpsdkj7mm5d.jpg

A holiday that gives you an excuse to eat breakfast food and celebrate the women in your life who lift you up when you’re down, inspire you to do great things and challenge you to be the best you can be. Honestly, can you think of a better holiday?

Bittersweet at the Detroit Institute of Art

This weekend I was invited to a meet up at the Detroit Institute of Arts (you may remember it from this post) to view the Bittersweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate exhibit.

Can you think of anything more appealing?

 photo 80DAC5CE-57CD-4A0A-B0F8-EFA57161D655_zpsxbkljfwo.jpg

The exhibit is full of the most intricate and detailed tea and coffee pots and cups you’ve ever seen. Honestly, can you imagine having tea at a friends and she pull this out to pour you a strong cuppa?

 photo CA051611-0102-4F82-988C-5A2DE97BDA77_zpsnbxynfpr.jpg

 photo 7397D76F-85FC-4EF4-B720-D5D47A614A1B_zps42on1xlt.jpg

“From social revolutions that changed the way we drink our morning blends, to design revolutions that changed the objects that we drink from, step back in time to when gathering over a cup of your favorite hot beverage caused a stir that upended the world.

Bittersweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate is the first exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts to engage all five sense. In addition to seeing art, you can touch, hear, smell and even taste coffee- and tea-related beverages.”

 photo 5757D222-B95B-4E8B-9E2A-F4CE43815AC4_zps9kzlwpem.jpg

 photo 4B827FA6-C613-4AF8-AD20-8C953CA62873_zpsatccbdoo.jpg

The worst part of the exhibit of realizing that it’s considered rude to drink spilled tea. Who knew?

 photo CF8245CE-6826-413E-AC9F-97BFF4E1BE2B_zpscdngketl.jpg

We were heard that this was a sensory exhibit, where you got to sample different coffee and tea but were a little disappointed when we made our way through the exhibit, looking at coffee pot after coffee pot and at the end were offered just 2 shots of coffee.

One an Aztec recipe and one a French – both had a number of spices in them which gave it a strong kick, sure to jumpstart your day.

 

 photo CBC4ABBF-1D9D-44BB-B02B-AFAAEBA8B5F4_zpsvlgug0mf.jpg

The exhibit was beautiful and while a little disappointing on the tasting end, it is worth a visit for this gem alone:

 photo C4678187-92DC-4B75-961D-2713029DA4C2_zps5ffxdngi.jpg

No wonder she’s close mouth smiling (I use that term loosely).

While there, it’s a perfect excuse to wander around the museum.

It’s one of my favorite in the world. Every time I visit I notice something different and revisiting my favorites is like seeing an old friend.

 photo F73C921B-FAA3-4EE1-9AD3-3054BF4415BE_zpsbosizyfv.jpg

This is the first time I visited the courtyard since watching Frida and I may have geeked out a little.

No matter how you feel about Diego Rivera, there’s no denying how incredible his work is.

 photo 92CF0568-BC89-4EAD-9450-BEF41ABCB6DE_zpsham1xa2g.jpg

 photo D3406C9B-24E5-497E-9476-A7044A4A49D3_zpsbaefg9ho.jpg

 photo AA39FD90-22F9-4B2C-BBEB-8A6EE78872CC_zpskhzj4i4k.jpg

 photo EF2794A8-E8F1-45EF-A421-A1149357D479_zpsmpck90mk.jpg

 photo 94E4B024-6966-4E1C-AE9E-D2F1BC78C821_zpsafqnkmaf.jpg

 photo CF5EC2AF-7102-4273-86CC-8DDDD72FC695_zps1omwp783.jpg

 photo 1EB45A51-A73D-44EC-8588-A9BE9788D90E_zpstfsp2yfy.jpg

Right now, there’s an incredible installation by New York street artist Caledonia Curry, known as Swoon.

It’s a 400 lb, 20 ft tall installation titled Thalassa located in the museum lobby.

It’s beautiful and haunting. You could stand there and stare at it for hours. The colors are vibrant and even when you look away, you find your gaze turning right back.

 photo 22132DE1-1E26-4FF2-B6B8-7D49E581BC1A_zpsakbjxohq.jpg

 photo C76132D2-68BE-4D8E-899D-E458E6B7DBE5_zpsgs9lcz5l.jpg

I can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly Sunday than wandering around a museum.

A great way to remind yourself of all the beauty in the world.

Life Update – The Little Things

I read a blog post this week that was short, sweet and simple: a life update. A post about what’s going on, what you’re thinking about, what you’re liking and so on.

I love that idea. I don’t know about you but I find myself going back frequently to old blog posts from a year ago. It’s funny how much life can change in a year and I love the reminder of where I was then (whether it was good or bad).

My posts tend to look at the big things going on (new recipes tried (yes, that is a big thing), travel, visiting friends, family, new places, wandering) but not so much the little things. So, it’s early February 2017 and here are the little things in my life.

My daily mantra (no, I’m not just saying that. It really is the saying that gets me through most days) and tea. Lots and lots of tea. Black tea during the day and detox or, my new favorite, Moroccan mint at night.

 photo FEAC9FFC-2DA7-44D4-9005-997424EA8D08_zpsiifxa1zx.jpg

School. A lot of reading. A lot of late nights. A lot of caffeine. Worth all of it.

 photo 3EB6B637-8DB5-4517-95AB-8E382269DBFF_zpsgzxiycsm.jpg

Winter indulgent snack: popcorn. Skinny Pop to be exact. Tell me, what’s better than a bowl of popcorn as you curl up on the couch with the wind howling and the snow falling outside?

 photo A2256178-E67E-4B93-ACF5-C97307876B52_zps8695txvv.jpg

Currently reading Modern Romance (a post on this coming shortly), Fordlandia and Once in a Great City.

I recommend all of them. Fordlandia is about Henry Ford’s acquisition of land in the Amazon and what a huge failure the venture was.

Once in a Great City covers the very prime of Detroit right before it’s downfall. Motown, the Mustang, the Olympic Bid, organized crime, corruption, urban renewal. It’s an easy read and so fascinating!

 photo 878107F2-B5B6-41AB-B23C-D89DBE5492A4_zpsotanzddf.jpg

Also reading Prince Valiant every week. The best comic around, hands down.

 photo 1C8649DD-0D40-4258-981F-9B4CCE5B5492_zpsa2jharev.jpg

 photo B5EA94ED-669A-4A06-9BE7-8CF0801B196A_zpsdzts9jv7.jpg

Loving late night puppy cuddles. I mean, come on. Look at that face. Who wouldn’t love that?

 photo 27FE5EE1-3F2A-4197-8EBB-4FEB4A4090AB_zpsjujk202t.jpg

Little things like good lipstick (MAC Candy Cane Lane and Are You Flirting With Me which I’m wearing in that first photo)

 photo 1EAB628D-8D0D-4263-85D0-DE507F0F619F_zpsccphb6ud.jpeg

My new iPad and marble case.

 photo 1B042DFB-9865-4441-9CC1-42F1AF0F52A5_zps0czsvprh.jpg

Elephants. Nothing new here but any excuse to talk about them, I’ll take!

 photo 10DFD08A-02A7-442A-8C60-EE5B4A0B3F71_zps76e001m2.jpg

Mahogany Coconut candle and shea butter hand cream. The stuff of every midwest winter dream.

 photo 67CFAD55-2C6B-4058-817F-64A896B3751E_zpsiks72p0r.jpg

Looking forward to Galentines Day! The best holiday of the year!

 photo 3E01750C-90D3-4196-B733-628DD210835F_zps9gw4bdbp.png

What’s inspiring me:

Videos from this year’s and last year’s Makers Conference.

Incredible discussions on Our Shared Shelf. A great place to have respectful conversations about books, feminism and society.

The Crown. I know there’s controversy about the show but I love it and Claire Foy is fabulous!

Sheryl Sandberg recognizing the importance of work life balance and the importance of family. Just when you think she can’t get any cooler, she proves you wrong.

Mari Copeny because what’s more inspiring than a young girl standing up for her rights.

I’ve found that when life gets to be overwhelming, it’s important to focus on the good, little things. A warm mug of coffee in the morning, a long walk, an absorbing book. So, these are mine currently. The little things that make life good right now.

I’d love to hear what yours are! What keeps you going on a bad day?

 

Sunday Snaps

You know those weeks when everything that could go wrong does and it gets to the point where even when you go to bed you dream about all the chaos going on? That was last week.

By the time Sunday rolled around, we tossed around ideas of what to do with no enthusiasm or effort. Movies? No. Shopping? No. Downtown? No. Staying in bed half the day only to roll out to eat popcorn and finally get a start on the Gilmore Girls revival? Yes!

It’s funny, in college there was nothing more I hated than a weekend where I just sat around. I was always trying to find something to do or somewhere to go.

Now that I’m busier than I’ve ever been or maybe I’m just old but I can’t think of a better way to end a crazy week than lounging around with your favorite person, pushing responsibility aside and just enjoying the little things.

 photo B4C3C492-BC92-41C9-98DF-AC74C967AEEE_zpsqmnxy0yx.jpg

A morning of puppy cuddles and enjoying the snow outside and the flowers inside.

 photo 7829A5B6-1738-4081-BD4F-114E256EBD12_zpstk7tl1qn.jpg

 photo A2BB40B9-5FA0-4FB3-8F78-EA309FCD73FC_zpsffobzcdf.jpg

In the afternoon, pajamas were replaced with a mens sweater and slippers. The book replaced with Netflix. Popcorn was added as was more puppy cuddles.

 photo A2256178-E67E-4B93-ACF5-C97307876B52_zps8695txvv.jpg

 photo 4549BBDC-6B4F-4248-8319-9D45BC8263E3_zpsdaoy5l4r.jpg

 photo EB2754E7-2C83-4B72-824C-625E6801C115_zpsxw0zzggz.jpg

 photo A8E9E265-54B8-49DD-A558-A6BB32CDBA1C_zpsuuv7deic.jpg

Does your dog sleep like this too? It honestly can’t be comfortable!

 photo E5965886-FA83-4733-80CD-E055A93EDD4F_zps77sogkwl.jpg

We only had time for the first episode of the Gilmore Revival so no spoilers!

As the sun set, I got a little baking in (and more Netflix, let’s be honest).

 photo 6524A066-B068-4FF7-AB84-A5012BC1F6D6_zpsqdgpfdmd.jpg

 photo D30FB33B-06B4-40D3-A0D8-B9CABE5340B9_zpswsq9dds4.jpg

And, feeling recharged, hit the books until Lupin started tugging at my sleeve to go to bed.

 photo 3EB6B637-8DB5-4517-95AB-8E382269DBFF_zpsgzxiycsm.jpg

 photo 27FE5EE1-3F2A-4197-8EBB-4FEB4A4090AB_zpsjujk202t.jpg

 photo D30332F3-E711-4449-B891-D267D72EDDAA_zpsoxojxmdu.jpg

Only to find my new tulip fully in bloom. Nothing beats the winter blues quite like vibrant flowers!

 photo 3CE6988A-207E-43CE-B234-1C63B43CC4DD_zpsifnwklv4.jpg

 photo B86DC4B2-DC85-4AAB-808B-2346185E4851_zpsub3mo9ca.jpg

While it was no grand adventure, it was a great day and I had to share just a few snaps. Isn’t it nice to take a day to just slow down and enjoy the little things in life?

A Man Called Ove

There are some things in life that can’t be explained. No matter how hard you search for the right words, there are none. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings in the world.

It wasn’t until recently that someone said to me, those are things that aren’t meant to be explained, they’re meant to be felt. How true is that? One of the things I think are really meant to be felt is the feeling you get when a book touches your soul.

When you finish a book that has made you think, consumes you completely and you know life will never be the same again.

I just finished a book that did that for me: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

 photo A5F37B9A-22B5-4588-B45F-5BD4732B2F74_zpskrvrfqbm.jpg

The description on the back of the book is pretty vague so I don’t want to give you even the slightest spoiler. It’s a book about love, friendship, death and living. A book of unexpected relationships and the people who change your life .

I loved Ove. I loved Sonja. I loved Parvaneh. I loved the cat. I loved the daughters. I loved the silly Saab.

I would wake up early to get an extra chapter in, stretch my lunch breaks to the maximum, carry it around in my coat pocket so I didn’t miss any spare moments where I could dive back into Ove’s life.

 photo 31EB4499-8181-40A0-9F5A-B95C8733518C_zpsgzjwcfmn.jpg

Remember when I wrote about the Little Paris Bookshelf and the literary apothecary who would prescribe the books people need?

Anyone who has ever felt alone, lost someone, counted on someone, formed unexpected friendships, loved animals, loved black coffee, felt a connection to a car. For anyone who has ever loved, lost, cried, laughed, cared for someone. Read this book. It starts a little slow but it’s worth it in the end.

I prescribe this book to you. Read it, come back and let me know what you think.

 photo 36C4AE7B-3E63-4B1A-9498-9CF103DF989E_zpssloobeif.jpg

The Music of the Night, Detroit

When I was a kid, my favorite story was one my mom told me of a ballerina at the opera house in Paris, a masked man with a disfigured face who fell in love with her and a terrific scene of a chandelier crashing down in the middle of the theater.

It wasn’t until college when I found out there was a movie of this story and then a few years later that I saw the play for the first time.

I realized she left a few important details out of the story (kidnapping, murder and deception, to name a few) but when I hear the first DUUUUUUN of that organ, I turn into a complete sobbing mess (like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman only more red faced and snotty). It’s my favorite story and I never miss a chance to experience it.

Especially if you can experience it in an Opera House.

 photo Detroit Opera House 2_zpssd2y3ojn.jpg

 photo Detroit Opera House 3_zps4pkkqlzf.jpg

 photo Detroit Opera House 5_zpszneisrte.jpg

 photo Detroit Opera House 4_zpsdrhe0fnn.jpg

 photo Detroit Opera House 6_zpshyo8gmrs.jpg

 photo Detroit Opera House 12_zpsxn7mfsid.jpg

 photo Detroit Opera House 7_zpsqmgg7zed.jpg

 photo Detroit Opera House 8_zpsffvxnqzy.jpg

If you’ve never seen Phantom, you must at some point in your life.

The casts are always incredibly talented, the sets are beyond elaborate, every emotion on the spectrum is explored and a giant chandelier does actually drop, stopping just feet above the heads of those in the audience.

 photo Detroit Opera House 9_zps8ujwwtpg.jpg

 photo Detroit Opera House 11_zpsp9ajh1xz.jpg

 photo Detroit Opera House 10_zpsawpjso75.jpg

It is my absolute favorite show and I never fail to leave the theater with tears in my eyes, entering the crowds on the street singing Music of the Night to myself.

 photo Detroit Opera House_zpsudmozzag.jpg

If you’ve never seen it and it’s not touring by you, take my advice and skip the theatrical movie (I’m totally with you that one should never pass up an opportunity to stare at Gerard Butler but trust me on this) and watch the live recording of the 25th anniversary production. You won’t be sorry.

Isn’t there something just so magical about a night at the theater. Tell me, what’s your favorite show? I’m always looking for new  ones to go to!

 

 

Currently

After having nothing but issues with PhotoBucket this morning, I decided to do a quick lazy life update than go another day without posting. Life has been . . . hectic!

I’ve traveled 2 places since Christmas – both of which were incredible!

Ready for the next adventure ✈️

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

California is always a good idea (those mountains!) and New Orleans is a city like no other.

You can read my California posts here here here here and here and my New Orleans posts here here here and here

California strollin'

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

Back to New Orleans on wandererandwolf.com

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

As much as I love traveling, it’s exhausting! Especially when you have delayed flights and red eye flights.

This means my weekends here have been quite lazy.

Currently

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

Plenty of time hanging with the pup and trying to stay healthy (doesn’t it seem like just everyone is getting sick this winter?).

"Let's go back to bed"

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

Thoroughly enjoying the last day of vacation

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

Health of the mind and the body. Both equally important in my opinion! Nothing is better for stress than a good yoga session, sweaty run or escape into someone else’s life.

Time to work off those beignets 💪🏼

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

Plus a getting your sweat on allows you to be guilt free when enjoying the finer things in life.

Like this:

Bellinis make everything better

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

Or this:

Still dreaming about last night's tiramisu 😍

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

Currently I’m reading A Man Called Ove and just love it! I’ll post thoughts on it when I’m done.

Easy like Sunday morning

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

I’m back in school too which is taking up a ton of time. I can’t say I ever knew what busy was until balancing working full time and going to school at night but let me tell you something, I love it!

First day of school photo. Never thought I'd be doing that again!

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

In any extra spare time I have, you’ll more than likely find me sharing a jar of peanut butter with the wolf (who is loving the snow, by the way).

Peanut butter

A post shared by Caitlin (@wandererandwolf) on

February I’ll be grounded and, hopefully, will work on one of my New Years resolutions of exploring more of my own backyard. I’d love a winter bucket list to go through though.

It’s so easy to fall into a a pattern of just spending your weekends on the couch, not putting on real pants. I need motivation to get out and do stuff. Any suggestions?

Rollin’ On The River, New Orleans

We woke up early on our last full day in New Orleans and dragged ourselves over to Cafe Beignet with the hopes of a big, delicious breakfast and even bigger cups of strong coffee.

 photo Cafe Beignet New Orleans 2_zps6xnh1ghb.jpg

I made no secret of my love of Cafe du Monde so I have to tell you I loved Cafe Beiegnet just as much. Shaped like a tube stop with exposed brick walls, checked floor and palm painted ceiling, it’s something straight out of an avid Instagrammers dream.
 photo Cafe Beignet New Orleans_zpsxtinwfdz.jpg

And the food! The omelets are french style, cooked to perfection. There’s no shortage of hot sauce and the chicory coffee is the perfect thing to make you forget you’re up early on vacation.

Did I mention I had grits for the first time? I was so scared after the scene in Secret Life of Bees but they’re pretty dull. Probably like oatmeal, you have to spice it up to enjoy it. What do you think? Do you like grits? Any good recipes?

 photo Cafe Beignet New Orleans 3_zpsw9anxslk.jpg

We left the restaurant and entered the thickest fog I’ve ever experienced.

You know that scene in Scooby Doo whenever they’re in thick fog and Scooby takes a knife and literally cuts it away? That’s the best way I can describe it.

The closer we got to the river, the denser it grew.

 photo Creole Queen Steamboat_zpsd5pcwgbb.jpg

 photo New Orleans Jester_zpszcsa2mxg.jpg

The night before we purchased tickets (and dealt with the absolute worst customer service) to go on the Steamboat Creole Queen for a history tour.

As we boarded, we couldn’t see anything past the railing and had such reservations. What’s the point of a Riverboat tour if you can’t see anything?

 photo Creole Queen Steamboat 2_zps3h4wqnay.jpg

 photo Creole Queen Steamboat 3_zpslnxdkszr.jpg

We had a very eccentric historian tour guide to entertain us as we stared out at a never ending wall of grey, sitting on wet benches with a cold wind making an absolute reck of our hair.

 photo Creole Queen Steamboat 4_zps76vr0vch.jpg

Eventually the wind and rain got the best of us and we headed down into the lush cabin to warm up until we got to our stopping point.

 photo Creole Queen Steamboat 5_zpsbowpe5kl.jpg

When we stepped off the plank onto solid land, the sun was putting up a vicious fight to come out.

We were immediately greeted with the sight of the most gorgeous pink mansion only to be told that that house has absolutely nothing to do with the Battle of New Orleans.

We were led to an empty field with a backdrop of a factory and listened to a very monotoned Park Ranger tell us about the battle. Well, that’s what we were suppose to do . . .

 photo Battle of New Orleans_zpsy6kgsqkv.jpg

 photo Battle of New Orleans 2_zpson7irocb.jpg

 photo Battle of New Orleans 4_zpseedo46tw.jpg

 photo Battle of New Orleans 5_zps0xxjwzw3.jpg

 photo Battle of New Orleans 3_zpsu5di8by1.jpg

We snuck away and did a bit of exploring on our own (reenacting movie scenes like the true adults we are) and by the time we boarded the boat again, the sun was out in full force.

 photo Creole Queen Steamboat 6_zpsdhrpcolj.jpg

 photo Creole Queen Steamboat 8_zpsucsf3ikr.jpg

 photo Steamboat Creole Queen_zpsbuabvk7k.jpg

Completely famished (as always) after the tour, we headed over to the French Market for snacks and a spot of people watching.

 photo French Market New Orleans 10_zpsv5lsaoyb.jpg

Enclosed on top and open air on the sides, I think there never is a time the Market isn’t crowded.

The front half is full of local produce, spices and food stalls where you can find everything from organic smoothies to freshly shucked oysters.

 photo French Market New Orleans_zps5mxym3wl.jpg

 photo French Market New Orleans 2_zpsvgwlvtbs.jpg

 photo French Market New Orleans 3_zpsyvzc9whn.jpg

 photo French Market New Orleans 4_zpscxsfjrpl.jpg

 photo French Market New Orleans 5_zpscdpippl6.jpg

The back half is the tourist trap. Every souvenir you could ever want is there in plenty as is every tourist in the city. The kind of place where you have to walk sideways through the walls of people jammed into narrow lanes just to get through.

 photo French Market New Orleans 7_zpss99cxzpp.jpg

 photo French Market New Orleans 8_zpsviqdf7ip.jpg

 photo French Market New Orleans 9_zpsmquxtlil.jpg

We spent the rest of the day strolling around the French Quarter and eating ice cream on the River Walk.

 photo French Quarter New Orleans_zpseuddfwkz.jpg

 photo New Orleans_zpstubjqnd7.jpg

We ended our night at an incredible restaurant (Muriel’s) but I have no photos for you. I was so swept up in being in this incredible city with one of my favorite people, the few pictures I took, I took hastily and they didn’t turn out which I’m fine with. It’s nice to live in the moment.

The next morning we rushed off to the airport to head home to opposite sides of the country, already planning our next trip.

If you’ve never been to New Orleans, you must. If you’re afraid it won’t live up to your expectations, it will. It’s the most incredibly vibrant city I’ve ever been and I highly recommend you add it to your bucket list of must see places in your life.

 photo Bourbon Street New Orleans_zpsrh8b9uhb.jpg