On Fall Break in NOLA

The end of September/beginning of October my kids had a week off for Fall Break and we took off for New Orleans on a spur-of-the-moment, long weekend trip!

The cotton was being harvested on the roads from Arkansas to Louisiana.  I always love seeing the cotton come in.  So beautiful.

We stayed at a Hyatt Place hotel, close to the Convention Center downtown in the warehouse district.  It was close enough to everything that we didn’t get our car out of the parking deck until we left.   


New Orleans is so friendly and fun.  So many interesting people and gorgeous weather in the fall.  I absolutely adore it.  


Fun things we did:

  • Ate beignets in Jackson Square at Cafe du Monde 
  • Visited the Audubon Aquarium (Fun if you haven’t been, but we visited the aquarium in Atlanta this past year and this one paled in comparison, probably pass next time.)
  • Walked in the French Quarter *
  • Ate at Mother’s (This is our favorite restaurant in New Orleans! You have to be prepared to order when you get to the front of the line though!)
  • Listened to live jazz on the street *
  • Ran in Jackson Square *
  • Visited the St. Louis Cathedral *
  • Toured the French Quarter on a Carriage Tour
  • Visited the World War 2 museum (we could have spent two days there- amazing)
  • Walked through the Farmer’s Market *
  • Toured the Old U.S. Mint (*Neat museum of money, history, and musical history. We also happened on a swing dance/band festival! All the real NOLA jazz is in that area of the city now, the FQ is mainly a tourist attraction.  Lots of great places to eat or listen if you park close to the Mint at the end of the Market.)
  • Toured the old cemeteries *(we didn’t do an official tour, just parked down by Cemetery #2

*All the starred things are FREE!!!
Trip wasn’t too expensive, except for food.  If you get out of the tourist areas you’ll get better deals.  For attractions look for coupons/deals online before you go.  There were some really cool places to eat and hang out down in the warehouse district that I’d like to try next time.  With a baby that was tired by the time we stopped to eat we didn’t try any of the fancier places.

On the way home we drove down to the ocean and stopped at a beach in Pass Christian, Mississippi.  Beautiful little town and they happened to have a church shrimp festival going on that was fun to walk around.  The kids had a great time playing in the sand at the beach before the long trip home.

College Dreams & Other Things (or Summer Road Trip 2014- Part 1)

This summer we wanted to take a road trip that consisted of touring colleges that my daughter is considering next year, with some fun thrown in.
The plan was to make a giant loop and hit every school from here (central Arkansas) to DC and back with good dance programs- BUT of course with only one week to do it, we ended up with a MUCH smaller loop… (only 1300 miles… so glad we opted for the small trip!)
Day 1:
We made it to Memphis by lunchtime and stopped by the Memphis Zoo.
Goofing off with the Panda bears at the zoo

 

Boys +5 years at the zoo
Next we headed a few blocks over for a quick tour of the beautiful
Rhodes College in Memphis, TN
“Rhodes looks like Hogwarts!”

 

We pushed on and got to Nashville for the night.  (I’d made reservations as we drove in the car on hotels.com.  We stayed across the street from Vanderbilt.
Vandy @ night
Day 2:
We’d made arrangements to tour Vanderbilt after lunch, so we visited the Parthenon in nearby Centennial Park.  My kids are huge Rick Riordan fans (author of the Percy Jackson series) and we like to make “Percy Jackson” stops when we travel.  In Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief,  Percy and the gang stop by the Parthenon to obtain a magical pearl.  The museum inside the Parthenon even has some notes from the movie and props, which the boys loved.
Parthenon Fun

After a quick lunch at a quaint old diner (place was cuter than the food was) then headed to Vanderbilt for the tour.

Elliston’s Diner
Wow.
What a gorgeous campus.  No wonder it’s so expensive!  
The tour was fantastic in itself.

 

This is a DORM @ Vanderbilt

 

After the tour we hit the road.  Emily’s Butler tour was Thursday morning and we had to make it to Indianapolis!