Have you heard of Ryan Gosling? Of course you have! If you’re not head over heels in love with him, you know a woman between the ages of 12 and 90 who is. I don’t care what People Magazine says, women across the world (and probably universe) have made it pretty clear that when it’s a question of…
I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about New Orleans yet. Mostly because there are so many highlights and wonderful moments that it’s difficult to sum it up in one post! However, after a 15 hour much-deserved sleep (!!!!) and a delicious home-made breakfast of french toast & bacon, I think I’m ready to give it a shot.
Now y’all (southern influences, what can I say?) know that I’m a HUGE fan of NYC. Always has been and always will be so for me to say that New Orleans is a close second is a big deal for me. It was 10,000x more fun & interesting than Chicago, Boston & Las Vegas, no joke!
First off, the food. OH MY THE FOOD. I can’t even explain the tastes & flavours of creole/cajun food. It was all so delish: gumbo, jambalaya (the one bite I had), red beans & rice, oysters, po’ boys, bread pudding, beignets, banana fosters, etc., You name it, I ate it! I’m not going to lie - this trip was 80% food related ;)
Cafe Du Monde - a MUST if you’re in New Orleans. They only serve coffee and beignets and there’s a reason why that’s all their menu consists of! BEST coffee I have ever had in my life (non-coffee lovers would go nuts for this too) and their beignets? OH EM GEE. French doughnuts with powdered sugar; Tastes better than it sounds, believe me. We ate here once a day for 4 days and I’m not remotely ashamed of it.
First time eating raw oysters and they were SO fresh and SO cheap! Since Harrison was a giant baby about it and refused to try them, I had to eat ALL SIX. Good thing they were delicious! (trick: ketchup & horseradish)
Bread Pudding Souffle from Commander’s Palace (aka the best restaurant in New Orleans) - it was indescribably yummy. I’ll leave it at that. Also takes 20 minutes to cook it from scratch.
Sunday Jazz Brunch at Court ofTwo Sisters. It was delicious but IMHO a tad overpriced. However, it was good to try a few different southern signature dishes. (for eg. Creamed spinach, jambalaya, BBQ ribs, turtle soup - yes real turtle, gave me the shivers)
We ate this after walking around Bourbon St and it was the most delicious fried shrimp po’ boy I have ever eaten! (And we tried 2 different ones after, none was even close) Mmmm…. if I close my eyes, I think I can still taste the goodness. (The Old Coffeepot restaurant)
Then there was the music & art. There was music everywhere. There were jazz bands on the streets and it was like getting a free show every day. There were also jugglers and entertainers everywhere - such a vibrant culture! The art was also spectacular; there was an area called Jackson Square where artists would come and try to sell their paintings but it was actually REALLY good stuff. We ended up buying a New Orleans inspired painting from a very talented artist. (check out Ashton Jefferson; he was cute too, lol)
Paintings like this were EVERYWHERE, all around Jackson Square. It was all original art painting by tres talented people. It was like an eclectic outdoor art gallery - my fav!
Awesome jazz band playing in Jackson Square! We also spotted them later on Royal St.
We also went on a swamp tour in the bayou, which is a place I’ve always wanted to go see (child hood fav book: Ruby by V.C.Andrews was set in the bayou) and it exceeded my expectations. We didn’t get to see any swamp homes thought but saw a shitload of alligators, watched them get fed chicken necks & marshmallows and listened to some pretty cool bayou voodoo stories. I even got to hold a baby alligator!!
Hello Mr.Alligator, please don’t eat my fingers while I’m taking this picture. There were soooo many alligators that recognized the boat as “food” and came right over. (the chicken necks, not the humans) Apparently the tour guide said he’d watched 2 alligators tear a white deer up the other week. I am thankful it didn’t happen while we were there, I may or may not have jumped ship.
Our “YAY WE SURVIVED THE ALLIGATORS” smile. :)
The party scene in New Orleans is pretty comparable to that of Las Vegas… you could buy a beer from any convenience store for $1-2 and walk around the street holding your can/bottle. Cops will just walk by you and say nothing… the weirdest thing was buying a cheap beer and walking into a bar/club with your drink! I’m pretty sure you can’t even do that in Vegas so basically to sum it up: it was incredible. Bourbon St is a must if you go to New Orleans! There are really no words to describe what’s happening… there’s flapping parrots to your left and naked women to your right. Hot guys dancing on top of bars and flailing their balls in one club and a fancy jazz band in the next. It was definitely an experience! There were a ton of people throwing mardi gras beads off the balcony and screaming at girls to flash them! I thought it would be less exciting being that Mardi Gras is over but apparently, the party goes on all year.
Cute parrot!! Although its owner was extremely drunk and kept dropping him on the ground… didn’t really sit well with me but he probably would have punched me if I said something. lol.
The weather was beautiful every single day too. We did so much walking, shopping at the French market, eating. It was such a fab vacation and I would HIGHLY recommend New Orleans to everybody! It was great to see how the people of the city have bounced back from Hurricane Katrina and to see how they live every moment to the fullest!
Some awesome highlights from the trip:
Going to the casino and winning $100+. Glad this paid off some of our expensive meals! I played blackjack with this guy from Texas and when I lost my money, he GAVE me $25 to play with which helped me win back all of my money! Southern Hospitality y’all! (obviously I paid him back after I won $$$)
Drinking 25 cent martinis from Commander’s Palace. I’m not a huge drinker, mainly because I’m asian and semi-allergic (redness, rashes, etc., not fun) but I was hysterical after 1 drink. The trick? One sip martini, one sip water. Perfect combo. Except after 1.5 martinis, it was all over. A trip to Lafayette cemetery after sobered me up though. ESP after almost being locked inside the cemetery. EEK.
A FREE and creepy ghost tour after dark. Our tour guide was awesome and told us amazingly scary stories of hauntings in New Orleans and random murders. Pretty good history recap too - I highly recommend "Free tours by foot" and especially their ghost tour on Sundays.
Walking around Royal Street - cool boutique stores, music everywhere, art galleries & it kinda felt like walking around a small town in France.
Getting this awesome souvenir from Frenchmen St:
From the same tatoo shop that did Billy Bob Thorton’s “Angelina Jolie” tatoo. Pretty cool if you ask me! :) (check it out - Electric Lady Land in New Orleans)
All in all, an amazing and culturally enhancing trip. I loved every bit of New Orleans and can’t wait to go back again in the near future!! This trip completely validates my love for travelling and how essential it is for the soul.
Today I feel excited, anxious & tired. 33.3% of each.
I am thinking that Revenge is an amazing show. And you would all know exactly what I mean if you had watched the last episode, I can’t wait to see how the season ends next week!! GO WATCH IT, I guarantee satisfaction ;)
I am thankful for my coworkers and what an amazing group of ladies they are. We work hard, we laugh hard and most importantly, we all have such a mutual respect & love for each other. We are in our own bubble at work and I couldn’t be happier.
Tomorrow I will be on a plane to New Orleans! I’m bragging a bit too much to everybody but wouldn’t you if you were going to be eating gumbo in T minus 24 hours!? I think so!
I wish thatI was currently eating some Yoghurty’s. Maybe a coconut froyo with sprinked coconut bits & fresh strawberries. Clearly I have the munchies.
This weekend I will stuff my face full of anything delicious, enjoy beautiful weather, shop my little heart out, learn about the Creole culture & party my worries away. Nothing could be more exciting at the moment.
Obsessing Over: How much I dislike my hair right now. I got a hair cut & highlights today. I feel like the hair cut is so “mom” like and the highlights are way too light for me. I hope I feel differently after a wash. If not, I’m going to have to dye my hair a dark-ish colour next week.
Working On: Nothing! Today was a complete write-off and I loved every second of it. This is what happens when all of your energy goes into one event and you decide it’s time to just relax. (well, for 1 day)
Thinking about: How much ridiculous food I’m going to eat this upcoming weekend… jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish, beignets, etc., I’M SO EXCITED.
Anticipating: A “mandatory” meeting with all of the managers tomorrow. Our Exec Director is keeping hush hush about the topic so we all have no clue what’s happening. Eek, hopefully not more bad news!
Listening To: All of the guys on the Bacherlorette obsessing / freaking out over Emily. I think they’re all in love already, sometimes this show is so freakin’ corny but I can’t help it. It’s crack I tell ya.
Drinking: Disgusting chinese herbal meds. Yuck.
Wishing: That today was Friday and currently on a plane to New Orleans!!
I didn’t feel a sense of relief after the Easter Auction but I definitely do now!! I’m so excited that my ‘summer’ will be starting soon. After June 14th, I’m freeeeeee(ish) until September. WOOT! First… a mini vacation: only 6 more days until New Orleans. :)
Walk’n Roll went really really well. We had beautiful sunshine (which basically hasn’t happened the last 4 years), a great turnout and we raised over $30,000! Our sponsored food was a huge hit and the cotton candy machine & bouncy castle generated quite a bit of excitement, mostly for the kids. All in all, I had a fabulous and super-tiring 6 hours and I feel very pleased with the results.
Now onto the golf tournament. Saving the best for last!!
A “WHERE THE FUCK IS MY CAT?” scare. No joke. I live in an apartment building, cats don’t just go missing.
So I’m with my ex-roomie at a friend’s going away get together, stopping over on our way to the movies when I get a frantic call from Harrison.
"Um I really hope you didn’t come home and take Blueberry out of the apartment as a joke because that would really not be funny."
When the hell would I be able to drive from Mississauga to Oakville, grab the cat and hide her in some random place? And WHY would I do something so sordid as a joke?
Apparently, he looked EVERYWHERE (in the washing machine & dryer, cupboards, closets, behind furniture, etc.,) and could not find her anywhere. He called the superintendent and nobody had reported a found cat. So after a few panicked phone calls spanning approx. 1 hour, she was still nowhere to be found. This is about the time I start to feel a tad nauseous and I am seriously a gigantic spaz in situations like these! I also start thinking thoughts like “cats hide when they go to die, omg did she eat those coloured mums and die of dye poisoning?” (no pun intended) and “what if she got out to the hallway and we have a sadistic neighbour that is going to tortute her?”
On my way home, I had a million & a half silent panic attacks and kept cursing my awful luck with cats. (Story for another day) I decided to call Harrison mid-drive and ask if he had checked behind the toilet or the boxes we use to put in our shelves and he was, at that very moment checking our dresser drawers.
And where was Blueberry?
SLEEPING, YES, SLEEPING. IN A FREAKING CLOSED DRAWER.
A) How did she get in there? I swear they were closed!
B) How did she close it? Did Waffle help her close it? WHAAAAAT?!
C) WHAT THE EFF?
D) Why did Waffle not smell her scent and direct us towards her? Oh right, because he’s a cat.
Anyways, I pulled over, took a deep breath and headed back to Clayton’s so we could finally see “Cabin in the Wood”, which btw turned out to be a fantastic movie. Oh and I had a mini-panic attack before the movie starts thinking “WHY am I subjecting myself to a horror movie?”
Way too much anxiety for one day, I think I need sleep. Lol. It’s 2am and I am still up…so much for a productive day tomorrow.
Obsessing Over: 50 Shades trilogy. Obviously. Christian Grey. Obviously.
Working On: My second (and second last) fundraising event of the year! I can’t believe it’s coming up this Saturday and I CANNOT wait for it to be all over! It’s definitely my least favourite event to organize as it never really goes perfectly as planned.
Thinking about: My amazing reunion with Amy & Jessica yesterday! These girls are one of a kind and we always have the best/loudest conversations ever - so excited to plan our summer NYC trip :)
Anticipating: NEW ORLEANS baby! 11 more days. I can’t believe it!!!!
Listening To: Of Monsters & Men - Little Talks. Fantastic song, trippy music video. What more could you ask for? It’s been on repeat for the last couple of weeks!
Drinking: Nothing. I forgot my water bottle today and I am overly cautious about tap water (mind you, it’s fine in restaurants with ice cubes but I can’t physically see it coming out of a tap or I won’t drink it. I’m a freak.) My mouth is so parched!
Wishing: That I was at home reading (and catching up on Vampire Diaries so I can picture Ian Somerhalder as Christian Grey) instead of working. Doesn’t everybody?
I’m not sure what compelled me to log into my old hotmail account and read past high school emails but I guess that’s just what happens when I run out of TV shows to watch for the night.
Oh how to be young and stress free! No worries about money or work, only that of who your best friend of the week was and which boy to crush on. What a totally exciting period of my life! Man, I miss high school & university. Am I a complete loser for admitting this? I also can’t believe the number of emails I used to write on a daily basis. How did I have time for all of that?
Anyways, it’s always fun reminiscing but totally embarrassing thinking back to how immature and selfish I used to can be. I also feel a tad sad thinking about all of those ‘close friends’ that I can barely even remember now. I am a strong believer in that people come & go in your life for a reason. Whether it’s to stay forever or just passing by, they shape who you are and where you are going in life.
Aaaaaaaaand hello sappy. End sap.
Great trip down memory lane though! Always fun to remember the good ol’ days. (You know, the 16 & hormonal days)
Harrison had his CMA classes this Saturday so it resulted in a 11am sleep-in, lots of catch up TV shows and finishing '50 Shades Darker'. I just started on the last book in the trilogy but it hasn’t captured me like the others. Don’t get me wrong, Christian Grey is still a dream boat but it’s just so unrealistic to have that much sex, right? Plus he was so much more desirable when he was dominant.
Anyways, finally got out of my PJS at 3pm to get ready for dinner in Toronto with my best friend & her boyfriend. Harrison met me after class and we ended up at Spice Route for some delicious asian fusion. They just got back after a week-long vacation to Costa Rica (JEALOUS!) and she got me a beautiful hand crafted white beaded bracelet. So thoughtful!
We got back early as Harris has his CMA class again early Sunday morning & her boyfriend was going to run a half marathon. (crazy!) We went for a quick swim downstairs, watched some TV and he went to bed early which resulted in me surfing the net for the rest of the night. Saturday night well spent if you ask me.
I love lazy days - can’t wait to wake up at noon tomorrow! YIPEE!
When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else—the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.
It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”