Our (Quick, but Au-some) Trip to New Orleans

 Our Quick, but Au-some Trip to New Orleans

Many of you know that David’s family lives throughout Mississippi and Louisiana.  Well this weekend David’s childhood friend was celebrating his birthday and invited us to come help him celebrate.  It was a short trip and we weren’t able to see everyone, but we had a blast….

First you must know that we have been spending a lot of time in ABA therapy, as well as Occupational Therapy, Social Skills groups, and Mental Health Counseling.  He has been making a lot of progress, which allowed us to get all the way to a truckstop in Alabama before our first all out meltdown.  That’s huge progress! pfb6

However, once we did have a pretty big meltdown in Alabama.  Ironically, it was over the purchase of a new purse — for me.  Here’s the link to that story.  https://mypuzzlingpiece.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/the-moms-new-purse-meltdown-a-peak-inside-the-life-of-an-asd-parent/

Alabama purse meltdown aside, we made it to Mississippi and spent the first night with David’s mom and Mr. Gene.  Saturday morning we got up and went to the annual Relay for Life walk that my sweet mother-in-law has been walking in my stead for the past couple years.  Here are the pictures from that event:

He may not always smile for a picture, but he will always make a "funny face!"
He may not always smile for a picture, but he will always make a “funny face!”

 

High School Students painted this toilet for cancer awareness.  I'm not quite sure what to think about this..... except can I please install this in my bathroom?
High School Students painted this toilet for cancer awareness. I’m not quite sure what to think about this….. except can I please install this in my bathroom?

 

Mom says "What's a Selfie?" So I showed her.
Mom says “What’s a Selfie?”
So I showed her.

 

The Doctor is in. His ABA team would really love this picture, I am sure!
The Doctor is in.
His ABA team would really love this picture, I am sure!

 

Okay so I really enjoyed the butterfly bench. I was apparently alone in this! Don't judge me.
Okay so I really enjoyed the butterfly bench.
I was apparently alone in this!
Don’t judge me.

 

My hero.  And the most gorgeous oak tree I've ever seen in my life.
My hero. And the most gorgeous oak tree I’ve ever seen in my life.

 

Our "tough guy" at the Relay for Life 2014 Walk
Our “tough guy” at the Relay for Life 2014 Walk

 

When all else fails, head to Neverland.
When all else fails, head to Neverland. Or the booth next to it: London?

 

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Sponge bob, Christian Pants.
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
Sponge bob, Cassius Pants.

 

It was a butterfly bench. I was excited about that. Don't judge me.
It was a butterfly bench.
I am STILL excited about that.
Don’t judge me.

 

I promise, he won't usually drop me.
I promise, he won’t usually drop me.

 

Cheesy, I know, but you gotta realize: I really loved this giant oak tree.
Cheesy, I know, but you gotta realize: I really loved this giant oak tree.

 

Me and my Mother in Law at the annual Relay for Life Walk that she has done every year in my honor, as well as the other family members we have that have been affected by cancer.  It was good to come out this year and show our support!
Me and my Mother in Law at the annual Relay for Life Walk that she has done every year in my honor, as well as the other family members we have that have been affected by cancer. It was good to come out this year and show our support!

 

My mother in law.  Doing the Cuban Slide. Yup.  That happened.
My mother in law. Doing the Cuban Slide.
Yup. That happened. And I do have the video if you want to see it!

 

After spending a few hours at the Relay for Life event, we left and met David’s sister and two of her girls at the annual Gulf Coast Crawfish Festival.  This was to be a weekend with a LOT of shellfish..

 

Uncle David and Emily.
Uncle David and Emily.

 

Christian and his cousin Chloe.  They are only a few months apart in age!
Cassius and his cousin Chloe. They are only a few months apart in age!

 

Christian and his cousins Emily and Chloe.
Cassius and his cousins Emily and Chloe.

 

David and (our) nieces Chloe and Emily.  We love them so much!
David and (our) nieces Chloe and Emily. We love them so much!

 

The trophies for the annual crawfish festival were pretty neato.  And pretty tall.
The trophies for the annual crawfish festival were pretty neato. And pretty tall.

 

Please ignore the highway and the cars between me and said beach...
Please ignore the highway and the cars between me and said beach…

 

Christian on his first ride (of the day).
Cassius on his first ride (of the day).

 

This was before the crazy ride.  Note how Christian's skintone is not green...
This was before the crazy ride that Emily convinced Cassius to ride… Note how Cassius’s skin tone is not YET green…

 

In line for the crazy ride, I'm sure Christian was having doubts... but he was braver than I am, and he rode it!
In line for the crazy ride, I’m sure Cassius was having doubts… but he was braver than I am, and he rode it!

 

photo 27
This is the craziest ride Cassius has ever ridden at a fair: This thing spun at an unbelievable speed, while blaring extraordinarily loud music. Watching Cassius ride this ride made me nauseated and overstimulated. He definitely was not happy waddling off the ride!

 

I won the sunburn contest!  Yay! In all honesty, this was my first sunburn in about 4 years, due largely not to my awesomely (never) tanned skin, but rather due to the fact I've been indoors for the past several summers.  Here's to getting better and living large!
I won the sunburn contest! Yay!
In all honesty, this was my first sunburn in about 4 years, due largely not to my awesomely (never) tanned skin, but rather due to the fact I’ve been indoors for the past several summers. Here’s to getting better and living large!

 

After the Crawfish Festival, we left Mississippi and headed straight to our main event: David’s childhood friend Jonathan’s birthday.  And yes, more crawfish.  A lot more!

So, New Orleans is known for it's amazing food, and one of the very famous dishes is a traditional "crawfish boil."  For those of you from California - you've got to try this one time in your life!
So, New Orleans is known for it’s amazing food, and one of the very famous dishes is a traditional “crawfish boil.” For those of you from California – you’ve got to try this one time in your life!

 

How to dine at a crawfish boil: 1.  Sit outside. 2.  Eat with your hands 3.  Create a pile of shells. 4.  Eat a lot.
How to dine at a crawfish boil:
1. Sit outside.
2. Eat with your hands
3. Create a pile of shells.
4. Eat a lot.
5.  Bring Tums.

 

I didn't realize these crawfish had CLAWS.
I didn’t realize these crawfish had CLAWS.

 

And yup, we did explode. Just kidding.
From what I observed, the most important part of a crawfish boil was making sure everyone left so full they want to explode…

 

Yup. I did regret this.
Yup. I did regret this.

 

So, New Orleans is known for it's amazing food, and one of the very famous dishes is a traditional "crawfish boil."  For those of you from California - you've got to try this one time in your life!
So, New Orleans is known for it’s amazing food, and one of the very famous dishes is a traditional “crawfish boil.” For those of you from California – you’ve got to try this one time in your life!

I would like to introduce you to some of the nicest people I have ever met:

Here's the deal. Jon and Geraldine have devoted their lives to taking care of animals, especially boxers.  The amount of love and goodness they create in this world by providing for these incredible animals truly makes the world a better place.  In this picture, their "babies" Echo and Nala" fight for Geraldine's attention in this photo...
Here’s the deal. Jon and Geraldine have devoted their lives to taking care of animals, especially boxers. The amount of love and goodness they create in this world by providing for these incredible animals truly makes the world a better place. In this picture, their “babies” Echo and Nala” fight for Geraldine’s attention in this photo…

 

Seriously, can you get any more cute?
Seriously, can you get any more cute?

 

These are our two Eagle Scouts and good friends, David and Jon.
These are our two Eagle Scouts and good friends, David and Jon.

 

And the whole impulsivity thing got the best of him, so he took 700 pictures exactly like this.  None of them are good.  This is the one where David and I start fussing at him.... and then we gave up...
Cassius attempted to take this picture………And the whole “impulsive” thing got the best of him, so he took 700 pictures exactly like this. None of them are good. This is the one where David and I start fussing at him…. and then we gave up…

 

David, Jonathan & Geraldine, some of my husbands' closest friends from childhood, and some of the most amazing people I've ever met in my whole life.  Seriously.
David, Jonathan & Geraldine, some of my husbands’ closest friends from childhood, and some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my whole life. Seriously.

 

After we left Jon and Geraldine’s house, we went out to dinner with David’s Mom’s side of the family.  Here are some of those pics!

The whole group... :)
The whole group… 🙂

 

Emily and Me.  LOVE THIS GIRL!
Emily and Me. LOVE THIS GIRL!

 

The group in front of David's truck :)
The group in front of David’s truck 🙂

 

Emily & David
Emily & David

 

Emily, Me, and Angel <3
Emily, Me, and Angel ❤

 

Emily & David
Emily & David

 

David and most of the bunch (minus a couple)
David and most of the bunch (minus a couple)

 

A few other fun pics.  🙂  Dress up at Mom’s house!

 

I love hand-me-downs.  Particularly those circa 1950. Thanks Mom.
I love hand-me-downs. Particularly those circa 1950. Thanks Mom.

 

And after we  left, we drove through that crazy storm that set off all the tornados throughout the gulf coast.  These two pictures were taken in a CrackerBarrel in Moss Point, Mississippi.

 

Except maybe "this picture bugs me."
I’ve got nothing to say on this.  Except that…

 

I'm not the only one with awesome sunglasses.
Apparently, I’m not the only one with awesome sunglasses.

 

This is what the weather looked like for our drive home.  It was GREAT traveling weather (can  you hear my sarcasm?).   However, we made it home, safely & soundly…

 

#becauseweRawesomelikethat
Pensacola, Mobile, and parts of Mississippi were ravaged this week with thunderstorms, flooding, and tornadoes. We decided to drive through it.

 

…Just in time to come home and have another meltdown!


To all our friends and family in Louisiana and Mississippi that helped to make this trip unforgettable!!!

We love you all!

With Love,

The C——s ❤

 

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