NOLA – Sunday

On our last day in New Orleans, we slept in again. To kick off my day, I hit the gym for another workout. Meanwhile, John relaxed in the room.

After a leisurely morning, we walked to brunch at Sylvain.

sylvain

Sylvain was recommended to us by the Rosenbergs and they couldn’t have been more right about this place – it was wonderful. I went with the Sylvain Chicken Sandwich and it was soooo good. Juicy, tender, and perfectly crisp.

chick

This place is going on the list of restaurants I want to visit (again!) the next time I am in town.

central

After brunch, we walked over to pick up muffulettas for dinner at Central Grocery, then it was on to Southern Candymakers to pick up a few more sweet treats.

candy

On the walk back to the hotel, we ran into some friends in Jackson Square, then we popped into the Cathedral for some tranquility.

cathedral

After perusing some antique stores, we went back to the hotel to pack and to check out. We made the quick drive to the airport and sailed through security. Sadly, our flight was delayed due to weather in Houston. We ended up arriving in Houston 6 hours later than planned. Blerg.

rainysky

But, we made it home safely and G was safe and sound (and sleeping!) under the care of my parents.

We were thrilled to get away for our anniversary and we are so thankful that my parents were able to take care of G for us. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

NOLA – Saturday

Uncharacteristically, we slept in on Saturday morning. It was glorious. We exchanged anniversary gifts and had a great time surprising each other. After much discussion, we decided on a two-part breakfast excursion.

cdm

Coffee (John) and a shared order of beignets at Cafe du Monde were part one of our breakfast.

beignets

Part two was fresh mint julep juices from Petite Amelie, a great breakfast spot on Royal.

juices

We did some window shopping on the walk back to the hotel. Such fun!

Once we arrived back at the hotel, John went to our room to relax and I hit the gym for a workout. Later, once we were both officially ready for the day, we walked over to Touchpoint Reflexology for some killer foot massages. Friends, if you should find yourself in NOLA, please make a visit to this place. You won’t be disappointed. I had a 30-minute foot massage that left me feeling AMAZING.

Afterwards, we walked over to Mr B’s Bistro for lunch.

mr bs

The restaurant was bustling and we were excited to be back in a familiar place. We split a salad for an appetizer and I had the Gumbo Ya Ya for my entrée.

mrb salad

It pains me to write this, but my gumbo was only so-so. I am no creole expert, but it tasted as if the roux had been burned. Anyhow, I didn’t really care for it and left most of it behind. What a waste.

mr b gumbo

After lunch, we did some shopping at a few of our favorite NOLA stores – Kids Nola, New Orleans Silversmiths, Luccalulu, Sucre, and French Truck Coffee. After all of the eating and walking, it was time for a nap (for me at least – John watched soccer while I snoozed).

We spent the early part of the evening relaxing before meeting up with friends for a cocktail at French 75 (a bar affiliated with Arnaud’s). We had a great time visiting our friends and I was so glad to see them.

monkey

For dinner, we made the short walk over to another one of our favorite restaurants – Bayona.

bayona sign

Bayona is a quaint restaurant that serves delectable French food.

bayona

We sat upstairs in the wine room – it was a special nook for a rainy night.

soup

We shared some mushroom soup for an appetizer and I had the grilled pork chop for an entrée.

chop

Everything was delicious, friends! For dessert, we shared an order of the chocolate empanadas. Perfection.

emp

On the short walk back to the hotel, we encountered a festive Second Line. Naturally, we had to watch it go by before turning in for the night.

NOLA – Friday

In honor of our 11th wedding anniversary, we enjoyed a quick weekend getaway to one of our favorite cities – New Orleans – two weekends ago. My parents offered to watch George while we were away, so this was a win-win experience for everyone. We traveled to New Orleans together in 2004, 2009, 2010, and had not been back since my sister’s wedding in 2014. In other words…we were overdue for a visit.

Our flight took off on Friday (June 2nd) at 3:00PM from IAH and it was a quick 45 minute flight to MSY in New Orleans. Once we arrived, we rented a car, and made the quick drive to the French Quarter. We checked into the Ritz Carlton New Orleans and were whisked up to the 4th floor club, then to our spacious 8th floor room (more on all of this later). After quickly unpacking, we spent some time relaxing before getting ready, then walking over to Arnaud’s for dinner.

doors

Arnaud’s is a classic New Orleans restaurant (where men are strongly encouraged to wear coats to dinner) with fantastic food.

sign

We were seated in the main dining room and had a great view for people watching (which is always fabulous is NOLA).

gumbo

We shared the chicken and sausage gumbo as an appetizer, and I had the Pompano Duarte for my entrée.

fish

Both dishes were delicious – very flavorful, yet light. For dessert, we shared a chocolate praline bomb cake.

dessert

After our two-hour dinner, we sauntered over to the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone for another drink.

drinks

We sat at the rotating carousel bar and had a fun time people watching and catching up.

bar

Later, we walked back to our hotel to settle in for the evening. Along the short walk to our hotel, there was a lot of people watching and activities to take in.

Memorial Day

It was a stormy morning in San Antonio on Memorial Day, so after a quick breakfast, we packed up and hit the road.

break

g

We got home around noon, had lunch, unpacked, and then G and I took a nap. Afterwards, we did laundry, baked some banana bread, and John grilled a nice dinner for us.

We had a great, long Memorial Day Weekend and I hope you did too.

Memorial Day Weekend – Sunday

Since we had plans early in the morning, we all woke up a bit earlier and met for a quick breakfast in the Library Cafe.

We made our way to the Zoo afterwards so that we could try to beat the heat and the crowds.

zoo sign

We had a great time seeing all the animals, feeding the giraffes, riding the carousel, taking in the butterfly house, and riding the Brackenridge train.

zoo col

For lunch, we visited the Bombay Bicycle Bar – a hot spot from John’s college days. Everyone had burgers while I had a chicken finger basket. Eh, my food was only so-so. In fact, when I look at this picture, I wonder what I was thinking when I ordered. Ha!

bombay lunch

After lunch, it was nap time again, and I passed out before anyone else. I slept for 2.5 hours and it was amazing.

We met my parents at St Mary’s Catholic Church for an early evening mass, then had dinner at Acenar.

dinner

Acenar is a sister restaurant to Rosario’s and the food was terrific. I had the chicken tortilla soup and it was just what I needed. The skies opened up just as we walked back to the hotel. It was one of the worst rain storms I have seen in years, and I was thrilled to be watching it from my room (and in my pajamas).

Memorial Day Weekend – Saturday

We all slept well and were ready for breakfast when the morning rolled around. We met my parents in the hotel’s Library Cafe and really enjoyed our complimentary breakfasts.

Once we were dressed and ready for the day, we drove over to the new Witte Museum to view the Texas, Whale, Fiesta, and Dinosaur exhibits. The Museum is gorgeous – a must do with lots to see.

witte

After a few hours of exploring, we drove to Mi Tierra for lunch.

mit

We all went to town on our Tex Mex and I had the delicious tamale entree.

tamale

Everyone else had tacos and was totally in the zone.

taco

Naturally, we had to pick up some pastries afterwards from the restaurants panaderia.

pinata

g cookie

Post lunch, we all went back to the hotel to take naps. Glorious naps.

Later, while my parents went back to the Riverwalk, we made our way to the Pearl.

g pearl

After a bit of shopping and exploring, we sat down for dinner at Il Sogna Osteria.

with G

Friends, we had an amazing dinner. We shared a meat and cheese plate, plus grilled bread with hummus.

meat

For my entree, I had the homemade bucatini pasta.

pasta

It was to die for. For desert, we shared a Nutella tart with fresh vanilla gelato. Heavenly.

After a long hot day we were all in bed early that night.

Memorial Day Weekend – Friday

A few months ago, we decided we wanted to take a little trip for Memorial Day Weekend. After batting around a few ideas, we ended up selecting San Antonio as our destination. We also invited my parents to join us. Our main goals of the trip were to relax, eat good food, explore cultural activities/sites, and to spend time together as a family.

Mission Accomplished! I’m so glad we took this trip together because it was a great way to do some exploring and to spend time together as a family. Also, John and I have been crazy busy with work, so it was really nice to have quality family time.

Friday

John and I woke up early to pack and to prep for our road trip. While John drove to the cleaners, I woke up George and took him to Best Donuts to pick up some breakfast treats. We dropped some goodies off for my parents (they were staying at Julie’s place over night), then returned home to get G dressed and to load the car.

Once we were set and ready, we began the drive to San Antonio. Everyone ate their breakfast on the drive. The roads were clear and the drive was super easy. I participated in a few conference calls on the way and of course, we made a pit stop at Buc-ee’s.

Once we made it to San Antonio, we made a beeline to Rosario’s where we met my parents for an amazing lunch.

Ros Menu

Rosario’s has amazing Mexican food and I was so excited to be back there. Specifically, I was thrilled to inhale the legendary smoky salsa and to chomp their crispy chips.

Ro Salsa

For my entree, I enjoyed the fideo soup – which is to die for, friends. The combination of cumin, cilantro, pasilla chile, onion, queso fresco and fideo noodles is not to be missed.

Ros Fid

After lunch, we drove over to Trinity University for a quick visit.

Trin

John went to school at Trinity, and played soccer there, so it was a treat for him to be back on campus.

Trin Walk

We explored the campus and made an obligatory stop at the bookstore.

Trin Tow

After our visit, we made the quick trip back to downtown and checked into the fabulous St Anthony Hotel. We were treated like royalty and both of my rooms were upgraded to suites. Score!

We quickly unpacked in our rooms to get settled. While I handled George’s nap duties, John and my parents did some exploring in the hotel and surrounding area.

After a few hours, G was up and we made our way to the Riverwalk.

Fri Riverwalk

We did some exploring with George before walking over to Paesanos for dinner. We sat outside facing the historic Riverwalk and dined on delicious Italian fare.

Fri Mimi and G

I had the Parmesan crusted chicken and it was everything. I am a huge fan of caper, lemon,and butter sauce, so this was exactly what my soul needed.

Fri Din

Post-dinner, we walked to a nearby Ben and Jerry’s to treat everyone to ice cream. I had the infamous Phish Food – so delicious.

Fri iC

After a bit more walking, John and I took G back to the hotel for bath and bed time and my parents hit the town for more fun and exploration.