Highlights of the trip included two dinners at Acme Oyster Bar (a well-known oyster place owned by my dad's cousin Mike), a party hosted by same (commemorative picture below), a riverboat lunch cruise/day tour arranged by my dad's cousin Cheryl, dinner and Bingo Night at Aunt Mary's country club (I was thisclose to winning the big jackpot!), beignets at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter, muffalettas at Central Grocery, dinner at Cheryl's house, pralines at the flea market in the French Quarter, and the *dinner to end all dinners* at Drago's, a restaurant owned by the family of my Aunt Mary's son-in-law. We ate a lobster that had claws bigger than a man's hands. WAY bigger than a BIG man's hands.
And that was just the food. Oh, the food! I hold a special place in my heart for the chargrilled oysters at Drago's and the raw oysters and oyster po'boys at Acme.
There was also a fun time touring in the French Quarter, prowling Bourbon Street at night with my cousin Bryn and two of our second cousins, riding the trolley to the shopping areas, taking in a Saints game at the Superdome, and the spur-of-the-moment trip Krista and I took to the zoo, where we saw a White Alligator (known as the "Ghost of the Bayou", the same alligator is on loan to Utah's Hogle Zoo right now until the end of September...you should go see it, it's so cool!).
If you're wondering why Kara and Logan didn't come with us, it's because Kara was in her 8th month of prgnancy with Amanda. Kara was later able to go to New Orleans on a separate trip when my dad took her along on a business trip. That time, she was only in her 7th month of pregnancy (with Lily). Logan ended up having a business trip there too, this past March, so Kara and Logan got to go together that time (even though Kara had just delivered Benson only three weeks earlier - what is it with Kara/babies/New Orleans?).
Our two aunts from New Orleans, Mary and Gerry (used to be spelled Jerry, or do I have that backwards?), came to visit us out here in Utah at the end of July. We tried our hardest, but weren't able to spoil them nearly as much as they spoiled us when we visited them. However, we did have a very fun time! It was so nice to find this picture from New Orleans and refresh my memory of those good times too.
The summer following my trip to New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. Most of my family members had to evacuate, and many of their homes suffered major damage. All my loved ones made it through safely, though, as did their loved ones - including a pet cat that missed the evacuation and survived for weeks in the home until its owners returned! This year's Gustav had them evacuating again, but thankfully the city did not end up being too affected.
Anyway, here's the picture. And yes, my hair was kind of red at that time.
Left to right: Gerry Rodrigue (my dad's aunt), Mike Rodrigue (Gerry's son), Bryn Baker (my cousin), me, Walt Baker (my dad), Mary Flick (my dad's aunt), Celia Baker (my mom), Krista Baker (my sister).
Thanks mom and dad, for a wonderful trip, and thanks New Orleans relatives, for an unforgettable stay!