Sunday, March 31, 2019

Happy birthday, Ben!

To celebrate Ben's birthday, we headed to Dennis's cabin out on the land! We stopped in Tupper's Plains on the way, and Dad loved this popcorn tree. Mmm, popcorn!

Dad, Felix and the birthday boy!

Dennis's old bridge washed away long ago, so we all had to walk the plank to get across.

Walk the plank!!

It was pretty exciting!

We used sticks for balance!

Go, Mom!

Nina making sure the precious pizza cargo makes it across safely!

We all made it across the stream and up to the cabin! Phil and the birthday boy. Cheers!

Felix and Farro had a fun time playing in the woods.

Jasper exploring!

Pete and Mer!


Jasper pointing.

Ben and Rachid!

Phil and Nina!

Mer and Joey!

Me and Dad!

Dennis fired up the rocket stove so we could rewarm the pizzas. It worked great!

Little Kate made the birthday cake! Isn't it gorgeous?

When you're turning 39, it takes three people to light all your candles.

Make a wish!

Cutting into it.

So proud! Nailed it.

Look at that surprise blue layer inside!

MMM! Happy birthday, Ben!

Group photo! Dennis said this party was a record for how many people have been in the cabin at once!

The first group photo was Lara's. This was my attempt at a group shot with my camera. Hahaha!!

Cute Cooking Club!

The March cooking club was brunch hosted by Emily, with Summer and Nancy joining her as chefs. The theme was CUTE!!! Yumi, Valerie and I got to simply show up and enjoy the delightful cuteness.

Emily made little cauliflower and manchego cheese hand pie turtles! With little quince paste hearts!

Emily and Charlotte made rainbow fruit skewers! Pretty.

Emily made a salad GARDEN! With insects and mushrooms!!

Look at how cute!!!

Nancy made little deviled egg CHICKS!! This cooking club ventured into too much cuteness territory like five minutes after it started.

Nancy also made little bear cookies! Look at those little bears hugging their toasty almonds!


Pink lemonade mimosas with gummy bears!


Here's where things took a turn for the UNBEARABLY cute. Summer made little steamed pork buns shaped like baby seals!!!!!!



Is this not the cutest plate of food you have ever seen? It is.

Charlotte and Emily also made an ice cream garden!

Summer made beautiful apple pie roses!

Cutest cooking club ever ever EVER.


Sunday, March 03, 2019

New Orleans

Ben, Felix and I took a trip down to New Orleans to visit Spencer and Marilyn! My parents went, too! They flew, we drove. We drove to Chattanooga on Monday for a halfway point, and spent the night. We didn't have a lot of time to explore our little neighborhood, but we enjoyed what we saw! We got some Mexican takeout from a place nearby called La Altena. It was delicious.

This cute art park was near our Airbnb, so we walked Felix there before we got back on the road for New Orleans on Tuesday morning. Chattanooga sunrise!

We got into New Orleans Tuesday late afternoon. We stayed in a fun Airbnb near the fairgrounds.

It had a really sweet little patio!

We got takeout from Liuzza's by the Track and ate on the patio. Garlic oyster po' boy! We also had the barbecue shrimp po' boy with gravy, as recommended by our host Fred.

We were super close to City Park, and took many walks there with Felix.

City Park is so great!

Handsome boy.

Walking around the Big Lake at City Park with our boy.


On Wednesday morning, we stopped by Spencer and Marilyn's house and had some king cake. Dad got the baby!!


Spencer and Dad.

Walking through our neighborhood.

Marilyn took us on an epic tour! We went to Jackson Square.

The French Quarter!


The street performers are amazing!

Then we went on a ferry ride!


What a beautiful view of the city.


Ben and me!

On Wednesday night we went to see the Nyx parade!

It was pretty wild!

The floats are amazing.

Marilyn and Spencer are professionals and they were right up front getting the good stuff!

Andre is in the 610 Stompers, it was so exciting to get to see them stomp.

Thursday morning we explored City Park some more.

What a great place to walk your dog!

The grumpy lions at the Peristyle!

So grumpy!


Back to Spencer and Marilyn's house for some more visiting. These are the masks they made and wore for Mardi Gras last year. I love them so much!

This time Spencer was our tour guide. He took us to Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District.

There's so much history in the cemeteries in New Orleans, I could spend all day there.

We explored the Garden District for awhile. Check out the horse skeleton in that garage!

The houses are simply incredible.

We got po' boys from Parkway and at them at Spencer and Marilyn's house. They were SO GOOD!!! Yum.

We took it easy Thursday night and played some euchre at Mom and Dad's Airbnb.

We ate breakfast at Fair Grinds Coffeehouse every single morning! They have these egg, ham and cheese croissant breakfast sandwiches that are just perfect.

Mmm, super rich and delicious. They were so tasty it just didn't make sense to go anywhere else!

Friday afternoon we explored the sculpture park at City Park! Unfortunately it's not dog-friendly, so I walked through the park and Felix and Ben walked around the perimeter.


Spider! Creepy.


Giant beads in the trees!

This day we explored the St. Louis Cemetary No. 3, which is between our Airbnb and City Park. Look at these gorgeous fresh flowers.

We had a late lunch at Liuzza's by the Track. My parents had the gumbo on their first day and said it's the best in town!! We were excited to go back since our po' boys were  so delicious on the first night.


The gumbo seriously was the best best best!!! We tried some gumbo in the French Quarter that was like eating ketchup in comparison to this.

On our last night, we had a cocktail with Fred on the patio before meeting my parents. Fred's hound dogs were the sweetest!

Since it was our last night, we went out to Frenchmen Street. Snug Harbor!

The Spotted Cat!

We went to Three Muses for some drinks small plates. Sazerac!

Lobster Lemongrass Rangoons. YUM.

Braised Meatballs.

Gulf Fish Tacos.

Lamb Sliders. Everything was so delicious. We wanted to try everything on the menu!

Saturday morning, our host Fred made us breakfast before we hit the road. Farewell, New Orleans!

We made good time back to Chattanooga and got to explore a little before it got too dark. It's spring in Chattanooga!

We took another walk to Main Terrain Art Park.

I've always wanted to try Mellow Mushroom pizza, so we ordered that for dinner.

I thought it was SUPER good.

Yay, pizza!!

It's always sad when a trip comes to an end. It was really special getting to get to spend time with my parents and Spencer and Marilyn AND Felix was with us!!