Monday, April 13, 2015

New Orleans

February 19th through the 22nd Cody and I flew to New Orleans with RanDee, our office manager, so they could attend a CE class. I tagged along as chaperon. We arrived late Thursday night in time for dinner. We ventured out and ate at a delicious restaurant called the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street of all places. I ate red fish for dinner every night we were in town. My favorite was at Red Fish though. We ordered some amazing barbecue oysters - and I'm not an oyster fan. We ordered Bananas Foster for dessert. At least two of the tables surrounding us ended up ordering it as well because it was such a hit being on fire and all.

Friday morning Cody and RanDee were off to class and I drove up to Baton Rouge to do some temple work at the temple. I put our rental car to some use. The drive was about an hour and a half. The last 20 minutes was pretty driving past rolling hills and large plantations. Week days there are only a few sessions a day so I timed it to arrive in time for the 12:00 session. There were only a handful of people inside, but it was beautiful and much needed for me upon hearing a few weeks before that I had a new spot, potential tumor on my brain. It's one of the smaller LDS temples.
After I returned to the hotel Cody and RanDee were about done with their classes for the day. Cody and I went out to dinner that night at Dragos Seafood Restaurant. The view from our hotel room was amazing. We overlooked the Mississippi River and could see the cruise ships and barges going up and down the river.

Saturday morning we got up early to head over to the famous Cafe DuMonde for breakfast. It was a good thing we arrived when we did. The lines later in the day were at least an hour long. 

After breakfast I took a bus tour of the city that I purchased through Groupon. The bus picked me up right at the hotel. It was awesome. Something that I wish Cody and RanDee could have experienced with me. We went through all the districts and I learned about hurricane Katrina and saw first hand the after effects that are still in place from it 10 years ago.
 Unfortunately I don't remember a lot of details, but there must have been something important about the row houses above.
 The green grass above is a picture of the levees that broke I believe. They didn't hold if I'm correct. The people that built them didn't dig as deep as they were supposed to.
 You can clearly see the line on the brick home where the water was when Katrina came through on this brick house. The bottom is boarded up and the top half is being lived in or they are gutting it. Many homes are still like this all over.
 The cemeteries are all above ground tombs. One that we visited has a place called millionaires circle, the tombs are very expensive. Nicholas Cage frequents New Orleans so he has a tomb already.
This is Sandra Bullocks house. It would be nice if she trimmed her hedges so we could see better!

My bus tour ended around lunch time so I walked down to the river and got lunch at the mall by the port where the cruise ships dock and ate at the Illegal Burrito. It was delicious. They had a Fudgery like in Baltimore where they make fudge, sing to you and give out free samples. I wandered back to the hotel and waited for Cody and RanDee to be done. 

We ate another delicious dinner at Deanie's for our last night in the Big Easy. 

Sunday morning we all at at Amelie's a delicious French cafe in the Garden District. Then we walked and shopped. RanDee and I each bought cute hats that we didn't take pictures of and listened to street music. 

Our flight home didn't leave until evening but we headed to the airport in the afternoon anyway. We read our books and people watched. There was a storm in Denver where our layover was and our flight was delayed an hour. We were worried about catching our connecting flight to Salt Lake so we informed our crew and the assured us that the plane would wait for us in Denver because there were enough passengers on our flight headed to Salt Lake. We finally boarded our plane and were off. Right when we landed in Denver Cody checked our flight status to Salt Lake and not only did our plane not wait for us, but it had left early. We were stranded in Denver. We headed to the information desk and found out that the next flight out wasn't until the next morning. Cody and RanDee were supposed to work. We decided instead of trying to fly standby with a dozen other frustrated passengers to rent a car, on our dime, and drive through the night, to get home in time. We had checked our bags and were able to retrieve them and get an expensive one way minivan and we did, we drove from Denver to Park City. The roads in Denver through Fort Collins were awful. Snowy with cars sliding off the road and no snowplows to be seen. Thankfully they cleared up and I-80 was clear and we made great time the rest of the drive home. Cody and I each drove about 4.5 hours each and drank Monster Energy drinks to stay awake and purchased road trip snacks to stay awake. Our minivan was equipped with XM radio so we had great tunes to listen to. 
We arrived home the next morning before the first flight even left the Denver airport. Wise decision on our part since there was no guarantee that we would have made it out on standby and the first flight guaranteed to us wasn't for a day and a half. We did end up getting refunded our small flights home from Denver to Salt Lake. Enough to cover the rental car, but not the gas. Oh well, makes for a fun adventure and story. Moral of the story, don't fly Frontier Airlines ever again.