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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning found us lounging in our PJs around the Christmas tree.
It was stocking time! Thanks, Santa!
 Present time!
 Ugh! Paper and boxes everywhere!
 We played the Saran Wrap Ball Game. Super fun and super fast.
Prizes are wrapped up in the Saran Wrap Ball. The person with the ball begins unwrapping it. Any prizes that fall out while it is their turn are theirs to keep. At the same time, the person on their left begins rolling 2 die at the same time. The minute they roll a pair of any number, the Saran Wrap Ball is passed to them and they pass the die to the left. It keeps going until the center of the ball is reached.

Here is the ball at the beginning of the game.
 Prizes of gift cards candy and more!
 We also played a Paper Plate Drawing game. Without taking the plate off your head you have to draw a Christmas scene as described by the judge. The person with the best drawing (Ed) won a gift card. The person with the messiest drawing (Dane) won a box of candy. Fun, fun!
 We had a nice Christmas meal of ham and sides in the late afternoon.

It was so nice to be with everyone for fun and presents! Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, January 29, 2016

New Orleans Trip- Day 4

December 24, 2015

Day four found us down at Jackson Square after breakfast in the hotel. Unfortunately, because is was Christmas Eve, St. Louis Cathedral was closed to tours so we could only observe it from the outside.
 It's a foggy morning in New Orleans!
 A local artist had hung up his art on the fence of Jackson Square. We stopped to admire his charcoal drawings of New Orleans and ended up buying from him. Artist Rafael R. normally charged $20 for 2 8x10 prints but since we were his first customers of the day he gave us 3 pieces for $20. He also asked to have a picture with us. Of course, we were game.
 Clark and Briana posed on the same street that their art piece depicts. Cute, huh?
As we made our way around the area we came upon "The Second Hand Street Band"setting up to play. They were so fun! They played funky jazz, exactly what you would expect in New Orleans.
 The kids listened on the street corner.
 As we were heading back to the car, we came across a group of historical actors. They roam around in costume telling the stories of their characters to teach visitors about New Orleans history. We heard an unusual story from the photographer standing between Dane and Mason. His story was unusual because his primary job was to photograph the newly deceased. Very interesting!
We also had our of first sighting of St. Nick/Santa while in New Orleans.
 It was time to get back on the road. As we drove across the Pontchartrain River, I snapped this last photo that I am calling, "Then One Foggy Christmas Eve." Because it was!
 We had many adventures in New Orleans. It was a fun family trip.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Orleans Trip- Day 3

December 23, 2015

Day three in New Orleans was our blue shirt matching day! Aren't we adorable? 

We bought day passes for the trolley to get around. What a great deal. $3 a person for 24 hours rocks! Here we are at our first stop of the day, one block down from our hotel.
Success!
Our first activity for day was The National WWII Museum. The museum has 4 buildings each with multiple floors and packed with information, news footage, and memorabilia. It was incredible!
When you arrive, you are given a dog tag of an actual WWII military member. As you go along, you check into phone/computer banks to see pictures and hear pieces of your soldier's life story . It makes it very personal. We were each engaged in our person the whole day.
The museum is beautifully done. At every turn there is something to see, hear, and read about this important time in American history.
We had planned to stay at the museum for a couple of hours. Man, were we ever wrong. We stayed from 10am, paused for lunch at a restaurant on site, to closing time at 5pm. Again, beautifully done and worth the visit.
After the museum, we rode the trolley back to the hotel to freshen up. The boys changed out of  their blue matchy shirts. (Whatever!)

Later, back on the trolley, we headed down to Cafe Du Monde. Finally, we were going to have beignets!!
We made it! No rain and no lines! Score!


We were all in sugar heaven! Yum, yum! From there we window shopped as we walked down Decatur Street. Of course, we were pulled into a candy store called, "Rocket Fizz." The boys bought some fancy sodas with their spending money.
One more trolley ride for the night!
One last stop for the night at the gorgeously decorated Waldorf Astoria-Roosevelt Hotel. It was the perfect place for a group photo or two.
It was a block's walk back to our hotel where we crashed and burned for the night. It was a long day and a good day.