Dempsey’s First Trip to NOLA

Since the moment Dempsey was born, I’ve been excited to take him to New Orleans. Taking my favorite person to my favorite place? Almost too much for my heart to handle! It seemed only natural that it should be his first “big” (aka riding on a plane) vacation. And now that we’ve been and spent four PERFECT days in the Big Easy, I’m so glad we took him. The weather was amazing, we ate like kings, Dempsey got to meet my aunt and uncle and I got to spend quality time with the people I love most. No joke, we got home late Thursday night and I felt depressed all weekend. I always feel blue coming home from New Orleans, like a leave a little piece of my heart there, and withdrawal from my mom and sis hit me HARD. I’m feeling better today and I’m ready to show you all the fun we had πŸ’—

He did so good on the plane! Well, good in that he didn’t fuss, but he also was not having ANY of that sleep stuff. This guy usually gets three hours of daytime sleep and he clocked in at 40 MINUTES TOTAL that day. But he was a trooper. I packed him that little bento box lunch and watching him eat from it was the cutest. We actually had to make an unplanned landing in Oklahoma City because someone was having a medical emergency, so it was later than planned when we got into New Orleans and then we had to wait at baggage claim (um, the STUFF you have to fly with when you have a baby was 😱) then shuttle to the rental car facility. Felt like a lot, but then we drove straight to Blue Oak BBQ and dove into brisket and pulled pork and baked beans and mainly mac and cheese! Above is Dempsey’s “stop taking pictures and give me more mac and cheese” face πŸ˜‚ Checked into our Airbnb (we stayed ON Magazine!) afterward and that little boy was sooooo tired!

Up and at em! Dempsey slept so long and so peacefully that it sort of freaked me out that first morning, especially since he’d been on a weeklong roll of mid-night wake ups back at home. WE woke HIM up every morning, what?! At home, we have a camera in his room but not knowing what he was doing in there gave me anxiety that first morning. I relaxed in the days after though!

Walked to Molly’s Rise & Shine for breakfast and my mom was NOT impressed but I liked it and Dempsey was loving his grits! We strolled up Magazine for a bit and stopped to have a photoshoot at this wall art. We made almost ZERO plans for this trip, which was really nice. We fell into a coffee/breakfast/stroll/nap/lunch/nap/dinner routine that really worked out. I was worried about having to put Dempsey down for naps, but it ended up being a built in chill out and/or shower time!

Um, we think we found a bullet hole in our mini van?! Spent the rest of the trip wondering if it was there when we picked the rental car up… Anyway, Monday was my Aunt Tricia’s birthday, so we made plans to have lunch with she and my uncle, across the lake in Covington. My uncle met us at our Airbnb and got to meet little Demps! He even showed off his newfound walking ability. We all piled into the van and drove across the Causeway, which is always cool for us. We ate lunch out on the back patio at The Chimes then walked down to the water to take a family photo ❀ I brought a card for my aunt all the way from Denver and we somehow lost it between the car and the restaurant πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

That night, the four and a half of us walked to a nearby brewery. My mom was maybe worried we were going to be mugged the entire way and we were able maybe making fun of her the entire way. Grabbed some beers and baby’s first dim sum from the pop-up that was there and Dempsey was very into the food and the disco ball lights on the ground. He’s a brewery baby for sure!

A Tuesday in the French Quarter! This whole trip, I wanted to have breakfast at Surrey’s and they are closed Tuesday AND Wednesday, so we kept having to put it off. We ended up grabbing coffee at the shop right next to our Airbnb (very convenient AND it was really good coffee!) then walking down the the Ruby Slipper. I think that place is just okay, but it worked out. Post nap #1, we walked over the the street car stop on Canal and would you look at that happy baby?? He liked the way the breeze was blowing in his hair ❀ And even though, we had to get off and ride the bus for a few stops, he loved that too πŸ˜‚ We had lunch at the Gumbo Shop (I just love okra, okay??) then walked to the river. I was kind of worried the Quarter would be dead and feel depressing but I’m happy to report there were people walking around, brass bands marching through the streets and just happiness in the air. Need to remember to walk down Royal instead of Bourbon though… We took ourselves over to Cafe du Monde after walking along the river for a bit and guess who likes powdered sugar?!

For a food-filled vacation, I took shockingly few food photos, but for dinner, we went over to the St. Roch Market, where I accidentally ordered an extra fried chicken sandwich. Oops, but man was it good!

Joey and I talked seriously about it and Wednesday was our very favorite day of the trip. We walked to get breakfast (biscuits! donuts! tacos! vietnamese iced coffee!) at District Donuts and then after Dempsey’s nap, we met my uncle at Parkway for much anticipated shrimp sandwiches! It was the middle of a weekday and it was PACKED in there. Good for them! Joey and I got a large shrimp and a regular roast beef and Dempsey shared with us. Plus I got a really good boozy slushy drink and Joey talked my sister into making her drink a double. Parkway really does have the best po boys! Afterward, we parted ways with my uncle and headed into the Garden District. My sis played tour guide and read us some facts about some of the more famous houses in the area. I think my favorite was when she skimmed the online guide and told us “this is just like an old house that some people lived in” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Definitely my dream to win the lottery and own one of these houses some day!

Again, no pictures, but we had a REALLY good dinner at Pizza Dominica. We got meatballs and polenta and that polenta is probably one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Plus Caesar salads and two pizza that were delicious! We almost got dessert, but we had turtles from Haydel’s back at the Airbnb so we held out and man, were those cookies good 🀀 Just an all around perfect day!

One last day in NOLA πŸ˜₯ We finally made it to Surrey’s and the shrimp and grits did not disappoint. You better believe I ate every last bite! We had to be out of our Airbnb by 11, but luckily, we could set up camp (and let Dempsey nap!) at my uncle’s. While he was sleeping, the girls walked to a little shop nearby and bought a few things 😊 We all had lunch then headed to City Park for a bit. We wanted Dempsey to see the Spanish Moss plus there was a little park for him to play at. We maybe didn’t have time but my sis suggested we make a trip to the Creole Creamery and who can turn down ice cream?? I’m not usually a Bourbon lover, but I got Maple Bourbon Blondie and it was definitely one of the best flavors I’ve ever had! Joey got some super dark chocolate flavor and let Dempsey taste so that’s why he looks like that πŸ˜‚ Got a pic of Demps and my uncle before we left and I’m so glad. Someone did not want to sleep on the flight home, but was using Grandma’s finger to point out pictures on the emergency card instead. I love that picture so much. What a good grandma ❀

I’m forever grateful to have made this trip and all these wonderful memories. Till next time, Nola!

Halloween Weekend Things

It’s a new week and a new month, but before we dive into November, I want to show you our final October weekend. It was seriously a good one!

Friday started with an apparently tiring breakfast πŸ˜‚ We had exciting evening plans of meeting up for wings with Jenn and Korey at Fire on the Mountain! We hadn’t seen them in way way way too long and it was their first time meeting Dempsey, so that was the sweetest moment πŸ₯° Afterward, Jenn and I text exchanged Justin Bieber and BTS videos. We just get each other, you know??

Joey and I put that very sleepy boy to bed and watched GBBO then went to bed ourselves πŸ™‚

Saturday started with pumpkin French toast. Dempsey was maybe too into it and needed to put the whole plate up to his face πŸ˜‚ While he was down for his nap, Joey and I planted garlic and tulips finally! Hope they all come up in the spring 🀞 It was sooooo nice outside too!

Once Dempsey was up, we all had lunch and then little man and I went to run some errands. First up, turning in my ballot. Never too early to teach your kids about civic duty, right?? The drop off box was at the rec center and there’s a park there as well, so we couldn’t resist stopping to swing, slide and bounce on a teeter-totter. And then we sat in the grass for a bit. He’s very into leaves, so that’s all it takes to entertain him nowadays πŸ˜‚β€ Lastly, we went to the library! I feel like I haven’t read a physical book in soooo long. And Dempsey got a bookmark, so we were both happy.

A bit later, my sis and Wayne came over to watch Demps so Joey and I could go see a movie. We could barely find The Last Duel playing anywhere, but we finally did! I thought all the scenes without Jodie Comer or Ben Affleck were a waste of time, to be honest. But I didn’t think it was bad either. My sis posted this picture of she and Demps doing “fall sh*t” and I love it so much! Very grateful for a loving aunt and uncle to take care of our boy ❀❀❀

Spaghetti squash lasagna for dinner! I roasted the squash earlier in the day and Joey did the rest, so we just had to reheat these in the oven. Dempsey was very into the ground turkey and less into the pieces of spinach πŸ˜‚ He is a great eater for the most part but man does he have a hard time actually swallowing anything green. He keeps trying though! After he went to bed, we looked for something “scary” to watch and came across Titane, which I’d heard of since it won the top prize at Cannes this year. The trailer was crazy, so we went for it and… even two days later, I’m not sure what happened in that movie! It’s given me a lot to think about though.

Happy Halloween! Joey made us all different breakfasts πŸ₯° Then entertained Dempsey by climbing through his tunnel. Let the record show I’ve yet to go through there!

Halloween afternoon fun! Someone was NOT into being in their costume to take a picture with Mom and Dad πŸ˜‚ Once we got him over to Grandma Lori’s though, he was a good sport! Chad got a video of him walking up the sidewalk with his pumpkin in one hand and I definitely feel like crying every time I watch. He’s too cute! Lori got him a light up Snoopy pumpkin engraved with his name and he LOVES it! Onto the next grandparents’ house, where he got a box of 96 crayons. He took some steps while we were there!!!

Halloween evening fun! Post nap, we played, carved pumpkins — yet another time-consuming and incredibly creative carving by me… but not really because it took me about 2 minutes to carve that simple face in πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ and let Dempsey dig his hand into the slimy seeds! Then back into the hot dog costume to try that family photo one more time. Props to the parents who go all out dressing up with their kids because a shirt that says “mustard” on it is definitely the most time and money I’m willing to invest. We took him to a few neighbors’ houses then headed back home for dinner. We heated up leftovers for Demps and pulled out this incredible cheese board for ourselves but then Dempsey wanted to share with us ❀ Turns out he is a huge fan of cornichons!

We put him to bed shortly after dinner and said goodnight to Halloween and “Spooky Season” in general. Last year, he was all of 11 days old on Halloween, so this year he was able to celebrate it a little more and wow, I underestimated just how fun it would be. From leaf peeping, to pumpkin patch visiting, to the Glow at the Gardens, to all the playing we did with our fall decorations to Dempsey’s first birthday to Halloween fun, this fall has been THE BEST. Here’s to many more πŸ™‚