Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Last week we took the boys to stay in Orlando for 4 days and had a Disney extravaganza! We have annual passes and we've been taking full advantage of them! We went to Disney and night, but unfortunately, it rained... actually it monsooned everyday, so I was only able to take pics on the very last day at Epcot.

Joey and Nemo

Joey recovering from a black eye. :( We think he is allergic to mosquitoes (Joe says they are the state bird here) and he swells up really bad whenever he's bitten. This lovely mosquito decided to bite him right by his eye, which in turn swelled up and turned black and blue. This was about 5 days after the bite!

This is the cutest little exhibit that teaches kids how to save up money to buy something they want. Joey's holding his little piggy bank, which is actually a little computer!

Daddy helping Joey earn some money for his little piggy.

Cameron and cousin Robert working on their savings.

Happy Joey!

Cousin Michele and I sitting outside Epcot's best kept secret... the free soda!!

Poor Joey thought he was so clever avoiding the water until it shot him right in the face!

Joe and I in "Italy".

This is the perfect example of Cameron and Joey's relationship. This is it. Right here. Cameron being crazy, Joey screaming his head off!

Cousins - Robert, Isabella and Cameron

Joey holding his winnings from the Lego store in Dowtown Disney.

Party of 3

This Summer I decided I would keep the boys out of camps and programs and try to do as much as I can with them while they still want to be seen with me. Well, mostly Cameron. Joey still thinks I'm pretty cool. :) I've been able to work 3 days a week and spend the rest of the time with them. This means taking them places (gulp) all by myself. This seemed pretty daunting at first since Joey could win awards for his epic meltdowns, but we've managed to have a pretty good time.

I've taken them mini-golfing a couple times and even though Joey is a serious cheater, Cameron usually manages to win.

Joey does not take any direction on how to stand. This is how he wants to do it and so he shall!

A rare moment of not punching each other or screaming. :)

I took the boys to Busch Gardens by myself, which is by far the most adventurous thing I've done without the backup of Daddy. The boys were actually pretty good and Joey especially loved Sesame Street.

This is the cutest little flume ride. Joey was a little nervous about going alone so Cameron went with him.

Train ride!

I'm pretty sure that's not what that is used for!

My boys. :)

Joey feeding the hippos mulch.

It's been a LONG while!

It's been quite some time since I put up any new pictures. We've been so busy lately and I've been really bad about bringing my camera along, but I do have some cute pics to share.

In April we took the boys to a blueberry festival where they opened the fields for picking. I wasn't sure how Joey would do out in the heat or if he would be interested in picking blueberries at all, but this kid picked like it was his job!

He was so cute out there picking his "blues"!

That's a lot of blueberries for a little guy!


Joe took the boys over to get some shaved ice. It was really hot out that day!

Cameron had a blast!

Me and Cameron

Pretty blueberries!

In the end we picked over 10lbs. of blueberries! I made preserves, jam, blueberry pancakes, smoothies... you name it and I still have a couple pounds frozen. We'll definitely go again next year!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Orleans

Let me preface this by saying that this is going to be my less than favorable review of our trip to New Orleans.

What we expected and what we experienced were two VERY different things!
Thursday we landed in New Orleans after a pretty uneventful flight. I had arranged for transportation to pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. After a little less than an hour of waiting, the slowest man in America finally arrived to pick us up. I don't think I've ever seen a person move so slow before. This was definitely an omen of things to come.
Eventually we arrived at the Renaissance Pere Marquette. The hotel was really pretty and I got a great deal on Priceline for our room.
Our room was pretty small, but it was okay. We really didn't plan to spend much time awake in it. Unfortunately, we also didn't spend any time sleeping in our room, thanks to our lovely neighbors who screamed, slammed doors and blasted the TV every.single.night!

We decided to walk around the French Quarter for a while and take in some of the sights. If you decide to visit the French Quarter, you'll know you've arrived when you can smell a heavy mix of vomit, urine and horse poop. It's pretty sad to stand and admire a beautiful historic building while standing in a dried pile of vomit.

Friday I had booked us for a combo tour of Oak Alley Plantation and an airboat tour in the swamps.

We were picked up by Louisiana Tour Company, driven all over the French Quarter, then transferred to another bus, driven around the French Quarter again and then sat on the side of the road for 45 minutes while the driver tried to figure out how to use the credit card machine. Then we stopped at an ATM machine where he demanded everyone use their debit cards to get cash to pay for the tour. At this time we were running about an hour late. I was getting increasingly furious and wanted to abandon the tour, but the driver told me we weren't running late at all. Okay, fine.

We were told that the drive would take about 35-40 minutes. About 45 minutes into the drive, the driver told us that we were running behind and that he intended to go about 30 miles over the speed limit to make up for time. Then he tried to convince one of the passengers to pretend to be sick in the event he was pulled over. At this point, I'm wondering how hard it would be to re-book my flights and go back home.

After about an hour and 15 minutes of driving, we arrived at Oak Alley where we were made to stay on the bus and wait for him to buy us tickets. You know, the tickets I already bought online the week before. Ugh... and the saga continues...

Oak Alley was beautiful, but since our idiot driver got us there so late, we were only allowed to visit for one hour. This was just long enough to see the inside of the house. We had no time at all to tour the grounds. These pics were taken on the way into the house.

The view from the balcony of the house.

On the way back to the bus from hell.

This picture was taken from the road where the bus driver pulled over so I could quickly snap a couple shots.

After leaving Oak Alley, we were bussed to yet another bus of angry passengers who had been waiting at a Burger King for us for over an hour. Again, I'm trying to figure out how to re-book our flight home.

It turned out that our airboat tour was the best part of our trip. We could have, and probably should have, just stayed home and gone on an airboat tour, but whatever. At least we had some fun in Louisiana.

Our tour guide was great though. He was very knowledgable and passionate about the swamps. Apparently alligators like marshmallows!

I missed the shot, but he actually kissed alligators.

Off he goes...

Joe on the airboat.

I got to sit next to the driver. I guess this is the best seat in the house. I think I was the least soaked out of our group.

Joe got a "gator-hawk".

Joe holding the gator. I have an issue with critters, so I didn't hold him, but I did touch him. That's as far as I go.

View of the St. Louis Cathedral.

Me in front of the St. Louis Cathedral. This picture is really deceiving. If you could only see all the sleeping/passed out/maybe dead people laying on the ground right in front of this historic church.

Andrew Jackson

We took a mule-drawn carriage ride that went in a circle around the French Quarter. Not exactly where we thought we were going. We were hoping to see and hear some history about the city, but neither Joe or I could understand a single word our driver said... other than that he wanted a tip.

Here's Cafe Du Monde. I don't know if you can tell by the picture, but that line goes around 3 sides of the building. I don't have that kind of patience for coffee and donuts. We did have coffee and beignets here at night though.

Here's another picture of the cathedral taken from across the street. This was a great spot to get some pictures of it, but there was a weird man bothering people about their shoes and once he started bothering Joe about his, we quickly walked away.

This is an example of a street performer. He paints himself silver or gold and acts like he's a statue. If you stare at him or take a picture of him, another guy will bring that bucket over to you and ask you to pay him. For looking at him. I don't get this.

Sunday was our last day in New Orleans thankfully. Since the St. Charles Streetcar was FINALLY working, we hightailed it down the to Garden District. I wanted to see the old cemetary first.

Unfortunately, the cemetary is closed on Sundays. Ugh...

Here's some lovely pics taken by my camera shoved through the gate.

Corn fence made of iron.

This used to be Anne Rice's house. I didn't realize she didn't live there anymore until we already trudged down the insanely hazardous sidewalks all the way there.

Beads cover every inch of the city. In the trees, on the power lines, under your feet, falling from the buildings above to hit you in the head, etc.

Wrapped around poles miles and miles away from the French Quarter.

The St. Charles Streetcar. It may or may not stop for you. It may even stop, refuse to open the door and then ride away like this one did. I love a good tease. Especially when I need to get back so I can make my flight.
All in all, this was a TERRIBLE vacation. When we got back to our hotel to get picked up, the hotel had lost our checked bags. Then we watched our airport shuttle drive away as the hotel insisted that someone else's bags were mine. After pitching a fit and demanding to be let into the room where they had the bags, I found our luggage and we were picked up in a party bus. Yes, a party bus to be taken to the airport. Whatever. I'm home now.

My suggestions for anyone who wants to go to New Orleans is this: Unless you ARE a frat boy, love frat boys, love the scent of vomit, urine and horse feces, don't need to be anywhere on time, don't care if it takes an hour to be served coffee, don't mind giving money to people who's talent is standing still on a milk-crate, then don't go to New Orleans.

I can't stress this enough. This is a huge waste of money!!