August 27, 2012

HURRICANE ISAAC


No school or work Tuesday and Wednesday thanks to Hurricane Isaac.  J and I are NOT evacuating.  Our house is raised a bit, car is on the neutral ground (see below), and we have plenty of food, water, flashlights, etc.  Pray we stay safe and sound :)


WEEKEND IN THE WOODS

Months and months ago, J and I planned a camping trip for the weekend of August 18th.  We had reserved a spot in Destin, Florida at Henderson Beach State Park.  It would be our first time camping together and we were finally going to use the fancy schmancy tent we'd received as a wedding present.  I had the entire day off Friday and J had taken a half day.  We planned on leaving New Orleans at noon.  Mother nature had a different idea...  The pouring rain, explosive thunder, and constant lightening reminded me I better check the weather forecast. 60% - 70% chance of thunderstorms in Destin the entire weekend.  Being stuck in a tent, possibly soaking wet, with J and Billie Lu Bayou (yup, the pup was coming too) didn't sound like that much fun.  I called J (very disappointed) and told him I thought we should cancel our camping plans and stay home.  I would have to make my s'mores in the microwave instead of over a campfire.  Bye bye beach...


J came home to a not so happy wife but he was filled with ideas and alternatives.  "What about
a cabin on a lake in Mississippi?" We loaded the car and headed 3 hours NW of New Orleans to a town called Natchez.

Get ready for a quick history lesson courtesy of Wikipedia...  Established in 1716, Natchez, Mississippi is located right on the Mississippi River. Current population is approximately 18,500. It was a pivotal center of trade and commerce between Native American, European, and African-American cultures in the region for the first two centuries of its existence. In the middle of the nineteenth century, Natchez became the home of extremely wealthy Southern planters, who grew large crops of cotton and sugar cane. The planters' fortunes allowed them to build huge mansions in Natchez before 1860, many of which survive to this day and form a major part of the city's architecture and identity. During the twentieth century the city's economy experienced a downturn, first due to the replacement of steamboat traffic by railroads in the early 1900s, and later due to the exodus of many local industries that had provided a large number of jobs in the area. Despite its status as a popular tourist destination for much of its preserved aspects of antebellum culture, Natchez has experienced a general decline in population since 1960.


Interesting and informative.  Now back to our weekend getaway...

We arrived at the cabin and I sighed with relief.  The drive to the cabin was downright scary.  I've tried to think of nicer term but that's all I got.  The bad weather, narrow dirt roads, and hundreds of collapsing decrepit trailers we passed on the way didn't provide the "welcome" I was anticipating.  The actual cabin though was very clean and quaint.


After settling in, we drove downtown for fishing supplies and dinner.  Ahhhhhh, civilization.  I'll spare you the details of buying real live crickets from the local Walmart and skip to dinner.  Nachos and tamales from Fat Mama's!  So spicy and so good!


We spent Saturday fishing, swimming, and grilling...

The trail down to the lake.



Bayou & J ready to catch some fish.


Our private pool for the weekend.


Coals are ready for the steaks.

This kitten loved us but was particularly fond of J.  We named her "Friend."

We came home early Sunday and guess what? A few friends of ours had gone to Destin that weekend for a triathlon and said the weather was beautiful!  Nothing but sunshine and clear skies.  Doesn't matter though because I had a wonderful time in the woods of Natchez with J.  Thanks for the getaway baby!  Instead of seeing sand and waves, we had deer and turkey.

August 13, 2012

HOTLANTA

J and I were in Atlanta, Georgia a few weekends ago celebrating the marriage of my cousin Mary Lacis to Mr. Zach Aten.  While J and I have never been huge fans of Atlanta, we loved Midtown.  The restaurants, shopping, architecture... we loved walking everywhere and taking it all in.  It's only fitting we would love Midtown since we live in/love Mid-City New Orleans, right?!  Mary and Zach were married July 28th at the Historic Academy of Medicine at Georgia Tech.  Ever seen the movie Gone with the Wind? Well, the famous Czechoslovakian chandelier from the movie hangs in the rotunda of the building.  It was beautiful!  The reception was immediately following the ceremony at Ri Ra Irish Pub.  We truly had a wonderful weekend and loved seeing all my family!  It's always a huge reminder that I wish we all lived closer to one another and could do weekly family dinners.  Hopefully one day....  Anyway, Mary and Zach seem SO in love and SO enamored with one another.  The ceremony was an incredible and personal reflection of who they are and their love of God.  Mary and Zach are going to have such a happy and successful future.  I just know it :)  Pictures below from our weekend in Hotlanta...

J & Benjamin taking a dip in the hotel pool.

My brother Benjamin & myself drinking some Latvian highballs :)

Groom Zach & Bride Mary

Grandmama, Anne, & little Jackson.

My cousin Nicholas & his wife Nicole.

Uncle Ivars giving the newly married couple a lift to the reception.

My Mom's Godparent's Ara & Leons.  Loved hanging out with them.

My Mom, Mary, & my Daddy.

My cousin John & J hanging out at the reception.

Cake cutting time!  The lighting of this photograph is great.  Good job, Mom :)

Me & J
I love this photo!  Christmas card contender?  Maybe.  Definitely a framer.