Saturday, February 27, 2010

Weekend in Dallas

Last weekend we decided to meet our wonderful (and only) friends within a thousand mile radius for a fun weekend in Dallas. Obviously we are talking about the Cox family. They had no idea they would be the subject of so many blogs but that’s what happens when you live so “close” to each other! Ryan was able to get us a great deal staying at the Westin Galleria. The best thing was that you didn’t even have to leave the hotel to walk into a huge mall with plenty of great shopping for Marianne and me. After arriving Friday night our adventure began Saturday morning with Joe and Ryan taking the kids to the aquarium so that me and Marianne could get down to business and shop. Later we met for lunch and then went to see where JFK was shot. Me and Madeline felt the need to stand on the “X” in the middle of the road that marks the spot where he died so that we could get our picture taken. Hey- you have to make the most of the moment! We then traveled to another mall for the highlight of the trip (at least for Hayden) which was to visit the Lego store. Unfortunately afterwards the Coxes had to leave, but Ryan and I stayed another night. The next morning we ventured to North Dallas to go to the IKEA store and explore some other furniture venues. After that we went to….another mall. I want to stop for a minute and state that I really do not even like shopping, and I have never gone to three malls in a 24 hour period in my life. But it actually was a lot of fun. That mall had an awesome candy store so we stocked up for the car ride home. Overall it was a great weekend in Dallas, and I’m sure we will be going back again soon.

Let it Sneaux!

Here is a sight you don’t normally see in the deep south. Not only did we get to experience one of the hottest Junes on record the month we moved we also got to experience the 7th largest snowfall in the city’s history. As a side note, this was our second snow day off from school for the year. However the first snow day resulted in no snow whatsoever!

Throw Me Something Mister!!!

Whenever I think of New Orleans I typically think of two things; Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras. Well little did I know that Mardi Gras is actually a statewide celebration. Contrary to popular outside belief, it is not isolated to the New Orleans area and Shreveport has quite a Mardi Gras celebration of its own. My very limited knowledge of this holiday has expanded somewhat, but I think it will take me a few more years of living here to actually get a grasp on it. My first Mardi Gras celebration was in the form of a parade that we had at our school. My job was to pick a king and queen from my class to throw out beads and candy. In addition there would be some Dutch and Duchesses from the local “krewes” that were coming to participate. For anyone who has worked in the school system, you can imagine the excitement my 20 five-year-olds had when they began having candy and beads thrown at them. My hearing was permanently damaged in the process. I was then invited by some of my co-workers to come to their house which was on the “Krewe of Centaur” parade route. From this experience as well as other experiences Ryan and I had during the Mardi Gras season I have compiled a list of things we learned.

1. Mardi Gras is a season. It is not a day or simply one parade. It is various parades, parties, and festivities.
2. King Cakes are a local specialty. There are many types. Be selective with your fillings and they are very good heated.
3. Beads can be hazardous to your health. They especially hurt when they hit your pinkie finger or lip.
4. 4 million beads were thrown out in the one parade that we attended.
5. Catching beads is an art. It helps to make eye contact with the thrower. If they point to you then you know you are in for a special treat!
6. We don’t live in New Orleans but people do dance on their cars waiting for the parade to come by.
7. In order to get the full parade experience, tailgating begins at 8 am for a 8 pm parade.
8. This is no 20 min parade. Plan on 2 hours plus. The 2 hours does not include pre-parade festivities. This is simply the amount of time that the floats go by.
9. Mardi Gras plus Saints at the Super bowl the next day = extra excitement in the crowd
10. Throw me something mister! Code word for give me the goods off that float! And yes I did wave my hands and shout it out and was rewarded with a variety of goodies.

Heaux Heaux Heaux!!!

So I haven’t been very good about blogging lately and since I’m trying to go in chronological order as much as possible I’m going to try to quickly catch up. Christmas this year was extra special in that it was the first time that Ryan and I have gotten to go back home together since we moved. I was a little worried that Ryan wouldn’t be able to get off for Christmas but thankfully he was. We made it into town and began a fun-filled week of family and Christmas traditions. Some of our traditions are many years old, such as having a birthday cake for Jesus at my parents’ house and making the annual trek to Mt. Olive for Christmas Eve. Some are newer traditions, like eating a great brunch at the Holland’s before swinging back over to the Creech household for our typical steak and chicken and pastry dinner. No, we don’t do the traditional turkey or ham but our dinner sure is good! I often get the question of why we eat that for Christmas with my family. Many years ago my wonderful mom started making me and David’s favorite foods for Christmas dinner and the tradition has stuck. Both families got a special Christmas present this year but that will have to wait for another blog. :) By the way, for any non-Louisianans, heaux heaux heaux translates to ho ho ho. That sign was on the road by my school so we decided to use it on our Christmas cards in honor of our new location.