Friday, April 12, 2013

New Orleans 2013

At the airport, ready to go
There is nothing quite like leaving the cold and getting a jump start on spring by traveling south during spring break.
TRYING to use every trick in the book.  This was before the "you know what" hit the fan on the airplane.
The good news is that it gives you a respite from the cold, yet I am fairly convinced that it makes returning to the cold more difficult and also, once back home, more antsy-pants for the warm weather to arrive.  Regardless, the benefits far outweigh the impatience for spring and so we headed to New Orleans at the beginning of March.

Hell yeah, this was the first stop after David & Jon picked me up from the airport.
David had traveled to New Orleans for a work conference on Tuesday, March 5th.  We didn't want Madeline to miss any school and so it was decided that I would fly down with the kids on Friday night to meet David in New Orleans.  The timing for this worked out great as David would be done with his conference and since the following week was Madeline's spring break, David could take a few vacation days and we could spend some time visiting with our friend, Jon.  I was super excited about this visit for a few reasons - (1) I was happy to escape the cold and (2) during our last trip to New Orleans I was in the first trimester of pregnancy with Jonathan and I pretty much did nothing but sleep the whole trip.  As a result, I was looking forward to being able to get out more than our last visit.

The two Jons - Dueling recliners
The only "issue" I could foresee with our travel was managing two kids, solo, on the flight there. (David would be with us on the way home.) 
Me and Jon at Pat O'Brien's
  I worked my best to be armed with a bag of tricks for the flight. The kids were well fed before the flight, I brought all of Jonathan's
David, Jon & me at Pat O'Briens 1996 or 1997(?). We have no idea who the person is with us (she belonged to the table behind us)...but look at all those hurricane drinks!....and this was after drinking beer at dinner!
"comfort items" (blanket, pacifier), each kid had a small backpack of toys to help occupy them, and the trump card was the portable DVD player and two sets of headphones.  How did that go??? Well, to give you an idea, as soon as we landed I texted David and Jon to tell them that we had to hit a daiquiri shop on the ride to Jon's house.   Everything.....I mean all my tricks, including my trump card failed.  Jonathan was simply over tired and couldn't settle into sleep.  Although Jonathan was hard to handle, his behavior under the circumstances was age appropriate.  Madeline on the other hand......her behavior was very much less than stellar on the plane.  The flight was just awful - yes, we were *that* family.  I had no idea what was up with that behavior that I had to endure on the flight......that is, until a few days later and I was able to, in retrospect, understand things a little clearer. I will get to that later.

My sick crew
Post lunch ice cream treats at Riverwalk
Since we arrived so late on Friday, Saturday (3/9) was a fairly laid back day.  After a mandatory morning trip to Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait, the kids swam a little bit in Jon's pool and we did a lot of just hanging out.  In the evening, Margaret, a friend of Jon's (whom we also know) came over to watch the kids in the evening.  Jonathan was being put to bed for the night as Margaret arrived and Madeline was able to  hang out and play with Margaret for a little bit, however, Madeline was also sent to bed before we left for the evening.  Thanks to Margaret, the three of us (Jon, David & I) were able to enjoy a yummy dinner at Clancy's.  Afterward, we headed over to the French Quarter.  When we would visit Jon after he first moved to New Orleans, David & I would always drag Jon to Bourbon Street and the three of us would end up partying our butts off.  That, however, was when we were still in our 20's.  As we walked around Bourbon Street I was just shaking my head at all the craziness that was occurring around us.  I know we had some crazy times in the French Quarter but to witness the madness when you are relatively sober and not *part of* the madness is something completely different.  After walking around Bourbon Street, we decided to head over to Pat O'Brien's for the obligatory "Hurricane". I have to say that after one hurricane I was good and tipsy, which once again made me scratch my head as to how we survived a full night of drinking hurricanes one night in the late 90's.  I'll have to dig out a picture from that night!  It was good to get out and be art of the crowd, but I was just as happy to call it a night (I must be getting old).
Madeline - Jackson Square

Back to understanding things in retrospect.  A week before we left for New Orleans, Jonathan came down with strep throat.  Since Jonathan stays at home with me, I made a comment to the doctor that because Madeline wasn't sick Jonathan must've picked strep up from something crazy, like a shopping cart.  The doctor mentioned that Madeline could've been a carrier.  Although Jonathan was still on medication, he was 100% better before we left for New Orleans.  On Sunday (3/10) afternoon Madeline had mentioned that she wanted to nap when Jonathan was napping. This in and of itself should have clued me in that she wasn't feeling well, because Madeline NEVER wants to nap.  However, I didn't think much of it because I figured that our trip was just catching up with her.  Two hours later, Madeline was still sleeping and I figured that I needed to wake Madeline so that she would sleep at night.  Madeline was burning up with a fever.  Although I wouldn't normally run her to the  doctor's at the first sign of a fever, I knew that it had to be strep throat.  Off we went to Urgent Care. Sure enough, Madeline had come down with strep.  NOW...that explains her behavior on the plane!  Madeline has a very high pain tolerance and she most likely (without me knowing it) had strep before we even left home.  God only know if/how long her throat was hurting her and if she had strep before Jonathan or if she got the strep from Jonathan.  Madeline never complained about any pain and if it weren't for her fever I would have never known.  But, like I said this explains a lot about our travel to New Orleans.
Madeline & Jonathan - Jackson Square

The strep was a slight set back in our vacation but with some antibiotics under Madeline's belt we were ready to go in no time......until David
Madeline WUZ here!
started being bothered by a sore throat that wouldn't go away.  Thankfully we were able to call our physician, tell them of our kids' strep and the doctor just call in an Rx for David, allowing us to avoid a trip to urgent care for David too.

Poor Baby J!
Again, we were all up and running and so we decided that we needed to head to Jackson Square with the kids so that we could get out.  It felt good to get this vacation started and enjoy some sunshine.  We walked around a bit, shopped, etc. We decided to stop for a bite to eat when Jonathan started getting the chills at the restaurant.  Yep....  I couldn't believe that he had strep again because he just got over it and he just finished up his medication.  Huh.... Off to Urgent Care again.  This time it was determined that Jonathan had an ear infection.  Holy crapola!

Soaking up the rays in Jon's pool
We headed home Thursday (3/14). All in all, this visit with Jon seems like a blur.  For the most part, David and I felt as though we were spinning our wheels in an attempt to start our vacation but every time we were ready, someone got sick.  Luckily, thanks to Margaret, we were able to get out on the town one night.....although when we got back home we found out that Margaret got strep throat from Madeline (talk about being Typhoid Mary!)  Despite this, we tried to get out and enjoy what we could during the moments that everyone was feeling well.  Although those "vacation moments" weren't as numerous as we had hoped, we enjoyed them very much.  As a result, I have decided that we need to plan a New Orleans "re-do".  Jon, whether you like it or not, we'll be back!

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