Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not So Big, Not So Easy

This weekend Riley was the antithesis of New Orleans on his first real visit to the city in a bowl.

But before we get to that, I must brag that with the recent rains, Riley earned his south Louisiana merit badge for being an official ditch kid. One morning, after some innocent puddle stomping, he waded right in.

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What trash.

remember, this is the kid who freezes up and whines if you put him in a swimming pool. Go figger.

Now back to the real meat of things.

Riley's godmother is Lesley. We've been friends since freshman year of high school and she's been Joan's best friend for at least 8 years.

We don't see her much because she got some fancy letters behind her name and moved off to the big city to work for some huge soulless corporation (jokingly says the guy who works for Fortune's #31 company)

Since she actually had a weekend free of marathons and gallivanting around Napa Valley in hot air balloons, we headed down to New Orleans so he could get some face time with her.

We started out with a meal on Friday night at Taqueria Corona, where Les learned the joys of eating with a perpetually moving 16 month old.

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Saturday morning, he was up early and back down for a nap by 8 am.
But before the nap he got in plenty of being a cheeseball and sliding in Nanny's living room. (yes we brought his slide, because it is easier than dealing with an unoccupied Riley.)

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After his 20 minute nap we packed up and headed downtown.
Our primary goal was to hit the aquarium, and our secondary goal was to get pics of him at various locations that we can return to through the years for growth scale shots.

First stopped by Mommy's undergrad alma mater and marveled at how some of the rich kids are willing to leave a $500 bike to rot on a bike rack once school is out. Then we got some pics with the kid with the sign out front.

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After finding a nice shady parking spot downtown, we headed over to the Riverwalk for a little lunch. Despite the breeze, it was still pretty hot but he was the envy of many a passer-by in his stroller decked out with fans.

I don't know how effective the fans were since his main activity was stopping the foam blades with his fingers and face.

He may not have been cooled, but he was cool.

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I knew in advance what he would like most about the RiverWalk, and the seagulls and pigeons quickly figured it out too.

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Surely, though, they are used to being chased, often by much larger buffoons than him, so I didn't feel bad. They should have to work for free pizza crust.

One thing we didn't predict, but was totally foreseeable with his maternal DNA, was a love of fudge.

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At the Riverwalk we felt the presence of Mitch Hedberg as we saw what he pointed out to be one of the most ridiculous signs ever.

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(especially with the arrow pointing to the wall.)

After trying to kill time and have him fall asleep indoors, he finally did.
We then carefully carried the stroller upstairs to the Hilton so that we could walk around somewhere quiet and he could get in a good nap.

How nice of us, right?
Too bad he only slept another 20 minutes or so, bringing his total nap time for the day to 40 minutes.
The stars weren't lining up for an easy afternoon.

But we weren't going to let a pissy baby keep us from spending 60 bucks to stand among hundreds of other people and look at the same fish we saw 2 years ago. We're not that sensible.

We know he likes fish, and hoped he'd like the aquarium, but the only thing predictable about him is his unpredictability.

We were quite pleasantly surprised.
After a few minutes of getting used to the pretty heavy crowd, he was loving it.
He got really excited and it was really fun for us to watch. He was pointing and babbling at the fish, otters, penguins, seahorses and birds.

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He was so excited he couldn't even hold still for a shot with Nanny.

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His favorite aspect of the whole tour though was one display in the kid's area consisting of boxes mounted on rods, with information on both sides.
Why did he like it?
The pretty pictures?
The informative nature facts?

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Nah. They were Spin-its and kept him occupied for at least 15 minutes.

Finally, we could dally indoors no more and we headed out into the heat for some pic taking. He wasn't in a great mood, but we got a few cool shots at places that will be easy to return to through the years.

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We ended things up with a nice dinner at Red Fish Grill in the 100 block of Bourbon. Pretty good and worth a try.

We knew going in that we were aiming for dessert, so we all split pasta jambalaya, BBQ oysters and sweet potato crusted catfish.
Then for the finale, it was Double Chocolate Bread Pudding, Very Berry Cheesecake and Uncle Eric's Mississippi Banana Cream pie.

Riley went wild on that last one.

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his favorite part though, and quite a handy tool for us, was that the restaurant is connected to a hotel, which gave him lots of room to run.

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By the end of the day he was wiped out, but still willing to crack a little smirk every now and then.

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Then, as if the banana cream pie wasn't enough, back at Nanny's house he showed us how he can cram almost half a banana into his mouth.

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Then he showed off his new lion pjs.

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Before bed he actually kinda almost sorta posed properly for a shot with mommy and nanny.

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Then went right back to being a cheeseball.

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Despite some difficulties with his mood, it was a good weekend overall.
Unfortunately, nothing much on his calendar soon, so I hope he savors the memories.

If anyone is wondering about the significance of the escalator sign, Mitch can explain it best:
Mitch Hedberg - Knocking on Walls
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1 comment:

Kim said...

OMG, are y'all following us? We were in New Orleans this weekend too. Even went to the Riverwalk and laughed at the same sign. Shouldn't it have been at the TOP of the escalator???