When we first heard the trip this year was New Orleans we weren't sure if we wanted to go or not. Neither of us had been (Zach's driven through but never stopped) but we always heard it was very "Vegas-ish" which wouldn't be our style. We did discuss it and my big thing is experiencing new places together. Why not go when it's FREE?!?! It's the first trip in awhile though that we didn't add on any days or anything. We went for the length of time Aflac sent us and just stuck to a pretty tight budget while away.
The trip fell during a school week which made me feel more guilt about leaving the kids as I know it's tough to get them all to school and back when Mrs. Charlotte lives so far! They were excited for time with Big Papa and G-Mama and it was less than half the length of time as the Cali trip so I think it seemed easier for all of us :)
Kye was being silly with the monitor and hit himself in the eye haha luckily it didn't turn black ;)
Tess is very specific about how she likes her friends and blanket when she goes to bed (this is just a random blanket from G-Mama's...yall know we don't own tractor decor haha). She likes Dory and Nemo in the corners, her friend in her arm and the blanket up to her chin ;) I took a pic when I tucked her in to give G-Mama that insider knowledge ;)
We've found it works best leaving the kids when we tuck them in for the night at G-Mama's house. It's a smoother transition for them, but also for me. It's easier on my heart to leave them when they are sleeping than when they are staring at me with tears in their eyes!
This meant we kinda had a free night in town which NEVER happens!!! We went to Panda Express. Zach (and Jordan) love it and I'd never had it before. I really liked it too! And it's cheap and we could share! Score!
We then met up with Katie to see The Girl on the Train. I LOVED LOVED LOVED the book but it reallllly didn't translate well to a movie. Did anyone else agree? If you haven't read it I totally recommend it! It was one of those that I finished in one night because I couldn't put it down. Zach read it too and was annoyed by the main character...which didn't' shock me ;)
I HAD to get a pic of Zach with this Tom Cruise ad. For multiple reasons. First, Zach LOVES the Jack Reacher books and is ALWAYS complaining about how they cast Tom Cruise in the movies because Jack Reacher is supposed to be TALL haha. And second because when Zach and I first started dating my dad was in Iraq so he couldn't meet Zach in person. I sent him a picture and he said Zach looked like a young Tom Cruise. Which I can see! But if you see Zach in person and how tall he is you just wouldn't look at him and think "Tom Cruise" right?!?! So how funny to have a picture of Tom Cruise where he's taller than Zach ;)
Loved getting a pic of my girls ready for school!
Big fat shocker. Our flight was delayed leaving Valdosta. I mean those of you that have been around awhile...HOW many times have I said our flight was delayed out of Valdosta? Oh. JUST ABOUT EVERY SINGLE TIME. I felt guilt because we could have totally gotten the kids to school and then come to the air port if we'd known it was delayed. I don't know why we keep flying out of here. I guess the free parking and not having to drive 3 1/2 hours to atlanta gets us every time ;)
We knew we'd have to RUN for it if we were gonna make our connection so we got lunch at the airport. Where there is ONE option: Subway.
On our way!
We had to literally run to catch our connection and we were the last ones allowed on the plane! Whew!!!!
So glad we did all that running (#sarcasm) only to GET to New Orleans and not have ANY of our luggage. We made the flight, our luggage did not.
Delta rep told us they'd deliver our bags for us within the next 10 - 12 HOURS. For real?!?! By the time we dealt with Delta we missed our transport with Aflac and only had 30 min till the next flight arrived anyway so we just sat and waited.
ALL of this was super annoying. Then I found out that New Orleans is only like a 6 hour DRIVE from HOME?!?! OMG. I couldn't BELIEVE Zach didn't opt to drive! A road trip would have been fun together and it would have been great to have the car and not worry about luggage weight and all that mess! Whew I was bitttttter.
In the end we got the luggage, got with a later Aflac transport, and stinking Delta gave us $100 vouchers each that you know we'll never use. What can $100 with Delta buy?!?!
We have arrived!
Awesome view in our room!
When dealing with the luggage mess the girl told us if we opted for the delivery of our luggage then we could go shopping and buy items we'd need and then bring the receipts back to her when we flew out and get refunded. I didn't feel comfortable going that route because what if we couldn't go shopping? We were limited on where we could go and only had a few hours down time before that night's event.
Then OF COURSE we get to the hotel and it's literally ATTACHED to an OUTLET MALL. Golden missed opportunity there. Ugh.
We did walk the mall (the entire mall which was much longer in length than anticipated) and hit up Cafe Do Monde! I wanted to try the original but why walk super far when one was so close? When I asked for New Orleans suggestions on FB it was CRAZY the overwhelming amount of people who said Cafe Du Monde. We were pumped to kick off the trip trying it out!
They have some special coffee (coffee au last) and these AMAZING donut type things with massive amounts of powdered sugar (beignets). Did not disappoint! You can actually order their stuff on Amazon as well...we bought a box of this beignet mix to do with the kids sometime soon!
When we walked outside Zach thought the ground was covered in bird poop but, nope, it was just massive amounts of powdered sugar!
I know these are practically the same picture but I like them both of him so deal ;)
They also gave me a free ice coffee...which had a hole in the bottom of the cup and I felt bad going back and getting a new cup since the coffee was free so we had kind of a cluster trying to keep the mess of the coffee and the mess of the powdered sugar contained. At least it was a tasty mess ;)
So I'm dumb and didn't even know this was the Mississippi River until one of the tours we went on later on our trip haha. Geography isn't my strong suit I guess :)
We walked an eternity to hit up Nordstrom Rack and it ended up being SO DISAPPOINTING. I've always heard such good things but, whew, it was crazy expensive.
Ready for the Welcome Dinner!
Hotel mirror selfies are the jam
I will probably say this again but this trip was probably THE BEST Aflac events ever. I loved the first night as they had a TON of fun stuff to do! Often times these events are just people getting wasted and music that's way too loud and it's just like the opposite of anything Zach would ever enjoy doing. I don't love drunks or loud music either haha Usually we eat quick and dip out but I really wanted to see the musical guest and I wanted to check out all the fun activities they had! It was a theme for this trip as every event we attended had activities. I LOVE me some activities!!!! I'm thankful Zach let me hang out for a bit ;)
Loved all the people dressed in theme and all the fun dancers!
Baby alligator holding? I'M IN.
We got to hold an alligator and eat one later haha
Ryan Tedder from One Republic was the musical guest and he was great! I loved that it was a solo act and not some super loud band. Zach sings "too late to apologize" on the regular so it was cool hearing it live. I do think Ryan mayyyy sing it a tad better than my husband ;)
He's a really big song writer, not just a performer, which was cool bc it meant he sang songs he's written for other artists too!
Never ever would we pay to have our fortunes told. Obviously it's not something we take a lot of stock in or believe in but it's just for fun and it was free and we've never had something like it done before. All about those experiences! I wanted to get my palm read but the line was mega long so we went for Tarot card readings instead.
While I got mine read Zach was getting MAJORLY hit on by some older cougar type woman. You know the type...massive plastic surgery, low cut/tight fighting dress, loud, drunk, etc etc. He was trapped b/c he had to wait for me to finish. I mean some people are SO rude. She asked if we were married and he said YEAH FOR LIKE A DECADE. I mean get off his junk lady!!!
Supposedly I have a lot of good coming my way. Which is good b/c 2016 has been pretty much crap so I'll take it. I mean that second card doesn't look positive right? But supposedly it is. My whole thing was something about figuring out what I want. What is important to ME and then pursuing that and I will have clarity and guidance and the world will be in the palm of my hand. Of course we did the first four and I told him about the adoption so the 5th card he said meant new life haha
Zach didn't really want his cards read but he went for it to escape the lady hahaha
I had one bad looking card...but Zach? Doesn't look super promising. haha He said the guy kept trying to stretch to make it happier. I mean surely after a back surgery and a tough medical diagnosis things HAVE to look up for Zach here soon so I will go with the positivity from the card reader :)
Since the card reader rescued Zach from the drunk woman, we paid it forward and rescued these girls from a drunk dude hitting on them (we should have steered him in the direction of Zach's cougar). :)
Kinda random gifts but we'll always take free stuff! And it cracked us up seeing SO MANY people wearing the bead necklaces to all the events? Haha!
It was a rough start to what ended up being an AWESOME trip! Night one was really so, so fun and we were both excited to experience a new place together :)