After our night in Monticello FL at Golden Acres Ranch – we visited restrooms in 4 different states 🙂 and landed in NOLA!
(I missed the Mississippi sign because I was reading Narnia to the kiddos!)
After a pretty drive in, we got to our park where the state welcoming committee came to greet us in full force. This particular group of mosquitos 🦟 were the biggest we’ve seen second only to the monsters after the Hurricane/flood.
The state park we’re in is right next to the Mississippi River which is pretty cool! We even have some levees within walking distance of Woody so we got to talk about living below sea level and all the crazy development and engineering around here (hey sort of like Stoney Creek – jk).
We are officially west of the Mississippi now and in a new time zone! The kids love looking at the Mississippi’s path and discussing where the water going by has been.
We have a lot of space between us and our neighbors, nice hot showers, and free laundry so we are content. We don’t have sewer hook up here but it’s only a week so we can make it work. It makes me think a lot deeper about our sponsored children and how hard it is for them to gather clean water. We use SO much more water than they do. We are truly privileged. I’m so grateful to be part of World Vision’s work. They are the # 1 provider of clean water in the developing world. Click here to join us in using our privileges to bless others.
Talk about a full circle moment – Brandon and I came to “Nawlins” on our honeymoon because our cruise left from here. It was August 2005 – the month NOLA will never forget . Katrina hit 2 weeks after we left. And now we are back here after a hurricane flooded our home (with 3 additions to our 2!!! Pretty amazing!) .
(Aw look at our 2005 selves)
Our opinions of this city haven’t changed that much and I suspect it will be at least a decade before we return here. Let me vent first then I can talk some positives we enjoyed ! 🙂
We spent Sunday in the French Quarter and Garden District of NOLA
See – we were all over the place.
I don’t have a history lesson for you for New Orleans because well quite frankly everybody seems to be too busy being part of the show that is NOLA so there’s no time to teach history. B described it perfectly…no matter what day you go or even what decade apparently…. it’s all a stage for characters and everybody’s a part. We play the stunned tourists staring with our mouths hanging wide open.
The particular day that we went into the city, everybody was even rowdier than usual because it was Super Bowl Sunday and the whole city was boycotting! I feel like we all needed a counseling session after the day and so we took one. We needed some space to talk about homelessness, addictions, voodoo, magic, tarot cards, empty religion, drunkenness. I even had to talk about how they have permission to tell strangers they don’t accept hugs from adults they don’t know. Geez we’ve had some weird encounters here.
One thing that also bothered us the most was that men are still allowed to hustle people in the most popular tourist corners. “I’ll bet you $5 I know where you got ‘ dem shoes”. We learned our lesson the first time we came here in 2005 – but hate seeing so many others have to deal with it.
But – I do believe His people, the Church is somewhere here. It’s a mission field for sure – a place in desperate need of Jesus.
That’s enough venting 🙂
Here are some positives!!!! The kids were soo well behaved! They walked 20,000+ steps and did not complain about their feet legs or anything. That month of exercise in January sure is paying off. Their attitudes truly made the day! We were thrilled. I think being very out of their comfort zones and knowing they had to just follow and stay close helped.
It’s been a few days and I’m pretty sure they didn’t retain any new words they heard and read – so that’s a positive!
I’ve had sinus issues for quite a few weeks now (please pray for it to fully clear) – but I will say it was a great positive for visiting NOLA. Because I can’t smell anything, I didn’t feel nausea even once as we walked. See there’s always ways to look at the positive ha. I did have to say “don’t touch anything!” a million times though
We took the ferry over from where we’re staying which really worked out well and was cheap and no stress!
The kids loved the street cars and AB was so thrilled to fulfill her Tiana dream of jumping onto the street car and hanging on. We road them a lot!
Café du Monde for a beignet and visiting Jackson Square were the first stops of the morning of course:
My fave part of the morning was listening to this lady. Wow even the street corner musicians are *amazing* here. I’ve never heard the clarinet like this lady played it. She sang so beautifully as well. I could be wrong but her song lyrics and demeanor surely made me think she knows King Jesus 🙂
After a few hours we were more than ready for some quiet so we took the street cars to the Garden District and that area was sweet relief for our eyes ears and hearts:
After admiring the houses and enjoying the quiet for awhile, we headed back into the French Quarter for round 2.
It was time for a meal and The Gumbo Shop didn’t disappoint! And they had bathrooms woohoo! (By the way – there’s public restrooms by the market down from Cafe Du Monde on Riverfront! Wish we’d know when we were over there instead of a 20 minute walk away haha). E was cracking up because we all got some sort of Gumbo and they announced it grandly and then to her, “your grilled cheese, madam” hehe
We then visited Louis Armstrong park. Yes ! More green space and quiet:
We were particularly touched by this statue and history since we have a special relationship with the Congo:
The highlight of the day (besides the food) was our visit to hear jazz at Preservation Hall. Oh it was so so so good! I think RR smiled the whole time. We have a jazz lover in the family, for sure!
I think anytime we are in a city, it’s a great learning experience… we can find the beauty and good in the city… we love the history, music, food, diversity of cultures …. but it’s a reminder of how much the Rooks are truly nature lovers and how grateful we are to have so many quiet moments in nature, surrounded by Gods creation. And we’re going to experience SO much more time out in creation in the upcoming months – we are so excited !