Saturday, February 28


Tyson and I had the opportunity to fly to New Orleans and enjoy a few days of Mardi Gras.  We were so happy that Tyson's cousin Skyler and his wife Angie were able to came along for the fun.  It was an all expense paid trip, which made it all the more fun.  A big thank you to Pan America for making this trip possible. 

I had been to New Orleans back when the University of Utah played Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.  It was such an amazing trip and didn't know what to expect this time around.  It turned out being ten times more fun the second time around.  I had a blast introducing Tyson to some of my favorite restaurants and spots.  

Seeing as we arrived right in the middle of Mardi Gras, the streets were packed.  There were people everywhere.  I was surprised how many families and kids were out and about.  Apparently the schools shut down for Mardi Gras.  We luckily stayed in a hotel, right on the parade route.  We definitely felt spoiled not having to wait around all day for a good spot.  
^^^ We were greeted with the yummiest King Cake. ^^^
^^^ Our fist stop was to Cafe Du Monde.  Their beignets are out of this world. ^^^
We spend our fist evening with the Vice President of Pan America.  We met for dinner where Tyson was brave and tried muscles and oysters for the first time.  We then went to his house, which was gorgeous.  He was a previous owner of an art gallery and had some of the paintings hanging throughout his house.  It was seriously beautiful.  Following his house tour he took us to our first Mardi Gras parade.  I had no idea what to expect and boy did it exceed any expectations I had.  There were marching bands from all around entertaining us right and left as well as huge floats with men in white masks, throwing heaping piles of beads.  I can't even begin to describe the amounts of beads we got.  It was quite comical.  Beads were literally flying at my face.  I almost passed out from an enormous bag hitting me strait in the eye.  Things even went blurry for a minute.  We caught the strangest things imaginable, everything from a rubber chicken to light sabers.  And don't worry, there was no flashing necessary.  
^^^ Whoever had to clean our hotel, was left with pounds of beads.  There was no possible way to take them all home with us.^^^
The last time I went to New Orleans, I wasn't very adventurous when it came to trying the food.  I wanted to make sure not to make the same mistake this time around.  Tyson was surprisingly on board.  We ate everything we could get our hands on.  We ate crawfish, oysters, muscles, jambalaya, red beans and rice, collared greens, bread pudding and bananas foster.  Everything was amazing!
The crawfish were actually pretty tasty.  Tyson even enjoyed them.  They were a lot of work for a little amount of meat, but tasted too yummy to pass up.  They were cooked in the best seasonings.  I wish there was a way I could have bottled up all of that southern spice.
^^^ The French Quarters is a must.  We watched the street performers and enjoyed our fare share of people watching.
We decided to only go down Bourbon Street during the day.  It was already crazy enough during daylight, we didn't want to imagine what it would be like during the night.
^^^ The costumes and street performers were awesome.  I love the deep culture down South. ^^^
^^^ I couldn't get over the size of these necklaces. ^^^
We spent Valentine's Day in NOLA.  It was one to remember for sure.  We started out the day with shopping and ended it with a yummy dinner and yet another parade.  We couldn't seem to get enough of the flying beads.
^^^ Angie and I found these matching dresses on sale at Anthropologie.  The sale was too good to pass up. ^^^
^^^ I feel so lucky to have this handsome guy by my side. ^^^
Our last full day in New Orleans was my favorite.  We ate at the most phenomenal restaurant.  The Sunday brunch had some of the best food I have ever tasted.  It's the oldest restaurant in New Orleans and home of the bananas fosters.  It was incredible.
That night we enjoyed a movie almost entirely by ourselves.  The theatre was empty because of another parade going on.  It's crazy how the town shuts down.

The food, company and memories will be ones that I cherish forever.  I am so grateful we were able to getaway and of huge  thanks to Tyson's parents for once again watching our girls.   
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