Friday, April 30, 2010
After our great trek out East, J and I hunkered down and started in on our first major necessity: find shelter. Thankfully, we have amazing friends who let us stay with them while we sought out the perfect chateau, all the while giving us the royal treatment, so we knew we had time on our side. This was a major plus because we looked and looked and looked and looked some more for just the right spot. One bonus of driving around town looking for signs all day: I know this city like the back of my hand now.
Just a sampling of the places that didn't make the cut because they were too big, too small, too expensive, too crime-laden, too run-down, too-crazy, you name it, we saw it:
This one was slightly out of our price range but I fell a little in love with it. The one thing that I can't even start to get enough of here in Florida: front porches with ceiling fans and swinging chairs. Holy cutenes it hurts...
Through our week long search we saw a few places that made us scrub our hands very thoroughly and we saw a few that we lusted after and we saw a few that just left us yawning. As excited and gung-ho as we were about it, searching for your next address is rather grueling. Poor Jonathon even sustained an in-search-ouchy by bumping his head extremely hard on something extremely sharp. NOTE: Image not for the squeamish. Yes, I did put neosporin on it. My best friend is a doctor.
Since he bonked his head I bought him a snow cone and all was right again with the world. That's right. Florida has SNO-CONES, come visit.
Yes, you read that correctly, I said COME VISIT. Through our great grueling search we found a little place we affectionately call home and it has a guest room just waiting for you. I can't wait to get my little designy hands all over it and decorate! Pictures to follow shortly, I'm sure. Book your tickets now.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Have you ever driven through the very long state of Florida? I say long because that panhandle just never ends. You feel like Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn in Swingers when they are all jazzed to drive to Vegas from LA. They are pumped and singing and stoked and then it cuts back to them four hours later and they both look dead, like holy crap how much longer must I drive through this boring ass desert?
Florida is no desert, but you get sick of the exact same jungley foliage and "Cafe Risque" and "Gun Store This Exit" billboards for hour after hour. We were pretty tired from a week on the road but we were jazzed to finally be in our new home state. Can you tell?
And after five long days on the road we made it to Orlando! I think the happiest of our little family was definitely Teeny who made himself right at home with his new best friend Harley.
We made it to Orlando just in time to celebrate Jonathon's birthday. Since our friends have lived here for two years they know all of the hip spots in town and we all went out to Seasons 52. If you are in an area where there is a Seasons 52 I highly recommend. It was delish.
Since we now live less than a 6 hour drive from an NFL team (unlike in LA) I birthday gifted Jonathon tickets to the Tampa Bay/Jacksonville/Miami game of his choosing just so long as he promised to take me as his date. He seemed happy to comply.
What's better than family and friends?!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
By day 4 we finally made it out of Texas and into the great state of Louisiana! Luckily we left rather early in the morning (as per drill sergeant husband who had us on the road at 0500 central time) so we got to see the very beautiful sunrise over Texas. I have driven through Texas several times but mostly though the northern part of the state where you feel like it WILL. NEVER. END. Thankfully, south central and eastern Texas is actually quit pretty and we had about 10 NPR RadioLabs to keep us entertained. By the time we needed to stop for gas we were already in Louisiana. It was FANTASTIC.
Honey, we aint in California no mo...
Finally a big city! And what was even better, it was THE big city we where we were going to stop for the day, New Orleans baby!
Because we only had one evening in New Orleans we were very serious tourists about the whole thing. As soon as we settled into our hotel, washed the road off of us and kissed the baby goodbye we headed out for the French Quarter for dinner.
Not only was it great to get out of the car, but we also got into town early enough to cruise down Bourbon Street and through the French Quarter. Jonathon and I have both been to NOLA several times but never together and only with our wild college friends. It is a very different city when you are a) sober b) not a newcomer c) seeking romance.
One of the prettier areas of the French Quarter if you are not looking for naked chicks or cheap drinks is Jackson Square. There are a lot of artists, fortune tellers, musicians and of course other tourists who are more than willing to take your picture.
We heard the Cafe Amelie was delicious and romantic so we were sold. We got there a bit early though so we did a gate photo shoot while we waited...
Once inside we weren't disappointed, there is an interior restaurant as well but we chose to sit outside in the courtyard. It was such a beautiful night to sit out under the setting sun, enjoy some delicious Southern food and to get off our feet after wandering through the streets and back alleyways of the French Quarter.
For dessert there is no where better than Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans so we took a short walk over for hot cocoa and warm sweet beignets.
While we were enjoying our sweet treats we heard the LOUDEST booming thunder and all of a sudden the sky opened up and it started dumping rain. We enjoyed our cocoa in the rain for a while, wondering if it was going to let up, but soon realized we were going to be getting wet one way or another. Jonathon attempted to haill a cab for about 5 minutes but we were competing with every tourist in the city for one so we ended up buying a sweet marde gras umbrella and taking a very wet, lightening-filled walk back to our hotel. It was tres romantique!