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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Reconnecting in The Woodlands

As we are heading toward San Antonio, we made a point to fit in a couple days to stop in The Woodlands to visit Justin’s brother Travis and his wife Emily, as well as the friends we have made in this area just north of Houston.

Brothers! Having lunch at Central Market in Houston.

We are enjoying this family time, hanging out, sharing some meals, exploring Houston, and petting kitties.

Justin met our friend Katie's cat Tozer, and got his kitty fix for the day, though I think his desire for another cat has now increased exponentially.

We are also getting in some good eats!

Pistachio Bubbies

Trav and Em introduced us to Bubbies ice cream, which is ice cream, formed and wrapped in mochi, a glutinous rice paste, with a consistency similar to rolled fondant or marzipan.  These were really delicious, though the texture took just a minute to get used to, kind of like biting through a Starburst candy.

Yummy, and sturdy, Sprinkles cupcakes. This was after I dropped the box upside down in the street - whoops!

And while we were out and about today we stopped at Sprinkles for cupcakes after lunch.  Quite tasty, and the Lemon Coconut was especially well received by the guys, though I will always be partial to chocolate and peanut butter!

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Family, Julie, Texas, The Woodlands, Travel

 

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Big Easy Birthday Eats

I have celebrated this happy birthday day by mainly giving lovely gifts to my taste buds and tummy.

Started our morning with breakfast at Stanley's on Jackson Square - Eggs Benedict with fried oysters. Beyond delicious - best birthday breakfast ever!

We then walked over to Cafe Du Monde and grabbed a table. The beignets and cafe au lait deserve all the hype, though we would recommend not sitting near the outer edges on a windy day!

Despite our best efforts, we definitely ended up wearing a good amount of powdered sugar!

For lunch we split some fantastic jambalaya and a roast beef po'boy at Johnny's. Well worth waiting in the line that stretched out the door!

And to go with the sandwich, a bag of Zapp's Voodoo chips. Very addicting, with a bit more zing than a typical BBQ flavor.

 But also getting in plenty of walking, and even swimming in the hotel’s rooftop pool!

The view from the hotel's roof.

All is calm and quiet early on a Sunday morning!

Jackson Park

The only way it could be better if all our friends and family could have been here to share the day with us!  This traveling has really been very fun, but I am certainly missing everyone too!

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Buddy, Food, Julie, New Orleans, Restaurant Reviews, Travel

 

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Driving into The Big Easy is anything but easy!

We drove into New Orleans today to spend the weekend exploring and experiencing a city known for its vibrancy and resilience.

The drive from Pensacola, Florida to New Orleans is a bit striking, in that so much of it takes place on bridges! We now know that Mississippi does a very poor job of bridge building, while Louisiana has a knack for getting theirs nice and smooth.

We headed down toward our hotel, and on a Saturday afternoon, walking (or carriage) is definitely the preferred method for getting around the French Quarter.

As with many of the hotels we’ve been staying at while traveling, we used Priceline.com to get a great deal, and be a bit adventurous, not always knowing what we’re going to get.  But the location of the Omni Royal in the French Quarter is just about as perfect as if we had picked it out ourselves.  We dropped our bags in our great little room and immediately went out to explore.

I am not really sure what I expected, but I guess I never realized that the French Quarter is so extensive, and that the trademark architecture is so prevalent.  With so many historic districts in cities, only a few blocks have the telltale stamp of a certain style or such, but not here.

Blocks upon blocks upon blocks in this area have the ornate iron work, balconies, and signature colors that New Orleans and the French Quarter specifically are known for.  Quite striking, really.

We took in some of the chaos, noise, and uniqueness that is Bourbon Street, and didn’t want to leave Buddy out of the excitement!

And had a fantastic dinner of sharing an original Muffaletta sandwich from Central Grocery on Decatur.  They definitely have this sandwich down pat.  The olive mix spread was the perfect balance of salty, vinegary and sweet, and blended so well with the salamis and cheese and sesame-topped bread.  So glad we stopped and picked one up, as they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Might not have been what other diners experienced at the multitude of seriously high end restaurants in the Quarter, such as what the kitchen staff were meeting outside about at NOLA, but for us, quintessentially a New Orleans’ meal all the same!  We’re looking forward to spending the day out and about tomorrow, starting with a much anticipated stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets!

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Buddy, Julie, New Orleans, Travel

 

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Back in the USA

We are back in Florida, after a super great, relaxing cruise.  We got off the ship first thing this morning, as quickly as possible, and drove from Fort Lauderdale to Tallahassee.  Tomorrow we will drive to New Orleans for the weekend, and then on to Texas!

Here are a few videos we took over the cruise that I am now able to upload. Nobody will mistake me for a good videographer, but I thought I would at least post the videos I had 🙂

This was the trip up the mountain in St. Maarten.  Not exactly a smooth ride

Here’s the up close and personal turtle encounter in Barbados

And finally, river tubing in Dominica

 

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Justin, Southern Caribbean Cruise

 

Sea Trek – St. Thomas, USVI

Today we spent the day docked in St. Thomas.  We took an open-air bus up to Coral World, and did a “Sea Trek” tour, wearing pressurized air helmets underwater.  Very fun!

There were Green Iguanas everywhere! Unfortunately, Justin could not convince one of them to give Buddy a ride!

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Buddy, Julie, Southern Caribbean Cruise, Travel

 

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Martinique and Dominica

Yesterday we docked in Martinique. This was the hardest port on our cruise to get excited about. It’s primarily French speaking, there weren’t a lot of good shore excursions to choose from, and they don’t take US dollars, using the Euro instead, so we would have been hosed by the exchange rate. Plus, due to it being Sunday, most things were closed around town. We spent a good chunk of the morning just wandering the streets in the town where we docked (Fort-de-France). This island in particular had a very European feel to it, with narrow streets and different architecture from most of the other islands we have been to. Kind of cool.

Today we were docked in Dominica. We had a river tubing excursion that was a lot of fun. We drove on a bus up into the hills and got on tubes (with ridiculous helmets and life vests) and floated down the river. The water level was low, so there was plenty of excitement in rapids and rocks that could be bounced into. We had a blast, and my experiences in tubing on the Prairie River in Merrill growing up definitely helped here. There were a lot of people just strewn throughout the river stuck on various rocks and in places where water wasn’t flowing, but we managed to avoid most of that and had a great time.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Truly Paradise – A Day in Barbados

Barbados.  Something about it has always sounded exotic to me, thrilling, perfect.  Idyllic.

Beach. Nothing more to add.

Justin saying hello to a Sea Turtle.

Turtles saying hello to us.

Incredible.

And after spending a day here, swimming with turtles and spending some time on a beach, floating in the sea, I know I will be returning to this paradise.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Julie, Southern Caribbean Cruise, Travel

 

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