The other night was Elek’s first actual sleepover. We hosted Jesse from across the street. Elek happened to be in a phase where he really wanted to misbehave. Other than that, the sleepover went great.
That Friday night, the boys are edamame among other things and drank their milk. They loved playing in the ball pit that Elek got for his birthday from Nana. Elek and Jesse watched a show or two and Elek climbed the couch. Lastly, they took turns pushing each other down a small slide. They were so funny together! Jesse stayed the next day (Sat.) until around 2PM and the McRaes came and got him to keep him for the rest of the weekend.
Diana and I met Mike (my college roommate) and Camie (his wife) in New Orleans for Jared Barcenas and his wife, Ezgi’s, reception/celebration. Elek stayed with my mom (we owe her big) for the weekend and had apparently come down with the flu, though we thought it was a 24 hour virus or something of the sort after Diana took him to the doctor. We almost had to turn around halfway there. We left later than we thought we were going to, but we arrived in New Orleans at exactly the same time as Mike and Camie. No really. EXACTLY. We drove under their plane as it was landing. Sure enough Mike called me 2 minutes later and we went directly to the airport to pick them up.
We had just enough time to drop by Target for a couple of things we needed and to get settled in the Biscuit Palace.
The first night we got ready and wandered around looking for a place to eat. We got some general directions for cajun food from a local shop keeper. Ralph and Kacoo’s was where we ended up eating. It looked just as good as any other place. It turned out to be sub par and I’m really upset we didn’t get a chance to try out Mr. B’s! After the disappointing meal, we walked to the party which was in a luxurious suite with a large balcony and an open bar. As you can see everyone there had a great time. We met some new people and celebrated Jared and Ezgi’s marriage.
After waking up and walking to Cafe du Monde (which we did make it back to), we decided we didn’t want to wait in a line that long. On the other side of Jackson Square there was another recommended restaurant called Stanley’s. Despite the almost equally as long wait, the food was amazing!
After that meal we HAD to walk off the food. With no real agenda, we walked up to the trolley station and hopped on. When the trolley came to the end of the line there was the aquarium, right in front of us. I’ve been before, but it had been a very long time. We decided to go in and luckily both Mike and I had our triple A cards with us for the discount. The aquarium is a must see if you’re ever in New Orleans.
Afterward, we got a transfer on another trolley and went back to Cafe du Monde where we ate some wonderful beignets and drank coffee (hot chocolate for me).
After a fun filled, touristy morning most of us took a nap with the exception of Diana who walked about 4 miles to get a sweater. What a great nap! We were all recharged and ready for the reception that night at a beautiful inside courtyard. The food was exactly what I love about New Orleans. Everything was perfect. The guests, the food, the dessert, the location. Later that night we went out on Bourbon Street again, but unfortunately that was the night that Diana woke up shivering. She had gotten the flu from Elek. I was sent out at 5AM in the French Quarter to find some place with Sprite and crackers. Luckily I didn’t come back empty handed. It took Diana about 6 days to recover from the flu thanks to Tamiflu. We drove back after breakfast at a 24 hour diner across the street from our hotel.
It was a wonderful weekend in New Orleans and I wish Jared and Ezgi the best! You can see more pictures from the festivities below.
Back when Diana and I set a date for our wedding, we knew we would have to get a wedding photographer. We had no idea where to start. We had a couple of leads from a few friends, but each one seemed too cookie-cutter. The examples we saw of these photographers were exactly like every other wedding photo I’ve ever seen. Bland. Fortunately for us, we happened to attend a party at the Dill’s residence on Lawrence Avenue. This was the first time we met the Dills and it was a pleasure. We found out that Brandon was a photographer after that first party and we looked at his website brandondillphotography.com. At the party, he had a cool mini-studio set up with a white backdrop and was taking snapshots of people. By the second party we asked him to be our photographer.
He took wonderful pictures at our wedding and since then we’ve become friends. While we don’t see each other as much as I’d like, the Dills are next on our “people to have over” list. Brandon is an intellectually stimulating, talented, and funny guy who is a pleasure to hang out with. He also managed to make an appearance on the blog Cute Boys Make me Nervous. We have seen the Dills at a couple of themed potlucks which were a lot of fun. You can see some of the recipes that were made at thehornofplenty.blogspot.com.
We love our wedding pictures. Brandon was exactly what we were looking for and we didn’t even know it. I just want to say Thank you, Brandon Dill, for taking our wedding photos and hopefully we’ll be seeing you soon!
Diana’s mom, Nilda, babysat for us the other Friday night so we were able to go out. Zach and Slam had a party that Friday which we were lucky enough to be able to attend. Turns out three of us, Dave, Ben, and I, were wearing chucks. We decided to take a picture of all of them, but in an odd angle. Diana took a few, but I liked this one the best. We enjoyed posing for the pictures. Slam was playing old music videos on their large screen TV in the living room while we were scaling the walls in their kitchen.
Tiny Dancer Connie Gomez, Becky, and Amy all came with us as well. Annabeth also showed up a few minutes before we headed out. As usual, Diana and I took our liquor with us. It always seems less confusing and easier/cheaper that way. Who knows when there will be liquor where you go unless you bring it yourself.
The girls were getting restless and wanted to head to Republic downtown on Beale. Usually I don’t go with something like that and prefer to stay at house parties, but that night for some reason I decided to go.
We met Cory down at Republic along with Rubi (Diana’s cousin’s cousin) and Sarah, Rubi’s girlfriend. I think Rubi and Sarah both work down there, but that night Rubi was bar tending. The last time I went to Republic was opening night and it was absolutely PACKED. This night the people were few and far between, which through me off. It was still fun dancing, though apparently Tanya had her fill of alcohol and needed to be taken home.
Diana and I exchanged looks and discussed it with Cory, Amy, and Becky. It was time for Tanya to go to sleep. We decided it was best for her to spend the night at our house so we made our way toward the exit. Turns out there were so few people there, they locked the large entrance and we couldn’t get out. The front entrance on the corner of Beale and Second was the only one open. (Haven’t people in night clubs died because of things like this?)
Well, when we walked out, Tiny dancer got ambushed by about 4 or 5 guys who were having a good time (you can see more pictures below), which was pretty funny. We also ran into a guy looking for change for a $1 bill? I don’t know what that was about. Connie Gomez was walking and it was like another gravitational force took hold of her and drug her to the ground. Finally we got her up after that first spill, but then it was happening again and she slammed her head into a car and fell on the ground at which point I took this picture. After we got her up again, we were able to stabilize her enough to get her in the car and she passed out on our couch around 2:30AM. All in all it was a pretty good night.
Cooper Young Night Out was last Tuesday night despite all the rain. Brett and Sharon Ammons were hosting again this year for our block. Again the Cooper Young Night Out was sponsored by Target. The reason it was so late this year is because last year the weather was so hot that they decided to move it to a cooler date. It was much cooler this year and rainy and wet, but that didn’t stop us from having fun! Diana, Elek, and I showed up a little early to help with the preparations. The picture above is of the Huseriks’ arrival.
Brett fired up the grill and grilled hamburgers and hotdogs while we talked about the neighborhood and last year’s party. Everyone entered for a chance to win a new bicycle from Target. I think our odds were better this year than last since not as many people came probably due to the gloomy weather. Target also left us with some early Halloween candy, beach balls, and reusable Target shopping bags. As usual the boys played together in the ball pit, tent, and with all the other toys with minimal involvement from the adults.
I am hoping that next year the weather will be a bit more cooperative. This year everyone is really sick of the month long monsoon. Our family is also trying to become more involved so we can participate in more family oriented and neighborhood oriented events. Ever since Elek was born (3 years ago!), it has been one continuous metamorphosis from one lifestyle to another. Because of get togethers like these, Cooper Young is a wonderful neighborhood to live in especially if you have children.
This past weekend, Oct. 2-4, Diana and I went to Nashville to see Snow Patrol. We left about 3:30 PM Friday and made it with time to spare to their 8PM show. Elek stayed with my mom (Gran) over the weekend and we prepared him for it by telling him a day or two in advance. To the left is a picture of the Tennessee River which is where traffic slowed down to almost a halt. We could not have picked a more scenic place for the traffic slowdown. It was beautiful!
We arrived in Nashville at 6:30 PM. We went directly to Jimmy John’s across from Vanderbilt to pick up our dinner. Our next stop was the infamous Frugal MacDoogal where they had Sailor Jerry (the best rum ever) on sale for $19.99 a handle. We obviously got two. At this point both of us are ravenous! We finally get checked into the hotel around 7:20 PM and made drinks/ ate our Jimmy John’s sandwiches. The Italian sandwich that I got reminded me of college.
We were ready to go to the concert at 9:45 PM. We stayed at the Millennium Maxwell House that we booked through Hotwire for about $59/night. I found this article on Lifehacker that shows you how to pretty accurately guess which hotel you will get on Hotwire using Trip Advisor, which was really helpful. That night we took the free shuttle down to 5th and Broadway where the Ryan Auditorium is. The Ryman is an intimate venue that is about 1/3rd or 1/4th the size of the Orpheum in Memphis.
We arrived at the Ryman right after the Plain White T’s finished, which was perfect. We were seated at the front right of the stage with a great view as you can see from the pictures. Snow Patrol was amazing. It was the best concert I’ve ever been to. The lead singer, Gary Lightbody, was more enthusiastic, humble, and funny than any other musician I’ve ever seen. He’s the type of person you would want to hang out with because you know you would have a good time.
Snow Patrol played from 9:25 to 10:50 PM, which was the perfect length. They came out for one encore where they played some stuff off of their new album. It sounded pretty good and I need to obtain their new album. Their use of piano and large four mallets was wonderful! They were equipped with two drummers, a pianist, the lead singer, lead guitarist, bassist, and an acoustic guitarist. During the show, the guy next to me who was very friendly (and intoxicated) gave me a hard time about not singing loud enough. He then befriended me and bought me a beer that I didn’t necessarily want (fat tire). I drank it anyway and it was great. He also returned my jacket that I tried to leave behind.
After the concert was over, we walked out onto Broadway and toward Decades where we met Dave and Ashley. Ashley has since moved in to Buckwild, which we did not make it to this trip. We went into the first floor of Decades with a $5 cover. I suppose this floor opens a little later than the upper floor. Last time we went to Nashville we were the FIRST people in the second floor of Decades and we were the ONLY ones there for quite a while. We played quarters for about 2 hours with Dave and Ashley. Good times. We had a good time at Decades and left a couple hours later to go home. We passed the trailer park bar, but decided against it and headed back to the hotel. The picture on the left is what the view looked like the next morning. B-E-A-UTIFUL! So beautiful in fact that we decided to eat breakfast/lunch at Noshville’s and head to Percy Warner Park. We were able to finagle some fries out of the cooks at Noshville’s with the help of our awesome 43 year old waitress Alisha. She is from Memphis and related to the Grisanti’s.
We drove through Belle Meade to get to Percy Warner Park. That street has the largest and nicest houses I’ve seen in Tennessee! Once we got there, we climbed the large staircase to the top where a wooded trail began. We started walking along it and came to a point where we asked a fellow hiker where it went. He said it was your standard 2.5 mile trail so we turned around and went the other direction toward the top of the hill/mountain. Once we were satisfied with walking along the trail, we decided to drive on the road that went around the mountain. It took us 30 minutes to get all the way around the trail, but it was so pretty! After we were done with the park, Chris came over around 5 PM to have a drink with us in our hotel. Somehow the topic of save a horse, ride a cowboy came up and I randomly blurted out “save a whale, ride a cheerleader”. Beats me. Afterward, we talked about where to eat and decided on the Rosepepper Mexican restaurant in East Nashville. Diana called her friend Cortney who met us there after we ordered. The food was great and you could tell it was at least somewhat authentic because there were a couple of Mexican guys knocking back some tequila at the table next to us. The portions were ample and the food was quite good. They brought out three different types of dip with our chips, regular, hot, and salsa verde. The dips were all very tasty though my favorite was the spicy.
After the Mexican food, we rode to Five Points in East Nashville and had a drink at one of their bars. Chris bought Diana and me a Bushwaker that was way too filling after Mexican. At that point, unfortunately, Diana and I had to call it a night. We went back to the hotel in utter pain and went to bed. The next morning ended our stay in Nashville. We headed back to Memphis at about 9 AM. Talk about a great birthday weekend! And remember, “Save a whale, ride a cheerleader.”
Also, below are two short clips that give you a feel of the Snow Patrol show. Enjoy.