GIRLS TRIP TO NEW ORLEANS
(My second girls trip EVER)
TRIP THEME......TRUE AND PURE JOY
(Unfortunately, you will be hearing those words quite a bit in this blog post....there were no better words to describe this experience that I was greatly blessed with)
My sweet friend Rhonda so graciously invited me to her daughter Christine's bridal weekend in NOLA
First stop.....lunch at Rodrigue's Restaurant
Owned by the famous artist of the "Blue Dog" paintings....George Rodrigue
Lots of joyful laughing
Super cool waiter.....amazing Southern Hospitality
A Picture in front of the famous "Blue Dog" Painting
Soft Shell Crab Gumbo
The best cornbread, I have ever had.....baked in an iron skillet
Rhonda's Po Boy from Rodrigue's
Rhonda LOVED taking pictures of my completely EMPTY plate
I know.....I am a pig I absolutely LOVE food
"WELCOME TO LOUISIANA KERRY ANN"
AMAZING DINNER AT MR. B's BISTRO
More laughing at each other.....I promise you, that EVERYTHING was funny on this trip....We were like little giggly girls!
It was so greatly blessed
Home of the BEST BBQ shrimp I've ever tasted.....unfortunately, I did not ORDER the BBQ shrimp, so I ate my amazing gumbo and then shamelessly soaked my bread in Rhonda's incredibly marvelous sauce...
until it was practically all sopped up.....This sauce was so ridiculously good, that it was worth the lack of etiquette on my part
Bourbon St. is quite a place, I will tell you....lots of good people watching and we just kept laughing at each other....we held on tight, linking arms with one another as we walked, so as not to get lost in the crowd
Michelle's shoe stuck in "something" on Bourbon St. (no telling what it was) but it was sticky enough to pull the wedge off of her shoe!!
WE ALMOST FELL OVER LAUGHING...BUT DIDN'T WANT TO FALL INTO THE MYSTERIOUS "STICK"
Bridal Luncheon at Hotel Monteleone
Rhonda told us about the famous rotating Carousel Bar in the hotel
But, there were NO horses to sit on with your drink
(Michelle and I thought that there should be.....I mean....what do YOU think of when you hear the word "Carousel".......yes, HORSES)
Even though there were no horses to sit on, the bar was absolutely beautiful
And then the famous clock that Rhonda showed us from "back in the day"
(It WAS in fact a gorgeous clock, but we kept referring to this clock all weekend and just laughed every time Rhonda said "Back in the day...)
ANYWAY.......BACK TO THE DELIGHTFUL BRIDAL LUNCHEON
The beautiful bride, Christine
THREE LOVELY LADIES
Rhonda and Christine with Grandma Aubert
See what a lady I was, by leaving 2 fries on my plate at Christine's Bridal luncheon.......and BTW, I DID in fact want to eat them, but I didn't because I had to show off my lady-like poise and self-control.....
Look at how I am really focused on what is being said at the head of the table, but I am REALLY thinking about the fries.
It is really NOT my fault......Those fries were freakishly good
A beautiful Bridal Luncheon, hosted by some amazing young ladies (Christine's bridesmaids) with such wonderful food....I could seriously eat every meal in New Orleans for the rest of my life
DID SOMEONE SAY BEIGNETS....?
No place better than Cafe' Du Monde
Super cute bridesmaids with our gorgeous bride
TIME FOR MASS
THE BASILICA OF ST. LEWIS KING OF FRANCE
An exceptionally glorious and resplendent Catholic church....as so many churches are, in New Orleans
St. John Paul II visited this Cathedral when he was in New Orleans
They have Relics of this great Saint
I got to Mass a little early hoping to be blessed with the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Confession in this most splendorous House of God.
And Jesus did in fact grant me that blessing of Confession!
Thank You my Great and Mighty Lord for showering you little girl with gift after gift
The Sanctuary was absolutely dazzling
When building this Church, no detail was spared
It was truly exquisite
There was a most eye-catching statue of our Lord Jesus, in the churchyard
The statue itself was not all that large, but largely impressive, even during the day...
But at night
....the light shining onto this marvelous statue of Jesus, made a very powerful and stunning impact from Bourbon St.
Here is a better picture of that hugely radiant Holy shadow (yet small statue) of our loving Jesus in the Basilica churchyard
💗THIS IS WHAT YOU SEE RIGHT FROM BOURBON ST💗
It’s so powerful to see Jesus reaching out to His children with so much love, calling them back home to Himself.
My heart fluttered at its sight
It was just so Providential
Jesus is everywhere.....Even if sometimes His children forget Him..
He will NEVER forget His children
DRINKS BEFORE DINNER
Muriel's in Jackson Square
We went upstairs into a secret (supposedly haunted) room in the restaurant
"The Seance Room"
We all took a picture in our chosen favorite spot.....needless to say, we did NOT spend too much time in there
WALKING TO OUR LAST DINNER IN NOLA
We saw these beautiful girls enjoying dinner in the window as we were leaving Muriel's and decided to make the girls laugh as we passed by the window....acting silly
DINNER AT PORT OF CALL
Home of the famous hamburgers paired with baked potatoes place
I could not believe that I was not eating Cajon food on my last night in New Orleans, but this place is a "Can't Miss", so....
I decided that NOLA hasn't let me down yet...I will order the burger
Laughing and telling stories and laughing and telling stories and laughing some more
Rhonda and Kara Jean
Me and Michelle
My yummy super thick hamburger with a side of a loaded baked potato...with a side of bacon
It was so much food....but somehow I managed to eat it all
And then we ate and laughed some more
Rhonda is SO FUNNY......she's just so FUN in general, especially on her old stomping ground
AFTER DINNER....BACK TO BOURBON ST TO MEET THE GIRLS
Nowhere other than PAT O's
Our Bartender, Mike....So friendly and kind the entire night
Kara Jean and our stunning bride, Christine
Pat O'Briens was such a great place for a super fun time just laughing and laughing.....
When you are with your mom friends and the Journey Song starts up, with the lyrics......
"Just a small town girl...."
You Immediately break into yell-singing and dancing as you scream into your friend's fist like a microphone!
Michelle and I were just scream-singing to "Don't Stop Believing", when Rhonda politely offer Michelle and I her fist, as a microphone
That is just what Friends do........
We had no choice
.....there are just some songs that cause this.....BTW, the next song was Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer"
....more yell-singing and dancing
We were again transformed into silly little girls as we danced and sang! Rhonda even tried to teach me some of her super trendy "Saintsations" moves.....She WAS in fact a New Orlean's Saints Cheerleader....Yeah, she was!!
Well she showed me her moves, but yeah.....I can't dance, but we did have a good time laughing so hard as I gave it a try!
The wedding party girls left us and we just sat and visited for hours! I didn't want it to ever end!
WE LEFT PAT O'BRIENS THINKING THAT WE WERE GOING BACK TO THE HOTEL
....But, we did not
This gives me a great opportunity to tell you all about Kara Jean
This amazingly fun and happy girl (who grew up in New Orleans with Rhonda) is one of the funnest and most joyfully and loving people that I have ever met
Kara Jean knew absolutely EVERYONE on Bourbon St.
She knows no stranger as she genuinely connects with everyone.
She leaves each and every face with a purely happy smile
She taught Senior English in the St.. Bernard Parish public high school and a lot of her former students now work in the restaurants/ bars on Bourbon St..
We even got to meet some of them
This is one of her students, working at one of the Margherita/pizza bars. He was SO kind and was SO excited when Kara walked in
Her students truly love her so much because she truly loves her students.
You can tell the respect that they all have for her. She is someone that is making a different in her community.
I want to touch people like Kara does.
Kara Jean makes friends and blesses everyone who comes into contact with her.....
She stepped away from dinner at the "Port of Call" to use the ladies' room and came back with a picture of her and some new friends!
"They are young"...she said and "They needed some guidance to take home with them."
She kept us going and going as she spread joy to all who crossed her path.....with uplifting truth
FINALLY IT WAS TIME FOR BED
We all slept very well and woke up pretty tired the next morning......even though I was super tired....I would not have wanted to miss even one minute of our adventures
PJ's for coffee
(in the French quarter) and heading back to Texas
We took turns sleeping and driving BUT for the record.....Michelle and Rhonda switched off driving because kerry was WAY TOO AFRAID to drive the Mazaradi
We did stop to shop at Rhonda's favorite Fuer De Lis store called the "Louisiana Marketplace"
The store took our picture for their FaceBook page!!
We are kind of super famous now
We stuffed that little sports car to the gills with our luggage, Christine's gifts and our "good-shopping finds"
After dropping Michelle off in Conroe.....Rhonda and I decided that we were starving and had to stop for dinner...
This is as close as Texas could get to the Louisiana cuisine that we were truly craving
Jesus gave me so many opportunities to talk about Him and to feel true and pure joy.....the joy that only Jesus can bless His children with.
Thank you Rhonda and Christine for letting me be a part of this special occasion!
Thank You Jesus for the blessings of new friends and even an extra special gift of a Sacrament.
You continue to amaze and delight me through the special people with whom You place into my life