Monday, April 26, 2010

Southside Chili Cookoff

This past Saturday, there was a chili cookoff on the south side. The weather turned out to be pretty nice despite a rather gloomy forecast. So, we packed up the stroller and walked over to the south side to have some chili. The chili tasting was from 12-2, so Owen didn't get his normal nap at noon. But he was a good trooper despite missing his nap (even though he was VERY tired at night). In this picture we were trying to get him to look at the camera, but something caught his attention off to the side. Owen makes a lot of funny faces. He looks like a serious little man!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sittin' Up

Owen recently started sitting up on his own - at least well enough that we don't have to worry about him falling over and knocking his head. So, last weekend, we got his a high-chair to sit at while we were out at lunch at Brewworks downtown. He really loved it! He liked being a part of the fun at the table and he had a good view of all of the other diners and waitresses! The waitresses at Brewworks all know him and fuss over him. He seems to like the attention.

Kathleen also started sitting Owen in the seat when they were out getting groceries this past week. Owen knows how to smile at people and get them to come over to him. He is a big flirt!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday in NOLA

On our last day in New Orleans, we tried to make sure that we fit in all of the things that we wanted to do (and eat) before we left. It was starting to get a little bit crowded at the festival by that time, but we still had a nice day - the weather was so beautiful!

We started out at the Jackson Square stage to see the Panorama Jazz Band. Next, we some get some more boiled crawfish for lunch at Yo Mama's, and then we wandered around the festival to see more live music: we stopped to see the Washboard Chaz Blues Trio at the Royal Street stage, and Chubby Carrier at the Zydeco/Cajun Stage. We saw him play at Musikfest a few years ago and he was a lot of fun. During one song (Who Stole the Hot Sauce), they pass around hot sauce to drink!

The last show of the festival that we wanted to see was Trombone Shorty. But the Abita stage was absolutely packed by that point, so we only caught a few minutes of the show before we decided to go find Wendy and Brian. Trombone Shorty is playing two shows at Musikfest this year, so we'll be able to see him play then. We had a nice dinner with Wendy and Brian, caught a little jazz at Fritzel's, and had some raw oysters at Felix's, before Wendy and Brian had to get back to the hotel (they had a really early flight out of New Orleans the next morning).

After parting with Wendy and Brian, we went over to Frenchman Street to see Linnzi Zaorski and Delta Royale (30's-40's jazz) play at dba. The club felt like we'd been transported back to 1940! We found a cool little window seat to sit at and talk. It was a really nice last night in New Orleans!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday in NOLA

On Saturday, we saw a lot more live music around the French Quarter. We started out watching a dixieland band at a stage on Bourbon Street. Then, we stopped in Preservation Hall to see the Tornado Brass Band - they were a lot of fun and played a bunch of New Orleans standards.

On Saturday, we had lunch at Alpine Bistro near Jackson Square. One of the waitresses (Dee) from Brewworks in Bethlehem (where we have lunch a lot) used to work at Alpine (with her husband who also works at Brewworks). So, we passed along a message (hello) from Dee to the owner of Alpine. He was very friendly and happy to hear about Dee and her husband.

After lunch, we wandered around the festival and saw someone pulling quadruplets around in a little train. And at that moment, we were thankful for our one baby, who was safe up north with Grandmom and Grandpop.

Then, we went to see Kermit Ruffins (a trumpet player) perform at the Abita Stage near the river. Kathleen liked it when he played "I Can See Clearly Now" because it was a bright sunshiny day.

Finally, later that evening, we went to see Bonerama play at the Abita stage. Another wonderful show!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday in NOLA

Friday was the beginning of the French Quarter Festival. The festival started off with a parade down Bourbon Street to Jackson Square. The parade featured a few local brass bands as well as one high school marching band - from Latrobe, PA oddly enough.

After the parade, we hit our first festival music event at the zydeco/cajun stage: the Jimmy Thibodeaux Band (who we saw play and really enjoyed when we came down to NOLA with Wendy and Brian in April 3 years ago).

We then got muffulettas at Central Grocery and ate them on the banks of the Mississippi. Muffulettas are delicious Italian sandwiches with meat, cheese, and olive salad - truely amazing!
Next, we moved on to see a few shows including the Lost Bayou Ramblers (Cajun band) at the Zydeco/Cajun stage and Shamarr Allen (trumpet player) at the Abita Stage near the river.

Finally, we went to see the last show of the night: Big Sam's Funky Nation at the Abita Stage - they were terrific!

After the festival ended for the day, we caught a jazz band Cotton Mouth Kings at The Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street and then watched a few street performers doing some fire dancing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday in NOLA

On Thursday, our flight got in around noon in New Orleans. We waited around at the airport for Wendy and Brian and we got a taxi to the hotel together. We stayed at Iberville Suites, which is in the French Quarter - only a block off Bourbon St. It was a very nice hotel - all rooms are suites. Our first visit after checking in was to get po-boys at Mother's - our grilled shrimp po-boy was amazing! We then wandered down Bourbon Street, watched a great zydeco band (Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers) at Krazy Korner, and got some crawfish at Yo Mama's.

Thursday night, we went out to zydeco night at Rock-n-Bowl in the Mid City section of New Orleans. Rock-n-Bowl recently moved to a new venue - a brand new building. It's much larger than the old Rock-n-Bowl, but they did a really good job recreating the old venue. They put the lane, the bar, and the stage in the same locations, and even moved a mural from one of the walls of the old place to the new place. Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas were playing, and we had a good time hanging out and listening to the music!

After Rock-n-Bowl, Wendy and Brian went back to the Quarter, but Phil and Kathleen headed out to Le Bon Temps Roule to see the Soul Rebels Brass Band play - they were amazing!

Mommy and Daddy's Trip to New Orleans

We just got back from our long-weekend trip to New Orleans. It was our first multiple-night trip away from Owen, who stayed with Grandmom and Grandpop Smith (along with Betsy, of course). Owen was totally fine with them - no problems at all. And they had a blast with him!

We flew down on Thursday morning and back on Monday morning, so we were away for four nights. The weather was absolutely beautiful - 70s, sunny, and no humidity! It was the French Quarter Festival while we were down there, so there was a ton of live music EVERYWHERE! We went down with two of our friends (Wendy and Brian), who are also parents - it was our weekend away from the kids!

It was truly great to get away for a few days and relax. And Kathleen was thrilled to not be changing poopy diapers for a few days!

So now... I'm going to post a few separate blog posts to detail the events and pictures of each day while were were down there.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Owen's All Set for Opening Day

Owen was all set for opening day for baseball today with his new Phillies shirt on. Maybe it was good luck for the Phillies because they beat the Nationals 11-1 in Roy Halladay's debut!

Walking All Weekend

Well, we got good use of our new jogger stroller this past weekend. The weather was so wonderful and we spent the weekend walking around town. We even walked over to church on the south side on Sunday. We knew that parking would be hard to get because it was Easter, and we had a little extra time to get there because the service started a half an hour later than normal. Owen fought off a nap during the entire church service, but he slept in the stroller going both to and from church. But he really enjoyed it when everyone clapped for the special music - I think that he thought the applause was for him! After church, we went for another long walk down by the river later in the evening. My legs are sore from all the walking this weekend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

What a Beautiful Day!

Daddy had off today (Good Friday), so we decided to take advantage of our new jogger stroller and the beautiful weather to take a long walk around town. We had a nice lunch outside on Main Street at Mama Nina's, and then coffees at The Wise Bean (where we also fed Owen a bottle).

Then, we walked to the south side of Bethlehem, where they were having a monthly event called First Friday. Many of the businesses have specials, live music, etc. for First Friday. We had some yummy (and healthy) frozen yogurt with fruit (not the Seinfield kind) at Euro-Yogurt. Then, we stopped by the Banana Factory, which is a local art studio. There was a glassblowing exhibit that was accompanied by a live funk/jam band. It was really cool! And Owen loved it all - the live music and the glowing glass! He was kicking his legs and jumping around in my arms. There was also a blues band playing in one of the art galleries, but by the time that we got there, Owen was getting tired, so it was time to head home. But what a nice day we had!

The New Stroller is Here!

The new jogger stroller is here! The bike-tire wheels easily go over the cracks and bumps in the sidewalks around town, so Owen now has a much smoother ride - that much easier to put him asleep on his walks with Mommy!