Playing catch-up

Hey everyone!!  It’s been a little bit and I think you are all due for an update!  I know that I’m itching to tell you all what’s been going on.  It’s a little hard being forced to disconnect electronically because of lack of internet service.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I could use my phone…but have you tried to write anything longer than a 25 character message on those things?  You’d think I never paid attention in English class!

Anyway….there are quite a few things that I think are worth mentioning from the last few weeks.  Let’s go back a little ways to the lovely state of Louisiana.  The last location post we shared was our adventures in New Orleans.  After we left there, we stayed in a little town called Abbeville, Louisiana.  We decided to stay there because Carl had stayed in that town before and liked it, and it was close enough so that when Carl was done with work we could easily get him from the airport 🙂  So the kids and I parked our home there and hung out for about a week or so.  Man was it buggy.  I mean crazy buggy.  You couldn’t open the door without having a countdown and an escape plan to help prevent an invasion!  But the campsite was nice and once you got through the cloud of bugs that settled around you twice a day, it was pretty fun.  We met a nice man there who gave us a suggestion for a good, local place to eat.  Here is a picture of him…but for the life of me I can’t remember his name!! (so, mystery man, if you are reading this, please leave a comment so I can put my mind at ease!)

He was spot on for this restaurant.  It was called Prejeans.  And, even though I was a bit nervous because I had no idea what the menu said, it ended up being a great experience.  Although I think our server made all the difference.  He took his time explaining everything to us and helping us make some really yummy decisions!  We had some alligator bites and a few other things that I can’t remember the name of (like boudin balls) but were tasty just the same.

The ambiance of the restaurant was great too.  They had a live band which wasn’t too loud…it added just the right amount of background for our evening.  And the decor was extremely fascinating, especially for a four year old!  Lots of gators and other local wildlife 🙂  Here is a pic of a rather large stuffed gator, and our wonderful server who is a self proclaimed home chef extraordinaire, almost college grad, and a cutie with a great personality 🙂

Next on our list was a visit to the Tobasco factory.

Grace, being the in house spice chick, was rather excited 🙂  It was about a half hour drive from our campground and worth every second there and back!  All the Tobasco sauce that you see everywhere is made and bottled here on Avery Island!  The tour was pretty cool, even though you weren’t allowed to take pics of the neatest part ~ the bottling factory ~ wouldn’t want to release any trade secrets ya know!  But it was very informative and we learned how the peppers were farmed and flavored.  One neat fact was that they use old wooden barrels that are originally used for distilling bourbon.  I guess that the distilleries can only use them once, but the Tobasco makers can reuse until the barrel is almost falling apart 🙂  After the tour, we went into the gift shop and looked around and sampled some of their Tobasco ice cream.  I have to say I was almost in stitches watching Sy eat the ice cream.  It tastes great but after you swallow it burns for about 7 seconds.  He didn’t believe me and insisted on trying some….after he swallowed, cried, and hollered, he asked for another bite.  I warned him….he didn’t care.  I took pictures but Grace called me mean so I won’t post them (errr….right….)…but I’m sure you can imagine how hilarious it was when the cycle repeated about six times at which point I think he finally had enough and stopped eating it!

Now, Avery Island is also the home of the Jungle Gardens and we decided we would take a walk through the rambling two miles.

a pretty walk....if you don't get eaten!

It was a bit scary and we had to debate whether it was worth it to walk or drive….and why you ask?  Because it’s filled with alligators.  Filled with them.  And being that we’re AWESOME, we chose to walk and it was SUPER cool.  I’m very proud of the kids for obeying all the rules and for not freaking out when we walked passed a gator that was hanging out about eight feet away from us 🙂  The only thing we regret is doing it around dusk which meant poor Grace was COVERED in mosquito bites.  Poor kid….I felt awful 😦

Though things are never complete if Sy isn’t doing some death defying stunt….My poor son….he ran into a trashcan at the laundromat and dern near knocked out his front tooth!  A trip to the dentist rendered a ”give it a few days and we’ll see” diagnosis which turned out to be ok….he’s back to eating apples like a champ!

Poor Sy!
Poor Sy!

After Carl got off the rig and back to the camper, we headed on out to Texas.  Livingston to be precise.  Which is where, I might add, we had our first WATA? game which was won by Josh Dowdy!!  We had a lot of business to take care of while we were there.  Livingston is our official home and we had to get a drivers license, plates, and take care of passports (you’ll find out why pretty soon!) and some mail forwarding business. It was a full couple of weeks in which we met some wonderful people that I am SO glad we got to meet….Larry and Helen (and Honey Rose) Wood.  They had some amazing stories to share and felt like we’d known them forever as soon as we met.  The kids felt the same way 🙂

our new friends Helen and Larry with the kiddos 🙂
Honey Rose 🙂

We had some great fun at the Rainbows End RV Park, which is the headquarters for the Escapees RV Club to which we belong.  We had ice cream socials, friendly get togethers, and even an arts and crafts garage sale where Grace put out her goodies on display!

I was very proud of her…she did all that AND got her schoolwork done!!

Like I said earlier, we had a lot to do while we were there.  One big thing was this…

This is TAFV.  She’s a diesel.  She makes Daddy a happy boy (and pulls the camper through the mountains like a knife through warm butter!).

While we were there, being about an hour north of Houston, we decided on a day trip down to visit Carls shop and take in the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  That museum ended up being a two day event!  We had a great time and the kids learned a lot 🙂  Mummies, precious jewels, dinosaurs, and especially the exhibit on oil drilling…

a couple of apes monkey'in around....
getting ready to watch Tornado Alley!

And the final big event  that happened while we were in Livingston is a biggie!  Grace’s Birthday!  #12   It was a big one and likely to be one we’ll never forget.  We had a wonderful day full of yummy food and happiness….and here is where we ended up at the end of it:

My poor birthday girl ended up spending some long hours in the ER because of a horrible case of hives.  We still don’t know what caused them….we think it was a viral infection she was getting over.  We actually didn’t get rid of them until we saw Puja two days later and she gave us some natural remedies that work as histamine blocker.  She was miserable for a while…but took it all in like the champ she is! And now she’s officially 12.  sheesh…where’d it all go?  It seems like yesterday should could fit in my lap…and now she borrows my shoes!  But I won’t get all sappy on you now…I’ll save that for a rainy day!

One more thing about Livingston that I’d like to mention is actually a shout out 🙂  I had some neck/shoulder issues while I was there and in the midst of trying to wait until I could see Puja I had to find and go see a local chiropractor.  I have to say that I was very enamored of Livingston Chiropractic!  I liked their whole body focus and the time and commitment they dedicated to helping me find relief! The pain in my right neck/shoulder area was really becoming debilitating and I knew I needed help.  They got me in right away and made me feel very comfortable with their process.  I loved the massage from Francis to help loosen up muscles before the adjustment.  And I really liked how Dr. Wall performed the adjustment using various techniques to focus on not only the problem area but the surrounding area that was under stress due to the underlying issue.  Through their ministrations I found immediate relief and am very grateful for that! Thank you so much Francis and Dr. Wall for the great care.  You can be sure I’ll be singing your praises to anyone who will be in the area and I will be back to see you when we come back to town!

Francis and Dr. Wall

The next day we headed off for another part of Texas to spend Easter with our dear friends Puja and her daughter Sophia at her mom’s place in the Texas Hill Country.  I’ll talk more about that in the next post. We had a wonderful time there and I can’t wait to show you some pics 🙂

I know this was a bunch of stuff shoved into one post, but since we’ve been without good internet for a while I wanted to catch you all up on whats been going on.  I’ll post another one soon, so keep checking!

I think we all liked Livingston.  I’m glad that the little town we felt so comfortable in is our technical home 🙂  And I’m sure we’ll be back to visit it again soon!

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3 thoughts on “Playing catch-up”

  1. OKAY Mary, u gotta swing by and take me and my boys with ya! I showed my little one Lance the pics of the alligator. Guess where he wants to go? I am jealous! I think you really are ONE AWESOME MOMMY!

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    1. Thanks Melanie 🙂 Whenever and wherever you can squeeze it in, I suggest going…anywhere, everywhere, wherever…just go! the kids will love it no matter what it is!

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  2. Thank you Mary… It was a pleasure treating u! It was also great pleasure to reading this blog… Hope to see u guys soon!

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