Friday, March 16, 2007

Back Home

Back home after a wonderful vacation. It was everything we had hoped for and more.

The last day of the trip was a great food day. It was raining most of the day though so we didn't do much more in the line of sight seeing or attractions. The one thing we did go and see was the Culinary history of New Orleans exhibit. It was an interesting stop with many pictures and artifacts from years gone by. Several menu's from restaurants over the years.
Then we went for lunch at Acme Oyster Bar. We started out with half a dozen raw oysters then half a dozen grilled oysters. And they were AMAZING! The grilled ones were better, but put anything in garlic butter smothers with cheese and it's going to be better. Anyway, we started with that, had a couple of Po Boys(subs) , then finished with a pecan pie for desert. Everything was very good and we would suggested anyone that like oysters go to this place.
After lunch we decided to just relax and bide our time until dinner at NOLA's. You don't think you are tired until you lay down on a feather bed, then you are out like a light.
We got all dressed up in our Sunday finest and headed out to NOLA. about a 15 minute walk from the Ritz. It had just started to rain again as we stepped into the restaurant so we got lucky getting there. we were not so lucky on the way home.
NOLA's was Perfect. We stared at the bar as we waited for our table to be ready. I had a Long Island Ice Tea and Victoria had a Vodka on the rocks. It didn't take long until we were being seated. NOLA has three levels to it, with an elevator in the middle to take guests from one floor to the next. So we road the elevator up to the second floor and were seated in a nice corner where Victoria could people watch all night. The service was perfect, high dinning service but in a more casual environment. There were three servers covering our area of 5 tables. Each had their own job and did it well.
To start Victoria had " Baby Greens Tossed in Sherry Wine-Bacon Vinaigrette with Blackberries and Warm Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese " and I had the special of the day app which was grilled Scallops on a bed of spinach cooked in garlic butter resting on phyllo pastry.
For our main dish I had the "
Hickory-Roasted Duck with Whiskey-Caramel Glaze, Buttermilk Cornbread Pudding, Haricot Verts-Fire Roasted Corn Salad, Natural Jus and Candied Pecans" which was amazing. You would think in a place like this you would get a duck breast and that's it. Nope, I got half a duck with this meal. It was almost to much food.
Victoria had the "
"Shrimp & Grits" Sautéed Gulf Shrimp, Grilled Green Onions, Smoked Cheddar Grits, Apple Smoked Bacon, Crimini Mushrooms, Creole Tomato Glaze and Red Chili-Abita Butter Sauce ". It was perfect, the shrimp were cooked perfectly, the flavors worked really well together and she ate every last spoon full.
Next was desert. After my half a duck I was in no need for desert but Victoria wasn't passing up this chance to have desert. She had a slice of chocolate bourbon pecan pie with sweet potatoe ice cream and caramel drizzle. It was yum yum yum!
So we had finished our meal at NOLA's and we rate it our Number 1 meal for the trip. Not by very much though. But that's for another post.
We headed back to the hotel in the rain, got into our feather bed and drifted off to sleep for the last time on our honeymoon. In the morning we went down to the restaurant in the hotel for breakfast(side note here, the breakfast tray we had from the day before was Still in the hallway outside our door) We had eggs benedict. Mine was traditional Vic had a crab cake on the bottom instead. Both were good. We went back up to the room, packed up our stuff and said good bye to our room. Some of us took longer to say goodbye then others, but I won't say who.

Overall we loved our trip, best one either of us has ever been on. We thank everyone for reading and commenting both right on here and the emails people have sent. I'm sorry that some people couldn't log into the system to post. We hope to get a chance to go to New Orleans again, after they have finished repairing all the damage from the storms. After a few days of rest we'll be posting our Best/Worst awards on here for all to see.

Thanks again, talk to you all later.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Ritz

Victoria in the Bed at the Ritz
Victoria in the Swamp holding an Alligator

Here we are on our last full day of our honeymoon. Chris typing.

We spent last night here at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans. We have an amazing room(thank you folks at On the Twenty) We have a king sized bed with about 10 feather down pillows on it, and a Feather pillow top mattress that you just sink right into. We have a fully stocked bar fridge that I have already locked so Victoria doesn't take anything out of it. The little bottle of gummy bears alone is $6.95.

The bathroom is all done up in Marble, marble floors, marble tiles around the bathtub. There are three seperate rooms just for the bathroom. One toilet room, one tub room and one vanity room. It's quite bright with all the white marble and huge mirrors.

When we arrived we received a nice little welcome package from the Ritz, basically a letter and a CD with some jazz on it.

Once we got to the room Victoria roamed around the room taking pictures, picking things up and oooing over them. Once she found the Ritz Robe she put it on and hasn't taken it off yet. She even slept in it. For our turn down service we received 66% dark Valrhona chocolate. Victoria liked that very much.

So far everything has been perfect with the Ritz, other then the construction going on in the street out front of the place, but nothing can be done about that. =)

Last night we went out to Mulates for dinner. A traditional Cajun restaurant. It was fantastic. There was live music playing and I would guess around 200 people in the place. I had a basic seafood platter so I could try everything(stuffed crab, fried oyster, catfish, shrimp, crawfish, and frogs legs) and Vic had the Crabmeat Au Grautin with a twice baked potatoe and sauteed veg. Everything was amazing. The better dinner award went to Victoria this night though as hers was just to die for. Mulates is now in our top 3 for meals on this trip. and we would recommend it to anyone coming down here.

We decided to stay in last night and catch up on a little sleep. As today promises to be a full day or touring the city and eating Good, Good food. Acme Oyster Bar for lunch and NOLA for dinner. We can't wait for NOLA.

This will be the last post from the road. Our internet runs out this afternoon and I won't pay another $10 just for tonight(yes, I'm cheap) So we'll post again when we get home for all those not in the area. Thanks for reading our blogs, we enjoyed all of your comments.

Talk to you later

Chris & Victoria

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Welcome to the Swamp!!!!

Read the other post first then read this.

So Monday morning we ate our continental breakfast in the open air courtyard then set off on a funfilled day of Plantations and the Swamp!!!
Oak Alley Plantation was first. We were there an hour early so we had beignets and coffee at the restaurant. YUMMY!!!! The tour was really cool... I want to live there!!! We had a mint Julep as we walked around the grounds...took pictures.... I would love to be a Southern Belle!!!

Off to Laura Plantation..... Completely different. This was a Creole plantation. Everyone worked not just the slaves. Check them both out online and deffinitely visit them both if you come down for a visit. Both had great tour guides...nice houses.... expensive giftshops.

Off to the Swamp!! So we arrived in Lafitte, Lousianna..... Don't blink, you'd miss it. It was a two hour Airboat tour of the swamp and marshlands. IT WAS SOOOOOOOO COOL!!!!! Definitely one of the coolest things I have ever done. I was scared at first to go on the airboat because I don't like boats but I got over that fast. We saw alot of alligators and birds and turtles and trees oh my! Did you know that alligators eat marshmallows??? Seriously alligators eat marshmallows!!! Chris took a video of it to prove it!! They don't chew or even taste their food they just swallow it hole. I even got to hold a baby alligator!! I GOT TO HOLD A BABY ALLIGATOR!!!! IT WAS SOOOOOOOOO CUTE!!!!! Chris has pictures. But Chris is a chicken he didn't hold it. So all in all it was an amazing tour!!!

Back in the French Quarter we went for dinner at a Soul Food restaurant called the Praline Connection. We had fried okra to start, then I had BBQ ribs with Jambalaya rice and collard greens. Chris had a breaded pork chop with red beans and rice. Yummy food but HUGE portions. When we ate all we could we left and walked around for awhile. We got drinks at a Jazz club on bourbon st. I had a Hurricane and Chris had a mint julep! Boy were they strong!!! Good music good drinks. We then walked up and down Bourbon st. at all it's glory and had the largest daiquirri that I have ever had!!! I was alittle tipsy.

So now that I have typed all of this Chris gets to come and add a couple pictures. We will write tomorrow to tell everyone of the trip to the RITZ!!!!

New Orleans

Hello Everyone... here is a recap of the last few days. Didn't have WiFi and now we are paying for it. Literally....$10 a day. So we are only paing for 1 day. Cheaper then the Marriott!

We went to the USS Alabama in the Mobile Bay. It was a big warship from the WW2 time period. It was grey... it has guns... go Americans go! We have pictures. I don't like boats so we didn't stay an overly long time.

Next we drove through the rest of Alabama and into Mississippi. I had lots of fun saying M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i. I think I was starting to drive Chris crazy. We turned off in Biloxi for lunch and drove around down by the gulf. We think Biloxi was hit by hurricane Katrina or some other recent storm since there was lots of damaged buildings and vacant lots. I have pictures.

It was a bit of a downer to see the beautiful beach on one side and mass destruction on the other. There were several "Waffle Houses" that were destroyed!!! It makes you appreciate Mother Nature and her mood swings. Anyways we had lunch at Popeye's.... nothing special....everything is fried. Back onto the Interstate.

We decided to bypass Baton Rouge etc. and come straight to New Orleans. Yes we saw lots of the Katrina devastation. From the highway you see rows and rows of vacant houses, all boarded up. Business have moved or been vandalised and parts of the city look like a ghost town.

At the Louisianna Tourist Info Center we picked up a bunch of Travel and Hotel Coupons and headed out again. One of the coupons was for a hotel in the French Quarter called Hotel Chateau. We told the front desk clerk it was our Honeymoon and she upgraded us from the cheapest room they had to a King size bed Balcony Room. The Hotel is on the corner of Chartres and St.Philip. Cute room cute outdoor courtyard.... nice should go.

After seetling in we decided to go walking around and to try and find something to eat. We walked all over the French Quarter Bourbon st. etc. and we settled on a restaruant called Petunia's. It was really good!!! Oh Julie you are going to love the name of the guy who owns if..... Hoyle Byrd!!!! I kid you not!!! I had Cajun Pasta and Chris had Grilled Red fish. Yum.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

More Pictures

Chris at Nasa
Victoria at Nasa
Some gaters at the Mini Putt across the road from our hotel in Orlando
A Gater at Gaterland
Some animals begging Victoria to feed them at Gaterland
View from Beach at our Hotel in Orlando

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sad Sad Victoria


See what happens when you don't plan things!!!!!

Mobile Alabama

Howdy Y'all

We are writing today from Mobile Alabama. Today has been long but fun. We started out in Tallahassee. Had breakfast at a place called Another Broken Egg. It was fantastic. Chris had an omellette with crab, onions and cheese and I had an omellette with bacon, chorizo sausage and cheese. They were yummy. Really slow service and surprisingly this has been a recurring theme today.

We drove through downtown Tally(as the locals call it) in the day time and looked around. It's nice. Then we set off on an adventure to the Florida Caverns State Park. Awesome tour!!! The tour guide was fabulous. We were about 50 feet underground. We took many pictures of formations in the caves. Apparently there are like 30 caves that they have discovered on the property but you can only tour this one.

So we left the park and then on the way back to the interstate we drove past a Federal Correctional Facility and it was really nice!! Kinda odd placement was beside a Middle School. We think it was a fairly low security prison because we didn't see any guys in towers with guns. So we stopped for a snack at a Sonic's. Bad choice. Drinks were good but service and food wasn't sooo good. Every order including our own that we saw the workers bring out to people were wrong! They gave me the wrong salad and it took forever to get the right one.

We decided after snack time to see how long it would take us to get to either Pensacola or Mobile today. Well they are about 50 miles apart so we headed to Mobile. We arrived at the hotel at about 6pm and got our room keys. Brought our luggage up stairs and I opened the door.... and low and behold a NAKED guy was changing in front of me!!!! Obviously the front desk screwed up. Chris had to go back to the front desk and get the correct room. Funny thing is that the same thing happened to someone else yesterday!!! I hope that doesn't happen again it wasn't a pretty site. So after getting settled we went for dinner. We ate at a restaurant called JR's Smokehouse and proceeded to have an amazing dinner!!! Chris had a full slab (rack) of dry rub ribs and I had a combo of pulled pork and smoked sausage. Chris would like to change his Best BBQ honour from last night to tonight. While last night was good the Quality of tonights food far outweighs yesterday. Chris really enjoyed last nights Quantity. So if these two places got together Chris would never leave.

So that's all for today... We are in Central time zone now and with the time change tomorrow I don't know what time it will be when we get up and stuff.

Bye y'all...Y'all have a good night!!