She Said:

Well, thankfully last night, all the Solars slept better. We got up early this morning and headed due South to New Orleans. The drive from Jackson, MS to New Orleans, LA is pretty much one highway with trees surrounding it on both sides for most of the way. And not the kind of trees we have in Kansas City. Tall, tall skinny trees. And TONS of them. I got the feeling that we were driving on a road carved out in the middle of a forest. But, as we drove further and further South, the temperature slowly crept up. By the time we got to New Orleans, it was ABOVE freezing! Woohoo! It’s been a long time.
When we first got here, we headed straight downtown. Josh and I were both a little overwhelmed by all the one-way streets, people everywhere, streetcars, nowhere to park, etc. In a moment of despair, we decided to head straight to the aquarium. Before we left Kansas City, we bought an all-in-one pass to the Zoo, Aquarium, Insectarium, and Imax.
The aquarium was awesome! The kids really enjoyed it, especially Lia who kept pointing at everything, saying, ‘Fish! Turtle!’ There were lots of jellyfish, turtles, sharks, fish, sea otters, penguins, frogs, and of course a playground and many gift shops. We spent a couple of hours there and everyone had a great time. The kids even got new pirate swords at the gift shop (as if we have a shortage of swords around our house).
After the aquarium, we drove around the downtown area a bit and up and down Bourbon Street before heading to the hotel to call it a night.
Things I learned today:
1. My kids favorite part of any attraction is the gift shop. (Well, I guess I already knew that one!)
2. It’s impossible to find anywhere to park in downtown New Orleans.
3. It’s even more impossible to find a bathroom in downtown New Orleans when you can’t park anywhere and there are two kids in the backseat screaming, “I have to go potty NOW!”
4. I told Max he could have anything he wanted for dinner. He said shell macaroni. I always wondered why anybody would pay $1.59 for a microwaveable bowl of macaroni and cheese. Now I know.
5. Ava wants to learn how to skateboard when she gets bigger. We saw some kids skateboarding outside the aquarium and Max & Ava were amazed.
6. Lia almost thinks she’s in a separate room and will go to sleep great if you push her pack n play to the corner of the room and block it off with the bathroom door or that door that’s in between two rooms so you can adjoin them. Putting her right next to the bed so she can literally stand up and smack you is not a good place.
7. In a city full of amazing fresh seafood, my husband wants to eat a Belgian waffle for dinner. I guess that doesn’t surprise me 🙂
8. Max learned that jellyfish will sting you from watching Spongebob. And who says cartoons aren’t educational?

Oops! Apparently I only took a few photos today, so these are Josh’s!

He Said:

We made it to New Orleans this afternoon and the kids were itching to, “run around and lightsaber fight,” Max’s words. It was still mid 30’s, so we hit up the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas instead. Here’s what I saw.
Photography tip/Rant: If you’re at an aquarium, and taking photos, please turn off your flash. Not only does it ruin your photos, it ruins mine too. End rant.

Ava decided to blow dry her hair with the heater 🙂

Can I fit this all in my mouth?

Yes, yes I can.

The ship was THIS big!

Hi, Mr. Penguin, I’m Ava.

Ava touched the snake, Max didn’t. Lia did too 🙂

Lia tried to give the fishies a kiss.

Ava touched the baby shark. Max didn’t. Lia didn’t either.

I was told to watch out for muggers in New Orleans, Ava brought protection, but used it on me 🙂

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