Another Christmas is now over, and more great times are now part of our memories. We started celebrating the holiday on Friday night with a visit to New Orleans with our daughter, future son-in-law, and long-time friend. We strolled along the streets of the French Quarter and enjoyed the Christmas festivities on Fulton Street.
Never heard of Fulton Street? If you're ever in New Orleans around Christmas, you've got to go there! It's located on the edge of the French Quarter and is only a few blocks long. The "street" is more like an alley, with bars and cafes along either side. During Christmas, the cafes and bars are packed with people and the alley is covered in lights and poinsettias. Snow falls every half hour, there's a huge Christmas tree in the center, and a live band fills the air with Christmas music. People of all ages, including little ones, are walking around and enjoying the holiday decorations. Sometimes you may even catch Santa and his live reindeer. We didn't see Santa this time, but one of his reindeer was hanging out ... along with a camel.! It puts us in the spirit every time.
With drink in hand (you can do that in New Orleans), we walked a few blocks to the historical Roosevelt Hotel to see the lobby's Christmas decorations. This hotel is a popular Christmas destination, yet I've never visited it until this year. Since I was born in New Orleans, I figured it was about time I checked this place out. While I was impressed with the gorgeous Christmas decorations in the lobby, I was really taken by the architecture of the building. It's amazing! This hotel has been around since 1893 and it really is beautiful.
We walked through the long lobby, enjoyed the tunes from the piano bar, peeked into the famous Sazerac Bar which looked pretty cool ... like a ritzy lounge, and then tried to get a glimpse into The Blue Room. The Blue Room was a popular jazz club back in the 1930's and was often visited by Frank Sinatra and many other celebrities. On this particular night a wedding reception was going on and we teased the girl guarding the front door, asking her if she'd ever heard of a "wedding crasher". We told her that we were going to grab one of the fake presents from the gingerbread village display and walk right on in. Who'd notice ... even though we'd be the only folks in blue jeans. She played along and shared a little history of the place, but we didn't make it inside.
Go figure that not one of us had a camera, or even a cell phone! I wish I could have got some shots of the beautiful sights we saw that night. The only picture we have of the entire evening is the one above. It was taken in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel by a woman who overheard us talking about not having anything to take a picture with. She kindly offered to take a picture of us with her phone and text it to us ... technology is a pretty cool thing.
Saturday was our first "Christmas Day", which was spent with family. I brought the turkey and thankfully it wasn't raw or overcooked! We had tons of the traditional Christmas food, swapped a few inexpensive gifts, and just enjoyed the day. Sunday was spent on the sofa trying to recover from a chest cold, and Monday was back at work. Thankfully I had Christmas Eve off to get some more rest.
Christmas morning was spent with our daughter and her fiancee at our home. We swapped gifts and Ken and I got some really cool things from the kids and each other, as always. I'll have to write a separate post about that, but needless to say we now have a few more things for cruising! The kids seemed really happy with their gifts from us as well. The gifts swapped are never extravagant, as the time together is priceless.
On Christmas Day we did something a little different this year. Instead of going to my brother's place in the country, we went to our daughter's future in-laws for brunch. It was fantastic ... shrimp n grits, sausage gravy n biscuits, eggs, bacon, hashbrown casserole, and Mimosas! The house was warm and inviting, with tons of Christmas decorations and a fire in the fireplace. Our daughter's future mother-in-law is another Martha Stewart ... so talented and creative! We really enjoyed our visit with our new extended family.
Afterwards, we made a last minute decision to accept a friend's invitation to their home. Wine was poured and stories shared ... good times! It was nice not to have to adhere to a strict time schedule this year and drive an hour away into the country.
Today, I'm still fighting a cold and back at work. Friday and Saturday are also work days for me, so I'm already dreaming of yet another date with the sofa on Sunday. Working for someone else full-time has got me like most others ... living for the weekend.
While I'm already looking ahead to Sunday, I'm still feeling thankful for the past few days of good times with friends and family. I look forward to a Christmas in the tropics, but I'm not looking forward to spending it without such special people. I don't want to really think about that till I have to. Santa may just have to bring them to us for Christmas!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!