Monday, January 31, 2011

Trip Down South!

A few weeks ago Brett, Lillian, Jan & I took a trip down south. Here are some pics from the trip!

View from my mom & Kermit's "camp" (or as we call it in the PNW, their "cabin") in southern Arkansas on Champagnolle Creek. The Camp is about half hour from their home in El Dorado, and the perfect getaway. Was really cool to show Jan where my mom lives. Looking forward to many years of fun times at the camp to come for Lillian. A big thanks to Mom & Kermit for being the perfect hosts.

View from the hot tub on Mom's "Bus House"
My mom (seasoned mom/grandma and Dr. of physical therapy) had the awesome idea of using an Ace bandage to strap Lillian in to everything from her porch chair to Kermit's old high chair
Brett & Lady (one of the sweetest pups, so well mannered, I think by the end of the trip everyone including Jan offered to take her off Mom & Kermit's hands and bring her home w/ them!)
Lillian w/ her new friend, Kermit's buddy Jaheim

View from the deck of Kermit's Camp House
Lillian's first BB gun from Papa K (to be kept at the camp for the lady grandbabies, Bridget & Lillian!)... note her first pink camo top from Papa K as well. All necessary accessories to fit right in down in Arkansas. :) (Note: gun was not loaded and she was closely supervised, please do not call CPS as this is very normal in these parts ;) )
Street view of the camp, all the homes on this dirt road are on stilts
My mom's bus house as made the local news, all decked out in 70's theme, this cabin is built around an old school bus that has been turned into a party room
The Camp House
Lillian first ride on one of Papa K's THIRTEEN tractors
Jan took one for a ride
After many videos, Lillian made an in person debut in my mom's classroom where she heads up the Physical Therapy Assistants program at South Arkansas College. Was really fun watching Mimi in action. Despite the fact that I cut Lillian's finger on my pop can on the way into the building (first blood injury broke my heart, and totally my fault!) she was a trooper.

After a few days in Arkansas we started our road trip. First stop Natchez, Mississippi. We rolled in on a very foggy day on "THE" river.
Always fun to go with first timers through a drive-thru liquor store. Just as I remembered it, they only carded myself, the driver, who ordered 3 blended drinks and beer to go... and said it was all legal as long as they didn't insert the straw in the drinks for us as "that would be encouraging drinking and driving". Got to love the south.
A stop at the most famous plantation in Louisiana, Oak Alley, was a must. Mint Juleps in hand we got the grand tour of the building and grounds.
Alas we arrive in New Orleans at our hotel, The Royal Sonesta, right on Bourbon Street.

Beignets, a breakfast MUST at Cafe du Monde
Our hotel
Ready to board the street car for our self guided tour of the Garden District
Above ground cemetery

Jackson Square
A sobering drive through the 9th ward reminded us of the damage still left behind from Katrina
The last couple days we headed to the north shore of Lake Ponchatrain to visit my old stomping grounds, meet up with an old friend and attend Amy & Tad's wedding

Lunch at Abita Brewery with dear friend Jackie, SO much fun catching up!
The beautiful bride (SO great to see her!) & Tad's first dance

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year, and a Quick Look at Lillian's 1st Christmas

This year's Christmas celebrations started as they do every year... with the annual "National Lampoon Christmas Vacation" viewing at the Martin's. (Costume required - directions: dress up like a character from the movie.)Brett & I took home the first annual AWARD for BEST COSTUME. Brett as Uncle Lewis, myself as Aunt Bethany, Lillian as Mary (pool scene) and Lucy, well since Jake was Snots, she was just, well, Lucy.
Our small family Christmas "Eve" was spent at home keeping up the Warren Family tradition by burning the first candle of a lifetime's by lighting Lillian's first Drip Candle. (A candle to be burned each year on Christmas Eve.) The entire family enjoyed a nice meatloaf dinner (except Lucy who is on a diet), nog by the tree, the opening of 1 gift and a Christmas movie just the parents after Lillian was snug in her bed w/ sugar plums dancing in her head.

Real Christmas Eve was spent with a beautiful dinner and slumber party at Jan's

You can easily guess who was star of the show this year

Gift from Mom to go w/ Dad's new bike attachment
How many toys can I fit in my mouth, I mean hands?

Ample play time w/ Aunt Brooke

...and Uncle Jake

...and to finish off a great holiday...Christmas Day Dinner of delicious Crawfish Bisque hosted at the Warren's
We send lots of love to those family members we missed this year that were not in Seattle and look forward to many holiday celebrations together in years to come!