We had a pretty big (for us) weekend. Some friends of ours who have a little girl 6 days older than Stella arranged for a group to meet at the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. While we have taken a couple of road-trips as a family so far, it’s been to home-like destinations. Once we survived the actual traveling, the kid was able sit around and be admired in comfort. New Orleans was to be a bit different, as we would be out and about all day long, with plenty of wild cards: the heat, the rain, all the people, the smells, the sounds.
She travelled great. It was raining a bit when we got there, but with the canopy up in the stroller, she didn’t seem to care. The group was running pretty behind, so we used the extra time to our advantage and cruised through the French Market area (Decatur Street, for those of y’all familiar with the city), hitting our favorite old haunts. It was a different experience with a baby. Most of these little places are so crowded/tight, that trying to navigate a monster truck of a stroller through it (and a very grabby kid) is simply not advisable. So, if it was something one of us wanted to see, one would run in while the other stayed out with the stroller and Stella. We couldn’t stay anywhere for long or she’d get restless and pissed.
The aquarium was….difficult. It was so bloody crowded that it was tough to enjoy (or at least for me, who really loathes crowds). The stroller was a problem, and it was a bit frustrating since by that point the baby was sick of it, anyway, and wanted to be carried. She fell asleep about 2/3 of the way through and I carried her in the Maya wrap the rest of the way. We got separated from everyone else, but it was just too hard to try to stay together with such a crowd. We finally texted the group and said our goodbyes that way, since by then we couldn’t take all the people anymore and were starving.
We walked back over towards the French Market to one of our favorite places to eat. Don’t laugh. It’s a bar called Turtle Bay. It’s kind of a hole in the wall and very unassuming. They just happen to have the best chicken wings I’ve ever eaten in my life (and I’m not a big chicken wing person). So yes. We dragged our 10 month old baby into a bar in New Orleans.
To our credit, it was very quiet in there, with only a few other patrons. We sat way in a corner by ourselves away from the bar and the smoke. Stella ate her lunch I had prepared at home and Will and I each had a drink and chicken wings. She had a good time. I still felt pretty damn tacky.