Friday, August 24, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Is there any sight greater than the Welcome to Texas?

Our return trip to home was also spent over two days, albeit with a much longer drive the second day than the first so that we could spend time in New Orleans.

Its about 4.5 hours between Destin and New Orleans, and we stopped in Mobile to tour the USS Alabama.

Of all the potential sights along I-10, I thought this was one of the ones the boys would enjoy the most.

Its an old battleship which saw a lot of action in World War II.

The battleship was fun for the boys. They had fun pretending they were sailors on board the ship. Sleeping...

Interrogating a prisoner in the brig...

Working in the engine room...

Inspecting the missiles...

(Or are those pencils?)

And of course, "trying" a uniform on for size.

And what's a battleship without large guns to fire?

The upper decks of the ship were equally fascinating for Team Danger.

Alas, because its an "old" battleship, it doesn't exactly have air conditioning, not counting the lovely Alabama "breeze" on top of the ship.

And it was a hot and muggy day, and the further below deck you go, the more certain younger folks start complaining. (Ryan is *so* my child in this regard. I didn't complain out loud, mind you, but when he was asking me to skip certain numbers on our self-guided map to make it go faster without Carl and Alex knowing, well, I was half-impressed/half-disturbed at his ingenuity. Because that is definitely something I would have done on my own anyway.) (Just kidding, Carl. I'd never skip rooms 17-19 of the B tour. When there were roughly 30 rooms on each of the A,B and C tours. Oh no.)

There was also a submarine at this site.

Ryan was tired of boats at this time, so just Carl and Alex went into the submarine.

Ryan and I hung out on top of the sub and played on the grass. Although not too much, because this sign had  me more than a little freaked.

From Mobile, it was another 2.5 hours to New Orleans. It rained for most of this drive, and it rained for most of our time in New Orleans.


This visit did not go at all the way I hoped it would. The boys HATED New Orleans with a passion. They didn't even want to sleep in our hotel after we had been out for a bit, they just wanted to get in the car and head towards home.

I had planned for us to stay down at the Riverfront area. I remember this being a very fun, carnival-like, family-friendly area that was great for kids.

It was a ghost town.

Except for the large numbers of homeless people. Sadly, this was not a good place for us to be with the kids, so we decided to take a trolley towards the French Quarter. Some brief smiles came out for this.

The boys were intrigued by the street musicians.

And some of the souvenir shops.

But then Ryan lost all interest in New Orleans.

And rapidly shut down, wanting to go back to the hotel, eat and sleep.

I couldn't even get him to be in this picture with Alex.

Or this one, at Jackson Square.

He was DONE, and pronounced (or screamed, yelled, pouted, cried, take your pick, he did them all) that he was not moving one more step unless it was to a restaurant or the hotel.

So much for my sightseeing of the French Quarter.
He perked up a bit with dinner, where he ordered pancakes with vanilla ice cream on top. And at the trolley ride back to the hotel.

I ended up retiring early with the boys, while Carl went back to Bourbon Street. He did, at least, get me a cocktail to go. There are some pluses to the open container laws in New Orleans. ;)

 The next morning, I was determined we would at least make it to Cafe du Monde for breakfast. Cue much screaming and crying that we weren't just leaving this horrible city right away. But one of the perks of being a parent is that I win, so off to Cafe du Monde we went.

Happily, there was no wait for our table, and we sat right next to some friends of ours from back home. Such a small world.
We made a brief visit to the Old New Orleans Mint, which I thought would make my coin-collecting children happy.

It did not.

 Getting in the car and leaving New Orleans did make them happy, though.

And eight hours later, we were home. :)

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