Oh my goodness. Where to start?
Every Vacation is an adventure, but some more so than others. When 10 days becomes 16, you know it definitely counts as 'more than others.'
|Me, playing with Jake and Faith's puppies.|
|So THAT's spanish moss|
..there'd been some miscommunication about the rental car insurance, so when we got to the pick-up place, they wanted to charge us twice as much as we'd been quoted online. There was no way we could afford that. Thankfully, Jake was willing to drop everything and come pick us up right away. Still, it was 12:30 before we found me a baked potato at Wendy's, and after 3:00 before we all got to sleep.
The party was fun, although it didn't go according to plan. Plans are pretty flexible down there, apparently, and things were constantly changing from one hour to the next. But the people were lovely!
On Sunday, Jake let us borrow his car to drive down to the edge of the bayou and see the ocean. It was a simply gorgeous drive down!
|My first look at a sugercane field!|
We found this little cemetery on the drive down and got out and looked around. I'd never seen raised graves like this before. It was beautiful.
That night we went to the supermarket and got seafood. We made scallops and alfredo that night, and the next I made fried catfish.
On Monday, we finally got our own rental car (SO much cheaper to rent from a local place rather than at the airport) and drove down to New Orleans. We didn't get a ton of time because we got a late start and had to be out of the city by sundown, but we made the most of the time we had.
I'd located a little restaurant in the French Market Food Court that had gluten free offerings, and was thrilled to enjoy GF crab cakes - something I've not been able to find anywhere else. All organic too!
We made a quick circuit through the flea market, then poked around in a few different shops. For a souvenir, we picked up a Christmas Tree ornament with "New Orleans 2014" written on it.
We also visited a candy factory, where we got to sample pralines and purchased gummy worms for the long drive home.
Tuesday was a rest day, and on Wednesday we visited the local Aviation and Sawmill museum.
I really enjoyed learning about how they processed and used Spanish Moss.
Plus, huge trees are always fun.
|replicas of originals|
|people had better handwriting in those days|
|it's so small!|
It was really fun seeing Nathan get into his best man mode. He's been in a lot of weddings, and been best man twice before now, so he's an expert. (Or at least, I think so.)
|Bridal bag goodies|
The bridesmaid hair requirement was a french twist, but mine was so short, they allowed me to do it however I wanted. I think I managed okay. ;) Then I ended up doing four of the other girls' hair as well!
Look at that LACE!
I really enjoyed getting to spend a lot of time with my mother-in-law. There were just 8 of us representing the Hajek side, so we took our duties seriously
At about 5:15, Jake and Faith went off in their limo to start married life! Nathan and I left soon after, ready to relax after all the intensity of the past few days... little did we know what was in store.
This was hard. We found out that it would be $400 to change our flight, and we couldn't get a refund on the original tickets. Still, Nathan was so patient and sweet and didn't make me feel bad about it at all. His parents were still down at Jake and Faith's house, which, since they'd left for their honeymoon, was open for a few more guests. So we went back out there and settled in to do everything we could to get me better.
It was a rough few days. I had to give up getting home to have Thanksgiving with my family, which was hard all around. However I had Nathan with me, and we got more time with his parents (whom we see less, anyhow) so that was a blessing in disguise. They were willing to postpone their own trip home in order for me to heal as much as possible. They were also willing to lend us their second car so that we could complete the final leg of our trip home.
Friday morning we finally set out for the long drive home. We spent the night in Kentucky, took a supper break in Illinois at my in-laws house, then pushed on to get to Minnesota by 1:30am on Sunday morning. My mother-in-law ended up coming up with us to visit my sister-in-law, so she got a chauffeur on the way up (Nathan) and we didn't have to worry about getting the car back to her.
That last week was really hard, but God totally had us in his hand the whole time. Nathan only had to miss two more days of work due to Thanksgiving, so that was another blessing.
But I'm really, really glad to be back home, in my own kitchen, with easy access to stores with plenty of Gluten Free options, and close to my doctor and supplement provider. All of this has made us decide that, between being gluten-free (dominos was the only gluten-free restaurant in our area of Louisiana. I had pizza 3 times.), and having unpredictable health issues, we're not travelling out of state again for a long, long time. This is sad because we have so many friends and loved ones in other states that we'd hoped to visit over the next few years and now we have to accept that it is just not feasible. I guess I'll just have to lure everyone here with my cooking or something... ;)