So where was I, ah yes, heading to New Orleans last Friday afternoon.

That morning, the Beloved’s aunt came by for a visit with two of her granchildren.
Ladies Home Journal
Hovering around 3 years old and reading The Ladies Home Journal.

After a delightful two-day visit with the Beloved’s family, we awaited the arrival of two dear friends to hitch a ride with them the hour or so drive to New Orleans, where we’d join two other dear friends at their home. We hadn’t seen SF or ML in at least a couple years, but we picked up right where we left off.
RaJen with SF/ML. November 25, 2007.

SF has a special place in our hearts because she is the reason the Beloved and I ever even met. The Beloved grew up with her, and I went to college with her. Voila. They are two of the strongest people I know. Lost everything when Katrina took a trip right over their home. Picked up their bootstraps. Bought a house whose first floor was flooded by the Katrina-induced 17th Street Canal levee breach. And then took to work fixing it up, MOSTLY ON THEIR OWN. It is now a gorgeous home. I think our house fits in their first floor. Here is a picture of Cashew, their Dorkie (that’s a Yorkie and a Datsun Dachsaun Dachshund Weenie Dog mixed together) who was just irresistible, like Oreos.

We arrived at the home of some MORE good friend’s, SD and MB (can you believe we’re this lucky?), just in time to have lunch. Which, by the way, was the best corn and crab bisque I have had in my entire life. MB is one of the best cooks this side of the north pole. Aside from being great cooks and hospitalitists, they are two of the most generous people I know. When friends suffered loss in Katrina, they opened their doors to others and gave them a place to stay.

We ate, visited, and watched the LSU Tigers SELF DESTRUCT. It was painful. So after that fifteen hour football game, we went to SF/ML’s house and all took turns playing their Wii. Bowling. Golf. Tennis. It was the first time I had played tennis since my last shoulder surgery. And after 3 games, I benched myself after thinking I might have pulled a muscle. PLAYING A VIDEO GAME.

Just before my head spun on my neck and horns grew out of my skull from hunger, we went back to SD/MB’s house and had a little smackeral before hunkering down for a movie. As if we hadn’t been spoiled enough, the next morning, SD and the Beloved went to Morning Call to get beignets while MB made a scrumptuous breakfast to go with the sugar. And while all these ladies were doing their part to get breakfast going, all I could do was turtle over to the bathroom and take my shower. I’m so unhelpful these days.
RaJen with MB/SD. November 25, 2007.

Soon after, we packed up our bags, pulled on our sweaters, and SD/MB took us to the airport. Our flight home was only delayed by an hour. Which was just fine with us considering it was holiday travel season.

When we arrived, we headed out to pick up our dogs from their stay at Foxmoor Kennels. If you are ever in the Houston area and need a place for your pet to stay, I’d recommend them. They were incredibly gracious and took special care of our Molly and Maggie during our trip away. We feel like the girls liked it so much that they are staying there again when we go to Mexico.

All in all, the trip was wonderful. I see commercials or hear people talk about how the holidays bring out family tensions or things like ‘you can only spend so much time with family’ or how people joke about getting a hotel room to maintain sanity away from family, but I must say, we are incredibly blessed with family and friends with whom time together is enjoyable, if not downright entertaining.

And for this and all our blessings we give thanks.