Saturday, January 21, 2017

New Orleans Trip / Noto Family Christmas

On the Sunday before Christmas each year, our Noto Family in Louisiana has "Noto Family Christmas."  On years that we don't make it to New Orleans for Thanksgiving, we try to make it for this celebration.

The kids had a half day on Friday (the last day of the semester) so we left as soon as they got out of school.  Thanks to an iPad and movies, the kids did great on the drive.  The next morning we enjoyed some outdoor time at JuJu's house.  Pistol taught the kids how to ride his three wheel bike.

Later that morning we took the kids to the Audubon Zoo.  One of our favorite books is "What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo."  We all enjoyed finding the various animals/places talked about in the book.  

A New Orleans classic: Roman Candy.  

Monkey Hill, located in the zoo, is one of the highest points in New Orleans, and mentioned in the book mentioned above.

As the kids were rolling down the hill and playing, we heard Madeline yell, "I lost a tooth!"  Sister swallowed a tooth on Monkey Hill.  That's a fun story. :) (And yes, the tooth fairy still came).

Lots of Aunts/Uncles means lots of helpers.  And can we discuss how attached Preston is to Uncle Ryan??

My dad, Pistol and Madeline walking though the zoo holding hands.... <3 p="">

...and the three of us all dressed alike.

We picked up some shrimp and oyster po' boys for lunch, took naps, and got ready for our big activity  of the night....

For my kids' birthday present, JuJu rented out this out this vintage firetruck to go look at Christmas lights around the french quarter.  The best part?  We could throw beads off of it.  The kids were in heaven and the adults had a pretty good time too!

Preston really enjoyed the lights.  He was saying, "It SO pretty!"

As Madeline was throwing beads she said, "Are we in a parade?"

We stopped at Frenchman Street and the Roosevelt Hotel.

Traffic isn't so bad when you have this view.

For as happy as Preston was, I think Andrew had 10X more fun. Although for the next week, every day P asked "I go on firetruck?"

We got back to the house and had hot chocolate, even though it was still 70 degrees outside.

By the next morning a cool front had blown in and the temperature dropped by 30 degrees.  Preston cuddled with Pistol and the big kids drew pictures.

We got dressed for church and took the opportunity to take some festive pictures.

After church we drove to Slidell to Gina and Ronda's house for the Christmas party.  Before we left New Orleans, we drove by the house my dad grew up in.  They got a big kick out of seeing "Poppy's house when he was a kid."

Once we were in Slidell we were so happy to see our family members...

 ...and stuff our faces with ridiculously good food.

Cousin Bella, we missed you!

The Hostesses with the Mostesses

MiMi is always with us in spirit.

After lunch the kids had a special visitor.  Check out Andrew's face.

After a visit from Santa it was time for the White Elephant gift exchange.  Aunt Jill was ready with her megaphone.

We spent the night in Slidell.  The little people were up early the next morning and it was COLD! Andrew and Preston were admiring the ducks playing outside.

The kids were well behaved on the way home.  They slept well, did good in the car and stayed healthy so we hit the trip jackpot.  We love the time we get to spend in Louisiana!