Saturday, February 28, 2009

Punchers Grand Opening!

Our good friend Brouss has been working very hard for the past few months to get his new bar in downtown Baton Rouge ready for business. Along with a couple of partners, Brouss finally opened Punchers last night. The bar has a boxing theme, with lots of flat screen tv's, two pool tables, and even a stage for the occasional band. Lots of our friends turned out on opening night to support Brouss.....we had a great time!

"Is all of this really mine?"

Kenny and me

Some of the girls in attendance


Congrats, Brouss!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

French Quarter Birthday Celebration

Tomorrow is my Carolina friend Elisabeth's 15th birthday, and since she and her family are in town but leaving today, we decided to celebrate a couple of days early. While E and her family, along with QP and UJ, went to the Endymion parade, Mom, Dad, Kenny, and I headed straight to the Quarter to get set up for a surprise birthday dinner party. Of course everything was colored Carolina blue, and the birthday girl was pleasantly surprised when they got back and she discovered us in the apartment. We ordered Chinese food for dinner and had delicious chocolate birthday cake for dessert. What a great way to spend their last night in New Orleans! Happy Birthday, Elisabeth!

The birthday girl with her birthday crown

Let's get this party started!

Elisabeth, me, and Margaret

Diggin' in to some yummy Chinese

Who wants birthday cake?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Argus Galaxy Ball

Kenny and I had the great privilege of being invited to this year's Argus Ball by the King himself. One of my parents' good friends from college has been a part of the Argus Krewe for many years, and this year was his year: he got to be Argus XXV! There were many of my parents' college friends in attendance at the ball, along with their own kids, all of whom my brother and I have known since we were very young. And Jeff and Erin were there as well. Needless to say, everyone had a wonderful time! And a great big THANKS to Ashley for lending me a dress to wear!

Jeff, Erin, Dad, Mom, me, and Ken

Our group pic with the King!

My parents with their college friends

Erin and I taught Mom how to do the Cupid Shuffle!

Jessica Kiper, better known as "Sugar" from Survivor: Gabon, was one of the celebrity guests in Argus this year!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pre-Carnival Fun in NOLA

While Kenny was in Trinidad last week for work, I was in NOLA. Of course I did nothing but eat! My North Carolina family (Jennifer, Michael, Elisabeth, and Margaret) were in town as well, and I was able to get together with them and QP and UJ for a couple of lunches. We went to Vietnamese restaurant Kim Son on the Westbank on Tuesday and then tried out po-boys at Parkway Bakery on Wednesday. I was also able to convince my mom to fly in from Houston a couple of days early so we could spend some quality time together before things got too crazy over the Carnival weekend. She came to lunch on Wednesday, after which we stole Elisabeth and Margaret away from their parents and went to see Confessions of a Shopaholic (very cute). Wednesday night Mom and I met my brother at Houston's for an early dinner, and the next day she and I grabbed a bite at Zea for lunch before seeing He's Just Not That into You (also cute). Kenny flew back into town on Thursday evening, and we went straight out to meet friends at the Mid-City Bulldog (now finally open again after their November fire!) for dinner and drinks. Whew......I think I've gained 10 pounds!

Lunch at Parkway

Me with my girls, Margaret and Elisabeth

Mom and I outside of Houston's, sporting our new matching scarves!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Farm Trip

Kenny's sister and her family are in town visiting from Berkley, CA, and one of the things her two boys love to do when they come to LA is head up to the family's farm. This trip was their first official campout, though; they usually go up for a couple of day trips but had never stayed overnight before. We had lots of fun, especially since the weather cooperated and it only rained on us at night while we were snug in our tents!

Ken and his sister Debbie, setting up tents....I think. Who knows with those two!

Ken with two of our nephews, James and Nicholas

Getting some fishin' in before breakfast!

Kenny and I among some of the cows

There are so many calves right now, but this one is my favorite!

I got to launch the trebuchet once this trip!

The boys liked going to find where the bowling ball landed after flying through the air over 300 feet.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Annual Breckenridge Ski Trip!

Last Saturday I flew out of New Orleans direct to Denver to start this year's Colorado ski trip. Jay, Trisha, and Erin were with me on the flight, while Kenny, Jeff, Ryan, and Chris made the long 20-hour drive to the mountains. I have done that drive 3 times and decided that I did not want to do it again this year. In hindsight that was a great was so much nicer getting home at 6pm instead of 3am!

Erin, Jay, and Trisha before leaving NOLA

Erin, me, and Trisha after landing in CO

After a small delay at the rental car place and about an hour and a half long drive, the four flyers finally arrived in Frisco, where we met up with the drivers at the grocery. We got our breakfast and snack items and then headed to the nearby liquor store to stock up on beer and wine for the trip. Afterwards we went to the condo to drop our stuff off before heading back out to get our skis from Main Street Sports. Then it was back to our temporary Breck home to drink some beers and relax before our first day of skiing!

The amazing sunset over the mountain on our first night...we'll be hitting those runs tomorrow!

Getting our skis from MSS in downtown Breck

Back at the condo

Ken is ready to ski!!!

As always, our trip was a great one. Everyone had a such a fun time, and I think we convinced even more people that skiing is awesome. Jay and Trisha were two of the skiing virgins, and they both did really well. And Kenny couldn't stop smiling when he was on his skis....he missed out on the skiing part of last year's trip since he had a broken ankle, so he was even more excited to get out there this year.

Group pic in front of the condo

Another group shot

Yet another group pic, this time out at the Breckenridge Brewery

Me, somewhere along the Upper Laymen run

Can you tell Ken is so very excited?

We stayed in the exact same place as we did last year, and, not surprisingly, everyone's favorite part of the condo was the private hot tub on the second floor balcony. That warm water helped so much in loosening our sore muscles after a long day out on the slopes, and it was great to be able to relax in the hot tub while also watching skiers come down the run right behind our place. And it actually snowed most of the time we were in there, which made the experience even cooler!

Four O'Clock Run, how we got back to our condo and the hot tub every afternoon!

Just the 7 of us! Good thing Ken took the picture....I'm not sure he would have fit!

After tearing ourselves away from the hot tub, our nights were filled with more great local beers, homemade dinners of chili, gumbo, and soup, and of course games. We played Phase 10 once and Apples to Apples three times. I think Ryan might have liked A2A better than snowboarding! He won two out of the three games and loved every minute of it.

Ryan trying to figure out if he can "phase" yet

Ken's never very far away from his laptop

An intense game of A2A

This trip always goes by way too fast, and this year was no exception. I think we all wanted to stay longer even though our legs were completely worn out from three days of skiing. It's just so beautiful up there! So, when is the next trip? Not soon enough!

That's Kenny, flying down the mountain on the Sawmill run!

My brother, only a second-time skier, conquered a blue-black run. Way to go, Jeff!

Kenny and I, on our very last run of the trip

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

After a great weekend spent with our friends at our house, who wouldn't want to turn right around and host a Superbowl party for some of Kenny's co-workers?!? We certainly didn't mind. Kenny had the pork slow-smoking on the grill at 1am and didn't pull it off until after 4pm. It was worth the wait.....very tasty pig. Scott showed up a couple of hours before everyone else arrived, and it was great to see him. So many people to show off our house to in one weekend!

All I can say

Only a handful of the people we invited were able to make it, but we had a good time nonetheless. There were 10 of us plus a few kids, who sometimes provided more entertainment than the game did. I spent lots of my time in the kitchen, making sure everyone had everything they needed, so I didn't see many of the commercials. Since I don't usually have any ties to either team who makes it all the way to the Big Game (although the Steelers and the Cardinals put on quite a show this year!), the commercials are the things I look forward to the most. The few I was able to see were fairly funny, but I think advertisers have lost their touch a bit in recent years. We'll see what they come up with for next year....

Our Superbowl group

This is Bella. She knows she's cute.

Bella, Peyton, and Ashlyn (the older two are sisters)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Friends Weekend

Some of my best friends from high school (and their families) came to visit Kenny and me this past weekend. They had never been to our house before, and we finally found a weekend to squeeze a visit into our busy schedules. Everyone arrived late on Friday night after sitting through some traffic on the Atchafalaya Basin bridge. No worries....we just stayed up late drinking (for some...Karen and Miche are pregnant!), talking, and catching up. The next day we had a leisurely morning, complete with a yummy breakfast made for us by Ken. After some debate, we eventually decided to take a day trip to nearby Avery Island, where Tabasco sauce is made. Although the factory wasn't up and running since it was a Saturday, the tour was interesting, and we got to taste some chili, salsa, soda, and even ice cream, ALL made with Tabasco!

Karen with Madison and Molly

Me and Molly and a giant Tabasco bottle

Madison, Bridget, Molly, Karen, and Michelle

Me and Kenny

Once the tour was over, we backtracked a bit to a Ruby Tuesday's for a late lunch, and then Bridget, Brian, and Madison had to head back to NOLA for a family engagement party. Karen, Jeff, Molly, Michelle, and David were all able to stay for another night, so we headed back to the house to relax before dinner. I had decided to make the pork and olive ragu pasta dish again, along with oven roasted broccoli and cauliflower. Everything turned out pretty darn tasty; I didn't get any complaints!

Dinner group

After dinner we all watched the Hornets unfortunately lose badly to the Spurs. We then promptly turned off the tv and switched gears to Apples to Apples. Our friends hadn't ever heard of the game until Kenny and I started talking about it in September, and I think they enjoyed playing. Next time hopefully Brig and Brian will be able to stay and play with us!

The next morning we all enjoyed a quick kingcake breakfast, and then both families had to get on the road for home. I was sad to see everyone go, but their early departure did allow Kenny and I to get the house ready for our Superbowl party that night. More on that another day!

Thanks, everyone, for coming to visit! We really enjoyed having you here!
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