Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gumbo, Zydeco, and Relaxation

     This month, Adam and I celebrated 13 years of marriage. To celebrate, we took a weekend trip down south (South Louisiana, that is). As a Christmas gift, Adam's parents gave us a couple of nights at a bed and breakfast, along with dinner, a swamp tour, and a Cajun music show. What an amazing gift! 
     We stayed at Maison D'Memoire in Rayne, LA. The rooms are actually separate cottages that have been moved onto the property and restored. Our cottage, The Autumn Cottage, was the smallest of the bunch, but was steeped in history. There was a living room, full kitchen, bedroom, and a bathroom (with a claw-foot tub). We loved it! Lyn, our hostess, made delicious breakfasts each morning and delivered them to our doorstep in a little basket. We drank our coffee out on the porch while enjoying some unseasonably cool Louisiana weather.
     Friday night, we ate at Pont Breaux's Cajun Restaurant in Breaux Bridge. We had some yummy gumbo and smothered fish while we watched the older couples dance the night away. On a side note, this trip really made me wish I knew how to dance! With such awesome live music everywhere you go, it's hard to sit still.
     Saturday's schedule was full to the brim. We started out with one of Lyn's yummy breakfasts and then headed back to Breaux Bridge to go on a swamp tour. Going into this, I thought, "How interesting can this be really? We have swamps in Shreveport too." Our guide proved me wrong. The 2 hour boat ride was peaceful, beautiful, and very informative. We saw lots of native birds and even a few alligators. We lunched at a little cafe in town and then picked up some boudin at a local shop nearby. 
     That evening, we drove to Eunice to the Liberty Theater to see a show, "Rendez Vous des Cajuns". It was actually a live radio show being broadcast locally, but we were in the live audience. The band was great and most of the dialogue was in French so that was interesting too. Once again, there was dancing in which we did not participate. I've got to learn to dance! We had dinner at Fezzo's. The food was amazing! I was stuffed before my entree came out!
     Sunday, after another of Lyn's breakfasts, we drove south to Avery Island. There, we visited the Tabasco factory and toured The Jungle Gardens. Both were very touristy, but pretty cool none-the-less. We loved our weekend together! We celebrated our 13 years of marriage, experienced some Cajun culture, and got the opportunity to finish our conversations. That is almost impossible with SB along for the ride. She had a blast staying the weekend with her Nonni and Opa too! We are so blessed!

One of our delicious breakfasts
Bird sighting on the swamp tour


Live radio show

Porch-sitting with my man

Tabasco factory on Avery Island

Ancient buddha statue that we saw in the Jungle Gardens

The trees were huge!

Mr. and Mrs. Hart

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Parent Prom Night

     I have been very blessed to have had some precious friends in my life. Some friends have been with me since we were kids. Some are new. In this season of my life (having young children), God has sent me Diana and Brittany. It seems like Diana, Brittany, and I were cut from the same mold. Sure, we have our differences. Those are the things that help us work together so well. Sometimes though, it's scary how much we are alike! Many times, when we show up for a play date, our kids are dressed alike (matching shirts,etc.). I guess it's our ESP or something. Our husbands even get along great too! And did I mention that our children are best friends? Owen, Tristen, and Sara Beth are like the three amigos.
     Sadly, one third of our group will be moving away to Las Vegas in a few short weeks. Brendon is in the Air Force and is getting a really great job in Vegas. Yay for them! Boo for us! We girls have been tossing around the idea of having a dress-up group date since Jan/Feb, but now we were running out of time to get it done. So, this past weekend, we got all dolled up and had a nice dinner together (without our sweet little ones). The date ended up being on a Sunday night, so it was really hard to find a restaurant. We ended up at Windrush Grill, where we had a delicious meal followed by their signature chocolate sack for dessert. Afterwards, we asked our waiter to take our picture. It reminded us of prom night photos. . .hence the title of this post.
Parent Prom, anyone?
The Girls
This counted as our anniversary dinner too, so we had to get one of just the two of us. Happy 13th Anniversary!
     Next on the agenda, an Amazing Race(ish) scavenger hunt around town. I asked each couple to plan one leg of the race. I was thinking it would be even, since we would each have a leg-up on one part, but not the other two parts. We each came up with a clue that would lead us to a location in town where we would have to perform some sort of activity. Of course, photo documentation was REQUIRED! First couple back to my house was the winner of all the bragging rights.
Amazing Race Teams

     Um. . . then a BIG storm blew in and forced us to cancel our plans. I mean, there were huge tree limbs crashing into our driveway and a torrential downpour. What to do? What to do? Though we wouldn't get to actually do the race, we decided to change into our team shirts anyway. You can't go wasting all that craftiness now! We sat around the table and read the clues aloud (just to see what we were missing). My clue required a little "active participation" so that was a lot of fun to watch. The last clue was supposed to lead the teams back to my house to do a word search. I made a personalized one online and printed it out. We decided that the winner would be the first team who finished the word search. Here are the results: 1. The Herbecks  2. The Reneaus  3. The Harts (Seriously? You would think that we might win since I MADE the puzzle!)

Their shirts were so clever: "Mr. and Mrs. (Scavenger Hunt) Herbeck" When we started planning this date, Brendon said that scavenger hunts were his middle name. Basically meaning that he was going to whoop us (which he did).
Women's Gymnastics (Left to right: Table top, butterfly stretch, and cartwheel)

Men's Gymnastics (Left to right: Spider Man handstand, straddle stretch, big star)
First place finishers
The rest of us working hard
     The rest of the night, we played Cranium and laughed A LOT. It was wonderful to spend some grown-up time with great friends (and act like kids too)! We wish Brittany, Brendon, and Owen the best as they start a new chapter of their lives. We will miss them a lot, but look forward to hearing what God is going to do in their lives.
Can't you tell he's Dracula?

I think Adam was trying to get his team to guess "saved by the bell".


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