Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Strolling the French Quarter, New Orleans...

On Sunday afternoon in New Orleans we had time to stroll around the French Quarter. We started out with a stop by Cafe du Monde  to pick up a bag of powdery, piping hot beignets to fortify our mission. 

The only other stop on our check list was the home of Delphine LaLaurie, the character played by Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Coven. Have you watched that show? Somehow my daughter manages to convince me to watch it with her, it is brilliantly written and casted, but a touch too creepy pour moi. Mme LaLaurie's former home has now been beautifully restored, after being burned down by an angry voodoo mob when they realized what little~miss~sadist had been up to in her attic. Click on torture to read all of the gruesome details.

Otherwise, we just slipped into a few of the antique shops, art galleries, specialty shops {many food related} and outrageous vintage clothing/ costume outlets. More than anything though, I enjoyed the architecture and the colors of the French Quarter. I loved the color combinations and rich patinas of the quaint Creole Cottages...

and Creole Townhouses.

Of course, along the way, we discussed which abodes we would want to live in if we were to move here. Thankfully, on the signs, they provide all of the important details that are critical considerations in this neck of the woods. 

We loved studying all of the intricate ironwork,  

and glorious greenery on display.

We finished our tour with oysters

on the balcony at the Royal House,

listening to superb street music echoing off of neighboring buildings and enjoying some of the most diverse people watching ever.

What a marvelous mélange of well dressed families arriving at The Rib Room for fanciful Sunday supper, alongside flocks of festively dressed partiers on their way to Bourbon Street for a night delightful debauchery we saw. 

All in all, it was a 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

I hope you are all having a very happy Easter. Here's what's hoppening around the market today...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Madewood Plantation House, Napoleonville, Louisana...

From Miami we flew to New Orleans, where we explored the French Quarter. We also took a drive down to the bayou, seeking a deeper understanding for the local culture, history, scents, sounds, sights and sensations. The Madewood Plantation Greek Revival style plantation home, on the Bayou La Fourche looked impressively pristine from the road, 

but what I really loved seeing was the rich patina and all of the ancient details, particularly in the iron work, that hinted at the history of this marvelous mansion.

The Spanish Moss draping from all of the trees gave the estate a marvelousy~eerie edge, 

I'm thinking I need to incorporate this look into the Halloween decor next year, what do you think?

The thick bayou air fosters lush, green surroundings.

I wish I could play a soundtrack of the bird calls and cricket songs that were playing

and somehow share the heavy, herbaceous scents we took in while exploring the grounds. 

The buildings, especially the out buildings on the estate have surely seen many changes over the years. 

In addition to touring the house and grounds, one can stay, safe and sound, in the manor house, furnished with English antiques and wake to a hearty plantation breakfast.  HERE is a very informative review from a previous guest.

This open gate was a little inviting, but somehow I just couldn't manage to step into the family resting ground we found at the very back of the property.

However, I did walk away with some notions on upping the level of lush for next years Halloween graveyard

More from French Quarter, just a 75 mile drive away, coming soon.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Celebrating Cherry Blossoms, from coast to coast...

We've been on a whirl-wind tour, enjoying the beautiful springtime sights in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and the District of Columbia over the past week and a half. We've been visiting colleges and taking in the rich history and culture from this section of the Union with our daughter. 

All of DC is intoxicated with the beauty of cherry blossoms right now. Last night we took the Monuments by Moonlight tour, a trolley ride I'd highly recommend if you want to see the sights with ease, under the most beautiful, dramatic lighting. One of the highlights of the evening was moonlit branches, laden with pink cherry blossoms, so heavy they nearly touched the water. They created an ethereal arch for us to walk beneath along the Tidal Basin {oh, and the lit monuments were pretty cool too}. 

Mr. Splendid and I both lived in DC, long before we met, so this was a special stop for us to take together with our daughter, who {thankfully} shared our appreciation and passion for all that this exciting District has to offer. The Cherry Blossom Festival is in full swing this weekend, but I've skipped out of town, I'm now at Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana for Mother's weekend with my #1 son. 

These blossoms are actually from the other Washington, as in Seattle, Washington. This has always been our families favorite tree, or actually pair of trees. We drive by this pair almost everyday, and as they've grown up, and the seasons have changed, the kids and I have always watched with great anticipation to see the first bright green buds form above these sprawling emerald green moss and fern covered tree trunks.

And then, all of a sudden, those buds become an explosion of puffy white blooms. To our family, these blooms announce the arrival of Spring. 

I'm feeling quite blessed to have been able to enjoy the arrival of spring in 8 states in the past 10 days {that's including Illinois, Indiana and Washington state} along with my family. 

I hope something beautiful is blooming in your world.