Back from Vacationland, Part II

We're back from a lovely visit with our family in the City that Care Forgot. New Orleans is coming along. Slowly, in parts. On the West Bank (of the Mississippi, that is), where the resources are less, they combined the two Catholic girl schools into one. My adorable brother Tommy,

high school coach extraordinaire at Archbishop Blenk weathered the storm, but just barely. Families and faculty jumped ship right and left. It's hard to say goodbye to Blenk, but I'm sure he will help craft the new school into a great place to learn, and play. Here he is teaching the girlie to high jump. More on him later.

The Riverwalk is looking good. We happened to be on it as a big thunderstorm rolled up the mighty Mississippi. On our way to the Aquarium on the 4th.

I love the Sea Dragons. They would be Seussian, if they weren't so beautiful.

For Tommy, who knew that this Moon Jelly would be a beautiful picture. And having grown up in Hampton Roads, off the Bay, I can tell you that their sting hurts like the dickens!

A face only a mother could love. We learned from the Crocodile Hunter, who we miss very much, bless him, that the albino gators can't survive in the wild because they can't camoflage. I'm thinking that must be why there are white gators in the Aquarium and the Zoo. Go ahead ask me how many times I've been to both.
The Lovely Jack and I had a rare date. It was embarrassing to realize that our last date may have been when we were there at Christmas. Even better, it was a lunch date, and Jack allowed himself to be dragged to the yarn store. After all, I needed a crochet hook. Who goes away without their notions bag? And, if you are looking for great, real New Orleans food, go here

It's called Ignatius, and it's on Magazine street. I recommend the Roast Beef Po Boy and the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. Trust me, you haven't lived till you stuff your self full of that good cooking. Yum!

We went to the very lovely Garden District Needlework Shop and met Diana Johnson, who was kind enough to spend lots of time sharing with me the joys (and down and dirty details) of owning a yarn shop.

Located on Magazine Street in a very funky neighborhood (in a good way) that is looking more and more like the Haight in San Francisco, trust me it's wonderful. The store is in a great space, with 15(?) foot ceilings and crammed with inventory. A truly smashing selection of yarn, needlepoint, and accessories. It doesn't hurt that Diana is an interior designer and really knows how to create a space that you just want to move into. And she has a spot for the man toy, too.

Oh, and the needlepoint canvasses, created by the very talented Annie, tried to seduce me. Lucky I have some understanding of my limits. But is you are a New Orleanian at heart, and like to needlepoint, check her out. The Camellia Grill canvass was my favorite. Annie, by the way, was known as Anne Marie when my dad went to grade school with her. It seems every time I walk in a yarn shop in New Orleans someone recognizes my name, "Is your father Stan Chiocchio?" Dad really must have been a terror in grade school, driving all these women to yarn:)