Monday, April 06, 2009
Current mood: happy
LOL-- in categories, this could be under 'friends', 'food and restaurants', 'shopping', 'parties and nightlife', among others (;
I have been looking forward to this weekend for -months-! And on Thursday, I was hoping the weather wasn't going to be too terrible while we were there. It was absolutely LOVELY weather all weekend long! We couldn't have asked for a better weekend to do this!
So I headed to bed at 5:30 Thursday evening, planning to leave at 2 am. Google told me it would take 10 hours to get to the airport, and I wanted to give myself an hour to deal with bad weather before I needed to be in Shreveport to pick up Jenny.
(the lovely lady on the left (: sitting next to Tony's amazing girlfriend Mattie at the Landing.)
It was a perfectly uneventful drive (lol). And only took -8- hours to drive, so I had 3 hours to wait at the airport when I got there. I want to mention real fast that Google is both really good and really bad at giving directions. (lol) I followed them exactly--and ended up at the back of the airport, headed to the fire house... Fortunately for me, there was a truck leaving the gated area and the 2 gentlemen were kind enough to let me follow them around to the right area (:
While I waited, got to have my first po-boy of the trip ((: I have to admit, I absolutely LOVE the food in Louisiana! I was joking with Mark when I got back this morning, that if we are ever rich, our personal chef is going to be Cajun!
Then Jenny and I made the drive into Natchitoches and checked into the Hampton Inn. When we pulled up, the receptionist told us that only 3 rooms had been reserved and that we were the first ones checking in. So after we dropped our stuff off, we figured we'd check in at the Theatre Department.
When we walked up, I couldn't BELIEVE how lovely they made the courtyard between the theatre and art departments!
Then we walked around the back and I stopped dead in my tracks looking at the trees.
The paperbarks headed to Theatre West are -twice- the height they were when I was going to school a decade ago! Talk about suddenly feeling the passage of time!
And when we walked into the building, Jenny and I turned to eachother and said, "It still SMELLS the same!" We couldn't believe it! There've been some changes of course-- there's now a tap studio where Dr. Parrish always had her classes. The green room lounge is now a class room. The vending machine area that was a smoking area long ago is the new lounge. And techs have their own class room now!!!
As we walked down the hall going over the show photographs and steeped in nostalgia, one of the current students came up and recognized us as some of the alumni. (: They'd been worried we weren't going to be showing, and Scott and Dr. Parrish had them really excited to see us all! It's been so long that they're trying to archive the images-- the only person there who would actually be able to remember the shows (having been there for them) would be Dr. Parrish. Jenny's promised to help them along with that (:
We didn't actually get to see Dr. Parrish, or Scott-- they were both involved in auditions at the time. But we got to walk around the department and downstairs. You would not BELIEVE it-- EVERYTHING was locked! And there are gates onto campus now and a check in point at night. Things sure have changed in -that- regard. As Jenny says, "Well...there sure were some thefts of theatre stuff in our day." (;
Then we stopped in Campus Corner-- It's still there! And bought some NSU souveniers. I got a post card of the columns, because they're one of the three reasons I ended up choosing NSU in the first place. 1. Scholar's College. 2. The old town feel of Natchitoches-- reminded me of Heidelberg when I was growing up. and 3. The Columns. And got each of my boys a purple water bottle (:
That night, we met up with Abe and Sarah, Jeff and Charlotte, Ryan and Robert, Jordan, Cooper, Kayla, Abby Pud, and Jay to get dinner at Momma's on Front Street.
and I had myself a -wonderful- Crawfish Po-Boy!!
A large Amaretto Sunrise (equal to 3 normal ones), and later a Smirnoff Red at the Pub on Front Street. We couldn't believe that there are -3- bars (not including the Landing) on Front Street now! I am an -extreme- light weight when it comes to alcohol! So by the time we walked down to the river for some of the Jazz Festival, I was having to pay attention to where I placed my feet. Except that when I tried to SAY that, you'd have thought I was trying out for the part of Yoda. (lol)
It was so great to just visit and catch up and chat with everyone, and meet some of the people I've only ever 'seen' on Facebook! But we sure did show our age, because it got to be 10:30, and we were ALL ready to turn in the for the night (lol). I figure I did exceptionally well, considering I'd actually been up since 1 am (;
Jenny and I talked for a bit when we got back to the hotel, so it was closer to midnight before I actually fell asleep. And then, Saturday morning, woke up fresh as a daisy and wide awake at 6. Sunrise. It was just peaking around the corner of the curtains into the room. I will say right now that Hampton Inn has some of the MOST comfortable beds I've EVER slept in!!! I tried to lay there for about 15 minutes, then Jenny rolled over and made a sound that indicated she was awake-- it wasn't the sunlight-- just routine (: So I got up and took a shower. Then we headed downstairs to try out breakfast. Passed Abe-- didn't know he was there til he said something (lol).
After breakfast, headed to Wal-Mart to see if I could dress up my outfit a little for the show that night. Bought myself a blue skirt (:
On our way back, we stopped on Front Street for some tourist shopping. Found some real treasures!! It's so funny. When I was going to school in Natchitoches, I couldn't figure out what the tourists were after. Very excited about some of the Natchitoches specific art I found! Looking forward to getting them up on the wall (: I also found a lovely spring mobil, got some garlic jelly, some art chocolate nuts/seeds for Mark, and got my boys each a pouch of cool shooter marbles from Kaffie Fredericks on Front Street.
Then it was time to head over to Merci Boucoup. I had always wanted to eat there, and never gotten around to it. And we had a GREAT time! Food was wonderful (: I had mini crawfish meat pies, and a large Natchitoches meat pie with dirty rice for lunch. Got to try a taste of Tony's delicious Apple Cobbler with ice cream, and had the kind of Bread pudding that I can no longer get from the Landing. Our server did an awesome job of taking care of a table that continued to grow, from 2 people up to 20 (lol).
Then I headed back to the hotel to drop off my goodies and got my camera to get the pictures of Natchitoches I'd meant to get before I left, over a decade ago.
The fountain, that hardly ever ran because it was almost always full of bubbles. And the rose garden around it (:
-- I used to walk past this cemetary and tree all the time. That's one of the things that I always loved about Natchitoches-- there are sidewalks -everywhere-. You can walk all over the place-- and I used to (and for my pictures ((: I did again.) LOL-- though I payed for that-- got a couple of blisters since I haven't done that much walking since December-- and was wearing WAY the wrong shoes for it (;
I've always loved that they still have the gas lit lights.
I pressed pennies for my boys and I (: This always makes me thing of Germany, when I was a kid, they were all over the place, and you'd squish fennings (:
I sat in the chair beside this sign the day I decided I was going to apply to work at the Landing. Always loved the historic signs throughout that I passed -every- day. Promised myself that one day, I'd get pictures of them all (: And Saturday was that day!
This used to be on one of the historic plaques--- as you can tell, Natchitoches has really put a lot of money into improving their attractions. And it looks GREAT!
One of my favorite things about this bridge though, and one of the reasons I'd even noticed the original sign, is the owner of the house beside it always had dragons under it. Only 1 of the 2 I was looking for was still there though:
Then a brief trip back to the hotel for a bandaide and to change for the evening.
Reservations were set up at the Landing for all 25 (ish) of us. For 5 pm.
Until I had a bite of Paul's Blacked Alligator, I had completely forgotten how divine it was! And I did something I'd always wanted to do at the Landing ((: I ordered Dessert first! Had myself some brownie delight-- my all time favorite Landing dessert!
I had such a wonderful time! Okay-- admittedly-- placing our orders at 5:30...needing to leave to be at the theatre by 7...and not getting our food until 6:57 put a slight damper of the mood-- but thanks to Mattie's suggestion-- we got everything paid for so we wouldn't have to handle that at the end! And everyone got to eat and we made it to the theatre by 7:15, 15 minutes before the start of the show (: I had fried oysters!
Very much enjoyed the show in theatre west. VERY talented group of soon to be NSU alumni (; The production was "Company" and at intermission, we were talking about it-- they were unintentionally pretending to be us (lol). 30s. Married. Some with kids. (; There were some of those numbers that were truly impressive to watch.
At the end, we all headed to the Frederick's lobby for a meet and greet. And the first thing we saw was a tribute to the Old Faces:
Then we all got together for a group picture:
LOL-- which actually turned into about 7 group pictures with all of the different cameras (; There are SO many pictures of this weekend!
And I got to see Dr. Parrish again, oh so briefly.
She really hasn't changed at all!!
Then a couple of pictures for the Alumni Association:
The current students invited us over for the cast party, and some of our folks ended up going and having a blast-- but I chose to stay at the hotel and go to bed. There was no way I was going to be able to stay up until 4:30 in the morning, and still make the 8-10 hour drive home in the same day (:
Got up in the morning. Got to say good-bye to a couple of people, then I headed out to have brunch with my friends Sara and John, Stefhen, Jess and Jeff.
I realized as we were talking that I hadn't seen Jess and Jeff in -7- years, since Cat's wedding, when my oldest was a babe in arms! And if we hadn't made it to Gulf Wars last year, the same would have been true of Stefhen, John and Sara! It was SO good getting to see you guys, even though it was so brief!
Then a quick stop over to Sara's house-- the house we rented oh so long ago, that she has since bought and been fixing up ((: I LOVE her gardens and her animals are so friendly, lovey, and well loved!
HAD to take this picture for Mark:
When we first moved in, you couldn't take a shower-- Mark was visiting us and we were just taking and complained about it-- and he got the materials together, built it, put a chair in the tub and put it up for us over 11 years ago! At the time, though I doubt he was aware of it (lol) She and I were checking out his butt and body while he did it (: There's nothing sexier than a sexy man doing manly things to make your life easier!
Well, it worked so well, she's still got it and using it! ((:
And my last picture from the trip:
She and I out under the tree which was one of the main reasons we chose the place to move into, oh so very long ago.
All in all, this weekend was well worth waiting for, and I am SO glad I not only had the opportunity to go (because Mark and his Dad took care of our kids and Grandmother), but that I DID go!