Jazzing it up in New Orleans
I have always wanted to visit New Orleans as I feel it is always depicted so well in movies and t.v. series. It has this jazzy, soulful look about it that I wanted to experience for myself. The only thing I really knew about New Orleans for a fact was that it holds a huge Mardi Gras every year with crazy colourful necklaces being thrown around. New Orleans is known for its great jazz music, loud parties and lots of crazy drinking however I found out after our visit this past week that there’s a lot more to New Orleans than its Mardi Gras, partying and drinking. It’s really family orientated and there’s lots to do with children in mind. We found ourselves keeping very busy with doing a hop on, hop off bus tour, French Quarter Music festival, visiting the Audobon zoo, World War II museum visit, a Mississippi river boat cruise, New Orleans children’s museum, visiting the City Park and a French Quarter ghost tour.
The people of New Orleans were warm and welcoming and our air bnb hosts especially made us feel right at home. We stayed on the top floor of a two-story house but this air bnb had a nice front lawn where Aiden and I got to bond over playing some fun football in the evenings. He really enjoyed this as we haven’t had a lot of open spaces to play like that in a while. I’ve been feeling this week that I can’t believe we’ve already been away from home for almost 4 months now. I’m scared that this crazy year of adventure is going too fast and I’m not soaking up all the special moments. People are always asking me how are the travels going?? And I feel like I’m expected to say that it’s been life changing and absolutely amazing. Of course I feel that we are really lucky to be here but day to day life is much the same with Aiden’s routine of getting dressed in the morning (he fights this each morning..Aaaagh!) , lunchtime (forcing him to eat something else besides chicken nuggets), bath, bed, sleeptime (wwooah!, he stills fights sleep big time – is this normal for a 3 year old still???). So as much as we get to spend quality time together which I will forever be grateful for, Aiden doesn’t stop to give us many “eat, pray, love moments” – ha ha! Peter and I have to fight to get that kiss or extra hug in just for each other during the day ? As much as caring for Aiden is a true joy like I’ve said in my previous blogs it can be challenging at times (yes, everyone who told us that we were crazy for doing this adventure with a 3 year old, you were right, we have often felt like Aiden could be actually driving us crazy!)
The time off from work though and time off from our crazy busy schedules back home has been amazing. Just knowing that in the morning when you wake you have absolutely nowhere to be and that you ae not going to be late for anything is a truly freeing feeling just in itself. I’ll often have to remind Peter to stop stressing as it’s not like we have to be anywhere or be meeting anyone at any specific time. So when Aiden is throwing that tantrum in the middle of the grocery store we can just let him cry it out as:
- We don’t know anyone in the United States so we don’t have to be embarrassed of anyone seeing us in the shop when Aiden is having his epic meltdown
- We have nowhere to be i.e. no time schedule so it’s not like we should pick Aiden up or drag him out of the store
- In South America especially, hardly anyone spoke English so we could threaten Aiden in English with taking away toys/ threatening to leave him in the middle of nowhere, and no one could understand us ? so our parenting probably looked on point.
There are some perks to travelling around the world with a 3-year-old though. These include skipping the long queues at the airport (so awesome! Who knew???). Also people are much more sympathetic to you when you look like you’re having a meltdown (Peter and I often look like life is despairing after a 4 hour wait in the airport with Aiden) and strangers come up to us and give Aiden treats which is great. For example the other day on the way to board our plane to Miami, a man gave Aiden one of his biscuits to calm him down which was so sweet. Other children in the playground often give Aiden sweets to share too which is so kind. Seeing this generosity of people especially has really opened my cynical heart up at times. I definitely feel like my heart has hardened over the years as I’ve gotten older. I’m not sure why, I think you just tend to get grumpier as you get older – reminds me of that movie “Grumpy old men” except I might have been turning into a Grumpy old lady -ha ha! So this crazy adventure is definitely starting to change me in ways that I haven’t even been aware of up until now. You pretty much get as much as you give. So if you put yourself out there and stretch yourself to go out of your comfort zones, good things can start to happen. Just this past week I have strecthed myself to start interacting with strangers – talking to that Uber driver, asking the till lady at the grocery store how they are doing and so on. This has been so fun in terms of the chatting has been so well received. I am getting to enjoy talking with people again and finding out what drives them and what they are all about. Our air bnb hosts here in Miami have especially been so kind to us often coming to chat to us to give us recommendations of where to go and what kid friendly things there are for Aiden to do here in Miami. I’m not to sure where this blog post is going but what I’m trying to share is that life might not always seem to make sense or you might feel that you are not making much of an impact whether you are a stay at home mom or an executive at a large firm, know that you are important, that everything you do makes an impact in this life and to always remember to push yourself, push your boundaries. Take that 5 minutes to yourself every day to meditate, or cook that new recipe you’ve been wanting to try in months. I don’t want to sound like a motivational guru but this year is starting to teach me to just put yourself out there in any small way. What you get back might surprise you!
Until next week