Thursday, October 17, 2013

Perfectly Aligned Stars

When Royce and I got back from New Orleans K-State played at home the following Saturday.  Typically we take Chloe & Isaac and leave Amelia & Caroline with a relative, but after we had been away from them for so long (Royce away from them for 7 days), we just couldn't bear to leave anybody behind for the weekend.  We missed our munchkins too much.  It just so happened that we had the perfect alignment of a non-conference game, AMAZING weather that was completely stress-free, an evening game, and perfectly-purple kiddos. 

Caroline stretching her "First Down!" arm--she'll need it later. 


The girls did EXTREMELY well during the game.  We can not complain one bit!
Carolyn & Jim were three rows behind us--I think they did okay, right?!?
They were busy, but that is normal.  Everything was within our typical boundaries so we were very thankful for that.  I took them out during a lot of the 2nd quarter but it was just so nice out they played on the concourse level in the grass and had a great time. 

By the end of the game we realized we had better be looking for 6 tickets in the future.
Go Wildcats! 

More of September

Grandma Pfannenstiel was honored at church in September for her 40+ years of service to Ransom's parish.  It was an honor well-deserved!  She got a beautiful rosary that has her children's' birthstones on it and the reception was very nice. 

Galen and Debbie hosted a lunch after church and it was a wonderful day! 

Caroline read through the entire K-Stater magazine with me!

Holy Family celebrated September birthdays by inviting families to lunch on September 18th. 
Royce and I took Amelia & Caroline with us and they had such a fun time. 

I have had to stop by on office project I'm working on fairly often and sometimes Amelia & Caroline are with me for short periods of time.  I think I could put them to work either sweeping or answering disconnected telephones! 

Caroline loved shopping in Claire's!

Caroline pulling Amelia in the wagon. 
At least they are wearing helmets so they won't crack their heads! 

Chloe can very proudly read all 62 pages of Go Dog Go! 
I say proudly because that was my favorite book when I was little.  I could read it before I could actually read, meaning I had all the pages memorized.  Robynn got this book for Chloe when she was little and I can honestly say Chloe actually read the book to them, didn't just explain the pages :) 

This is a great picture of Isaac being a typical little boy. 
I got him two of the Disney Planes airplane toys at the grocery store.  I let him pick them out and he was as happy as could be.  We walked to the girls' daycare to pick them up and Isaac flew his airplanes the entire way there.  It was pretty cute seeing him enjoy his toys so simply. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Orleans - 10th Anniversary Trip

September 6-9, 2013
A few weeks after our actual anniversary we were able to take a trip to celebrate.  Royce was scheduled for training in New Orleans so we decided to extend his travel dates into the weekend before his training and make a long weekend out of it.  It worked out very well and it was exciting to go somewhere we had never been before. 
Royce and I had a long trip getting to New Orleans as we did not have the most direct flight route.  But it was worth it for the flights we took so we could take Chloe to school on her 7th birthday and make sure everyone was settled where they needed to be.  We had created quite the cross-referenced, color-coded, meticulously-planned agenda for our friends & family to follow with the four kids while we were gone.  Not for WHAT they kids did when they were somewhere, but WHERE the kids were actually supposed to be at any given time.  We have the BEST support system! 
We arrived in New Orleans on Friday evening, September 6th.  Dan Deines had told us we must go to Frenchmen Street and eat at the Three Muses.  Yes, Sir!  Boy was he right!  We decided since we were arriving at night we'd better go some place we knew we would enjoy and we are so happy we followed his suggestion on our first night there.  We loved the food and the music was sensational.  A true welcoming to the South. 

And Dan--see the Spotted Cat above us in the picture?
We went there, too!

Saturday morning was our Segway tour.  What fun these little contraptions were!  They were a blast to ride on, but we knew there was no goofing off allowed once we had to hand over our credit card number "just in case".  All of the threatened dollar signs kept us in check, that's for sure!  But it was a great way to zip around the French Quarter, Riverwalk, French Market, Jackson Square, and several neighborhoods. 

Jackson Square

A bar named Stella! 
It was a tough picture to take while trying to drive the Segway one-handed!

We rode the Segways the whole way on this Riverwalk.
It was really neat that we got to see so much of it without walking the whole thing. 


Saturday night we ended up at Pat O'Brien's dueling piano bar. 
Wow, that was a fun night!

The place was packed so we asked another couple if we could sit with them.
They were celebrating their 6th anniversary.  They were a lot of fun to share
a table with and we all sang our hearts out! 

Sunday morning we rode the trolley to go see the cemeteries.  We didn't spend very much time there as it was pretty hot out but it was fun to walk a few rows of tombs and see the dates, see which ones were children, and read the scriptures or quotes they had engraved on their tombs.
The most recent date we saw engraved was on the tomb above.  It was for one of the New Orleans Police Departments and there was a 20ish year old officer who was killed in 2008.  There were still open places in this tomb and I thought it was kind of neat that a Police Department would have a special tomb for officers.  The oldest date I saw was 1816.  I don't know why I expected to see older than that, but the more I thought about it I realized that 1816 is in fact almost 200 years ago and 200 years is not something to dismiss!  After all, New Orleans wasn't established until 1779 and wasn't purchased by the United States until 1803.  So what was I expecting?!?  It was a little concerning to see the tombs with the doors bowing out on them though.  The lingering high water levels from Hurricane Katrina did a lot of damage weakening the tombs.  We didn't really want to know what was inside of the bowing doors. 
Sunday evening was the high point of the whole trip.  It was our 'fancy' dinner out to formally celebrate our 10 year anniversary.  Royce had researched different restaurants and chose Commander's Palace.  We were excited by the reviews but we got more and more excited to see it for ourselves.  It was in the Garden District and we enjoyed our taxi ride through this neighborhood to see the larger lot sizes, beautiful homes with fences around them, and true southern plantation looking estates.  They were really beautiful.  It was a very welcome change from being in the French Quarter for two days where every building is extremely close to the other.  The Garden District was beautiful.  And our experience was unforgettable.
From the moment we walked in the door and gave our names we were welcomed by "Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Purinton.  Happy Anniversary!  We thank you for choosing to celebrate with us tonight."  The restaurant was two floors and there were servers everywhere.  As we walked through the first floor and up to the second floor every single server knew who we were, greeted us by name, and wished us a happy anniversary.  It was unreal.  Our table was in a room with mostly glass windows looking over trees with lights in them.  I think we had four different servers and none of them missed a beat.  Luckily I had researched their wine list ahead of time and felt somewhat intelligent when I ordered my glass of Moscatto D'Asti, a wine I knew I actually liked....however true wine conniosseurs would still probably laugh at me since it is in fact a dessert wine that I ordered for the whole meal.  Hey, I'm trying to fit in people!  I'll still call it a victory. 

Of course the food was sensational, we expected nothing less and knew it would be.  Royce ordered the stuffed quail and I ordered the pecan crusted fish.  The presentation was top notch and Royce's meal was an entire quail, de-boned except for the two legs, and was picture perfect.  But beyond the food was the wait staff.  Saying 'service at it's best' is a huge understatement!  Every course was a synchronized event by the servers.  Whether there were two people at a table or eight, every course was served to each person at the exact same moment - a server for each person at the table.  They would walk out from the kitchen in a straight line, each plate held high above the shoulder and the other arm behind their back.  They would surround the table and lower each plate at the same time, each landing on the table at the same time.  It was just amazing.  We got just as much enjoyment out of watching the staff as we did eating our food.  Everybody was so nice and even though it was so formal, it wasn't stuffy.  There was a young family sitting next to us celebrating the mom's birthday and the little girls were dressed up and got fancy desserts.  The youngest got her leftovers 'to go' and they made a little purse out of the tin foil so she could hang onto it.  It was adorable.  And of course seeing those little girls made Royce realize how much Chloe would have loved a place like this.  Isaac?  Not so much.  The twins?  Not a chance.  But Chloe would have loved it.  I don't think we were the parents who just sat and talked about their kids on their anniversary, we truly enjoyed being together and loved experiencing this amazing restaurant for our anniversary.  But seeing those girls did make us miss the rest of the pieces to our family puzzle a little bit.  This restaurant was the icing on the cake for a perfect anniversary trip.  10 years is something we should be, and are, extremely proud of.  My what a journey it has been!  A journey we wouldn't want to go through with anybody else. 

Here is a video of us on the Segway.  It had already downloaded at the end of the post and I didn't want to risk having to re-load it to get it up with the Segway pictures. 
Pretty fun stuff!!