First off, YAAY for vacation! Pictures and details behind the cut.
New Orleans was beautiful. The parking is retarded... if you go there, don't take your own car! You WILL get a parking ticket (or two or three) no matter what you do. And there was some lady that gave us stuff, then revealed that she was charging for the stuff afterwards? Hello? People are scammy and pushy sometimes... Our ghost/vampire tour was great fun; the guide was a fabulous storyteller and it's a shame I couldn't also go with him for the cemetery tour. He could have been sitting in front of a white wall the whole time and been fascinating... like any great storyteller. Despite what Boy says, there were more than two street performers, but not many more. There were four: a harmonica guy, a tuba band, a dancing clown, and the metal man. During the daytime there were also a slew of artists and fortune tellers set up in the plaza. We didn't spend much time in New Orleans. I want to go back later and do the things I missed... their history museum looked great. And the cemetery tour. And money for shopping. The art there was coooool. There was one gallery whose entire storefront was paintings of bright anthropomorphic cats doing various things, all with the words "Katrina has left the building!" on them. I wanted a picture, but we passed it too quickly and I couldn't find it later. Very little damage from Katrina was evident in the French Quarter... except that it wasn't too stinky, and there weren't many vendors, and you could see workers here and there painting and fixing things. Looking around as we drove over the highway, however, some buildings were missing walls and roofs and I could here and there see where the water line had been. Over all, it seemed fine to a stranger's eyes.
Florida was nice, and despite what was on the news, it didn't rain. Our hotel was outrageous and charged if you scratched your butt, but they had nice swimming pools and a great boardwalk that went far out into the water and down the beach. We spent quite a bit of time exploring... there were all sorts of critters, little fish, starfish, various types of crabs, huge snails, and TONS of hermit crabs. We spent a long time trying to find cool shells, but every single shell had a hermit crab or snail inside. There were hundreds of hermit crabs.
There were also these little critters (and this photo is lifesize) who dug holes in the beach and did a cute little dance where they held their big claw in the air and bobbed up and down. I am very proud of this picture.
And this is Boy, so excited that he found two large dead crabs. We saw live ones, but they were slightly dangerous.
We got to go on a dinner cruise. That was pretty cool, but I don't have much to say about it. The ship docked right outside our hotel. And I actually got a picture with both of us in it for once.
The next day was the absolute BESTEST! We swam with wild dolphins, and there was a baby dolphin that liked to play with people. It came up to be petted, and would roll over for us to pet his tummy just like a puppy, and would give you light nips if he really wanted to play with you (also like a puppy). Only Boy and the captain got nips. Fine by me... I don't really want to be bit by a dolphin. Heh. The baby made all sorts of loud happy noises at Boy, and when we were in the water we could hear the baby and momma talking. This is me petting the baby, right before he asked me to pet his tummy!
We went snorkeling after that. That was fun, but not as cool as I expected. Here is Boy holding an urchin.
THEN we went parasailing. Boy didn't want to go, so he took pictures. I'm the one on the right.
They said we'd be at 1200 feet, but I think it was 600 feet on a 1200 foot line. It was NOT scary at all, even to the buddies I rode with who were acrophobic. We could see the whole coastline; it was neat. The guys who took us out were quite funny. Though I think we were gypped on the alloted time... seemed like an awfully short ride for fifty bucks. It was supposed to be an hour. After that we played on the real beach, and the sea was full of green sea buggers, and the white beach was covered in little bitty pretty shells. The boys had to drag us girls away at the end of the day, us whining that we just HAD to find more shells!
AMMENDED TO ADD:
We also saw weird things. I have pictures of a steel rabbit on an oil pump and signs for "FRESH RABBITS" (not fresh coney), "Spudnuts Donuts" and "Styx River Shooting Range." We also saw "Dirty Dick's Crabshack," and bars called "Fudpucker's" and "Scuttlebutt." Spudnuts, I would like to add, was a chain, because we saw at least two.
I came back COVERRED in these little bite things. Just on both thighs, I have over fifty bites, and they are all over me. Boy did not get them, nor did his boss, but his boss's fiancee also got them. Someone said they were sand fleas??? Whatever. I hope they go away quick.
Also, Kid moved out this evening, on five minute's notice. Apparently a buddy's parents offered him a free suite with a king size bed and tv, as well as a job until school starts, for the next month, and he left post haste (Boy and I helped him pack... he needed it). So, YAAAY! Now we can clean the house, and quit hiding stuff in our room, and fighting over the computer.
Kid got a sudden spurt of responsibility shortly before we left. I was actually very proud of him. He called me at work before I left in a panic, expecting me to save him (that is, co-sign for a loan) and I said no. By the time I got home he had suddenly taken responsibility for his own life: Got a job, sold one of his two computers, and placed an ad in the paper for his car. Woe to his job that only had him on staff for one week before he left for school. There are kinks in his plans, because life is not a smooth ride, but I was proud of him for finally getting off his ass and starting to take care of himself, especially when I know how hard it is for him to give up his car and his favorite, brand new computer. Maybe he'll shape up in time to make it through college after all.