Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Break Pt 2

My last post discussed the first half of our trip to Shreveport/Bossier, Louisiana to visit my in-laws.  Let's pause for a moment on that one.  When I tell people we went to Shreveport, they immediately think it's a half hour drive to New Orleans- party party party!

Um, no.  NOLA is way on down on the gulf. There has to be something, anything in LA to take up the rest of the space of the state.  You know, people, commerce, school and places that make pie.  Shreveport is in the northern part of the state. It's much like southeast Arkansas or really east Texas.

Also, if you're visiting your in-laws, even in New Orleans, you're probably not partying all that hard anyhow.  When we moved from Oklahoma to Washington almost 2 years ago, I saw how hard it was for G to leave his family.  It was hard on all of them too.  So I started an Instagram account and connected with my sisters-in-law and MIL and I make sure that I post regularly about our life together.  I do the same on Facebook and here, on this blog, I chronicle our adventures (well, some of them) in an effort to keep us connected.  But it's not enough. You gotta see people face to face once in awhile.  I'm also lucky to really enjoy my in-laws, who are considerate, thoughtful, and kind people.

So we're visiting. We've gone to Natchitoches and have had a good time.

There were family game nights every night, and lots and lots of sweet tea.  Miss Ladybug has her yoyo (grandpa) wrapped around her little finger.  Those two are definitely in cahoots.

Ladybug gets sips of his sweet tea and she loves him so much, she passes out on his shoulder.   Cahoots, I say.

Anyway, Yoyo has to go back to work and the next day, Debbie (my MIL) takes us out and about. We begin with Strawns. It's a chain, and I'm sure they serve other things in their cafeteria-style restaurant, but all I saw was pie.  Banana, strawberry, and chocolate.  Homemade, no fake foods.  That was lunch.  They were out of banana, but we were assured we'd get another chance.  I was trying to be all delicate and stuff- I mean I was in polite company- but I could've easily eaten an entire pie (maybe a couple of them), and we reluctantly went on our way.

To go shopping.

Charming Charlies is a cute, cute, cute little accessory store. I loved it because they have everything organized by color and not by item.  So in the green section you'd see green scarves, necklaces, hats, and a few dresses.  Nice, right? Right.

I never buy myself jewelry.  I don't know why- it seems self indulgent.  And G and I agreed that he wouldn't have to buy me jewelry.  I guess I meant to get around to buying some but it never seemed like the time.  Debbie heard this and whipped out a wad of cash.  "You go pick yourself out something and I'm paying for it!" "No thanks, I'm good."

My words of protest fell on stone deaf ears.  I know that aspect; her son gets that way when he's set on a particular course of action and will hear nothing else.  I sighed internally and tucked the cash into my bra as dramatically as I could.  She acts like I'm her daughter or something.
Oh.  How sweet! I'm not sure I've ever experienced that before, except with Charlotte. But that's when she's insisting on paying for our margaritas!

G and I wandered about the store.  We looked at so many possibilities!
Tiaras! I always wanted a tiara!

And lots of pearls...

And a gorgeous clutch I would never use but would love

More beautiful clutches

Do you see why this took over an hour?

Iridescent in purple, red, and beige.

So finally, I settled on a beautiful statement necklace... 

And a gold and green necklace/earrings combo. 

There is just one catch: every time I get a compliment, I say "My Mother-In-Law has great taste!", which I happily do, because inevitably someone will comment on my pretty jewelry. 

Also in cahoots

We packed up and headed out of Charming Charlie's and off to a few other stores. 

 I can't believe we found- in Shreveport, LA- a Rogue beer made with VooDoo Donut's bacon maple donut!! Holy S$%#!!
And Easter is coming too... 

Our last stop that day was a casino. In LA, you can't have a casino, unless you use that loophole where it's on a riverboat.  There aren't any riverboats in Shreveport, so in a "sure, we're not just paying politicians off" move, there is a moat dug around the casino and filled with water.  Then the moat is covered over with walkways.  

They got my money anyway. Debbie, G and I all decided to split up and take the same amount of cash.  Debbie and I came back with the same amount, $0.  G? Yeah, he had all of it since he doesn't gamble.  :) 

The other highlight of the trip was spending time with Stashia. I have never had a pedicure before, and as it turns out, neither has she.  While Debbie and Dormilee (her mom) were getting their hair done (with Ladybug in tow), we ditched G and his dad at a bookstore and got our toes did.  We skipped to the Starbucks next-door and grabbed a bit of caffeine, then both picked out purple polish and waited to see what would happen next.  
I loved this part!

Pedicure selfie!
Look at them toes!

 The pedicure was fun. There was soaking, massage chairs, and of course, coffee and conversation.  The uncomfortable part was when the lady took what looked like a rasp to my feet.  I thought she was going to file off my toe prints.  I guess now, if I commit a barefoot crime, they'll never catch me.

While we were hanging out, some lady with an appointment came in.  The technician took her to the back room, and 10 minutes later, both came out.  The lady looked embarrassed and beat a hasty retreat.  The tech said several sharp things in Vietnamese to her fellow nail techs- who turned in unison to stare at the fleeing woman.  

I don't care what your primary language is: When someone does something bad or stupid, you can always tell.  Indignation and shame both translate easily. 

With beautiful feet and caffeinated bodies, we went about our day and had a family dinner out so we could get some cajun style food.  I got the fried crawdads but passed on the alligator.   

Finally, we had to leave. We had a last lunch with everyone - including lots of sweet tea- and dropped off our rental car at the airport. Goodbye, Louisiana! 


Twenty seven hours later we actually left the state.  Without complaining too much, let's just say that weather, incompetence and a wish to never, ever use American Airlines or the Shreveport airport ever again have been burned into my mind.  One example: as we stood in line for three hours, a lady in a wheelchair was behind us the whole time.  Nobody thought to move her forward; we ended up getting to the front (finally) and we gave her our place. That put us dead last. I tweeted my frustration and all that American said in return was that it was nice of us.  Seriously? It wasn't nice- an elderly woman in a wheelchair should NEVER be neglected. We are not that society. After so long, we looked bad: Tired, disheveled, and a bit defeated.  When we finally left (on United Airlines) we made it to Denver where we had to run to catch our connecting flight.  I had an asthma attack. The air there is thin and my lungs were burning. Burning.  But we made it, even if I spent the next few days laying low.  We made it to Seattle and even made our bus home to Ellensburg, where we arrived at almost 1 a.m.  

Finally, a short one-mile walk with my suitcase in tow and we were home. Safe at home with a snuggly kitty and our own bed. I am never leaving home again. 

Well, for now.