Sometimes, I Eat Cake For Lunch

…and other advice you probably never asked for

Month: March, 2014

Long Weekend Feels Too Short

This weekend was extra long, because the kids did not have school on Thursday or Friday (though, we were in intense meetings all day). And today is Cesar Chavez Day, which also means no school, yessss. Our Professional Development day on Friday was particularly good — I showed up armed with the skills and planning tools that my two coaches have been helping me develop, only to find that the other 7th Grade History teachers were crazy impressed and wanted access to all of my stuff. Considering the fact that I always feel inadequate, it felt good to know that I am not necessarily behind when it comes to teaching. 

New Orleans Highlights and Tidbits

*Café Du Monde: I kept thinking to myself what a great business model – there’s hardly anything on the menu (mostly just coffee and beignets) so everything is really fast. Even when the line was long we got to a table pretty quickly, and it was always efficient because the waiter took our order, told us the total, and then collected the money when he brought us our food.

*Cane & Table: This was the bar that I had decided I needed to go to after I saw it in Southwest Spirit magazine. It took us a while to find because there was no sign outside, and it was a classy escape from the touristy bars on the same street across from the French Market. For only 5 extra bucks, I got my mojito IN A PINEAPPLE. Money well spent. Also, the fried ribs with papaya chutney appetizer? I will never forget those.

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*NOLA Restaurant: This was #1 on Michelle’s To-Do list (plus it was the only of Emeril’s restaurants we could actually get a reservation to). Obviously, it was amazing (mmmm, Salmon). And it helped that EB’s incredibly generous boss told us to have fun and put $500 on the company credit card, plus taxis if necessary. Appetizers, entrees, desserts, Champagne, wine, multiple cocktails and $400 + tip later, we were very happy campers. Plus they had amazing service – I had never been to a restaurant before where the waiter gives you different colored napkins based on whether you are wearing light or dark clothing. We also really liked the waiters and manager, who were very funny and personable. Also, this meal actually moved at a normal speed – we found that every other sit-down restaurant we ate at took ages to bring our food and drinks.

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*Verti Marte Deli and Convenience Store: Marisa and Michelle and I came here for lunch because its very positive yelp reviews. We were looking for sandwiches and didn’t realize that Verti Marte was actually just a counter located in the tiniest convenience store ever. The 20ish minutes we spent waiting for our sandwich were pretty awkward because there was literally nowhere to stand that wasn’t in one of the employee’s ways, but our $12 fried shrimp and oyster sandwich was definitely worth it.

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*The Carousel Bar: #2 on Michelle’s To Do List. This is a bar in one of the more upscale hotels in which patrons sit around a (verrrrrrry sloooowly) moving Carousel, while the bartenders make drinks in the middle. We finally found four seats around the Carousel and stayed FOREVER  because it was so much fun.Image

*Pat O’Brien’s: This is a famous restaurant for Hurricanes. This was a nice part of our trip because we just sat outside and caught up for two hours while day-drinking.

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*The Garden District: Marisa and I came here for about an hour on Sunday because our waitress at Cane and Table had told us about some good vintage shopping in this area. As Marisa and I passed the Garden District houses via our cab, the ideas that we already had in our heads about relocating here turned into definite YESSES. I liked the French Quarter already, but this cemented in my mind how much I wanted to move here. Also, two amazing vintage necklaces, a vintage skirt and $70 dollars later, I was very impressed with their vintage offerings – I also enjoyed the spontaneous conversation I had in a coffee shop with a woman who couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved my vintage blue purse, and I loved that we didn’t even know each other and she whipped out her shopping back to show me the vintage purse she had purchased down the street just then.

*Our ghost tour: I really like going on nighttime ghost tours when arriving in a city so that I get a lay of the land (we did one in London and Stephen and I did one on our first night in Victoria). I don’t believe in ghosts but they are fun to go along with, and the history is usually interesting. The notable part of this particular tour was that everywhere our guide took us, there were always 1 or 2 other ghost tour groups within eyesight (often, telling very different versions of the stories our guide was telling us). I learned a lot of New Orleans history and next time I definitely plan on taking more walking tours.

*The Many New Orleans Wedding Processions we saw during our trip: This was honestly probably the highlight of this trip for me. If you’ve never seen a New Orleans wedding procession, the have something called a “Second Line”, in which the bride and groom, accompanied by a jazz band complete with a tuba, lead their guests out of the church to the venue for the reception, while singing and dancing and waiving white handkerchiefs in the air. I got really excited by all of these because they were just so ridiculous, and also because it was something that the other tourists were obviously excited by as well – we walked by St. Louis Cathedral when it was obvious that a wedding party was exiting, and there were many, many people who were not guests waiting eagerly with cameras. I think it’s such a cool part of New Orleans culture that is both interesting and is something free for visitors! We may have crashed one of these processions.

This video is from Youtube, not something I took, but you get the idea!

*Cooking Demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking: This is not something I would ever have considered doing had EB not suggested it, but I’m so glad we did. It was a 2-hour demonstration with about 50-60 people in the room, in which our very funny chef doled out historical information while preparing Gumbo, Jambalaya, Pina Colada Bread Pudding and the famous New Orleans Pralines, all of which we got to try of course. Some of what he cooked for us was better than what we ate in the restaurants too, plus they served beer. They gave us the recipes (all of which serve 15-20), so I’ll have to try some when I get home. Also, we were sharing a table with 3 ladies who were guests at a wedding procession we crashed the day before.

 

I had the best time. I haven’t felt this way about wanting to live somewhere for a long time. And then move back every summer, obviously.

NOLA Day 3

Ahhh, what an amazing place!

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Today we went to a cooking demonstration which was really fun and delicious. Last night we went to a fancy bar called Cane and Table where I got my drink in a pineapple – something I had been looking forward to for months! The ghost tour we took last night was also fun, and clearly it is a popular activity because we passed a whole bunch of other ghost tours while on ours.
Marisa and I just got back from the Garden District, which I loooved. Did some serious damage while vintage shopping, and the houses were amazing. Must spend more time there next time!>

NOLA, Day 2

So much drinking. Oh my God. Also, more beignets and delicious food. Went to cemetery, but we arrived at the same time as ten other people and it was closed much earlier than any of us expected. Also, a fun ghost tour. Now sleeeeeeeep.

NOLA

Since last night in LA, 3 of my last 4 meals have involved fried shrimp. We all really like this place- will update when more awake!

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LAX

Still full of my fried shrimp from last night. In line for more coffee as I type this. Michelle’s flight from the Bay will be here soon, and we’ll be on the same flight to New Orleans!

Good Day

Well, today definitely came together. Also, it was a weird situation where the kids were apparently Not Good in multiple other classes but were (almost) angels in mine. Weeeeeeird.

I’m flying to New Orleans tomorrow morning! For my friendaversary with the girls. It will be a short trip, focused mostly on food. Stephen took me to Hot & Juicy Crawfish tonight to kick off my trip 🙂 

Medieval England

I can teach the Magna Carta in one day, right? And make it interactive and rigorous? Without just giving them the answer? 

Great Week

This week was great. I’m proud of myself for specifying expectations and following through on them, which has yielded a MUCH MORE scholarly environment, which has led to AMAZING work by my students. I was beaming as I graded their most recent papers, I can’t believe how much everything has come together this week! 

Sunday Night

Was going to post about recent adventures in cooking, but that takes more effort, what with the images, and I panicked about waking up one hour than my brain usually does tomorrow, so it will have to wait! This seemed like a long weekend. It helped that I promised myself to keep this week simple (using individual white boards instead of creating and printing out every single element of my lesson for the kids), plus I had already planned a lot of it last week. I literally did not work on Friday OR Saturday, and I still had plenty of down time to not freak out today. Also, this week included two new dinner recipes and two trips to some favorite restaurants, so it was a great success. 

Tomorrow is day 1 of the last trimester! 🙂