Thursday, April 20, 2017

Discovering New Orleans

I have discovered a new favorite place to visit and it's less than a 4 hour plane trip away - New Orleans!  From the moment I set foot outside (at the airport) this beautiful city, I immediately had an affinity to everything.

I traveled there earlier this month with my dear husband,  daughter, son-in-law and my little grandchildren since we were going to depart from the Port of New Orleans on a cruise.  At the airport taxi queue, the taxi rep got us a taxi which didn't charge us for our little grandchild.  A very nice gesture.  And, our taxi driver turned out to be a member of the Coptic Ethiopian Church!  When he found out my husband was a Copt from Egypt, he gave him a beautiful handmade Ethiopian cross.  Such kindness.

 We arrived late at night but woke up the next morning to a rain storm.  The wind was whipping up and the rain was falling.  We decided to take a ride on the St. Charles streetcar.  It was a fun way to see some of the city.

Look at these homes that line the streets of St. Charles Avenue . . .

Such beautiful architecture . . .

I loved this sign on the Temple Sinai synagogue . . .

New Orleans is known for a style of home called "shotgun".  This was the best photo I could capture.  See how long and narrow this home is?

Look at this beautiful wrought iron fencing . . .

And those Mardi Gras beads find their way everywhere, including the tree tops!

Our second day there, we ventured into the French Quarter which was a short walk from our hotel.  We walked down Royal Street which is parallel to the famous Bourbon Street.  There were so many beautiful antique shops lining Royal Street.  I could have spent a whole afternoon looking through these shops.

We finally found Beignet Cafe and had our first taste of famous New Orleans Beignets and cafe au lait.  Fresh, hot beignets were heavenly.

Our hotel was 1 1/2 blocks from Canal street and here's the Starbucks that is located on the corner of Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue.  I love the old feeling.

On our third day in the city, we ventured back to the French Quarter.  The buildings were amazing.

This is St. Louis Cathedral  in Jackson Square.  It is the oldest cathedral in the United States.  Jackson Square was lovely and super clean.  In fact, the whole area we ventured through was extremely well kept.

Another example of the unique buildings in the French Quarter . . .

And, of course we had to sample the world famous Cafe' Du Monde beignets and chicory coffee.  Here's my little granddaughter and son-in-law enjoying these treats in the beautiful sunshine.

I was amazed at how old some of the buildings are.  One of them dated to 1826 and at one time was a bank; pre Civil War time.

My little grandson was ecstatic when this parade started through the streets escorted by the New Orleans Policemen on their motorcycles.  He collected a large cache of Mardi Gras beads!

We boarded our cruise ship on Saturday morning on the banks of the Mississippi River.  When they say "muddy" Mississippi, I can see why.  Tons of sediment passes through the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico.

We left port at 4:00 PM and didn't reach the Gulf of Mexico until around midnight.  The ship slowly made it way through the Mississippi River Delta.  This is a sugar factory that has been in business since 1909!  Louisiana is a big producer of sugar cane (I will write more about that in the next blog post).

After our five days of cruising in the Gulf of Mexico, we returned to New Orleans early in the morning.  I luckily woke up very early to capture the sunrise over the winding Mississippi River.

I love New Orleans and everything about the city.  It was amazing to discover the history of this beautiful city.  Being from the west coast, we don't get to experience such history in this way.  And, what we do hear about was in regard to Hurricane Katrina.  This city is so clean and vibrant.  I know they have had huge problems to overcome.   I was a bit hesitant to see this city probably because of some of the things I had read.  We never felt uneasiness but of course, we didn't go out late at night and took precautions as you would in any large city.  I really feel it's my "favorite" city!

There will Part II to Louisiana.  Maybe I feel a connection to the south since my Mother's family came from Arkansas and Georgia!

I hope all of you are enjoying your week and spring weather!

With my best wishes,


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Asking for your Prayers and Hope for our Shattered World . . .

I wasn't planning on writing this blog post.  But, I woke up this morning and I felt so sad.  I'm speaking of the horrific attacks on the Coptic Christian churches in Egypt.  This time the violence hit too close to home.  I'll explain . . .

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post on my other blog.  I was feeling sad and a bit sorry for myself.  But,  today I had a real wake up call.  I have nothing to be sad about in my life here in a free country.  A country where I can worship and do as I wish.  Egypt's Coptic Christians are marked from the time they are born.  How would you like to have a national ID card and your religion affiliation is mandatory on your ID?  That's how it is in Egypt.  And, your religion follows you 24/7 throughout your life.  It's a sad, sad case.

Copts make up about 10% of Egypt's population.  I go to a Coptic American church here in southern California.  We have lots of Coptic churches here in my area.  The reason the Copts immigrate to North America is because they truly have freedom of religion.  Yes, they do have churches in Egypt but their churches are filled to the brim with worshipers and the government doesn't allow them to build new churches.

As Americans, we complain of such mundane issues compared to rest of the world.  How about the terrible attack on little, innocent children that took place this last week in Syria?  You wake up and have survived but rest of your family have perished.  Family plays a main role in the middle east.  My heart goes out to these people, too.

What really got my feathers ruffled, so to speak, is I watched ABC news tonight and the announcer who covered the church attack in Egypt was quick to say how Egypt's leader is responsible for human rights abuses and a dictator.  Are you kidding me?   We are not talking about President Sisi. . . we are talking about innocent lives that were taken today in a cowardly attack!

When I said it hit close to home, the church in Alexandria, St. Mark, is the same parish that my husband's nephew and his family attend.  Thank the Lord that they are OK.  Please prayer for this shattered world that we are in and for all those who lives drastically changed today.

With my deepest sympathy to those suffering,


Friday, April 7, 2017

2017 Easter Bunnies Have Been Born!

Hello dear friends.  Sorry that I haven't written lately; I just returned last night from a fun trip with my family.  Hopefully next week, I will share some of the photos from this get away.

Can you believe that Easter is just around the corner?  Time goes by so fast these days.  As you may know, I have two little grandchildren now and it's been my custom to make an Easter bunny for them  each year.

Presenting Flora and Flopsy . . . Flora is made out of a chunky acrylic yarn and Flopsy is made out of  pure wool worsted yarn held double. 

I found the pattern for the bunny here on Ravelry
I made matching Easter baskets for the bunnies.  These baskets were crocheted without any pattern.  The insert inside is a clear deli container.  You can be creative and use whatever yarn or shape you wish to make your basket.  They take little time to make.
I think Flora and Flopsy are excited to arrive at their new home in a few days. . .

They wanted me to show you their cotton tails!  Aren't they the cutest?

And, you can't forget the chocolate chicks!

This pattern is free on Ravelry and you can use whatever type of yarn you may have leftover in your stash.  It's a fun, quick project that lets you create something for your little ones.

My best to each of you,