Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Wedding in New Orleans! - Week of Apr. 18th

Louis Armstrong Park
right across from our hotel!
New Orleans is unlike any city in America. Its cultural diversity is woven into the food, the music, the architecture - even the local superstitions. It's a sensory experience on all levels and there's a story lurking around every corner. ~Ruta Sepetys

Anticipation: a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen. 

Airline Sign & Ring Bearer box
This was a first for our family- traveling to a city none of us had been to and taking Oma and Opa with us.  Best of all, the underlying reason was to celebrate a joyous event- Katie and Tyler's wedding!
Many preparations were required for various reasons- Cam's power chair was headed on an airplane for its maiden voyage and Cam was graciously asked to be a ring bearer for the wedding!  We decided it may be best to show airline employees a picture and a little bit about the owner of the chair.  The sign indicated "Hi! My name is Cam! I am 8 years old.  This is my chair.  I use it to move around and play baseball. Please be careful with my chair.  This is the first plane ride it has been on.  Thank you very much!"  We also added a blank page for Delta employees to sign if they wanted to (and they did).

Chris and Cam built a ledge attached to the powerchair and the bride provided the box to hold the wedding rings.  Whether the sign Jane and Cam designed made a difference, we don't know for certain, but suffice it to say, the chair and ring holder made it to New Orleans safe and sound.  After a bit of turmoil during the flight (due to an unknown double ear infection that Cam was dealing with) and afterwards figuring out our van rental, we arrived at our hotel and promptly ordered delicious New Orleans pizza.  Maybe it was because we were all starving, but the consensus was it was most definitely some of the best we had ever had!
Cam receiving his 'ring'

The next day we had swimming in the hotel pool on the agenda and attending the rehearsal dinner in the evening.  We also found an awesome med center that diagnosed Cam and we promptly picked up some medicine for his double ear infection.

Kissing cousins :)
That evening, we couldn't wait to see Katie, Tyler, Coco, Libby, JJ and Jeffrey, James and Ally and met many other folks at the rehearsal.  Cam was diligent in his practice time and we enjoyed dinner with everyone at the St. Roch's Market.
The bride and groom presented Cam with a ring bearer gift bag- all sorts of goodies including a 'fake' wedding ring (which actually looked quite real!)

Finally, the next day was the wedding day for Katie and Tyler!  Cam couldn't wait to get dressed up in his tux and arrive early for pictures.  He and Katie's brother, James sure looked exceptionally stately in their fancy duds.  The Peterson family and Aunt Betsy and Uncle Jon were also there for the special occasion.

Our cousin, Katie, was breathtaking.  She looked striking and Tyler, very handsome.  Their marriage took place at the Marigny Opera House, a non-denominational, neighborhood church of the arts.  The church building was originally the Holy Catholic Trinity Church and was built in 1853.  The ceremony was perfectly timed and Cam fulfilled his third time
as ring bearer, with so much pride!  One of the readings during the wedding was from one of Jane's favorite childhood books.

“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.' 'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit. 'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.' 'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?' 'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.” ~ Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Following the nuptials, everyone gathered outside for drinks and appetizers while listening to a musical live trio.  The bass player chatted with Cam a bit and even let him strum the strings.  Robert was a very kind man and we enjoyed hearing his story about his family and all of the instruments they play.   Of course, after dinner, dancing commenced and Katie saved a dance for Cam, as promised.

The following morning, we all gathered again at Katie & Tyler's for a brunch catered by a New Orleans food truck called Frencheeze- so unique and incredibly delicious!  We dined on truffle fries, mac n cheese balls, multiple fresh grilled sandwich choices of buffalo chicken, pulled pork, and vegetables.

To finish out our time in The Big Easy, we toured the French Quarter, dined at some authentic New Orleans eateries, and strolled down Bourbon Street listening to a live band.
We also headed to the river where we boarded the Natchez Steamboat for a two-hour cruise down the Mississippi.  We heard a history lesson, tried some alligator sausage and loved the warm breeze on the deck of the boat.

Chris & Jane ventured over to Bourbon Street on their last evening to listen to one of the many phenomenal jazz bands.  Many thanks to Oma & Opa for all of their extra help, especially so that Cam's parents could have a little time to explore the city while their sweet son was sleeping.

New Orleans is a place we won't soon forget- the food, the music, the atmosphere, the people.  One afternoon, we met a nice man who goes by the name of Magnificent.   He insisted we video a message he had for Cam.   His message is entitled "Determination!"  Definitely a word we use to describe our awesome son!

Cam-ology Quotes:
The wedding took place in the Marigny (pronounced:  Mare-i-knee) and we made sure to say it correctly for Cam.  In response, he indicated...
"I know why Katie and Tyler are getting married in the Marigny House, because you get married there.  It has the word "marry" in it!"
Cam shared some snacks that Chris had bought him with Oma and Opa.  When his grandparents said thank you, Cam replied with...
"It was our pleasure to share snacks."
The airport provided a festival of comments from Cam.  Most notable...
"Baggage Claim is a silly name for suitcases."

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