New Orleans to New Mexico. On the Road.


Whew—what a weekend that was!  A quick recap of the past week and (hopefully) and explanation for why the blog has been so quite lately:


Thursday:  Our amazing assistant and stylist, Amy, flew into New Orleans late Wednesday night and Thursday we spent he day with her, running errands and picking up supplies she needed to get the Pop Up for Sunday into shape—loads of wire, flowers, floral tape and ribbon from Joann’s and off Amy went for an evening of geeking out to crafting, Annie Hall on VHS and read wine—we returned to our campground on the other side of Lake Ponchartrain where we cooked a fantastic dinner and retired early.

 

Friday: Friday I had shoots in New Orleans all afternoon.  Our friend Rachel was sweet enough to set up some family sessions with her family and with some of her friends who had just had the sweetest little girl twins ever.  We all met up at the Tree of Life in Audubon Park and I spent a few hours doing some lifestyle sessions with the gang.  Then Ian picked me up and he and I ate at a great restaurant, suggestion of Rachel’s, called the High Hat Café.  We hadn’t really had much of a chance to really enjoy New Orleans yet since we were staying on the other side of the Lake, but this evening was great—we had a wonderful meal, a craft cocktail and then a quiet last night at Fontainebleau State Park. When we returned to our campsite, we found that a large ground of Methodists had moved into the campground (about 30 of them from a church about 20 miles away who were all camping together) and they were EXCITED to meet us and hang out with us.  We seem to have a pretty strong tendency of attracting older folks and this was no exception—they loved the pups and they loved the trailer—it’s always great getting to know people on the road and so far we’ve found that Louisiana has some f the friendliest out there.

Hansen's SnoBall. I'd been wanting one of these since we got to New Orleans, but I hadn't had time to get one--luckily Rachel is a mind reader and brought me one!

Hansen's SnoBall. I'd been wanting one of these since we got to New Orleans, but I hadn't had time to get one--luckily Rachel is a mind reader and brought me one!

Amy and myself post-Pop Up.  We are drinking red wine out of paper cups. Obviously.

Amy and myself post-Pop Up.  We are drinking red wine out of paper cups. Obviously.

 

Saturday:  We got up nice and early, packed up the trailer and said goodbye to our state park neighbors as we headed into New Orleans to camp for two nights at the swanky French Quarter RV park.   The French Quarter RV Park is exactly what it sounds like—an RV park steps from the French Quarter in New Orleans.  It boasts a pool, hot tub, showers, laundry, ice machine, the whole shebang—but it’s also pricey and we definitely couldn’t have afforded more than two days here.  Nevertheless our campsite was great and they parked us right next to another Airstream! We were SO excited to meet some Airstream friends….wah wah, not in the cards. Our Airstream neighbors were a young couple from Canada, driving a brand new Range Rover and towing a brand new Airstream, with 2 brand new paddleboards and 2 brand new mountain bikes.  And they slept in til 11:30am. And he walked around without a shirt on most of the time and definitely appeared to be hangover to the highest degree.  Saying hello to either of them only elicited stares and open mouth breathing.  Sad day. 


After we had hooked up and settled in, Amy came by on her bike to pick up some more supplies from the ‘Stream, have a snack and sit in the sunshine.  Then we headed off to our wedding for the evening with Alli and Patrick who were getting married at Venusian Gardens in New Orleans.  Alli found me through A Practical Wedding and her family vacations in Northport, MI, she herself born in Grand Rapids but lives now in New Orleans.  This wedding was beyond fun—more on that when I do their full wedding post but a few tidbits includes like…9 different types of cake and one of the best dance parties we’ve seen in awhile. Plus, Venusian Gardens is this awesome neon focused art gallery, so it led to all sorts of loveliness for shooting and playing with light, as shown below. 

Ian in front of one of the neon pieces at the wedding venue on Saturday night. 

Ian in front of one of the neon pieces at the wedding venue on Saturday night. 


Sunday:  Woke up bright and early to shoot a pre-wedding session with a couple who lives in New Orleans who found me through Instagram. Lacy and Josh are both teachers and are getting married in a couple weeks in California, but Lacy wanted to do some shots together in wedding clothes in their current city of New Orleans. They picked me up bright and early at the RV park and we went off first to Café Dumonde for benign and then to some abandoned factories and ended our session at the Tree of Life. It was SO much fun working with these two—not only because they were so fun and up for anything—plus, being that they are both teachers, we were able to chat a lot about all things teaching and they filled me in on all the ins and outs of the complicated New Orleans school system.  It was a fantastic morning and while I was tired from the night before, Lacy and Josh’s energy and excitement totally brought me around---I feel so lucky to have met them during this time in New Orleans. 

Bloody Mary at Elizabeth's with Ian and Rachel for breakfast. 

Bloody Mary at Elizabeth's with Ian and Rachel for breakfast. 


After our session, they were nice enough to drop me off at Elizabeth’s for breakfast with Ian and our friend Rachel, who lives in New Orleans.  Rachel picked a quality breakfast spot—1 bloody Mary later, I was digging into some amazing crab cakes and fried green tomatoes.  This restaurant was fantastic and it was wonderful catching up with Rachel, whom we hadn’t seen since our good friends Sarah and Danny’s wedding in Mexico almost 2 years ago.  After breakfast, Rachel convinced us to check out the New Orleans City Park Sculpture Garden with her which was also super fun.  Then we said our goodbyes and headed back to the trailer to shower and prepare for the Pop Up wedding at 6pm.  All day we’d been checking the forest cast for rain, but it looked clear and we managed to stay dry with perfect conditions.  We picked up Amy and all her amazing work at her Airbnb place and headed to the park.  When we arrived, no one else was using the tree, which is great—you can’t technically reserve the tree for weddings—you’re sort of just supposed to gently ask people to move if they are sitting under it and then go on with the elopement.  I’m going to do a whole other post about the Pop Up itself, so in the meantime; I’ll just say that it went fantastic. 

The Tree of Life--the site for our New Orleans Pop Up.  It is an oak planted in 1780 that still stands in Audubon Park. 

The Tree of Life--the site for our New Orleans Pop Up.  It is an oak planted in 1780 that still stands in Audubon Park. 

This is the beginning of a series I am calling "Portraits in Orange"--we called Ruth Ann "Orange" sometimes because that's what she is...Orange.  And she insists on riding in the car like this--claws dug into the arm rest in the middle.  So I have started taking pictures of her claws and any of the objects we have for the day resting there.  This picture was featured on the Coonhounds of Instagram Instagram page today!

This is the beginning of a series I am calling "Portraits in Orange"--we called Ruth Ann "Orange" sometimes because that's what she is...Orange.  And she insists on riding in the car like this--claws dug into the arm rest in the middle.  So I have started taking pictures of her claws and any of the objects we have for the day resting there.  This picture was featured on the Coonhounds of Instagram Instagram page today!

 

We left New Orleans super early on Monday morning and have spent the past few days covering almost 1100 miles in our trek towards Phoenix.  Tonight we are staying in a small town in New Mexico at an RV park and tomorrow we’ll stay at a state park near Stafford, Arizona.  Last night we stayed at one of the COOLEST state parks we’ve ever been to—Balmorhea State Park near Balmorhea, Texas.  It has a HUGE natural spring pool that is available for swimming—complete with rocks, fish and turtles in it.  When we pulled into our site last night about 6:30pm, we were the only folks in an Airstream and definitely the only ones going swimming.  We had a gigantic pool all to ourselves—it was the perfect end to a really, really, really long day of driving.  Today we drove to Marfa, which I'll do a post on in a day or so, but I will say that there is no way I am hip enough or artisti enough to live there.  

 

So—to recap—2 weddings in 2 days plus 5 family/engagement and lifestyle sessions, then 1100 miles of driving.  To say we are tired is an understatement. We’re both super excited to get to our next wedding this weekend in Superior, AZ, though and then onto Santa Fe for our Pop Up—then a couple days of rest and we’ll begin the drive back towards Michigan.  We’re hoping to take the route through the Badlands and also stop in St. Paul to visit Dale and Karen, then through the UP and to Empire where we’ll park the Airstream for the summer. 

 

Now it’s time for bed.  I promise to update more in the coming days.