Friday, July 27, 2012

New Orleans Vacation

New Orleans
June 30th-July 5th, 2012 

(Jackson Square)

My hubby and I had a great vacation in New Orleans. I think what stuck out to me the most was the people. I miss them. Seriously. Everybody was so friendly and laid back. I feel like we did okay staying within our budget. However, I did learn a few things about a good vacation budget:

Make a budge- We had a certain amount in mind. I put savings away from my Christmas bonus from the previous year for this vacation, so we took the cash with us and wanted to only spend that on everything (minus any big tours if we decided to do one). We didn't quite succeed on this as planned because...

Research Food Costs- We figured we'd spend quite a bit on food, but not quite as much as we did. The biggest problem was we planned on buying stuff from a grocery store and eating at the hotel (came with a kitchenette). However, we could not find one until the our last day there! And it was still kind of we had to eat out for every meal AND that got expensive.

Try to stay away from tourism- There were some tours (plantation/alligator/cemetery) that looked fun, but not worth the money. I'd recommend doing them if you really really want to because you'll regret it if you don't (I learned this by skipping a broadway show in New York), but I had already visited a plantation in South Carolina, so instead we just walked around a neighborhood and rode the trolley down St. Charles to see some of the unique houses, which was awesome. Instead of going on an alligator tour in the 100 degree humid weather we tried some alligator on a pizza :) Not quite the same, but worked. Instead of taking a cemetery tour for WAY too much money we hopped the trolley and walked around ourselves. That way we could go at our own pace. I even did some internet searching before about the cemeteries. It was perfect and saved us a ton of $$.

Don't always take the easy way- Instead of taking the easy taxi from the airport to the hotel we decided to save $30 and take the bus. Yes, it took us 3 times as long, but we got to see some of the city and meet some great people! We waited about an hour for the city bus, which we had to change buses and wait for another (20 min), but we met this awesome guy from Australia who backpacks all over the place and this other guy from Colorado. Then we walked with our luggage to catch the trolley (30 min). It was hot and we were drenched in sweat, but I wouldn't change what we did. We felt like we were really getting to know New Orleans. However, we knew better and took the taxi back to the airport when we left-didn't want to risk missing our flight!

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures 
Authors: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

    Ethan Wate is haunted by dreams of a girl he's never met. When Lena Duchannes moves into his small southern town of Gatlin County, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her. And he is determined to uncover the strange connection between them, even if it means uncovering the one secret that could change everything.

My Thoughts:
This book was a bit intimidating because of it's size and was a little different then what I'm used to reading. The first half of the book was entertaining, but I wasn't glued into like I have been with other books. The second half kept my attention and wanting to read more. It's definitely a young adult, which is perfect for me, as I'm still a newer reader. It's got high school romance, witches, light vs dark, southern voo-doo, and deals a bit with family death. I found it fun to read and would recommend to others. It's also part of a trilogy, so I will be reading the others as well.


I've been into reading lately, which is not at all how I used to be. I did as little reading as possible in high school. I'd hardly ever read even for a book report. I did read one book in high school that I still remember today and I actually enjoyed reading it. Death Be Not Proud. But unfortunately it wasn't enough to really get me to add reading to my hobby list. It wasn't until I started listing to Twilight on tape at work that really sparked my interest in reading. I ended up reading Breaking Dawn when I was 9 months pregnant because there wasn't really anything else to do... Read all of Harry Potter and Hunger Games. Now it's like I have to have a good book to read at all times. And I LOVE it. Why didn't I have this love sooner??

So now the reason for posting this. Since I've been claimed into the reading world I've had many conversations about books. Often someone brings up a book and they're wondering about it. Well now that I've been reading so much I tend to confuse the books or can't remember if I loved it or just like it. As a result I've decided to post about the books I read. That way I can remember and give my opinions on whether or not they are worth reading...not sure how valuable my opinion is, but I will share it none the less.