For the fourth of July, we took an extra-long weekend to visit Baton Rouge and Metairie.
When David, an old friend of Bryan's, visited us a couple of months ago we took him to the climbing gym here in Little Rock. He went home to Baton Rouge and looked up the climbing facilities in his area, and I think he's been climbing every weekend since! When we visited David this month, he and his friend Denise took us to the gym in Lafayette.
On Saturday we went to an Independence Day lunch with family. Bryan's little cousins, Blake and Peyton, were good hosts. As soon as we arrived, they went to brush their teeth, "because a pretty girl is here now." They made very sure Mandy knew that their teeth were clean. She wasn't terribly impressed with that, but she enjoyed their teeter totter before heading inside for a smoothie and to watch the History Channel.
We were glad to finally meet our niece, baby Emma. She's at a hard age to photograph; she's older than a blob but still too young to sit up by herself. We got a few decent shots but we're looking forward to our next visit in October, when she'll be sitting up unassisted and (hopefully) easier to photograph. I took Emma to the bookstore to pick out a book. This time I chose (a Sandra Boynton book) but it won't be long before she has opinions on this sort of thing.
The real high point of the visit, for Mandy, was the fishing trip. Bryan's dad organized a trip on a real fishing boat; they got her up at 3 am and drove to Empire. She had a wonderful time fishing and being out on the water. The only real "incident" was when Mandy (adept at peeing in the woods but never having done it off a boat) lost her balance with her pants down and fell overboard into the water.
We had a good visit, as always. We ate beignets for breakfast, snowballs at night, and lots of fried seafood in between. We visited with family and friends and came home feeling reconnected with people who are important to all of us.