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There's Nola Place Like Home

It must be the excitement-the desire to not miss a single moment of being home. That's the answer I gave my friend Holly (another expat) who asked me how I was go-go-going since we touched down in Louisiana. We've all missed a lot the past year, but for us, it's been two years since we've been back in the U.S. There's so much time to make up for, hugs to share, meals to enjoy, and new memories to make. And we've been doing it all-

Including getting vaccinated!

We hit the ground running once arrived home. Friday night we landed, Saturday morning we were at the trailhead for the weekly Community Market. I couldn't miss it! I wanted to see the vendors who had become friends over the years, pick up some goodies to bring home, but I also wanted to spend time with my parents-who were out the door at 5:30 that morning.

My mother is one of the vendors at the Community Market-she's an amazing artist. She has been as long as I've been a spark in the universe. It's always a treat to see others appreciating her talents, watching Daddy support her and help her sell her gorgeously matted pen and inks and watercolors. Her art has been all over from capitol buildings to libraries and numerous galleries-she's truly impressive in this medium-and to be there with them (and helping them dismantle their area to bring it home) was worth every drop of swelter.

Because it is that time of year, it took us less than 24 hours to find ourselves at Just Chillin' for some snoballs. I plan to do an entire write up on snoballs versus kakigori (the Japanese answer to the snoball) because while very similar one is infinitely superior to the other. Sorry y'all, facts are just facts. Jackson had been talking about his blue raspberry for weeks, and while I was torn between the Mardi Gras Mambo and my beloved honeycomb ice cream, ultimately I went with a classic: wedding cake with condensed milk and a trinity of cherries on top.

They were-in a word from my blue-tongued son-sublime.

Naturally we also found ourselves at Cafe du Monde the very next morning to continue our food tour. My parents live right down the street from one so not only is it convenient-it's dangerous. Thankfully we are all very capable of handling ourselves in such situations. PRO TIP: When you go to any CDM, the way to order like a local is this: you ask for an order-never for the beignets themselves. It's the only food they serve so they know why you're there. It's understood. There's always 3 to a plate (order) so if you can eat all three, get one order. If there's more than one person, get as many as you want and dive right in!

How do we do it? Yesterday it was two orders with two cafe au lait's and a regular milk. We should have offered extra prayers for the sinful goodness of our morning treat, but my feeling is this: God wouldn't have given someone the idea for these powdery clouds of joy if he didn't want us to enjoy them.

Goodness knows we did!

I don't like our immediate family of four being so separated, but I do love knowing we'll see Madeline next week, and Shannon will be here within two. Our hearts are happy.

We are settled in. We are with our family. We are well-fed, back behind the wheel, and gradually coming around to the new time zone.

We are home!

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