30 Before 30 – Zombie Game Night

Up next on the 30 Before 30 list is Zombie Game Night.

On July 7, 2012, Zombie Game Night Finally arrived.  While we did not make it through all the games, a good time was had by all.  The always popular “Zombie Dice” started the night for us.  While Erin made a valiant attempt in the last round (10 brains before she got her 3rd shotgun), Amy came out on top!

Following that was a little “Munchkin Zombies.”  For most people at the table, this was their first experience with Munchkin, but it was a hit.  Crystal had the big win, beating everyone else to level 10.

There will have to be another game night since we didn’t get to the survival games, “Last Night on Earth” and “The Walking Dead.”

“The Dark Knight Rises”

If the media is to be believed, we’re only a few hours away from the release of “The Dark Knight Rises.”  What’s that?  It really is coming out?  OK, cool.

I’m looking forward to it, I’ll probably go see it in a couple of weeks.  Let those big crowds die down a little bit.

I am a little worried about the hype.  Don’t get me wrong, there should be hype.  Chris Nolan is a good director and has done a great job with this current trilogy.  But that’s the problem, he already did too good of a job.

“The Dark Knight” was a great movie.  Definitely one of the best comic book movies ever made.  But now the bar is set high.  People are going to be expecting greatness, and they might get it, but this movie is likely going to fall short of the previous one.  So I’m keeping my expectations in check.  I don’t want a repeat of “Talladega Nights.”  Expectations were high thanks to recommendations from friends like, “OMFG! This is the greatest comedy ever!  It was so funny I was pooping myself!”  There was no way that movie could live up to the hype.

So what does this all mean?  Not much.  Just that even if this movie is really good, it likely won’t hold up to a lot of peoples’ expectations.

30 Before 30 – Try some local cuisine

I’ve done several things on my 30 Before 30 list now, but I haven’t written up anything yet, so it’s time to get going on it!  Up first is trying local cuisine on vacation.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures, but I can tell you all about the crazy stuff we ate while in Louisiana.  Josh and I both had it in mind to just try all sorts of things while we were there.  He was a bit more adventurous than I was, but I thought I did pretty good.  The first night in Baton Rouge we got some appetizers of alligator and catfish at Parrains.  For dinner I didn’t go too crazy, getting The Vermillion, which is fish (I think it was Mahi) with shrimp and vegetables.

Once we hit New Orleans we went to a place called Deanies in the French Quarter.  One of the neatest things about this place is they brought out potatoes to the table.  Not bread or chips or anything, but red potatoes.  Oh, and they were freaking delicious!  Josh went with the oyster Poboy and I had the Crawfish etouffee.  A bit more of a fish taste than I’m used to, but it was pretty good.

The next morning we headed out to Cafe Du Monde to have some beignets.  To give you an idea what we thought of it, we went back for more at the end of the night, got more to go for breakfast the next morning, and bought a box of the mix to take home.  So yeah, beignets are freaking amazing.  Lunch was a lot more tame.  We went to a place called The Camellia Grill.  Much more traditional “American” food here.  Sandwiches and the like. It was nice to have something I was more used to, but the best part was the setup.  The whole place was counter seating with servers taking care of each row.  The guys who worked there were a lot of fun, one of them started up a round of “If you’re happy and you know it” and introduced me as the celebrity from the “Clear Eyes” ads, Mr. Ben Stein!  I dunno, I don’t think I have quite as much grey hair as he does!  But it was lots of fun.

Finally, the last night we wanted some good Cajun food.  The guy at the hotel recommended the Oceana Grill, and a good recommendation it was!  Josh had the turtle soup along with alligator sausage.  I had the Jambalaya with alligator sausage.

So I definitely met the goal of trying the local cuisine and I loved it!  And I need to send thanks to the folks at the hotels who sent us to all these places!

Louisiana Trip Part 2 – New Orleans

Here are the rest of the pictures from our trip to Louisiana.  Unfortunately a lot of the pictures from New Orleans came out not so great, and then my battery started to die (and I didn’t have a charger).  Which left me with not a ton of great pictures.  Guess that’s just a reason to back, right?

Saw this on a bin (and later on a truck). Just thought it was a fun slogan

The view from the hotel in New Orleans was not quite as nice as the view in Baton Rouge

A view of the Superdome from the rooftop pool at our hotel in New Orleans.

One of the best parts of the trip was taking a cemetery tour.  Although it was a miserable day (95 and super humid), the tour was great.  Our guide was named Bartlett and gave us tons of history of the city.  It was nice to have an honest tour (New Orleans was apparently a pretty crappy place to live when it was founded!).  Here are some photos from the tour.

A statue in the St. Louis #1 cemetery in New Orleans

This tomb from the cemetery was covered in “XXX”. According to our tour guide, people are supposed to leave an offering a voodoo tomb and make a wish, then mark the tomb with “XXX”. If the wish comes true, then you return to circle the “XXX”.

Nicolas Cage owns this tomb in this cemetery.

This tomb was one meant for groups of people, in this case, Italians. This is for people who cannot afford their own personal family tomb.

Another of those voodoo tombs.

The tomb of Marie Laveau, the most famous and most powerful voodoo priestess.

Later that night we did a ghost tour around the French Quarter.  We got to see lots of supposedly haunted locations, but again there was lots of history.  Learned a lot about the history of the homes as well as the people who lived there and helped shape the city.  Unfortunately, the tour was at night, so lots of the pictures didn’t come out so great.  We didn’t see any ghosts, but we did get to check out the buildings.

A hotel in the French Quarter

Another hotel in the French Quarter

The infamous LaLaurie House in the French Quarter.

The Andrew Jackson Hotel in the French Quarter

Louisiana Trip Part 1 – Before New Orleans

Last week we took a trip to Baton Rouge for a bowling tournament.  Unfortunately we didn’t get a lot of pictures there, but I did take several at an old plantation house where we took a tour on our way to New Orleans.  I’ll write a little more about the actual trip later, but for now here are the pictures.  This first one is the view from our hotel room in Baton Rouge looking down on the Mississippi River:

We rented a car for the trip from Baton Rouge to New Orleans and stopped for a tour at the Houmas House (http://www.houmashouse.com/), an old sugar cane plantation.  The tour was great, and we got a lot of the history of the area, which was one of the best parts of all the tours that we did.

Some art above one of the marble fireplaces in the Houmas House

This silver statue of Abraham Lincoln had amazing detail. You could see his fingernails and the veins on his hands.

This is a vampire hunting kit that was a gift from Anne Rice

The tour guide said that they consulted several voodoo priests who would not even come into the room because of this item

The oak alley leading up to the front of the house used to be much longer. The wind would blow down the tunnel, cooling all along the way and eventually coming in to cool the house.

One of the old oak trees. The tour guide said it was around 600 years old.

A fancy old Tiffany lamp

An old fountain at the back of the Houmas House

The gardens at the Houmas House were beautiful. I think the guide said there are 14 full time gardeners. I’m used to the dry heat of California where all the plants bake. The humidity and the moist ground in the south are great for helping all this foliage survive.

A photo of the wife and me on our way out of the garden.