Play Ball!

Last Thursday, my little sister and I joined our humans at the Shrine on Airline to watch the New Orleans Baby Cakes minor-league baseball team take on the Iowa Cubs, an affiliate of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. The Baby Cakes host Dog Day at each of their Thursday-evening games. Every Thursday also happens to be Thirsty Thursday with $2 12-ounce domestic drafts, which comes in very handy for all the humans who are stressed about ensuring that their four-legged family members behave themselves for nine innings.

Technically, this wasn’t my first time at the ballpark. I concluded last year’s A to Z Challenge with a trip to Zephyr Field, as it was known them, but I only got to see the outside that day. (You can click here to read that post.) And back then, our Triple A Miami Marlins affiliate team was called the Zephyrs. Then they had a big contest to change the name and, in a bit of a controversial move, they became the Baby Cakes. It’s a play on our Mardi Gras tradition of placing a little plastic baby in our king cakes, but it’s a little odd because no one ever says “baby cakes” around here. Nevertheless, the new name has grown on us and the logo is pretty fabulous, so we’ll give our hometown team a pass. But I digress. Back to the game.

Humans and their canines have the option of enjoying the game from two different locations. Most of us sat beyond the outfield in an area of the ballpark called the levee. The nice people with the Baby Cakes set up water bowls and kiddy pools for the pups to enjoy, and there’s plenty of room to stretch your legs . . . all four of them.

Dogs are also invited to join their humans in certain sections of the stands along the first base side of the ballpark. We decided that Tallulah probably wasn’t quite ready for that level of sophistication, but we did stop by to enjoy the view.

And speaking of Tallulah, her mind tended to wander during the game. She was far more interested in the dogs around us and the hotdogs and Cracker Jacks their humans were enjoying than she was in the action on the diamond.

My big round eyes, on the other hand, were glued to the game . . .

. . . except for when I dosed off briefly. Turns out baseball is pretty conducive to napping.

My humans, Tallulah, and I say cheers to the Baby Cakes. We had a fantastic time and our hometown team won the evening we were there. We definitely plan on attending another Thursday evening Dog Day game this season. Here’s hoping we catch a homerun ball or at least have a little taste of a hot dog on our next visit.

Have you ever gotten to join your humans at a sporting event in your hometown?



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Z is for Zephyr Field. While technically not located in New Orleans (it’s in Metairie, a suburb near New Orleans), the stadium is home to the New Orleans Zephyrs baseball team, a Triple A affiliate of the major league Miami Marlins . . . so I’ve decided that it counts on our tour of the Big Easy (and Z seems like an okay place to start breaking the rules 😉 ). The 10,000-seat baseball stadium opened in 1997 and until recently served only as a site for baseball, including Zephyrs games and some college match-ups. But earlier this month the band Mumford & Sons played a successful concert at the ballpark, so it seems that Zephyr Field might be expanding its horizons in the future. (I could have said that the park will be pinch-hitting as a concert venue . . . but I decided not to push my luck.)

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Zephyr Field is even dog friendly . . . at least one day out of the year. The Zephyrs hosted Bark in the Park at a mid-April game. The first 500 fans received dog bowls. Unfortunately, my humans had human commitments that day, so I didn’t get to attend. I really need to work on getting my driver’s licence so I don’t have to count on them to take me places.

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There’s a pretty good chance that the Zephyrs won’t be the Zephyrs this time next year and that the ballpark will have a new name too. The Zephyrs, who moved to New Orleans from Denver almost 25 years ago, were named for a train that connected Denver to Chicago. (It’s interesting that The Zephyr rollercoaster was one of the main attractions at the old Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park in New Orleans, but that is not the origin of the baseball team’s present name.) There’s currently a contest to rename the team. If you have a good idea, click here. You could win some lovely prizes!


Speaking of prizes, this is the final day of my Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and I wish I had prizes for everyone who stuck with me throughout the journey . . . whether you stopped by just one day or checked in all 26. I hope you learned a little something about the city of New Orleans, my beautiful hometown.


Photo from My GBGV Life

As far as I know, there isn’t a Reader of the Year Award associated with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, but if there were my friend Emma would definitely go home with the trophy. Emma commented on every single post in my journey through the alphabet and throughout the Big Easy. Thank you oh so very much, Emma. I am so happy to count you as one of my truly amazing blogging friends. Please drop by Emma’s beautiful, informative, entertaining, and totally sweet blog by clicking here. You’ll love her . . . I promise.


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Y is for Yvonne LaFleur, a tony fashion gallery in New Orleans’ Riverbend neighborhood. In 1969, as a young graduate from Louisiana State University, Yvonne LaFleur invested 100 $100 bills in her dream. She’s been at this location at 8131 Hampson Street ever since, dressing generations of brides and debutantes, carnival queens and ladies who lunch.

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And if you tune in to the Kentucky Derby next weekend and scan the audience, chances are pretty good that you’ll spot at least a few of Yvonne LaFleur’s millinery creations.

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At this point you might be thinking, “Sounds great, but is there just a little something that I can bring home as a memento of my visit to the Crescent City?” Yes, there is. Yvonne LaFleur bath gel, lotion, powder, candles, and perfume range in price from $25 to $55.  So hop on the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar and head Uptown to Stop #299. Take a short walk toward the Mississippi River, and bring home a beautifully fragrant piece of New Orleans’ elegant history.


This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.



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X is for Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black, Catholic university in the United States. As you approach the French Quarter and Central Business District while traveling from the New Orleans airport, you can’t help but notice a cluster of buildings on the right with their green roofs. That’s Xavier University.

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Xavier traces its history to a New Orleans high school founded in 1915 by St. Katharine Drexel of Philadelphia and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a religious community dedicated to the education of African Americans and Native Americans. The four-year college program was created in 1925. The sisters ran Xavier until 1970, when they transferred the university’s administration to a lay-religious board of trustees.

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Xavier University is home to one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana. The university’s College of Pharmacy was established in 1927.

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Xavier is one of nine four-year colleges and universities in New Orleans, a relatively large number of schools for a city that had a population of less than 379,000 in 2013. Students from all over the nation and the world come to New Orleans to continue their educations. Not surprisingly, quite a few choose to stay.


This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.



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W is for Warren Easton Charter High School. Today and tomorrow, we’re going to concentrate on the education scene in New Orleans, and we’re starting with one of the oldest public high schools in the state of Louisiana. Opened in 1913 at 3019 Canal Street, Warren Easton was initially a boys’ school named for the city and state’s first supervisor of education. (My human mommy’s grandfather graduated from Warren Easton in 1930.) It became co-ed in 1952 and was integrated in 1967. In 1977, Warren Easton became a fundamental magnate school, and it out-performed almost all other schools in the Orleans Parish school system from 2000 to 2005. At the start of the 2005-2006 school year, Hurricane Katrina struck the city and Warren Easton was closed for a year.

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It’s no secret that, while some New Orleans schools like Warren Easton were performing well prior to Hurricane Katrina, the city’s education system was flawed and many students were being under served. Following the storm, the state took over the public schools and charter schools became the norm. Warren Easton Charter High School reopened in 2006 and soon the school was back on top, graduating 100 percent of its senior classes from 2011 to 2014. The Class of 2014 had a special surprise graduation speaker: actress Sandra Bullock, who adopted the school following Hurricane Katrina. As People magazine article reported following that graduation speech, Bullock “has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help rebuild the historic campus, pay for band uniforms and athletic equipment, and has also helped to open a health clinic at the school, as well as funded scholarships for graduating seniors.” Bullock concluded her graduation speech with these words:

And last but not least go find your joy. It’s what you’re going to remember in the end. It’s not the worry, it’s not the what-ifs. It’s the joy that stays with you. And I want to thank you for the joy that Warren Easton brings me every day.


This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.


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V is for Vaughan’s Lounge, located in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood at the corner of Dauphine and Lesseps Streets. Vaughan’s was featured on HBO’s Treme. If there were a dictionary entry for “neighborhood dive bar,” a photo of Vaughan’s Lounge would accompany the definition.

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Vaughan’s is the place to be for live music on Thursday nights. And when the bands aren’t playing, the jukebox is.

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If you’re lucky enough to be visiting the Big Easy in fall, be sure to swing by Vaughan’s on a Saturday night to watch the LSU Tigers or a Sunday afternoon to catch a New Orleans Saints football game. At Vaughan’s, the patrons even groove to football songs, so be sure to bring your dancing shoes.


 This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.


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U is for Urban South Brewery. My humans discovered Urban South a couple of weeks ago when they went to a top-secret Uber party. The ride-share company was celebrating a New Orleans anniversary and the first 100 people to connect with one of the Uber party cars got to bring a guest to a secret location to celebrate. My human daddy somehow connected with a special car (let’s just say persistence pays off) and a nice driver stopped by our house and whisked my humans away. Turns out the party was at Urban South, just a couple of miles from my house. Naturally my humans asked the Urban South people if the tasting room is dog friendly (they tend to ask this question practically everywhere they go). When they found out that it is, they planned a special outing just for me. (FYI, the tasting room is child friendly too. There’s even a little play area.)

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Urban South was founded by brewery president Jacob Landry, who developed a passion for craft beers when he spent a college year in Europe. He worked in education before pursuing his brewing dream. The brewery’s taproom is open Thursday through Sunday, with a wide variety of Urban South beers on tap and multiple tours each day. (Check out the website here for specific times.) There are fun board games available for humans to keep themselves entertained and food trucks make appearances so no one goes hungry.

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The  nice people at Urban South Brewery are the new kids on the ever-expanding New Orleans beer-brewing block, and we are super excited to welcome them . . . especially since they are so welcoming to our doggy friends. I hope you’ll stop by on your next tour of New Orleans. You just might see me there.


This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.

HL Does NOLA from A to Z: TIPITINA’S

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T is for Tipitina’s, the perfect Big Easy spot to enjoy local and touring music acts and make a difference in the lives of young and not-so-young New Orleans musicians. Here’s a little background on Tipitina’s from the venue’s website:

Tipitina’s began as a neighborhood juke joint, established in 1977, by a group of young music fans (The Fabulous Fo’teen) to provide a place for Professor Longhair to perform in his final years. The venue, named for one of Longhair’s most enigmatic recordings “Tipitina,” has survived in an ever-changing musical climate. In the past three decades, Tipitina’s has grown from a small, neighborhood bar into an international music icon. The venue has expanded into a two-story music venue located at the famed corner of Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas.

A portion of the proceeds from the venue are donated to Tipitina’s Foundation to support childhood music education, the professional development of adult musicians, and the increased profile and viability of Louisiana music as a cultural, educational, and economic resource.

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On April 25, the Tipitina’s Foundation presents its 15th Annual Instruments A Comin’ fundraiser. Proceeds from the event will be used to purchase new musical instruments for New Orleans-area school band programs. The evening begins with a free family-friendly outdoor street party, silent auction, and battle of the bands between two of our very best high school marching bands.

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The latest honorees will be inducted into the Tipitina’s Foundation Wall of Fame and Walk of Fame. Then the party moves inside for a special fundraising concert. And who knows? Maybe one day a student who gets an instrument provided from that fundraiser will wind up on the Tipitina’s Foundation Wall of Fame or Walk of Fame. Good music for a good cause: that ought to make an evening at Tipitina’s tops on your list of things to do in New Orleans.


 This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.  The A to Z Challenge takes a break on Sundays, but I’ll be back on Monday for the final week of our New Orleans tour.  Where oh where will we go for U, V, W, X, Y, and Z?

HL Does NOLA from A to Z: S is for STREETCARS & SISTERS

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S is for streetcars and sisters. Today our tour of New Orleans takes a little detour. This is my sister Tallulah Bee’s first birthday. Woo hoo! So we’re throwing a NOLA-sized party . . . and in a city that’s known for partying, that’s a pretty big party. The pictures above were taken when Tallulah was about four months old. We were spending the afternoon in the Warehouse District (which is also called the Arts District) and Tallulah decided that she wanted to take a streetcar ride. Shhhh . . . don’t tell her that it’s just a bench made to look like the real thing. Streetcars in New Orleans date back to the 1830s, and at one time they ran from one end of the city to the other. (You can read more about New Orleans streetcar history by clicking here.) But buses began to overtake the streetcars in the 1960s and–with the exception of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar–the lines all but disappeared. Today the New Orleans streetcar is having a renaissance. There are several lines operating throughout New Orleans, with more lines being added. The streetcar (which is run by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority) is a great way to see New Orleans. You can buy a pass–called a Jazzy Pass–that allows you to take multiple trips on the streetcars (and buses) over a set number of days. Check out the streetcar lines and schedules here and click here for more information about Jazzy Passes.

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Now back to my sister, Tallulah Bee. She looks like she’s ready to get this birthday party started, doesn’t she. (Or maybe she looks like she’s already been partying a little too much. It’s hard to tell.)

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Because no birthday party is complete without a birthday cake, we joined our human mommy in the kitchen to do a little baking while our human daddy served as the official party photographer. As you can see, Tallulah is a little rule breaker. I know that feet are not allowed on the countertops, but sometimes she “forgets” this rule. We both know that licking the beaters is the best part of baking, and I will be the first to admit that Tallulah showed great restraint as Mommy decorated the cake.

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And here’s the final product. Trust me, it didn’t look like this for very long. If you’re interested in the recipe for this dog-friendly cake (made with banana and peanut butter . . . yum!) and the dog-friendly icing, click here. I promise you it will be a hit!

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So happy, happy first birthday sweet Tallulah Bee. You’re a little rule breaker, and sometimes you’re a whole lot of puppy and a really huge pest, but you’re a precious little girl with a heart of pure Golden love. We’re so happy that you’re a part of our family . . . and we wish for many, many, many more happy years to come. Love you, Tallulah Bee!


This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.

HL Does NOLA from A to Z: R is for ROCK ‘N’ BOWL

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R is for Rock ‘n’ Bowl. So you have only one night remaining on your fun-filled NOLA vacation. You want to go bowling, but you’d also like to hear one of our fabulous local bands. Never fear . . . Rock ‘n’ Bowl is here.

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A New Orleans classic for 25 years, Rock ‘n’ Bowl changed locations following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but nothing at all changed about the Rock ‘n’ Bowl atmosphere. An article on MSN’s travel site sums up the experience:

For bowlers visiting the Crescent City, Rock ‘n’ Bowl throws in plenty of what New Orleans is famous for – food, music and fun living. Relocated after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Rock ‘n’ Bowl brought much-needed recreation to locals and travelers to the devastated city. The alley is modest in size, with 19 lanes. However, the joint is outsized when it comes to lifestyle accoutrements. . . . Plus, bowlers can top off a visit to Rock ‘n’ Bowl with music concerts, especially when zydeco, honky-tonk and blues acts fire things up N’awlins style. The venue’s stage can be seen from every lane, so the bowling can go on during shows. . . . How perfect is that?

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And it’s New Orleans, so you know there has to be food, right? So in between the strikes and spares (and the occasional gutter ball) and the featured music act of the night, enjoy a house grind burger, a little boudin douzaine, and some fried bread pudding poboy. (To be totally honest with you, I have no idea what those last two are, but they sound pretty good.) I’m off to lace up my bowling shoes . . . and I’m ready to rock. Only at Rock ‘n’ Bowl in New Orleans.


This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Please click here for a link to the challenge homepage and a list of  the bloggers who are participating.