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?


Our Least Favorite Season

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Hurricane season is our least favorite season. Autumn brings colorful leaves and cooling relief from summer’s oppressive heat and humidity. Spring marks an awakening from the dullness of winter, with beautiful blossoms and butterflies. Hurricane season just brings months of dread and anxiety. Generally at this point in the season, we’re starting to breathe a sigh of relief . . . but not this year. As I dictate this to my human mommy/blogging assistant, we’re watching Matthew approach our friends in Florida. We know a thing or two about hurricanes here in New Orleans and South Louisiana. During Hurricane Katrina, too many people were trapped in New Orleans with no means to evacuate. Today these Evacuspot sculptures dot the city.

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Residents are encouraged to meet at these spots to be transported to safety. And they’re encouraged to bring their pets. Some people refused to leave before Katrina because they were not allowed to bring their pets with them. Lesson learned from that experience, thank goodness.

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My humans have done their share of hurricane preparation. Plywood cut to fit our doors and windows rests in a storage unit. We hope we never ever have to use this plywood protection (Mommy says she hopes this is the biggest waste of money ever 😉 ), but it’s there if we need it.

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Throughout hurricane season, Mommy ensures that Tallulah and I are stocked with food, treats, supplements, and medicine. Good work on that, Mommy.

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She also makes sure that the humans have plenty of water and nonperishable food on hand. When the threat of hurricanes passes, she donates the canned goods to our local food bank . . . except the pop tarts and deviled ham. Those she eats to celebrate the end of the awful season.

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And we stock up on batteries, batteries, and more batteries. We keep the flashlights handy and pull out the portable radio. (Yes, our portable radio is practically an antique, but it works.) We even have a battery-operated fan, which I absolutely love. You might notice that a shower curtain is included in our hurricane supplies. Why, you might ask? Sometimes hurricane power outages mean that the water supply is cut. The shower curtain can be used to line the bathtub prior to the storm and then the tub can be filled with water. (The shower curtain keeps the water from leaking through the drain.) You need to have water to flush the toilet, and flushing the toilet is super important to my mommy. Trust me, you’ll thank my mommy for this tip.

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So as we watch Matthew churning toward Florida, we’re keeping our storm supplies handy a little longer. Our thoughts are with all in the hurricane’s path, from Florida to North Carolina. A number of projections take Matthew on a loop de loop back into Florida and then who knows where. My message to Matthew: You can just loop de loop yourself right out to sea and then disappear forever.


The Getaway (From Way, Way Back)

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A long, long, long, long time ago, I shared some country breakfast recipes with you and hinted that my sister and I were about to set off on a weekend getaway. Life threw a few little hurdles our way following that trip, but at long last I present to you photos and stories from the way, way back getaway.

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Tallulah and I joined our humans at Butler Greenwood Plantation and Bed and Breakfast in St. Francisville, Louisiana, for three glorious days in June. This was my fifth visit to the pet-friendly B&B (you can click here to read about my third visit three years ago) and my little sister’s first visit. Butler Greenwood is one of my all-time favorite places in the world, and I was so excited to share it with Tallulah. I started her weekend with a little ghost story. Take a look at that upstairs window. What do you see? Looks a bit like a ghost, doesn’t it? I tried to convince Tallulah that Butler Greenwood is haunted. I thought that would really scare her . . .

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. . . and that’s when I learned that nothing scares Tallulah. So we continued with our tour of the grounds–which included lots and lots and lots of sniffing–before settling into our cottage for the evening.

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The next morning we were up bright and early. Tallulah and I had tasty bacon, egg, and cheese treats to eat and my humans had a breakfast casserole to enjoy. (My apologies for not sharing a photo of the cooked human casserole with you, which I promised to do in my “BONE Appetit: Country Breakfast Two Ways” post. The casserole photos were a casualty of my human mommy’s computer meltdown following our getaway.) After breakfast, we hurried out the door so we could get in a little exploring before the rains came.

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Tallulah chose to spend the rainy afternoon working on her spoiled rotten girl bed sleeping skills . . .

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. . . while I tried out some new hairstyles. I kind of like the retro spiky punk look, don’t you?

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And when Tallulah wasn’t being spoiled rotten on the giant king-sized bed, she was plopping herself in front of the air-conditioner so she could soak up the cool air. I’m telling you, my little sister is all about her personal comfort.

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The end of our weekend in the country came way too soon. Tallulah and I thanked our daddy–as only a couple of four-legged daddy’s girls can–and hinted that we’d like to return to Butler Greenwood for another getaway when the weather’s a bit cooler. I think Daddy got the hint.


Decorating for Dogs 101

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It’s official. My human mommy’s decorating skills have gone to the dogs . . . and that’s just the way it ought to be. She decided to forgo decorative rugs in the living room in favor of dog beds. A very sensible choice, if you ask me. Dog beds are much softer than rugs, and my sister and I can move them from place to place throughout the room, depending on where we’d like to nap. True, our random placement of the beds can be a bit inconvenient (and dangerous) for our humans (who have been known to trip once or twice); but I firmly believe that dog beds trump rugs any day when if comes to a decorating choice.

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And no living room decor is complete without a travel crate. This one belongs to my little sister. Mommy thought about hiding it away in an upstairs closet. And then she thought about trying to carry it down the stairs every time she needed it. So the travel crate found a home just inside of our front door. It makes the perfect place to rest your purse or computer case or shopping bags when you come into the house. Honestly, every home should have a travel crate just inside the front door, don’t you think?

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Welcome to my stairs. Wood stair treads are beautiful, but wood stair treads plus dog paws more often than not equal wipeout . . . and I had my share. Therefore, the second story of my house was off limits. And then my human mommy found these fabulous slip-resistant carpet stair treads to cover the slippery wood. They’re pretty, functional, and machine washable . . . which Mommy says is the trifecta when it comes to dog-friendly decorating.

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Every home needs one room that is totally devoted to the dogs. Few homes have such a room. This is as close as we come in our house. The humans call this room the laundry/utility room. Tallulah and I humor them, but we know that it’s really the dog room. This is where our toys, leashes, collars, bandanas, and forbidden toys are stored. Most importantly, this is the room that is dedicated to doggy dining. It’s also the perfect place to display the art gallery that is all about me. You’ll notice that we have yet to add any Tallulah art to the wall. She’s been with us for almost a year, so I guess it’s time to give her a little space . . . just a little space.

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Recently, my human mommy has developed a doggy-decorating specialty: decorating for puppies. Puppy-friendly design simply must start with the baby gate. Thanks to Tallulah, our baby gate gets a real workout. Most of the time it’s used to confine her to the living area . . . because sweet Tallulah Bee loves to take a running leap onto the freshly made master bedroom bed.

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But sometimes the baby gate is used to prevent Tallulah from racing up the stairs, where she just knows our humans hide massive piles of treats and toys. I totally approve of this placement of the baby gate, which ensures that I can enjoy a nice nap away from a pesky little someone.

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Not all of my human mommy’s decorating choices have been dog-friendly successes. Take this glass-topped coffee table for instance. It’s pretty, but my little sister likes to rest her head on the glass. And she particularly likes to do this just after consuming a gallon of water, which means that Mommy is constantly cleaning Tallulah drool off of the glass. And when she’s not wiping drool stains off of the top of the table, she’s cleaning Tallulah nose prints off of the bottom of the table. Tallulah truly believes that she is creating artistic masterpieces on her own personal canvas. Mommy begs to differ.

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Which brings us to the television hutch . . . also known as the Golden Retriever hair magnate. This darker shade of wood was a total dog-friendly decorating fail. Mommy dusts this thing daily, and the hair just keeps coming back. She is currently looking for a paint color called “Golden Retriever Hair Camouflage” so she can paint the hutch and never see the Golden hair ever again. Good luck with that!

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And finally I present my human mommy’s biggest doggy decorating fiasco of all: a rug with a navy blue border . . . strategically placed precisely where my Golden sister and I walk back and forth multiple times every single day. And when we’re not walking on this fabulous rug, we’re rolling on it. Don’t you just love that layer of Golden Retriever hair? You see, humans aren’t the only ones who can master the art of doggy decorating. 😉

Humans, what are your best pet-friendly decorating techniques? And to all of my four-legged friends, what have you done to sabotage put your paw prints on your humans’ decorating efforts?


HL Does NOLA from A to Z: ZEPHYR FIELD

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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!

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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.

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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.


HL Does NOLA from A to Z: URBAN SOUTH BREWERY

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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.

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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: P is for THE POINT

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P is for The Point, located directly across the Mississippi River from Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral. This is where you’ll find the most stunning, picture-worthy views of New Orleans.

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The Algiers Point-Canal Street ferry is the best and easiest way to get to The Point. Just board the ferry at the terminal located at the foot of Canal Street (a short walk from the French Quarter and close to Harrah’s casino and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas). The ride is about 10 minutes and the ferry is even dog friendly. In fact, we have our very own special entrance. (For more information about ferry fares and schedules, you can click here.)

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After you’ve taken your pictures, it’s time to spend a few minutes exploring Old Algiers. Algiers is the only New Orleans neighborhood located on the city’s West Bank (the opposite side of the Mississippi River from the rest of the city). It’s also the city’s second oldest neighborhood. (The French Quarter is the oldest.) Today Algiers is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s home to quiet streets lined with colorful Victorian cottages.

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One of the neighborhood’s most magnificent buildings is the Algiers Courthouse, built in 1896 following the 1895 fire that destroyed the previous courthouse and much of Algiers.

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Before heading back to the ferry, grab a quick bite to eat and a beverage at one of Algiers’ many restaurants and watering holes. The Old Point Bar is the quintessential neighborhood dive bar and a great place to listen to a little  live music. Just make sure you don’t miss that last ferry back to the city. The cab and Uber rates are significantly higher than that ferry fare. 😉

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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.