Today got off to a great start. Holland slept in late, which gave me a chance to exercise this morning and work off some of the absolutely delicious food I’ve been indulging in since we got here. It’s worth a few extra crunches!
After a bowl of Cheerios, we packed a lunch and hopped in the truck. The last time we went to City Park, it was so crowded we could barely find a place to play, so I was relieved today to find that it was peaceful and quiet. We took a few minutes to stroll through the sculpture garden, and Holland was really excited to find a Blue Dog sculpture tucked into the oaks. She wasn’t really thrilled by any of the others, so we were off to Storyland for something more her speed.
Again, no crowds made our playtime so much nicer. Holland had almost free rein of everything she wanted to see because there were maybe a dozen other kids there. We met some really nice displaced locals (they were born and raised here but live in Florida now) and had a shady snack break with them. She coerced me into going down the big dragon slide a few times, and I realized how easy it is to forget that those things are pretty steep! I saw that she was starting to wind down, though, so we made the mutual decision that it was definitely snowball time.
Hansen’s Sno-Bliz has been open since 1939. It was the original snowball stand in New Orleans, run by husband and wife Ernest and Mary Hansen. They kept shop from early summer to Labor Day every year until Katrina. Sadly, both died shortly after the hurricane, but their granddaughter has kept the business running and keeps it faithful to her grandparents’ motto: “There are no shortcuts to quality.” They aren’t lying. The shaved ice comes from a machine based on the one Ernest built and creates the finest ice I’ve ever seen. Once the syrup is on top, it becomes the perfect slushy consistency. I had satsuma and Holland had strawberry-banana. Both were works of art and it was (almost) a shame to eat them. However, the 100-degree temperature demanded that we indulge.
Snacking nirvana achieved, we left the city and stopped to say hello to Oma at work on our way back to the house. Tonight’s agenda, jambalaya with alligator sausage, and possibly a visit to Puccino’s for another iced almond latte’ (genius!).