The whole fam damly

Okay, it wasn’t the whole family, but it was a fairly decent slice of the Ranjbars (and Mangewalas) that came to visit me last week. For Ray Ranjbar (my dad), Rob Mangewala (my brother-in-law) and Arissa (my super-cool niece), it was the first trip ever to New Orleans. Nancy (my mother) and Mina (my sister) had already been here before and I am pretty sure they love it almost as much as I do…almost.

Needless to say, I spent much of last week playing tour guide and when they started feeling a bit peckish, steered them in the right direction. Before they arrived, I had a lot of options to offer them regarding things to do and places to see, but you know how family vacations go. It was kind of strange seeing as I wasn’t even on vacation…

Anyhow, they still managed to fit in some pretty cool adventures…the ladies in the group got a little taste of carnival in New Orleans at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World while the fellas had an interesting time chasing my dad (who uses a walker, by the way) around Harrah’s.

I think what we saw was far cooler, but I suppose that’s a matter of opinion. Since it is my blog, here’s another peek…

How about one more?

Afterwards, we all went back to the French Quarter…

… and ate some delicious food at Stanley. This was my sister’s salad with fried, soft shell crab…

…Arissa debated how many toys she wanted while walking in Jackson Square and tried to convince her mom and dad that it was mandatory the toy came from that particular shop

Another highlight included going on a Cajun Encounters swamp tour where John once again showed his prowess in capturing excellent nature shots including this hawk with a fish wriggling in it’s talons,

a proud blue heron,

.a too-close-for-comfort look at a marshmallow-loving gator,
and the wind-blown affect on our hair after a swamp tour.
Though they did eat a lot of delicious food at several of my favorite spots around town (including Dante’s Kitchen and Green Goddess) I was unable to get decent pictures because it was all at night. But seeing as I have provided plenty of porn from both restaurants, I’m sure y’all can use your imagination.
It was really wonderful to see them all again, as it had been more than two years since I last visited California and they all seemed to have a great time while they were here. There was so much more to see and do, but sharing all of the splendors that New Orleans has to offer would take almost a lifetime…maybe I could convince them to move?