Our little family of three (we left Oliver home) plus two very kind grandparents ventured to New Orleans last weekend for the wedding of our good friends. All the festivities centered around the jazzy vibe, bright culture and true spirit of New Orleans, including the jazz band and second line parade that led us from the wedding reception through the streets of the French Quarter!
In the beginning of the week, I remember feeling tired and slightly stressed trying to plan for the impending travel with our infant. In the end, we traveled fairly lightly and endured the 4.5 hours in the air as we stopped through Houston to finally reach Nola. But Oh, was it worth it! It’s easy to forget your life pre-baby sometimes and that there is more to you than your job and being a parent. My husband told me to put down the child development books and just enjoy… and enjoy we did! We love to travel, in fact, we thrive on it. It appears Devon does too– he adjusted quickly to his new surroundings and our flexibility seemed to pay off as we rolled through the weekend events without any fuss. And I can’t think of a better sensory experience for a baby– every day, Devon happily climbed into the baby bjorn carrier taking in the sights and sounds of the local artist paintings, european-inspired architecture, jazz quartets, django-style violinists and swaying palms. Not to mention the smell of beignets, pralines, po-boys, grits and gumbo at every turn! Thank you New Orleans for reinvigorating us all!
And really, where else could you find something as unique and as inventive as a biodiesel bird-shaped soap that is sold to benefit the Gulf restoration clean-up efforts after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster?
Using Louisiana clay, the soap part (made out of fair-trade, locally-sourced ingredients) washes away to a ceramic bird keep-sake which is commemorative of “restoration and recovery” efforts aimed at rescuing all the wildlife affected by the spill.
The genius behind these soaps (Tippy Tippens) also started an industrial design and consulting studio, MATTER INC, Design for Social Change, that assists philanthropic, yet business-oriented, social-change projects. I love the idea of a “benefit corporation” and the fact that 12-odd states are revising their tax codes to better serve these entities.
The innovation doesn’t end there, this holiday season Matter Inc is bringing the world new soap products made out of fryer waste from French Quarter restaurants! These soaps might even be worth licking!
Thanks for the memories, New Orleans, and a big Congratulations to our friends,