Click Those Red Heels And...You're Back In The Land Of Cotton!

We returned from New York Thursday and readied ourselves for a "Road Trip".  We had to be in New Orleans for a 1:30 ceremony on Friday.  This was a quick turn around, but Ryan, who is in dental school there had a pinning ceremony and I would never miss something like that.  So, although I knew I would awake with a "New York Hang Over", I was ready to "hit the road" again.

Arriving home around 9:00 pm and then getting up at the crack of dawn was not easy, however it was necessary...for 2 reasons.  Caitlin also arrived home Thursday, ready for a week off from school and a flight out of town for a few days, herself.  She would be flying to Kentucky to see her boyfriend EARLY,  so I KNEW that I would have to assist her in getting there on time and then it was off to New Orleans.  Ever since Katrina hit Louisiana, Baton Rouge has now become the largest city in our state.  Merely getting through there, can be quite stressful if not carefully planned.  So, it was our hope that we could miss the morning work traffic on our way down to the Big Easy.

LSU Dental School is actually in New Orleans, but Ryan lives about a 10 minute drive out, in Metarie.  There are a couple of reasons for that.  First, the rent in the city is very expensive and second, the crime rate is a lot higher there too.  So, I for one am very happy that he does not live in the city.  But, as I said, it is a very short commute.  Robby and I originally thought we would be able to stay overnight, however, another child across the state beckoned for us to return.  Did I mention that Justin and Sarah have been building a house?  Oh...and that Robby designed the house plan and I did all of the interior decorating?  Yea, just another little project, since I have all of this free time!  Well, nevertheless, the plans would now be to get to New Orleans, attend the pinning ceremony, take Ryan to dinner and then return home afterwards (a 3 hour trip one way).

Even the best laid plans did not help upon entering Baton Rouge...the traffic was horrific!  We finally made it though and easily found our way to the LSU School of Dentistry.  We had never actually been to the campus yet, so we were looking forward to Ryan possibly being able to give us a small tour of the facility.  Meeting him there, he ushered us upstairs to the auditorium where his ceremony would take place.  Everywhere I looked, there was purple and gold...you've gotta love that LSU spirit!  We took our seat as Ryan prepared to march in with his class.

As we sat down, I mentioned to Robby that the seats were so hard, that no one could possibly get comfortable enough to doze off.  I was wrong about that, because during the course of speeches, that "New York Hang Over" I had was beginning to affect me.  It was a nice ceremony that believe it or not ended with the "LSU Tigers Fight Song"!  When it was complete, Ryan gave us a tour of the facility.  We saw the locker room where his tools were stored and the lab where he was already beginning to created fillings on his artificial set of teeth.  And, of course, I pulled the old camera out and began to snap some pictures.  Robby and Ryan grimaced about that and Robby asked how long I was going to continue taking pictures.  I said, "Let's see...that would be FOREVER.  You know, I have 4 kids and now a grand baby...I will pretty much be living with my camera in my hand."  They laughed, shook their head and sighed.

I told Ryan that we would treat him to dinner before we headed back home and to just pick a place.  There are really no bad places to dine in New Orleans; I believe some of the best food in the world can be found there.  He chose "Drago's".  Drago's was featured on the Food Network because if the grilled oysters they prepare there.  I cannot eat shellfish, but they guys ordered this for an appetizer...they highly recommend them!  After dinner and hugs and a promise to see each other for Thanksgiving, we were off to Alexandria and Ryan was off to Baton Rouge for the LSU game the next day.

As we rolled out of town, I reflected on the day and life in general.  I told Robby, "I'm really proud of Ryan.  And for that matter, ALL of my children."  All of those years of paying for private schools and living from paycheck to paycheck for had paid off.  My theory had been correct...get an education; no one can ever take that away from you.  If you believe you can do it, you can.  Oh, it may not be easy...if it was, then EVERYBODY would be doing it.  If you have a dream...GO AFTER IT!  Hey...they listened to me about something.  And it is delightful to see the benefits they are all beginning to reap.

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