This year was RJ and Milly’s first year back in a traditional school setting after two years of homeschooling with me and that transition left me missing them terribly while they were at school.

This year, during every school break, I made it a point to plan something, anything, that would give us an opportunity to spend some real quality time together. We hadn’t visited New Orleans in a couple of years and so I decided to plan a trip. I absolutely love NOLA and since it is a tourist hotspot, there is always so much to do for families which makes it a great vacation spot for me who has only traveled once without my kids since becoming a mom.

The kids were out of school for Spring Break for a week; March 9th through the 13th. That gave us plenty of time to drive from San Antonio to New Orleans and spend a good amount of time there, having fun and seeing the sights, while also leaving space for rest and relaxation before going back to school and our regular day-to-schedule.

If I’m being honest, we weren’t thinking much of the coronavirus or the ramifications of the disease at that point. Everyone we knew was still traveling and the conversation surrounding what was happening was still, at least in our circle, this thing that was happening across the ocean and not really affecting our decisions.

We drove to New Orleans, checked into our Airbnb on March 9th, and enjoyed our Spring Break together as a family. We hopped around, trying new (delicious) restaurants, we walked around the French Quarter, played at Storyland Park, enjoyed a performance at the infamous Preservation Hall and had a family photoshoot with a local photographer. More details on all of this to come but the point that I’m trying to make is that we were simply living our best lives with much care in the world. We checked out of our Airbnb on the 12th and headed back home.

New Orleans saw its first coronavirus case on Mar. 9. which we didn’t know about until after we were gone. Just two weeks later, confirmed cases jumped to almost 600 and nearly doubled in the following three days, marking NOLA one of the fastest coronavirus growth rates in the country at the time. Then, New Orleans shut down in a big way.

It was surreal to read and watch all of the unfold in a city that we had just visited and if I can continue to be honest with you, scared the living daylight out of me. I felt like I was holding my breath, waiting for the worst to happen, for the next two weeks; hoping and praying that we hadn’t caught the virus while we were visiting.

Luckily, we are safe. The incubation period of the coronavirus has passed and we are all seemingly healthy.

This is crazy time we are living in.

Stay safe out there.

Until next time,

Ashly

 

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