Brian in the Big Easy

Hello Canadensis!

This blog comes to you after a few days away from the office as Jaime and I headed down to New Orleans after Thanksgiving for a mini vacation.  We flew out on Friday and just returned yesterday.  It was an amazing trip!  First off, I had never been to New Orleans before, so we had a lot planned for our 6 days in the Big Easy.

We had a great time doing a little bit of everything.  On Saturday, we took an air boat tour of the swamps and got up close to a few alligators.  That was just incredible!  I even got to hold a baby alligator.  On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast at Cafe DuMonde, which is famous for their beignets (French doughnuts…delicious) and then headed over to the Riverwalk for some shopping.  That evening, we went to City Park for the “Celebration of the Oaks,” which has an entire section of the park lit up for the holiday season.  Very cool to walk through at night.  On Monday, we took a 6-mile bike tour of the city, which really gave us some wonderful insight to this terrific city, from its culturally rich roots in jazz all the way through the rebuilding of the levees after Hurricane Katrina.  Later that day, we headed back to our hotel because it was also Gameday!  That’s right, one reason we chose New Orleans as our vacation destination was because my beloved New York Giants were playing the Saints on Monday Night Football.  And, for an added bonus, the Giants were actually staying in our hotel.  So, we waited in the lobby for an hour or so to see the players leaving for the game and wish them good luck.  Turns out, they needed more than luck.  Other highlights of our trip included seeing two New Orleans music musts in guitar player Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Rebirth Brass Band, shopping down Magazine Street (a lot of cool little shops) and eating some great Nawlins cuisine from charbroiled oysters to smoked duck to cochon de lait (a fancy kind of pulled pork).  Here are some pictures from our trip…

That's me holding a baby alligator!

Me and Jaime at the City Park "Celebration of the Oaks," where a large portion of the park is lit up for the holidays.

Me with former New York Giants player Carl Banks.

Quarterback Eli Manning heads to the game from the hotel as Giants fans cheer him on!

Me and Jaime are ready for Gameday! Too bad the Giants weren't as they got crushed by the Saints.

Me and Jaime both love oysters! Here is a dozen for each of us!

Right before Thanksgiving, I got to continue a great tradition.  For the past five years on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I meet up with legendary Canadensis Alumni Jared “Groundhog” Katzman for dinner.  Our dinners are always a good time as we talk about camp for most of it.  Groundhog is doing great in Boulder, CO as he teaches technology and is an IT Director at a private school in Colorado.  Groundhog is once again looking to take time off this summer to visit camp and see everyone.  Here is a pic…

Me and Jared "Groundhog" Katzman at dinner at Kirsten's Grill in Lebanon, NJ.

If you didn’t see it yet on our Facebook page, the Summer 2011 Video Yearbook DVD has arrived!  We will be mailing it out shortly, but here is a look at the cover and DVD disc…

The 2011 Video Yearbook will be in your mailboxes soon!

Speaking of Facebook, it’s great to see more than 1800 likes on the site.  How quickly can we get to 2000?  What do you want to see on our Facebook site?  Let us know!  And, don’t forget Jason Calabretta’s new camp project called “Your Three Words.”  Take a picture of yourself with the three words you use to describe Camp Canadensis.  That’s right!  Only three words.

Here are our three words to describe Camp Canadensis. What are yours? Send your photo submissions to

Well, that’s all the blogging for now.  More next week.

Until then.  Have a great day!