Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sugar Bowl 2011

We had an awesome time in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. So awesome that I came home and took several days to recover and even ended up with bronchitis. But that is the price of mid-20's fun in your mid-30's.

New Orleans was absolutely packed for the game. I haven't seen that many people there since I went for Mardi Gras in 1998. AT&T proved how crappy they are once again and nobody's iPhone worked all weekend. It is quite tricky to find people on a crowded Bourbon street when you can't make a phone call and texts take 10 minutes to get through.

Our hotel was nice - the W French Quarter. Brad had a bunch of points. That hotel is mainly great for its location in the quarter. It's rather small and the gym, spa, restaurant, etc. are all located over at the W Convention Center, which is much larger. For what we wanted it for - location near the action - it was great, though.

We had some awesome food while we were down there - beignets, gumbo, poboys, bread pudding, cassoulet - even some shrimp corn dogs. We had dinner one night at Cafe Adelaide, which was delicious. There's a neat bar next to it - the Swizzle Stick. Another night we ate at Muriel's on Jackson Square, which was also good, but not quite.
yay beignets!

The drinks weren't bad either. I forgot how good the hurricanes were at Pat O'Briens. They even have a to-go window! The other popular drink down there is the Hand Grenade, but to me they were too sweet. It was like drinking a Jolly Rancher.

Mostly it was fun just going out at night with all the other fans, having drinks, enjoying the live music and getting into all sorts of trouble. Below are our friends we went with. Photos have been limited to those that protect the innocent. Or I guess those of us who like to think we're innocent. :)
During the days, we just walked around and checked out the French Quarter. Also went to the aquarium, which is impressive. I wasn't expecting it to be as awesome as it was. They have a huge tank full of sharks, turtles and stingrays that I could have watched all day long.
I also thought about having my fortune read in Jackson Square, but inflation has obviously hit the palm readers. $20 for a basic reading, $40 if you add the tarot cards. I think I'll just take my chances, thank you very much.

We got to go to an awesome pre-game party on a balcony and watch all the fans walk by. An Arkansas celebrity, Jermain Taylor, was there. People were yelling up from the street the whole time he was up on the balcony. I guess he used to play football and now he's a boxer? At any rate, the giant diamond studs in his ears suggested he was someone important. He's a super nice guy. I enjoyed talking to his wife - she was very funny.
The game was a heart breaker, though we had a great time and screamed our heads off for the Hogs. They shut down the roads between Bourbon Street and the Superdome and we walked with all the other fans - that was definitely a highlight. So much fun. It was anyone's game up until the end and unfortunately Ohio State ended up taking it. We walked back to the hotel in almost-silence and stayed off Bourbon Street after that.
The next day it was time to go home. I think I slept the entire flight for both flights. I had a long layover at DFW so got some Mexican food and a chair massage. Very nice!

As expected, it was great to get back home and see Charlie. He has been so sweet and snuggly lately. I got lots of hugs that night and the next day. It was a fun trip, but fun to get home too.

1 comment:

Kirsti said...

I went to Mardi Gras in 1998, too. How funny!