Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super Superbowl Weekend in NOLA

I have the wonderful luxury of being invited to an amazing Superbowl party every year because of my dad and his company. Last year was mine and Tim's first year to attend, and we had an absolute blast!! Last year was great, but it was also a little crazy! The Saints made it to the Superbowl, it had been roughly five years since Katrina flooded New Orleans, and to top it all off... it was the beginning of Mardi Gras. There were TONS of people thereand lots of parades. It was an experience, but we felt like we didn't really get to see New Orleans. We walked around a little in a freezing, windy, Saint's fans filled town; went to visit a plantation; and most importantly spent time with my family and watched to Superbowl!

Here is Elena's Saints victory photo:
This year, we were so lucky to get to see a different side of New Orleans.

All day Friday, we drove up, and in the car decided that we would have enough time to meet the group for dinner at Morton's Steakhouse so I changed from my 'car clothes' to a dress and boots and did my make up in the car. It was a delicious dinner, but we were absolutely exhausted so we went to the hotel and fell asleep as soon as our heads hit to pillows!

On Saturday morning, we woke up early walked down to get beignets for breakfast at the famous Cafe Du Monde. Beignets are french donuts, but basically just funnel cakes in a square uniform. Nevertheless, they were delicious, and even Tim got in on the action!
After breakfast, we meandered back to the hotel, where I managed to fall off the bed (don't ask, but, NO.... it's not what you're thinking...) and really hurt my neck, back, and shoulder. I took half of a pain/anti-inflammitory pill and headed off to the ladies brunch at another hotel. Midway through, I got a terrible headache and stomach ache which tends to happen when I take a strong pill, it made most of lunch pretty miserable. Boo. We headed back to the hotel, where we met up with the men (my dad, uncle, husband, and brothers), and Tim and I declined to go to the WWII museum so I could take a nap and start to feel better.

Saturday evening, after I felt better, Tim and I headed up to Harrah's Casino for a little fun before the huge company dinner at Palace Cafe on Canal Street. We managed to learn how easy it is to lose your money at blackjack tables when the minimums are $15 each hand. We didn't come to win a bunch of money, but we thought our allotted $250 would last longer than it did, haha! We met this nice man from Austin who knew a lot about blackjack and managed to help us stretch our money for a while! After that, we walked a few blocks to Palace Cafe, and met the whole party for dinner. We had a ton of people, and the company paid for it all, but it was funny at the end to see one of the bosses insistent that the huge bill wasn't high enough... surely the group drank more wine than that! He is hilarious!! We walked back to Harrah's for a little while to lose what was left of our money and then headed back to the hotel.

Sunday morning, we got to sleep in a for little, then headed to IHOP...love that place, but after this trip there, I don't know why. I haven't left an IHOP satisfied in who knows how long! After breakfast, the weather was so beautiful that we decided to walk around town. We probably walked about 2 miles just looking at all of the beautiful buildings, shopping, and just enjoying each other's company. When we got back to the hotel, the concierge helped us look up times for the movie that was playing at the WWII museum. We had about 30 minutes to kill, before we headed over there, then walked about 15 to 20 blocks to the museum. It felt so nice to w
alk around town, and it made me feel like a city girl! The movie was AMAZING. I don't know how to explain it, but I'll try. There were comfy leather seats, a huge IMAX screen, and lots of theatrics! It was not just a movie! There were moving screens, a mini light show, v
ibrating seats (very cool in a war movie!), and even snow falling from the sky! AMAZING! We walked back, and had time for a short nap before heading down to the conference room for the Superbowl festivities!

There was delicious catered food and big screens galore in the conference room! So fun! We signed up for four squares in the random square game, and then signed up for door prizes and tried to guess the winning team and the total points. I chose Steelers and 49 points.... loss. Darn it! But, I didn't walk away empty handed! In the first quarter, I had the right square for that current score, and I won $125 dollars cash!! So exciting!! It was funny because all of my family was sitting at one big table... Tim and I, my parents, my aunt and uncle, cousin, brothers, and sister in law- well, I won the first quarter square, my uncle won the first random door prize ($125 in gift cards), my aunt won the second quarter square, and my cousin won the second random door prize ($125 gift cards again!)... people were starting to think we had the lucky table!!

Afterwards, we headed out with our good friend Elena and her friend Peyton for a night on Bourbon Street. We had a curfew because Peyton had to work the next day, and the rest of us had to travel long distances. We had a blast, and promised to hang out again, even if we have to travel to Tampa, FL!

Snow Day!

So on Friday, we had a snow day at school, and it was almost perfect timing for me. You see, I have been planning this trip to New Orleans for Superbowl for oohhhh.... about a year now, and I was already planning on taking a three day weekend by taking Monday off work. We were going to fly, so that we wouldn't have to drive 6 hours, and make the trip a little bit more leisurely. Well, this alleged snow storm that was going to blast Houston created an extra day. At first, I was thinking, "Great! One more day to do laundry, pack, and travel!" Well, this storm (which only consisted of ICE) only created drama for the Thompson Travel Team. I was off work, and Tim's work was so slow that he was able to leave earlier that the originally planned 8:00 PM. So now we had options... either wait until 8:00 and risk a bunch of delays, or drive and be stuck in the car for 6 or 7 hours... and be stuck driving back on Monday making for a much less fun Sunday evening. All of this debate for a bunch of annoying ice!!

Its always nice to get an extra day off work, and I loved being able to sleep in on Friday. Did not love de-icing my car, but at least I got to use my cool ice scraper!

Anywhoo... we decided on driving, but more on that and the rest of the New Orleans trip in another post!!