February 13, 2013


Dear Kurt,

Our trip to New Orleans has been in the planning books for quite some time. Two years ago you and Brent went to the Super Bowl in Dallas to sell programs. You guys had so much fun you decided this year we would all go together: Brent, Brooke, you and me.

Long story short: Months after we bought our plane tickets and reserved our hotel rooms, our friend, Owen, found out he didn't get the bid to sell programs for the Super Bowl this year. We decided New Orleans would still be a fun place to visit. Then, Brent's daughter blew up YouTube with a video of her playing football. She, Brent and Brooke ended up with an invite to sit with NFL commissioner in his booth for the Super Bowl. Along with all the other press, shows, and parties Sam received invites to, New Orleans was quickly becoming a you and me trip. I was still stoked to go on our little va-cay.

We spent all day Thursday traveling: car ride to Salt Lake City, flight to Atlanta, Then flight to Mississippi. Our hotel was in Mississippi, a little over an hour outside of New Orleans.

Our Friday went something like this:

First we went on a swamp tour, which was one of our favorite things we did.

Then, as part of Sam's entourage, we received media passes into the NFL experience. You were like a kid in a candy store here.

After that we made our way through the crazy crowds and busy streets. Brent even cut off several trucks in a line of many that had U.S. Government plates and read "Security" on the sides. They flashed their lights and sirens and one even passed us by practically driving on the sidewalk. But mostly we were able to speed along with them for awhile, which was helpful cause Sam was running late. 

Sam, then had to go to the Honors Awards Show rehearsal, so tagged along. We were able to see the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell and Alec Baldwin. Jason Witten showed up and we went up and took a picture with him and I shook his hand and congratulated him on winning "Man of the Year" award while you picked your jaw off the floor. It's safe to say you are a big fan of his.

That night we walked around New Orleans, enjoying the architecture, until we heard some Jazz music. We followed the sound to a gorgeous lighted street where the coolest Jazz band was playing. We stood there a listened for awhile. This was one of my favorite moments.

Saturday started off by eating beignets, juice and hot chocolate at an outdoor cafe in the French Quarter with Brent, Brooke, and Sam.

Then we walked around the French Quarter. There was a gate surrounding a park where people hang up there artwork for sell and sit there and paint. This was my favorite thing in all of New Orleans.

Next I spent some time helping Sam get ready for their honors show.

After that we decided to go find Frenchman street, which is where we heard we could experience a more authentic New Orleans. We ended up getting a little lost and driving down a crazy busy street. Our car was completely surrounded by people, most of them were drunk and were practically falling on the car and in our way. Your road rage reared its ugly head while I just laughed my head off. 

While Bourbon Street was crammed with people, Frenchman street was almost bare. Their were a few stragglers wandering the streets but most were enjoying the live music clubs. As we walked along we could help but watch our backs. We weren't use to so few people after dark. 

We found some shops and stopped in to look for some souvenirs. 

Next we stopped at a small diner called Coop's Place for dinner. There was a line way out the door but we didn't have to wait long. We ate fried chicken and Jambalaya. Too be honest, we were sort of afraid of half the stuff on the menu. We were not accustomed to southern food at all! 

The next morning we took it easy. We slept in a bit and ate a lazy breakfast in our hotel room.

We got to New Orleans just in time to make our way to the Red Fish Grill where we had reservations. It was some of the yummiest food we had our whole trip. We even tried some oysters. They tasted good but we couldn't get past the texture.

Next we walked down Bourbon Street. We didn't make it far before the mostly naked dancers and voodoo shops started popping up. We didn't stick around after that.

Then we made our way on the trolley and through the thousands of Ravens fans to the Super Dome to check out any pre-game festivities. There was live music and giant screens. I was sad we didn't have tickets to get in. We even considered buying scalped tickets.

We ended up outside of town and a Buffalo Wild Wings for the game since every place in New Orleans was either full or had a $200 entry fee. It sucked watching the game with a room full of Ravens fans.

After that, a couple more plane rides and a three hour drive and we were home.

And that was the end of our trip to New Orleans. It was a great trip and I am so glad we were able to go. I loved so much about it. I can't wait for our next adventure.

Sincerely, Lori