My Nola experience (long, and only somewhat football-related) |

My Nola experience (long, and only somewhat football-related)


All Conference
Aug 16, 2011
A rambling set of takeaways from my trip down:

first, a rambling preamble - As a parent of a 4 year old and a 3 month old, i never thought this trip would actually happen. Up until the day before, we were all at home miserable. The baby still won't sleep. My wife is under the weather because SHE hasn't slept in months. I'm freaked over work and the increasingly high-maintenance 4-year old. SO...when we finally made the decision to get in the car and go (from Atlanta), it was solely based on the notion: "if we're this miserable here, it surely can't get any worse so what the f. let's go." This is in stark contrast to our type-A parenting and overall tendencies. The lesson learned is "Know who you are and stick with it - things CAN get worse."

-the drive in on Friday was fairly uneventful until a fateful nail found our tire on the highway near Long Beach, Mississippi. After a couple hours of delays, tears and laps around the Gulfport, MS Wal-Mart Supercenter, we were back on the road for teh last 70 miles.

-Ironically, the roads through GA, AL and MS were all great...but as soon as we moved into LA, they were absolute crap. I'm convinced the only way LSU can afford the Les Miles contract re-ups is by syphoning the state highway funds to him.

-My wife and I have a great history of trips to new orleans (where she grew up) but we quickly learned that kids and nola don't mix well. We *knew* this of course, but must've buried the logic deep down before getting on the road. It's not just the booze and sex that you need to steer them around (easy enough) but it's the stuff you CAN'T do like stroll through galleries or wait in long lines at Cafe Du monde that was most dissapointing.

-So, it was a logistical struggle but it's still a super interesting place and we made the best of what we could. We had great meals at Mother's and Deanie's (where I was excited abotu being 5 feet from Bobby Hebert but nobody else cared). Like others, I enjoyed getting the "why are the Syracuse people here this weekend??" questions from lots of folks and then doing my best to look confident when they all said "Tulane? You'll whip those boys up and down!" or some similar sentiment. I enjoyed boasting to locals and my wife's LSU friends that their game was the opening act for the cuse/tulane main event. Lots of eye rolling ensued.

-Again, due to the craziness of managing the baby, I wasn't even sure I'd get to the game. My original plan was to go solo, meet up with the board folks and have a great time. There was no way I was leaving my wife with both kids, though, so I brought my 4-year old daughter with me.

-we scalped two $35 seats for $20 total from a one-eyed scalper out front (my wife loved hearing of this exposure my daughter got) which was great.

-seats were in the tulane section but we came around the other side and sat 10 or so rows behind the main SU group (which I assume included lots of you).

-first half was great. It was the perfect environment for an "intro to live football" for a 4-year old with limited attention span and affinity for space beyond a single seat. She ate it up, loved cheering, dancing, yelling first down, etc. She must have been pretty cute because most people who walked up the steps next and past us would stop to high-five and talk to us for a minute. Again, I trust that could be a bunch of you which is neat.

-getting to go up and meet otto was great and no doubt spoiled her for how typical games work...but still made it a happy time.

-we stayed through the half and then headed back to check on mom/baby and get the 4-year old to sleep. i never leave games early, but that night i was pleased just to have gotten there, so was way more thankful than dissapointed.

-sunday we drove to baton rouge to check out LSU (my wife's school) and had a great time there. My daughter got her picture taken with Mike the Tiger so we met both family mascots within a single day. It was my second time there and that place is just awesome. obviously, the locals had a bounce to their step from their trounciing of Florida the day before.

-that night we finally were able to have everyone settled and behaved enough to get through cafe du monde, so it appeared as though we'd end on a happy note...until we returned to the room and found a giant roach. such is new orleans. 100% worth it for adults. much less so with kids.

apologies for the length here but really just wanted to write the stuff out for myself as much as to pass it on to others. To anyone my daughter and I met at the game saturday and to all we didn't, i was happy to share the experience with you and wish it could have been more.
Great post. Sounds like the trip was well worth it.
You're a great fan and a better Dad.
I think I met you..I walked up the aisle (you were near the top) and offered your daughter an Otto Face Sticker (which you turned down). Not sure if you thought I was some crazy middle aged guy.
Ha, Mark. Yep, that was us. Didn't think you were crazy at all. I just limit the variables that lead to extra cleaning whenever possible! Happy to "meet" you, however briefly! Hopefully longer next time...
A great read. Having been there , dun it more than a few times I enjoyed it.

Save a copy of it to read 20 years from now. By then, your children will be old enough to laugh at it.

You must have a gem of a wife to even attempt the trip.
Have you taught her about throwing more than one downfield pass a game? If so, she's one step ahead of Hackett.

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