Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Big Easy

Back in the fall I was at an Eagleseekers charity auction, and on a whim I bought a sports package. Basically, you could attend all kinds of various sporting events (All star games, world series, PGA events, Bowl Games, etc) and they would also book three nights in a nice hotel for you. I wasn't sure I would ever even be able to use the package, but it was for charity and Jerad had told me to "buy something"
Fast forward a few months, and the Buckeyes earned a spot in the Sugar Bowl. Jerad suggested going but I still was wary that it would never work out. Not to mention that it is so much prep work and stress to leave the kids. It's enough work to leave that it makes me question if it is worth it. But.....We did it! And I am so glad we did. We went down to New Orleans for two days and we got to witness one of the best bowl games I have ever seen! We were able to leave the kids thanks to Miss Lisa, Miss Jackie, my sister and my friend Laura who all pulled together to help us work it out. Thank you all so much. Jerad and I were very grateful to have a couple days away.
So two days without kids....we crammed it all in! I am married to Clark Griswold, remember? We walked up and down all the streets of French Quarter, even running straight into the Sugar Bowl parade by accident.
We went to the famous Cafe du Monde for beignets and they were so awesome.
We toured the St Louis Cathedral, went on a historic tour via horse and carriage, toured the Garden District neighborhood filled with old plantation homes, rode on a streetcar, and saw the VERY OLD Lafeyette cemetery where the graves were above ground.

We also relaxed and got massages and ate at some really great restaurants, including Emeril's NOLA. Several times we just sat on a balcony and had drinks for lack of anything else to do. Great people watching in New Orleans. Finally, of course, we also participated in the whole Bourbon Street night scene...trying out the famous Hurricanes at Patti O Brien's outdoor bar and we may have acquired some beads (not having to do anything risque to get them.)

The coolest part was the night before the big game Bourbon Street was like the biggest pep rally on Earth. Everyone was wearing their gear. Time and time again fans would walk by, see our Buckeyes stuff, and say O-H. To which we replied I-O. And the Arkansas fans were constantly breaking out into their wild hog call, which went something like Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! (while raising hands in the air and wiggling fingers.) Hang on Sloopy was blaring out of all the bars at various times and you could sense some major excitement in the air leading up to the game. People. Were. Into it.
We ran into our friend Stephanie, who granted our Special Wish, down on Bourbon.
The time finally arrived to go to the game. Y'all probably don't know this. But it is customary to wear a feather boa to the games down in N'olans. So, when in Rome:
I got one. Masses of people flooded into the games. Everyone walking! (so different from any game I have ever been to when the traffic backs up) And Ally's Army officially made it to the SuperDome.
Our tickets were supposed to be upper deck, but the group we worked with upgraded us and we were in the corner in the 25th row. Awesome seats! I do have to say I believe the stadium was about 75% Razorbacks and maybe 25% Bucks. Possibly 70/30. Those hogs were loud too. Someone said the state of Arkansas was deserted because the entire population came to the Sugar Bowl. They had a bunch of cool cheers and were honestly so sweet and courteous that I will now be a closet Arkansas fan. They were just glad to be there.

I did get very sick of hearing one cheer throughout the two days: SEC! SEC! Everyone would chant that because the Buckeyes were 0-9 against the SEC in bowl games.

Not anymore baby. The Buckeyes pulled it off. It may not have been pretty. I may have been nervously standing and praying the entire second half. I wanted my investment to pay off and I wanted our trip to end on a good note. When the punt got blocked...UGH. But a sweet interception and the Bucks knee-d it out. They WON. And then the chant started again. SEC! SEC! This time by the scarlet and gray. I will never forget the game. (My husband was proud of me because I watched every play....)
We got the winning score in this picture, but you can't see it probably.
Terrelle Pryor thanking his fans. After the game he apologized to Buckeye Nation.

We did not celebrate on Bourbon Street. We had to get up at 5am the next day because we wanted to be home early for the kiddies. We had a great trip home and got to see their smiling faces. We all survived it without a hitch and for that I am grateful! For some reason, within an hour of being home, we had seen five spills at the kitchen table. I asked Jerad if they were always this loud? Ah, back to reality.
UPDATE on Ally:
Poor girl has been suffering with a cold/cough for about three weeks. It's been infringing on her comfort and her sleep and her swimming. I finally called down to the clinic because it had just been too long. But really, it has nothing to do with her leukemia, it is just a normal childhood illness. So, for the first time in 20 months, we went back to our regular pediatrician for Ally. It was so strange for us, but good. He is a very caring man and they were so kind to let us in the side door and take us at night when there were very few patients there. He diagnosed sinus infection and put her on an oral antibiotic. She has only had a couple days worth but I do think it is working. Friday is chemo day again. The month goes by so fast and before we know it we are back.

If you have read this far, you have made it. Sort of rambling today, but excited to jot down some memories from the Big Easy. Thanks for following our story.


  1. Looks like you had a fantastic time and you certainly deserve it!! Happy New Year!

  2. LOVE It!!!! Glad you got are fabulous!

    So happy Ally got some meds for her cold and is turning the corner!
    See you soon!

  3. Will follow every incredible detail! What a fabulous trip, nobody could've enjoyed it more. Happy New Year!

  4. I'm so glad you two were able to get away and had a great trip!!! Hope Ally starts feeling better soon.

  5. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! What a way to kick it off - -what an amazing treat for you two - I was so excited to see the new post and was hoping for a "snipit" of your trip.....
    Best wishes to you ALL for a memorable 2011 and many, many laughs, GOOD health, and the BEST blessings......
    ~ Jenny

  6. PS - Jenny G. :)))

  7. Juan and I love New Orleans, but neither of us have been there in a long time. I enjoyed your post and pictures. Way to laissez les bon temps rouler! I hope all goes well with Ally's chemo, and I hope to see you soon.


  8. I am so happy that you guys got to do something with just the two of you. You have both worked so hard for your entire family all year and this was great. What a wonderful way to start 2011 and I am so very happy that the kids did well. I too have that ugly sinus thing, I hate it. Thanks for sharing and good luck the rest of the year. Great Job!!!

  9. So happy you guys got to take that trip. Chalk up another adventure for the Barnetts! Love seeing all the pictures with your BIG smile. That makes me smile, too. And hope that Ally is feeling all better very soon. LOVE to you all.