Living in downtown New Orleans has been amazing so far, and the last week has been the most exciting week so far! I attended a phenomenal concert, ate at fabulous restaurants, attended several memorable events and met countless professional athletes, including some of the greats. I spoke to politicians and public figures and spent time enjoying all of it with my friends.
One of my favorite parts of the week was seeing Train perform live for VH1. Shannon scored free tickets for us, and we were only a few rows from the stage. I adore this band, specifically Patrick Monohan, and sounded just as incredible live as he does in the studio. And there was definitely no lip-synching going on at this show. We also saw a local Jazz sensation, Rebirth, who played before Train.
(Photo above: Courtesy of Matt)
I mentioned last week that Clint and I went behind the scenes at ESPN, near Jax Brewery, in the French Quarter. We stood in the front row for ESPN Sports Nation, and we saw Eli Manning’s shy side when a band came on stage to sing an original song about him. Eli’s smile and demeanor was endearing, but I’ll admit that I drank the Manning kool-aid a long time ago. I experienced the Manning trifecta last week! Clint and I spoke to Archie the following day, and I smiled and acted silly in front of Peyton Sunday as well.
Giant Jenga at Barcadia!
Sunday I worked as a publicist since Leslie couldn’t be in New Orleans and New York at the same time, and I found myself at the NFL’s official tailgate party which was hoested by Courtyard Marriot. I already liked Courtyard, but after visiting with many of their top executives from around the nation, I love it. I met some fantastic people including my new favorite Saints football player, Lance Moore. (Seriously, what is it about people named Lance?! They’re all so handsome and nice to me! Ha..) Darren Sproles was sweet too. They made everyone feel like the most important person in the room, and that’s a cool feeling – especially when it comes from handsome, professional athletes from your favorite football team!
My friend, Ally Burguieres who owns a gallery on Royal St. in the French Quarter, designed the NFL’s limited edition official Super Bowl Mardi Gras beads which were commissioned by Courtyard Marriot, and they’re beautiful! I couldn’t resist asking the guys to wear them so they did. They also singed a couple for Ally and Me. How cool is that? Mine are hanging on the ladder bookshelf in my living room now as a priceless reminder of the fun times I had last week.
In addition to Saints players, I also got a chance to hear from the man who will likely go down in history as the greatest quarter back of all time, Peyton Manning. He was at the tailgate, and he spoke about how difficult this game would be for the Harbough family, especially their parents. His dad spoke candidly about that earlier in the week during the CNN Bleacher Report. He also presented two lucky people with tickets to the Super Bowl which was only a few hours later. (Seriously, Peyton…Would it have been too much trouble to call out my raffle ticket number? It’s okay. I forgive you because I adore you.)
Drew Brees was there as well, but we missed him because reporters were there filming a piece about Ally’s beads. It was so much fun, and I know I’ll have opportunities to meet Drew in March so I won’t sweat it too much.
After finishing up at CNN, where we saw Howie Long and Chris Collinsworth among others, Matt, Shannon, Clint and I were ravenous so we searched for a restaurant that wouldn’t have a two hour wait like Manning’s. We made our way to a snazzy little restaurant called Cafe Adelaide across from Harrah’s Casino. Clint and I were reluctant to go there because we felt the buffet at Harrah’s calling us, but as usual, Shannon was right! She made the call to eat there, and we dined next to my favorite political figure, Chris Christie. He and his wife, Mary Pat, were incredibly gracious, and speaking to him was really the highlight of my week.
In addition to everyone I mentioned above, I saw Steve Gleason and Scott Fujita, who plays for the Saints. I also stood next to Eric Decker from the Denver Broncos, arguably the sexiest man in the NFL. Thinking about hot NFL players makes me think about the one person I wish I could have met last week, Tim Tebow. It’s okay though. I’m guessing I’ll have a chance to take a picture with him at some point too.
There’s so much more I could say about last week, but I covered all of my favorite parts here. I realize this post will likely bore many of you, but it was fun to write because I relived the moments I enjoyed again in my mind. Thanks for indulging me!
I escaped to Mom’s house for the night so I could rest, recuperate and get some work done, and I’m glad I did. Now it’s almost time to head to class, and I’m proud of the four-page essay that I completed before writing this post.
I’m still tired, but I have a few days to catch up before the craziness begins again. There’s still a week of Mardi Gras left, and I’m trying to pace myself. We’ll see how that goes. Until then, as they say on the bayou, Laissez le bon temps rouler!