2016.01.01 Sugar Bowl

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Just when you think Louisiana hospitality cannot get any better, David made us breakfast. And not just any breakfast, but huge skillets of potatoes and omelettes.  It was just what the doctor ordered for this crew.

Turns out we stayed at a Bed & Breakfast.

Turns out we stayed at a Bed & Breakfast.

Today, of course, is all about the Sugar Bowl and our family cheering on the Cowboys.  It is Oklahoma State’s first visit to the Sugar Bowl since 1945.  That sounds significant.  Heck yeah we’re going to be there.

As luck would have it, Kay works for a charter bus company and was able to arrange transportation for us to and from the Superdome.  We are definitely feeling spoiled now!  Scott, Erin and Grandma Mary didn’t join us as they were already in the city doing sightseeing, but our cousins Lynda & Neal joined us for the day to help pick up the slack.

Our group made it to the bus company around 2pm where we had our orientation with our driver, Junius.

Getting prepped for our bus ride.

Getting prepped for our bus ride.

Road trippin’ in style.

Road trippin’ in style.

Once on board, Junius endeared himself to all of us by saying, “We want to welcome the Oklahoma Rebels to New Orleans”.  KK kept a close eye on Junius and his driving the rest of the way.

Junius got us to the Superdome in no time, and then demonstrated that he’s not just another pretty face that can drive a bus.  He also took some pictures of our travel party.  Thanks Junius!

We have arrived at the Superdome!

We have arrived at the Superdome!

We were now in downtown New Orleans and had about 5 hours to kill.  The weather was crisp and was not welcoming us to just hang out outside the Superdome until game time.  We set off on a quest for a place to get a bite to eat (and to get warm).  When the first restaurant we stopped at had a line out the door, we were delighted to find a little pizza place hole-in-the-wall with many open tables.

We rarely pass up an opportunity to take a group photo.

We rarely pass up an opportunity to take a group photo.

After lunch, it was still quite chilly out, so we gravitated to indoor venues.  We spent some time hanging out in the lobby of a hotel near the stadium.  As we got closer to the time that doors at the Superdome opened, we made our way to the Sugar Bowl fan festival, held adjacent to the stadium.

If it looks like 90% of the people at the fan festival are Ole Miss fans, you have good vision.

If it looks like 90% of the people at the fan festival are Ole Miss fans, you have good vision.

Around 15 minutes before the doors opened, our group got in line.  It was cold and windy, and we were praying it would not start raining since everybody was out in the open.  

Stephanie makes it through security.

Stephanie makes it through security.

Since we made it into the stadium several hours prior to kickoff, we took some time to wander around the concourse and check it all out.  Couldn’t make it to Pat O’Brien’s in the French Quarter?  No problem!  They have one at the Superdome.  Jennifer got herself a world famous Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane at the game.  Pretty cool.

Hurricane Warning at the Superdome.

Hurricane Warning at the Superdome.

As we got closer to kickoff, the Oklahoma State band performed, and welcomed the football team onto the field.  In hindsight, it was about the most competitive we were all evening.  Pre-game festivities are my favorite because spirits are high!

We are at the Sugar Bowl!

We are at the Sugar Bowl!

The band in the shape of the great state of Oklahoma.

The band in the shape of the great state of Oklahoma.

Amidst fireworks, the Cowboys take the field.

Amidst fireworks, the Cowboys take the field.

Once the game kicked off, the enthusiasm slowly and steadily waned on the orange side of the field.  It was a butt-kicking of a game, and I tried hard not to think about how much I spent on tickets to watch the carnage in person.

During the first half, the PA announcer was recognizing all teachers at the game.  He asked all teachers and educators to stand.  There was a young couple sitting in our section just a few seats over, and the lady stood up, raised her beer, and said, “I regret it nearly every day”.  At least her misfortune provided us with a good laugh when we needed it most.

We did not have the guts or the desire to stay for the entire game.  The final score was Ole Miss 48, Oklahoma State 20, but the Cowboys only had 6 points when we got up and left in the 3rd quarter.  We called Junius and he met us at the Superdome with the bus.  We piled in and were back home in no time.

Given our early retirement, all of us went back to David and Kay’s house and enjoyed a few beers together before calling it a night.  It was not a real late evening as everybody had plans to start back to Oklahoma the next morning.

New Orleans was a lot of fun, and made even better by reuniting with good friends.

Until next time, au revoir.

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