We arrived into New Orleans around 3pm on New Year’s Eve, thanks to a flight change on United which put us on the first available direct flight.  We weren’t expecting to get in until 5 or 6, but were so glad to get there early.  We dropped our bags at our hotel and immediately headed to the Jackson Brewery area for the Fan Fest and Bearcat Pep Rally.  There we saw the voice of the Bearcats, Dan Hoard, take the stage for the pep rally, along with coaches, players, cheerleaders, and the band.  Along with firing up the crowd and introducing the large gathering of Cincinnati fans to New Orleans, Hoard gave this tidbit of advice, “A hurricane is like a woman’s bosom…one is not enough but three is too many.”  We spent the rest of that night testing that theory with multiple rounds of Hurricanes and some Hand Grenades as well.  I can honestly say that I haven’t seen 5am in a long, long time.

I guess there were some other events thrown into the mix that night, it was New Year’s Eve afterall.  After having some dinner at the Crescent City Brewhouse we met back up with my parents, a large group of their friends, one of my roommates from college, his family, and even more friends.  The black and red of the Bearcats had definitely taken over the streets of New Orleans.  Eventually we made our way over to Jackson Square for the annual NYE celebration there.  We were told of some baby statue that was supposed to fall.  Obviously we thought it would be like the ball in Times Square.  Unfortunately, the baby never fell.  And to make it all worse, we couldn’t even see the fireworks from where we were standing.

Obviously that wasn’t the only letdown of the trip.  After finally making it back to the streets of the French Quarter the next day, we eventually found our way to more of the aforementioned drinks.  This led up to the big team sendoff at the official hotel.  Once again, half of Cincinnati’s population was inside the hotel and flooding out into Canal Street.  Eventually the team all made their way on to the buses and en route to the big game.  After the first bus pulled away, I was able to see the large crowd that was also gathered on the other side of the street.  Everyone went crazy at that sight.  It was shortly after this when the biggest letdown came.

We all grabbed a couple more drinks and headed off toward the Super Dome for the big game against Florida.  There is no need to tailgate in a lot, as you can legally drink on the street of New Orleans, as long as you use a plastic cup.  Plus all the tourist stops and even the stadiums are within easy walking distance.  We arrived at the dome and made our way all the way up to the last row in the place to find our seats.  Yes, this was pretty disappointing, but we were surprised at how well we could see.  It wasn’t until the next day, after I could barely walk, that I realized just why the sight-lines were so good, the stairs up to the seats were gigantic.

And then the big disappointment finally came.  The game started off great, with the Cincinnati fans easily doubling the number of Florida fans.  This energy even transferred to the team with a great opening drive for the Cats.  But after a great run, a holding penalty sent the team back to their own side of the field and it all went downhill from there.  I’m sure many people saw it, if you weren’t there in person, so I probably don’t have to give a play-by-play.  It was a disappointing game, but I think everyone there was proud of how far the team had made it.  We could have easily taken off our red and black, but I continued to see it throughout the streets for the following two days.

The day after the game was Saturday, and we weren’t leaving until Sunday, so we once again spent the day walking around the French Quarter.  We first made it down to the French Market area, and then worked our way back north to Royal where we enjoyed some of the street performers, and later back to Bourbon Street for even more of those colorful drinks.  We actually spent a good chunk of time at Pat O’Brien’s this day, out on the patio, enjoying the sunshine.  The weather was pretty awesome the entire time we were there, but I can imagine that it could be pretty hot and muggy in the heart of summer.

We had an evening flight out yesterday, so again spent time exploring the River Walk, some of the Central Business District, and eventually back to the action on Royal and Bourbon.  The crowds were obviously thinning out quite a bit, but I was still shocked to see people enjoying more and more drinks.  I knew that my body had already had enough.  Though I did buy a package of hurricane mix from a souvenir shop, so I can try to make my own sometime in the future.  I’ll probably wait for the summer, as the snow back here in Denver doesn’t put you in the mood for the fruity drinks.  When we do give it a try, I’m sure I’ll be quickly reminded of our great trip to New Orleans and all the great times shared with our closest 25,000 family and friends.

New Orleans on Dwellable
2 Responses to “Hurricanes And Hand Grenades”
  1. Flip Vanderbilt says:

    You make it sound so tame. I thought we had a serious discussion about your blog entries. Put a little ass into it.

Leave a Reply