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Old 05-20-2009, 09:45 AM   #76
HoneyLSU
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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
Before reading all these replies, I had NO clue what the Sugar Bowl even was. Our cousin mentioned it was the Sugar Bowl, but Joe and I were like "Uh, okay?" Neither of us understand football, let alone know anything about college football!

And no worries, this isn't really off topic (and I don't mind if it was! ) It's SO GOOD for me to hear this stuff to prepare our family. None of us would enjoy that atmosphere...so this is excellent advice!

HoneyLSU, first, thank you for reading!! Second, I will be needing advice! And lots of it I think!

So the Sugar Bowl is on January 1? Is it JUST January 1? Or does it continue on for a couple days?

I am making a note to make sure we are landed and at the hotel in the afternoon-I was thinking a later flight so we could enjoy Disney more, but avoiding crazy New Orleans will be a better idea. We'll just have a 'hotel night' and avoid everything. Both the hotels for the wedding (yep, they have a block, and we are reserved in them already, yay!) are in the French Quarter, is that where it gets nutty? Does it last all night?

I can picture myself leaning out our hotel room window snapping pictures at the crowds.

SoonerGirl, I'm so sorry that whole mix up happened with the $900 and tickets! What a pain. That would have put me in a very bad mood too, esp if that is what you were coming to the City for!
The Sugar Bowl is the night of the 1st and I don't think you'll really have a problem with the crowds after that. The big crowds would be in the days leading up to it. The morning after we won the National Championship in 04, the city was literally a ghost town. It might have still been too early (and people too hungover) but the interstate heading back to Baton Rouge was PACKED. I think y'all will be fine in the city though.

If I were you, this is what I would do (not really sure if this is BEST solution and how well it would work, but it's what I would do to bypass the crowds). I'm assuming you're flying into MSY in New Orleans (well I think it's Kenner). I would schedule my flight to land right around kickoff and travel to your hotel during the actual game. I would say the majority of the people will either be in the Superdome at this time or in bars watching the game. If you're staying in the Quarter you can completely bypass the area around the Dome (Poydras St., Canal). Do you plan on renting a car or taking a cab? Keep in mind that the streets in the Quarter are usually one way and only one lane. Traffic can get backed up. Avoid crossing Bourbon, in a car, at all costs! There's so many people it's pretty much impossible to get a car across that street. If you have to cross Bourbon, I'd do it as far away from Canal as possible.

I don't mean to scare you with all that, I just hate driving in that city. I really don't think you'll have any problems, I just wanted you to know what was going on and how to avoid it the best you could. I think you'll enjoy yourself so much more if you have a plan set up. You know how people talk about having an awful time in Disney and they failed to plan? I really don't want you to be disappointed with NOLA! I think once y'all park though you could walk around the Quarter that night. The crowds may not even be that bad. I'll let you know a little better what to expect once the teams are announced in the beginning of Dec. But, the fact that the National Championship isn't in NOLA this year, works in your favor.

After the game the majority of the people will head to Bourbon (which is in the Quarter). The crowds may not be that big since a National Championship isn't involved (the National Championship is also in NOLA every 4 years). Here's pics from the last one LSU won in 2008 (we've won the National Title the last 2 times the game has been in New Orleans - not to brag or anything )

This is of our head coach holding the trophy on a balcony on Bourbon...


...and this is the crowd below!

Yes, they are on the actual street!

But honestly, LSU is the team that will travel the most (IF we're in this game) and even if we win the Sugar Bowl the Quarter will not be nearly that bad. I'd say the partying would go late into the night but not into the early morning. Also, as long as your hotel isn't on Bourbon, you probably won't hear much of it. I'd snap as many pictures as you could of the craziness, people may not believe you! Haha!

Ok some other things that aren't football related

Cafe du Monde - Yes! Do it! Find a table yourself, sit down and they'll come serve you. Bring cash!! One of my favorite photo opportunities there is to put the powdered sugar on your nose and take a family photo! Haha, it's so cute! I always get the frozen cafe au lait and it's AMAZING!

The French Market - It's down St. Peter's from Cafe du Monde. There's so much neat stuff to look at. It's like an outdoor flea market.

Mother's Restaurant - Looks like a whole in the wall, but the food is SO good! Sometimes there will be a line out the door, but it moves pretty quickly. It's on the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas. Pronounced: Chop-a-TOO-lis.

Audubon Zoo (Garden District Area) and Aquariam of Americas (Near the RiverWalk) - These are great! If you had to do one of the two though, I'd go with the Audubon Zoo if it's not too cold.

And just explore the Quarter. It's so full of history, I love it! Me and my BF took a ghost tour back in November and it's not scary at all. It's just like a history tour. I suggest doing some sort of walking tour in the Quarter. I always wanted to do one, but it seemed kind of touristy. I loved it and can't wait to do another one.

It really is a great city and I think y'all will have alot of fun. And seriously, if you have any other questions, I'd love to answer them!
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:34 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
Yep! Almost 30 though, just a couple more weeks! I graduated in 97. I take it you are 29, graduated in 98?
Yep. I turn 30 in September. I'm going to hide in my bedroom all day and cry about it.
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:59 PM   #78
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Brook - about the noise the night of the Sugar Bowl, I know people were out until wee hours of the morning partying, but we weren't bothered by it and our hotel was in the Quarter as well (I want to say it was a Marriott, but it's been a few years, my memory may be fuzzy!). I think they built those hotels knowing what the area can be like and they did a pretty good job of sound proofing them

We left for home on the 2nd, as I believe most people did. Like HoneyLSU said, the days leading up to the game are the busy ones.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:24 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Lovemy3babes View Post
Yep. I turn 30 in September. I'm going to hide in my bedroom all day and cry about it.

No. no, no!
What better day than to have a celebration of your very blessed life and maybe start the plans for a new Disney trip yet to come!?!?!

Maybe you can hide in your room for a few minutes with the latest Birnbaums, come out and have a Disney party with the kids , start the planning, and then cry a few tears of joy.

You'll feel young and raring to go in an instant!

And if you planned that trip to be at the same time that MeMom and crew were going to be in WDW, that would be excellent, too.



Brook, it looks like you've got some fun plans this weekend. I hope all that goes great, and I'll look forward to some good pictures upon your return. Have a great time!
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:15 AM   #80
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Signing on Brooke!!!! I've seen you over on Cammie's TRs so thought I'd come check you out!

I hate that you'll miss the shuttle launch but please make sure you tie that in some time in the future. We live about 2 hrs from Cape Canaveral and the last shuttle launch at night??? Let me just say..... SPECTACULAR! We watched it from our neighborhood and to be about 100-150 miles away even then it was awe inspiring......
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:22 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeMom View Post
No. no, no!
What better day than to have a celebration of your very blessed life and maybe start the plans for a new Disney trip yet to come!?!?!

Maybe you can hide in your room for a few minutes with the latest Birnbaums, come out and have a Disney party with the kids , start the planning, and then cry a few tears of joy.

You'll feel young and raring to go in an instant!

And if you planned that trip to be at the same time that MeMom and crew were going to be in WDW, that would be excellent, too.
Hmmm, sounds like a great idea. And meeting MeMom? That would be so much better!
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:10 PM   #82
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I'm comming out of lurkdom on this one. I don't want to be too far behind! My daughter loves playhouse disney too....I like Zefronk...he is my fav short skit!
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:28 PM   #83
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HI Brook!!!

excited to join in on another one of you AMAZING PTR/TRs!!!!

Sorry that you'll miss the launch.... next years trip will have to be planned aroung the shuttle schedule

I can hardly wait to hear how tough it was scoring a DVC ressie over Xmas....something I may be looking to do myself....soon.....

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Old 05-21-2009, 10:31 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by k_reile View Post
Brook...when is your birthday then?? It might be close to mine...June 17. You are probably at the begining of June?? I will be 29 . My husband turned 28 on May 10th and he was like...you will be 30 next year! I was like No I'm not because I'm not 29 yet. Then I got it...omg I'm going to be 30 next year! I was thinking that since I am not 29 yet then there is no way I can be 30 next year but he was right and I didnlt like him for that!
Yep, beginning of June-June 6. That is so funny about the conversation between you and your husband! 30 won't be so bad! Though, Joe just told me that this year (he turned 31 this past April) he's started to feel older! I still feel like I'm in my mid-20s, hopefully that won't change this year. I know when I hit 40 I'll look back and laugh at even thinking this though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyLSU View Post
The Sugar Bowl is the night of the 1st and I don't think you'll really have a problem with the crowds after that. The big crowds would be in the days leading up to it. The morning after we won the National Championship in 04, the city was literally a ghost town. It might have still been too early (and people too hungover) but the interstate heading back to Baton Rouge was PACKED. I think y'all will be fine in the city though.

If I were you, this is what I would do (not really sure if this is BEST solution and how well it would work, but it's what I would do to bypass the crowds). I'm assuming you're flying into MSY in New Orleans (well I think it's Kenner). I would schedule my flight to land right around kickoff and travel to your hotel during the actual game. I would say the majority of the people will either be in the Superdome at this time or in bars watching the game. If you're staying in the Quarter you can completely bypass the area around the Dome (Poydras St., Canal). Do you plan on renting a car or taking a cab? Keep in mind that the streets in the Quarter are usually one way and only one lane. Traffic can get backed up. Avoid crossing Bourbon, in a car, at all costs! There's so many people it's pretty much impossible to get a car across that street. If you have to cross Bourbon, I'd do it as far away from Canal as possible.

I don't mean to scare you with all that, I just hate driving in that city. I really don't think you'll have any problems, I just wanted you to know what was going on and how to avoid it the best you could. I think you'll enjoy yourself so much more if you have a plan set up. You know how people talk about having an awful time in Disney and they failed to plan? I really don't want you to be disappointed with NOLA! I think once y'all park though you could walk around the Quarter that night. The crowds may not even be that bad. I'll let you know a little better what to expect once the teams are announced in the beginning of Dec. But, the fact that the National Championship isn't in NOLA this year, works in your favor.

After the game the majority of the people will head to Bourbon (which is in the Quarter). The crowds may not be that big since a National Championship isn't involved (the National Championship is also in NOLA every 4 years). Here's pics from the last one LSU won in 2008 (we've won the National Title the last 2 times the game has been in New Orleans - not to brag or anything )

This is of our head coach holding the trophy on a balcony on Bourbon...


...and this is the crowd below!

Yes, they are on the actual street!

But honestly, LSU is the team that will travel the most (IF we're in this game) and even if we win the Sugar Bowl the Quarter will not be nearly that bad. I'd say the partying would go late into the night but not into the early morning. Also, as long as your hotel isn't on Bourbon, you probably won't hear much of it. I'd snap as many pictures as you could of the craziness, people may not believe you! Haha!

Ok some other things that aren't football related

Cafe du Monde - Yes! Do it! Find a table yourself, sit down and they'll come serve you. Bring cash!! One of my favorite photo opportunities there is to put the powdered sugar on your nose and take a family photo! Haha, it's so cute! I always get the frozen cafe au lait and it's AMAZING!

The French Market - It's down St. Peter's from Cafe du Monde. There's so much neat stuff to look at. It's like an outdoor flea market.

Mother's Restaurant - Looks like a whole in the wall, but the food is SO good! Sometimes there will be a line out the door, but it moves pretty quickly. It's on the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas. Pronounced: Chop-a-TOO-lis.

Audubon Zoo (Garden District Area) and Aquariam of Americas (Near the RiverWalk) - These are great! If you had to do one of the two though, I'd go with the Audubon Zoo if it's not too cold.

And just explore the Quarter. It's so full of history, I love it! Me and my BF took a ghost tour back in November and it's not scary at all. It's just like a history tour. I suggest doing some sort of walking tour in the Quarter. I always wanted to do one, but it seemed kind of touristy. I loved it and can't wait to do another one.

It really is a great city and I think y'all will have alot of fun. And seriously, if you have any other questions, I'd love to answer them!
YOU ARE AWESOME. Seriously. This is the exact kinda stuff I need to hear that you just don't find easily online or in travel books!

Thank you for teaching me how to say Tchoupitoulas! I saw that street name and was thinking "Whoa, that's the 'Are you a tourist?' test I bet!"

I love your advice about what to do-I saw some things in the tour book, but it's hard to whittle it down and really figure out what to do, so your advice helps a TON. And the Mother's Restaurant recommendation-thank you! I love 'hole in the wall' type places that are local. You really catch the culture of a place, and some awesome, unforgettable food in those types of joints! This is the exact type of stuff I like!

LOVE LOVE the crowd pic! That's pretty much how I pictured it being. I've seen crowds like that from when I used to live in NYC (New Year's Eve for example-though I never did NYE at Times Square). Thank you as well for the advice on the crowds, your idea of our plane landing during the game is gold. Seriously gold. I probalby would not have thought of that! We haven't booked our flights yet (waiting on SWA to release those dates next month), I will be sure to look for good times DURING the game. BTW....when is the game usually? Afternoon, evening?

I am relieved to hear that the crowds die out after the 1st too since that is when we'll be doing much of our touring.

We are currently booked in the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, which is on Canal Street. However, the family might want to leave on the 3rd instead of the 4th (Joe and I will probably stay until the 4th though), so because the Crowne Plaza has a 3 night restriction, we would have to switch to the other hotel they have a wedding block in - Royal Sonesta, which is on Bourbon. Both hotels have a GREAT rate for the wedding. Much cheaper than I expected! Thought the prices are $100 more expensive on NYE, the day of the Sugar Bowl and the day after!! The Crowne didn't jack their prices for the big events.

Anyway, we do not plan on renting a car, but doing the cab instead and just walking everywhere (as per reccomendation of the cousin). The cabbies should be smart enough to follow the advice you gave I'm sure, but I'm going to print it out/commit it to memory so they don't try to take us for a "tour" and we end up paying oodles out of pocket. And no worries, big crowds/driving in a busy City doesn't phase me much--I actually like that kind of driving because it's a challenge! I'm a City girl.

Thank you again for all this. As the dates get closer and I get the Disney stuff more nailed down and start to adventure more into the NOLA Unknown, I am sure I'll have questions that I'll be coming to you for! You are so awesome for helping me with this! I love hearing it all from someone who knows the City-and loves the City! You remind me of me when I hear someone is going to NYC.

Oh, and I love the idea about the powder on the nose! I can already picture Henry with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovemy3babes View Post
Yep. I turn 30 in September. I'm going to hide in my bedroom all day and cry about it.
Naw, come on, it won't be that bad!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerGirl View Post
Brook - about the noise the night of the Sugar Bowl, I know people were out until wee hours of the morning partying, but we weren't bothered by it and our hotel was in the Quarter as well (I want to say it was a Marriott, but it's been a few years, my memory may be fuzzy!). I think they built those hotels knowing what the area can be like and they did a pretty good job of sound proofing them

We left for home on the 2nd, as I believe most people did. Like HoneyLSU said, the days leading up to the game are the busy ones.
This is such a relief! The hotel we might end up switching to is on Bourbon, so I'm glad to hear it seemed soundproof. And I'm glad to hear the crowds start to thin after the 1st, since all of our touring will be done on the 2nd-4th.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:32 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeMom View Post
No. no, no!
What better day than to have a celebration of your very blessed life and maybe start the plans for a new Disney trip yet to come!?!?!

Maybe you can hide in your room for a few minutes with the latest Birnbaums, come out and have a Disney party with the kids , start the planning, and then cry a few tears of joy.

You'll feel young and raring to go in an instant!

And if you planned that trip to be at the same time that MeMom and crew were going to be in WDW, that would be excellent, too.



Brook, it looks like you've got some fun plans this weekend. I hope all that goes great, and I'll look forward to some good pictures upon your return. Have a great time!
I like your 'turning 30 party' idea! Joe is taking me on a surprise overnight, but maybe I'll pick up a PassPorter (instead of Birnbaums) and hide away in our hotel room for a bit reading, then burst out and have a good time with my hubby and whatever adventure he has planned!

And yep! We do have some fun plans for this weekend, I'm just about to share a bit on that...and I will be sure to bring back some pics! Thanks MeMom!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karajeboo View Post
Signing on Brooke!!!! I've seen you over on Cammie's TRs so thought I'd come check you out!

I hate that you'll miss the shuttle launch but please make sure you tie that in some time in the future. We live about 2 hrs from Cape Canaveral and the last shuttle launch at night??? Let me just say..... SPECTACULAR! We watched it from our neighborhood and to be about 100-150 miles away even then it was awe inspiring......
Hello and welcome! Thanks for joining in!

I am really bummed about missing the shuttle launch too. It really is one of Joe's dreams to see it up close-so YES, we have to do it at some point! (another great excuse to bring us back! ) I can only imagine how beautiful it is to see first-hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamping3 View Post
I'm comming out of lurkdom on this one. I don't want to be too far behind! My daughter loves playhouse disney too....I like Zefronk...he is my fav short skit!
Thanks for reading and posting! Today ZeFronk made veggie pizza. Yum!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILuvCrush View Post
HI Brook!!!

excited to join in on another one of you AMAZING PTR/TRs!!!!

Sorry that you'll miss the launch.... next years trip will have to be planned aroung the shuttle schedule

I can hardly wait to hear how tough it was scoring a DVC ressie over Xmas....something I may be looking to do myself....soon.....

paula
Hey Paula!
Is that a subtle hint there on your last line?!?!
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:47 PM   #86
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Wisconsin Dells: The Waterpark Capital of the World

Who would ever guess Wisconsin Dells is the Waterpark Capital of the World?

According to the offical website, www.wisdells.com, they are!

Most people only know Wisconsin for three things:

1) Cheese.
2) Cows.
3) Fireworks.


Or "Where is Wisconsin again?"

I digress.



Tomorrow morning my little family and I, along with some close friends (the Mom of the family watches Henry 4 days a week), are headed to the Waterpark Capital of the World for some weekend FUN!

We hope to be out the door by 6:30 am. Any bets on what time we'll actually leave?

My guess is 7:15.

The other contest is, "How many cups of coffee will Brook consume on the drive down?"

My guess is 5.

Not actual 8 oz cups, but like 'travel mug' or 'Caribou Coffee Medium drive-through' type cups. In real cup size...uh...an embarassing amount of probably 12 or so...

I am very excited for the weekend away. Wisconsin Dells has always been a bit of a special place for me. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and we would drive to Minnesota to visit family. We would beg and beg for our parents to stop at the Dells, and sometimes they would! It was like Disney World to us! I haven't been back since I was about 13 years old, so it will be really interesting to see how things have changed.

In addition, work has been a bit more stressful than normal lately, so 4 days off is like a dream! And this weekend is to celebrate Joe's 31st birthday (which was actually back in April, but the timing did not work out until now)

We are staying at the Kalahari Resort the first night for waterpark fun, and then a cheapy (but highly rated on tripadvisor.com) motel the second night and just crusing around the Dells, doing whatever.

So despite spending half my weekend in a stinkin' swimsuit , I'm sure we'll have a GREAT time together!!

I'll do a mini-TR sharing all the pics when I get back.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

(I better get to bed, otherwise it will be 8:15 when we finally roll outta here!! )
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:57 AM   #87
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Have a great trip! It sounds like you have wonderful weekend planned out!

Oh and a belated Happy Birthday to Joe!
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:57 AM   #88
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Have fun!!!
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:36 AM   #89
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Hi Brook!

Have fun on your weekend trip!

I enjoyed reading all the 'Nawlins talk! Years back, DH and I didn't have too much money to spend on a honeymoon, so we chose New Orleans!

We went in mid-January, though, so we missed the Sugar Bowl and were just ahead of Mardi Gras. What a fabulous city! We had so much fun! And the food! Amazing!

I'm glad that you are thinking about using TGM for your WDW trip... I highly recommend it!

Kathy
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:50 AM   #90
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I hope it's a great weekend in the Dells! I am looking forward to doing the indoor waterparks with my kiddos soon as well.

I loved NOLA when I was there. That was back in my 20s during Mardi Gras. Yep, Mop was a little wilder, crazier in those days.
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