So, while I was standing outside in early February in freezing weather on Canal Street for over three hours, shivering with some friends and our kids and waiting for the Saints to finally pass by, I was feeling a bit sorry for my husband, who was at work. I shouldn't have.
Did we have fun standing out in the street with 800,000 of our friends and neighbors? Yep. But it was also cold and extremely crowded--in hindsight, we picked the worst possible place to watch the parade, as we were stuck behind NOPD barricades with tens of thousands of other people. (The lure of free and convenient parking at my work parking garage is what made Canal Street seem like a good idea at the time.)
After the parade was all over, we learned that if we'd been pretty much anywhere else along the parade route, we wouldn't have been boxed in by police barricades and would have been in crowds 10-15 people deep rather than 60-75. We also learned that people who got to the parade much later than us (we were out there for about 4 hours total) but went to different spots on the route were home before the parade even made it to us. Another mistake in watching the parade on Canal Street was that it was almost the end of the route, meaning we had to wait, and wait, and wait for the parade to get to us. (Dear Saints Super Bowl parade organizers--next time, please use the Uptown parade route. Love, A)
Here are a few pictures from the big event. Notice how clear my pictures of the parade are? Yeah, not so much. I did, however, get several excellent shots of the back of the guy's head who was standing in front of me, who I think was about seven feet tall. Oh well. You live, you learn. We still had a ball. Did I mention that the Saints won the Super Bowl?
The crowd when we got there, around 4:30 p.m.
The crowd gets thicker as the weather gets colder.
These guys kept us highly entertained while we waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally! A parade!
Contrast my experience with my husband's, who got invited to the parade after-party at Mardi Gras World by a co-worker. He got to park at the Convention Center parking lot, where someone met him in a golf cart, gave him a drink, and shuttled him to the party. He got to watch the Saints roll in on their floats, have drinks with them, do shots with Tracy Porter, talk to Gregg Williams, get handed one of the Super Bowl XLIV commerative towels by Scott Fujita, talk to Deuce McAlister, Darren Sharper, Mike McKenzie, and every other freaking current and former Saints player there.
But that wasn't enough. Oh no. He also got to talk to Sean Payton and touch the Lombardi trophy.
Here are a few pictures from Kenny's Saints parade experience.
The players roll into Mardi Gras World.
Drew Brees signing autographs.
One of my favorites, Darren Sharper.
Payton and the Lombardi trophy.
I'm not jealous. Not at all. Nor am I at all tired of hearing, in great detail, about how much better my husband's parade viewing experience was when compared with mine. And him calling me on the phone all night telling me a play-by-play of the evening was almost as good as being there, right? Right?