From The Big Apple to The Big Easy

Where to start? I have so much to say, so much to cover. I will begin with the motivation of this trip. It was the BYU game. They were playing Tulane at the Superdome in New Orleans and I've never been to The Jazz Capital of the World... The Crescent City... The Big Easy... so why not? Also, this trip would put me in New York City on 9.11 and that was something I could not pass up. Tom and I were accompanied by my mom, dad and my two sweet brothers... All obsessed with BYU.

To say we had fun would be putting it lightly, We always have fun... but this one will go down in the books.

I just loved the city of New Orleans. I loved everything about it. The locals were genuine and so hospitable, I got to meet the most beautiful people. I was truly swept away by the breath taking scenery. The French Quarter put me in Architectural nirvana and riding the old rickety wood trolley to The Garden District stole my heart. The weather? Forget about it! Humid and moist and delicious. My skin finally found utopia. It rained the entire time, But we just danced in it. I was drenched from head to toe, I didn't mind one little bit, why bother with hair and make up anyway? So what did we do? Upon arrival, we asked about Bourbon Street. The locals told us the party started every night around midnight, so we put that on the to do list and headed for the swamp. We took a tour bus to some crazy swampy area where we waited for our swamp captain's arrival. While waiting we got to listen to some swamp music and enjoy some swamp snacks. What an adventure the swamp brought us. We were hoping to spot maybe one or two alligators but instead we saw dozens. Dozens! The captain was feeding them marshmallows and they loved it. I asked if I could kneel down by the water and feed some but he told me they could bite my hand off. I explained that I wasn't scared. Who wouldn't want to tell the tale of a missing limb due to a gator mishap? He was a great captain with all kinds of stories. He snuck up behind me with a baby alligator and put him right by my neck. (A little swamp humor, I suppose...) I was so happy to hold and love little baby Elvis. I didn't want to give him back. Oh yeah, I can't believe that I forgot to mention that we almost lost our lives while on the swamp. Our Swamp captain, whom we assume was drunk, was going full speed ahead when we nicked a concrete poll and were almost thrown into the Alligator infested waters. But we made it out alive, thank the sweet heavens above.

The Superdome was also quite a spectacle. I am not a huge sports fan. But growing up I always attended BYU games with my family. I loved just being at the games, and as my dad would say, "soaking up the ambiance". Everyone so excited, uniting, no matter their destiny to ally together and cheer for the same team. That is what I am a fan of. Of course, it would be the same way in this case. So I was excited to be a part of that. But as we all filed in the building I was imagining something much different. I was picturing the thirty thousand people that were seeking shelter as a last resort, forced to be here under excruciating circumstances. The stories that I had been listening to the locals tell as I would ask them how they were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Their stories were some I would never forget. One guy pointed out the water lines on all the buildings as we passed by them. The devastation was unbelievably real and still very apparent, but the people's spirits were high and I loved that.

We got to see Jackson Square, you know the song by Mason Jennings. Brody played it for us as we walked through. The Mississippi was huge and cool to finally see. Bourbon Street was an absolute party. I didn't realize they celebrate Mardi Gras every weekend there. I even got some beads, I won't say how... Ok, I picked them up off the ground. We did some shopping. I bought a Brad Pitt forMayor t shirt. I will wear it proudly (He is a town hero because of his generosity to the Ninth Ward re buildings). The food? Wow. I know it is back to the gym for this girl. I couldn't say no to any of the restaurants and their delicious offerings. And Of course, While in New York we had to get our dose of Double D's. I wasn't sure if my clothes would fit when I got home. (Attractive? I am sure...)

I loved this trip. I loved being with my family and seeing that beautiful city. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention BYU stomped all over Tulane. But all the fans were gracious and actually congratulated us on our victory. I won't forget you NOLA. You were amazing.

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