Started out the day going to the first Mardi Gras parade I've been to since high school. Yelling "Who Dat" got you more throws than yelling "Throw me something."
Came home and my sister and her friends were painting themselves in liquid latex to make it look like they had on Saints jerseys. They looked fantastic and when they were done, they headed out to the Quarter for the game. I'm sure there'll be lots of pictures of them online somewhere.
Then mom and I worked together to decorate a New Orleans Saints Drew Brees cake. (Not the best picture, as I took it with my phone)
Let me explain. For years mom has made a cake in this football player shaped cake pan and decorated it to be a member of one of the teams in the Super Bowl. She's only decorated it in the losing team's colors once. She's never done a New Orleans Saints one before because they've never been to the Super Bowl before. So here we are trading off decorating the Saints cake (the advantage of having two bakers is that when one needs to take a break, the other one can step it) and it hits us. We're actually making a Saints cake because they're in the Super Bowl. It hit me when I was filling in the fleur-des-lis on his arm. The symbol of the Saints. The symbol of New Orleans. The symbol of my city. I almost cried. Mom almost cried. It was nuts.
Then we went to a Super Bowl party at mom's friend's private club and watched the game via projector on a wall. The experience itself was amazing. There was a ton of really good food :). Someone brought a Saints prayer candle, which had a picture of a Saints player on one side and a prayer for the Saints on the other. We lit the candle and I read the prayer out loud. Then we watched the game. I remember being nervous. I remember screaming and yelling. I remember Hartley making those beautiful beautiful field goals. The prayer candle went out twice and there was a rush to relight it both times. So then I started pouring out the wax every once in while. I ended up with a ball of wax that I was nervously mushing around and playing with. I remember the insanity of the onsides kick to start the second half and the way we screamed and yelled when it went to us. I remember mom yelling "Tracy Porter interception to a touchdown! Tracy Porter interception to a touchdown" and then it happened and somehow I was perched in the chair I was sitting in just moments before. And then there was less than 2 minutes left and the Colts had the ball near their own goal and we HELD them. We HELD them and then it was our ball and there was only 40 second left. WE HAD WON. I was in shock. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I thought I'd be crying, but it was just so overwhelming and insane. Then we were all screaming and yelling and dancing to the songs. Watching the Saints get the trophy was surreal.
After the Saints got the trophy, I got a ride towards the Quarter with some of the people who were at the party. We ended up picking up their friends who lived near St. Charles. We drove St. Charles down to the Quarter. It seemed like the whole city was heading that way. People were walking down the neutral ground, not waiting for the street car. People were honking their horns. People were standing on the side of the street with their hands out and we'd roll down our windows, scream "Who Dat", and give them high fives. The closer we got to the Quarter, the more insane it got. Finally were were on Loyola and the traffic was barely moving but it didn't matter. People were hanging out of their cars with umbrellas. People were chanting "Who Dat." People were screaming and yelling and just generally so excited. The people I was with decided that it would be insane to try to go any further in, so we parked at the Holiday Inn on Loyola downtown of Poydras and walked into the Quarter. As we walked we chanted and screamed and high fived and hugged everyone else. It was crazy. When we got to Canal, we saw that the French Quarter side of it had been closed off, just like they do for Mardi Gras. Part way down we stopped and watched a Second Line go by. If I wasn't trying to meet up with my sister at that point, I probably would have joined them. We headed into the Quarter by way of Dauphine. There were people everywhere. Everyone was cheering and screaming and high fiving. People had out drums and were pounding out beats. We started to head down towards Bourbon. Bourbon was packed wall to wall. So I said good-bye to the people I was with, grabbed my purse and scarf tightly and pushed into the crowd to try and cross the street. I almost got pressed against a barrier by a cop on horseback. I was almost in the way of a fire truck that was trying to move down the street. It was insanely hard to press through the crowd (especially since I wasn't really going with most of the flow), but eventually I did it. Upside to that many people, I was nice and warm while in that press of bodies. Went down to Royal and walked it instead. Still a large number of people all celebrating, but so much easier to move through than Bourbon. Skipped over to Charters and walked by St. Louis Cathedral. I could smell the beignetts from Cafe du Monde. Charters was more empty than the other two streets, but there were still people chanting and hugging and high fiving there too.
Hit lower Decatur at Ursulines where I found another party going on. A true locals party. Found my sister at her local bar, dancing on a chair. Tweeted and my phone died. Hugged a whole bunch of people that I knew. Danced a bunch. Reveled in the realizations that "holy crap, we'd won the Super Bowl." Yelled "Who Dat" a ton, both inside and outside of the bar. Ate the best tasting pizza in the wold. Finally left the bar sometime after midnight to go home with my sister. On our way to the car, we started singing the Get Crunk song and a guy walking around with a drum picked up the beat and walked with us a bit. Got home and pretty much fell over.
I almost didn't come into New Orleans. But I'm so glad I did. I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else than were I was when the Saints came marching in.
PS. The Google ad was my favorite Super Bowl ad. It was the only one I can really remember.