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We woke up Sunday morning to Halloween and game day. Excitement was in the air, tangible like a breeze. New Orleans is a special place on any given day, but when the Saints are playing a home game, it becomes an extra special place. And going a step further, when the Saints are playing a Super Bowl game, the entire city vibrates joy. Breezy and I still talk about it to this day. The sound of it could be felt. It started first in your feet and quick as an electrical current, it would go straight to your heart.

I’m getting carried away with a memory. I’ll get back to Halloween.

This may have been the most relaxing day of our visit. It was, no doubt, our favorite. We went back to El Gato Negro for lunch. Some places are so good, it is necessary to go back a second time in the same week.

We came back to the house and I spent much of the afternoon out here:

The girls went around the house with Breezy’s Kick-Ass Camera and took photos of the incredible rooftop views from various locations in the house.

The highlight of the day was going to visit some friends at Mary Anne’s apartment. It isn’t technically Mary Anne’s, but it will always be to me. Just like Rouse’s will always be the A & P. I’m resistant to change like that.

Mary Anne’s apartment is near the corner of Royal and St. Peter. The entrance is across St. Peter from the A & P (see…resistant to change). The balcony over-looks the corner where the street performers do their thing everyday. It also looks right onto two of the most photographed buildings in the Quarter.

Initially, we gathered on the balcony and then in the kitchen. I didn’t even realize I was hungry until Mary Anne began slicing pork loin. Ohmygoodness, was that stuff delicious. Around the breakfast bar were a very unique gathering of characters. There was a fanatical Saints fan mental patient with a day pass to watch the game. There was a psycho nurse from hell. There was a clown–very cute, not one bit scary. There was a pirate with a beautiful parrot. There were vampire victims through the ages…a burlesque showgirl with a gangster, both bitten at some point in the pages of history. There was a Chilean miner. Finally, there was an amazing creature crowned Miss Who Dat.

This is what I’ve grown to love most about  New Orleans. For years, my feet pounded the pavement from the time I woke until the time I called it a night. There isn’t one cracked sidewalk I haven’t seen but there is always plenty of visiting to be done. It was a joy to catch up with Mary Anne, a wonderful friend I met almost 10 years ago.

The real excitement began when the football game aired live from the Dome. This glorious creature had a touchdown ritual that was incredibly entertaining.

The ritual included blasting a Who Dat version of When the Saints go Marching In on the stereoat which point a Chilean miner, a beautiful parrot, and Miss Who Dat would all second-line onto the balcony and sing at the top of their lungs, “who dat say they gonna beat them Saints…”. A confetti gun would be shot and beads would be tossed and the city would vibrate with joy.

It hasn’t escaped my notice that the picture is blurred but it is so full of life and it makes me happy every time I see it.

While we were celebrating with Miss Who Dat, this was happening at the Dome: 

Largest Halloween Gathering. Guinness Book Rep recorded at least 17,777 people at the game in costume. The funny thing is that in the Who Dat Nation, people costume whether or not it is Halloween. This team is much more than football to this region. It is undying culture.

Steeler fans had been an impressive presence in the city that week. We saw the first Steelers jersey the day we arrived. Of all the game days I’ve been in the city, I have to say that this group of fans rivaled any other visiting team. It was a joy to point them in the right direction when they were lost. I fear Dr. Len might have offended one when he looked him in the eye and said, “Please tell me you packed something else in your suitcase.”

The excitement of the Saints’ win was awesome. Even so, we were home by 11:30 p.m. The old ladies fell fast asleep. I stayed in the parlor and visited until I could no longer keep my eyes open.  We still had one full day ahead.