The week leading up to the race I iced / stretched / took meds / rested religiously so there might be a slight glimmer of hope for me to be able to run in the race. Thursday I decided to try and go for a run around my neighborhood and lasted 30 seconds before I was doubled over in knee pain and shortly gave up.
I have been looking forward to this race since summertime! Running or not, I was certainly going to enjoy my time time in the Big Easy. Becca and I had never been to New Orleans, or Louisiana for that matter, so we decided to make a longer weekend of it- leaving TN early fri morning and returning Mon early evening so we could have plenty of time for sight seeing outside of what the race offers.
Beccas boyfriend Mike came along and was our driver so it was nice to just mellow out in the backseat for the long ride.
Welcome to Louisiana!
Arrive at our hotel around 4pm giving us plenty of time to hit up the expo the first day and hopefully avoiding the larger crowd anticipated for saturday.
The expo was held at the convention center which was about a mile from our hotel, so we decide to walk. On our walk I spotted a 'King Cake' which I had never heard of until the night before from a friend who told me to try one on my trip; needless to say I was excited to see one right away.
sadly I never ate one on the whole trip
Finally arrive at the convention center- absolutely HUGE
They were having a large meeting for the APTA (american physical therapy association), so it was crazy packed inside with all sorts of people. Apparently the Rock n Roll expo was on the other end of the center, so we had a good 15 minute walk inside the center before we reached it. At least we got a lot of cool photo ops along the way!
Becca was too short to fit in the hole
Giving the jester some love
Creepy king head
Finally see the first sign for the Mardis Gras expo
We made it! Our horrible 'air guitar'
Last statue before finally entering the expo.
Surprisingly there was no big lines for the packet pick up and we were able to enter the merchandise / booth part of expo rather quickly. Brooks had a neat circus set up with games, prizes, and gait analysis.
We stuck around and watched the "Jesus Lizard" who can walk on water. It was actually pretty neat- the water was the same type of gel they use for cushioning in their shoe- the more pressure you put on it, the more its able to absorb shock and you bounce of it, vs if you just slowly put you foot in it, you'll sink.
Human Jesus Lizard chained up
couldn't catch him on top of the blue gu, but he didn't sink!
slowly putting his hand in, sunk in and covered with blue gu
Finally left the brooks exhibit and entered the rest of expo with all the vendors!!
Vendors GALORE. I ended up getting 2 new headbands from Glam Head Bands- similar to sweaty bands, but a little bit cheaper, and they're adjustable. (Finally got my fleur de lis band I've been eyeing) My other exciting purchase was a set of Yur buds!! I have gone through a few set of headphones over the past few months and have yet to find one that stays in put the whole race. I read a review from Kim @ (Just) Trying is for Little Girls awhile back about how they are specially designed to the size of you ear so they fit comfortably in without moving around or falling out. I have been wanting to try them for awhile, but haven't found a store that carries them. Had the opportunity to try them out at the expo and they were AMAZING. They only had the iron man series which is $50, but totally worth it considering how much I've spent on finding the perfect pair!
Ended our expo fun by stopping at the Disney booth to gawk at the medals and get free tiaras for competing in the race in 2 weeks.
Leave the expo and head to French Quarter for dinner and drinks! We ended up going to Pat O'Briens for meal- restaurant was divided into bar, dining, outside, and piano bar- pretty neat. They are known for creating the original 'Hurricane' drink, but since I'm not a big fan of liquor I just stuck with beer (at least ABITA is popular down there)
After dinner we did the touristy thing and went into one of the dozens of shops looking for some New Orleans gear. I am utterly OBSESSED with the Fleur De Lis symbol, so i was stoked to get earrings and a bracelet that domed the symbol.
If you're a people watcher, you will LOVE New Orleans- so many drunken idiots, street performers, and signs.
statue man w/ a balloon private part
We never did get one of these (crappy domestics)
Pretty good street performers
After being up since 4:30am and so much walking around for a few hours, we headed back to hotel, hot tubbed it for awhile, then early bedtime :)