I'm not quite sure how, but I eventually pulled myself together and got us all ready to go. We headed up to my Papaw's house, where my parents were visiting, to drop Henley off. I totally cried and Ben asked me if I was going to be sad the whole trip, but I knew she'd be in good hands!
Once we said our goodbyes, we headed to Durant, Oklahoma, for a night of fun. We stopped on the way for dinner at Olive Garden because we thought the casino restaurants would be packed. I don't know what it is about sitting at the bar on dates, but it just feels so fun to me! We had a great dinner and then made our way to the casino to see Boys II Men.
You guys...they did not disappoint! Those boys and can SING, and they've got some killer moves! The concert was amazing and the people watching was pretty outstanding too. You wouldn't believe the range of people that were there! After the concert, we headed to our hotel like old folks. It was about 10 o'clock and we knew we had to be on the road around 6 the next morning, so we decided to snuggle for the night :)
I didn't spring for the stay at the casino, but our hotel/motel was only a couple miles away. It wasn't anything special, but it wasn't bad either. The best part might have been seeing Ben's face when he saw that the door to our room said "Presidential Suite." Those are surprisingly affordable when you are in Durant, Oklahoma!
Y'all, no joke...being without your child is so weird! At the hotel, I could have sworn I heard Henley cry as I dozed off and popped straight out of bed!
Anyway, we got on the road bright and early on Saturday morning. We hit up the free breakfast rather than going across the parking lot to The Waffle Shoppe (greatness) because free is always amazing, and then hit the road around 6:30. The drive to New Orleans is a LOOONG one! I swear the whole way there we never went through an actual city. Of course, when we got on the bridge with about 20 miles to empty that led us into the city, the railroad tracks beside it caught on fire and traffic was stopped. Don't worry it was just rubberneckers...no real reason. Oh, nothing makes me more mad! I was sweatin' whether or not we would make it to a gas station...I wasn't pushin' the F250. Thankfully we made it and then pulled into our hotel around 4:30. I think I heard angels singing!
Once we were all checked in, Ben needed to go get registered for his conference and we had about 2 hours before we needed to meet some people for dinner. I wasn't about to just sit on the bed and watch tv, so I hit up the super nice hotel gym for a quick 5K. I felt so much better afterwards. Then, I did the super classy, blow dry the sweat out of your hair (my LHJH athletic girls can feel me) and got ready.
View from our hotel room
After dinner, we moseyed on over to Bourbon Street to meet the rest of the crew where they were. We walked into Pat O'Brien's, but they had already moved on, so we ended up at a small little bar for a while talking to a lot of people. Although we were on Bourbon Street, I didn't feel like anything ever felt too crazy. I mean it felt like we stayed out late to me, but we did head to Harrah's around 11:30 and back to the hotel around midnight. I guess you can call us old folks, but I will just abide by the rule my parents always told me..."nothing good happens after midnight!" To think I would be begging to go to bed before midnight now, when I was begging to not be the only one who had to abide by city curfew back then. Hindsight really is 20/20!
Stay tuned for how I ate my way through the rest of the New Orleans trip! Good grief, they've got some good food in that city! :) I also walked my way through the entire city as well. Man my feet are still red and have blisters the size of Texas.