• Brad Ward’s BlogaMania: Part II (Hello, New Orleans)

    Wrestling superfan Brad Ward takes us on a trip; HIS trip. From Canada to New Orleans, enjoy Brad’s daily antics leading up to Wrestlemania 30 with Brad Ward’s BlogaMania. Take it away, Brad!

    Welcome to my Wrestlemania week blog, where I will detail, star rate and fill your eyes with pictures and sometimes videos of New Orleans. Wrestlemania week is more to me then WWE’s biggest show of the year. It is seeing an entire year of stories and superstars build to one week to see who is going to be the next new star. It is the chance to see friends and colleagues. It is seeing Superstars live and just taking in what you talk about for a year in front of your own eyes.

    This is Wrestlemania week, it’s time to be cool and eat fruit.

    TUESDAY: Planes, Outback Steakhouse and the Wrestlemania Press Conference.

    bradheymanguy

    I wake up at 4AM doing the shower gimmick, get dressed and load the vehicle with the luggage and head to the airport. I arrive at the airport at 6AM just 15 minutes before my two hour window, I head to the ticket printer and head to the Delta counter and get my luggage weighed and head to the gate.

    As I am from Canada, I have to go through Canadian Customs which means I have to turn the cell phone off and declare my purpose for the trip. I give my checked bag to the luggage people and head through airport security, which means I have to take out my Xbox, and laptop, which ends up happening about five to six times a trip, depending on the amount of connections. I made it through security with around an hour to go till boarding the flight. I grab an iced tea to drink before the boarding as my flight, as I tend to get quite dehydrated in airports.

    BradAirport

    I get on my flight and I have a window seat and I settle in by putting my carry on above, laptop under the seat and phone gimmicks in the seat pouch in front of me. I loaded my older iPhone with season one of True Detective, which I will give my thoughts on a future blog.

    My flight time to Minneapolis is only four hours so not too bad of a flight. My drink of choice will be an apple juice in the theme going forward of fruit. I do not have much of a layover in Minneapolis so had to move very quickly to the next terminal. Due to the long distance to the connection I had to skip eating and used the time to charge my iOS devices.

    I make it to New York City’s JFK airport around 5:30PM and go to collect my luggage and meet up with friends Adam and Todd, heading through New York to Long Island to get something to eat. We headed to the nearest Outback Steakhouse. I had a New York strip steak, dressed baked potato and Caesar salad. We also had a bloomed onion gimmick. Then we headed to Todd’s house and this is where I stay the night at and Adam heads back to his house.

    BradSteak

    Todd and I then watched the WWE Wrestlemania Presser and man oh man. This was the deadest or coldest WWE production I have seen in quite some time. I hope next time they do more of a pep rally then something for a crowd, who can get the same thing with a conference call. We have to get up at 4AM so the night is largely the same as Monday night as I want to get seven hours or so of sleep. I am missing watching Main Event live, so I will have to catch it in some form at some point later in the week.

    WEDNESDAY: New Orleans, Walmart and Bourbon Street.

    This is the day; I am finally heading to New Orleans. I wake up feeling pretty good overall and excited to make the trip. I do the shower and get ready gimmick and my friend Adam’s brother takes us to the airport. We get to the airport around 6AM just like in Calgary, but since we only have to be there an hour before we have a solid hour or two to just chill there.

    BradREALRnR

    We grab some breakfast at JFK and I have a bagel with egg and bacon. We board the plane around 8AM and the flight to New Orleans is only around two and half hours. This time I decided to have some orange juice (once again with the fruit). I want to get some rest before the big day, so I get some sleep on the flight.

    BradAirplane

    We then arrive around 10:30AM in New Orleans and you can see wrestling shirts, you can see Wrestlemania xXx posters; there is just something different and magical about an airport when it is Wrestlemania week.

    BradNOLA

    We are using the New Orleans Shuttle to get to the airport, so I meet up with my friend Matt and the others are taking the bus to the hotel to check in. We check in to our hotel and bring our luggage up, set up the Xbox 360 and situate my luggage in my spot in the hotel. It is a bunch of us staying in the same room, so it will be a very fun group experience for Wrestlemania.

    We then head down to Walmart, pick up some random things like water, soda and poster stuff. At this point in time I have no idea what we are doing for a poster, so tweet me @BradWardFGN and give me suggestions! (EDITOR’S NOTE: Brad, if you don’t make a Wrestling On Earth sign, you will be in VERY big trouble.)

    The day you arrive is largely the chill day where you kind of square things out and plan the hotel, transportation and ticket related things. We made it back to the hotel around 5PM after the Walmart trip so then we head out to Bourbon Street.

    BradPatOBriens

    We first started by hitting Pat O’Briens which is WWE’s preferred restaurant in their travel pack. First we met up with some friends from England; @EmmaStern, @DieRubberDucky and @WillECW. I had the signature Pat O’Briens Hurricane.

    They left after we had our drinks and we proceeded to the restaurant part of the building.We had gator bites, I had catfish strips and chicken and sausage gumbo. Dinner was really good and worthy of the WWE recommendation. We went across the street and hit up the Bar Rescue featured bar Spirits of Bourbon.

    I got this light-up skull mug that featured a blue slush drink called The Resurrection. We stumbled our way back to the hotel and called it a night. I finished the evening off by watching WWE Main Event before hitting the sack for the night.

    Star Ratings

    Waking up at 4 am: ★★★★

    Customs / Security: ★★★★★

    Calgary to Minneapolis: ★★★★★

    Minneapolis to JFK: DUD

    Dinner / Drinks: ★★★★★

    Wrestlemania xXx Presser: DUD

    Breakfast: ★★

    JFK to New Orleans: ★★★★★

    New Orleans Shuttle: ★★★★★

    Hotel: ★★★★★

    Wal-Mart Experience: ★★★★

    Bourbon Street: ★★★★

    Pat O’Briens: ★★★★

    Spirits of Bourbon Street: ★★★★

    Main Event: ★★★

    Come back Saturday as I will my thoughts on the poboy, the WWE Superstore, An Evening with Jim Ross, Captain America, my swamp tour, Smackdown and Axxess from Friday!

    – Make sure to follow me on Twitter @BradWardFGN for more updates throughout Wrestlemania week!