Day 1:  A long, long trip to New Orleans

No sleep. It was not because I was excited; I was scared of being LATE. I’ve been left by a plane last 2012 and I did not want to experience it again especially I was taking an international flight. It was my first USA trip. I was so glad I was the first one to arrive among the winners who were going to fly for an ALL EXPENSE FREE TRIP for the NBA All Star Weekend Game.

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Photo taken by SWIMBIKERUN.ph

How did I win? It all started from twitter.com. When Gatorade Philippines posted a question about #WinfromWithin, I did not hesitate to join. They invited three winners from the contest to be part of their G launch, April 15.2013. I thought we only watched some kind of program, I did not expect that my cousin and I would be part of the mini activity that Gatorade prepared. Every guests/participants were given a ‘sheet card’ where you need to do a little bit of cycling, basketball, football, jumping and some exercise for you to be able to be part of the raffle. They draw lance names to win bags, shirts, GC’s and even mountain bike.

Unfortunately my cousin won some prizes while I had nothing.  I wanted to go home at the time but she insisted that we stayed until the end of the show because of a FREE SHIRT! She really wanted the shirt for a souvenir and so we linger for awhile. It was 10 in the evening, it was nearing the end and Gatorade had a surprised for their guests, they would send TWO WINNERS to watch the NBA All Star Weekend Game on February 2014. They got the winners via the papers inside the fish bowl and luckily my number 188 was the first to be picked out.

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My winning ticket!

And now, I’m just 18 hours away from New Orleans. Yay! It was a long trip with two stop-overs. I said hello to Tokyo and Detroit before heading to Louisiana.

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Tokyo-Narita Terminal

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Photo courtesy of MJ Pineda

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Outside the Detroit International Terminal

It was five in the afternoon when we arrived to the city and we went straight to our hotel: Astoria Crowne Plaza located at the heart of New Orleans.  It was near the Bourbon Street and in front of Foot locker. I actually loved the location of the hotel because it is adjacent to every accessible place like Walgreens, Forever 21 and CVS Pharmacy.

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Reception counter

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the grand stairs

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In-house restaurant

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Menu

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the elevators

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The hallway going to my room!

Much to my excitement to rest my tired body from a long trip, the hotel room that assigned to me was not good.

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Welcome!

First, my room key card was not functioning.

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I had to go down to the reception area with my two luggages just to get my duplicate card.

Second, the shower and faucet in the bathroom could not be open.

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Why? Oh Why?

I was not able to take a bath that day. I requested for the hotel staff to fix it and they only did it on my 3rd day. 

Lastly, I had difficulty using their phone though it has instructions. I was not able to make even a local call.

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Good thing the room’s interior was pleasing, comfortable and spacious.

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Time to relax!

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Need something to say?

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Who wants some drinks?

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Even the bathroom is inviting!

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Hotel freebies!

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View outside my room (right)

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View outside my room (left)

I was still looking forward for our second day, hoping for a much exciting day on a non-sleeping city.

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Here I come bed! 🙂