Wednesday, February 26, 2014

NBA All-Star Weekend 2014 - New Orleans

Recently I was lucky enough to head to The Big Easy for NBA All-Star weekend. With this being my third All-Star trip, I was prepared for the organized chaos that would ensue over the course of 4 long days in New Orleans. Between appearances, Foundation events, meetings, and walk-throughs, the whole trip is always a whirlwind, but a good one. It's one of those "pinch me" experiences that I still can't believe I am lucky enough to have.

What started out as another promising, productive trip got off to an unfortunate start when I landed in NOLA to some sad news. My grandma had passed away. When I left California, I knew she had a post-surgery infection, but never in my wildest dreams did it even occur to me that it was life-threatening. When I got that call from my family, I was in my room at the Windsor Court Hotel overlooking the buzzing city of New Orleans, and I fell to the ground in complete shock. How could this be possible? I didn't even get a chance to tell her good bye. I miss her sweet voice more than anything, but I still haven't really come to terms that she's gone. Luckily, I was surrounded by wonderful people on this trip who took good care of me and made sure I was ok at all times. I appreciated their support more than they know. 

So in between work commitments, we did make a little bit of time to see the city including sunrise runs through the French Quarter and nightly dessert on one of the top floors of our beautiful hotel. New Orleans is an awesome city and I got to experience a lot of the culture and eat a lot of the food, which was all amazing!
The entrance to my hotel, morning in the French Quarter & candle-lit dessert with a view. 
The view from my hotel room at the Windsor Court Hotel
Sunrise run along the river.
Every year, in every All-Star City, LeBron and his Foundation completely renovates a local Boys & Girls Club, and the Westbank Unit in New Orleans was one of our best ones yet. After briefing LeBron on the event and all of his to-do's, we executed an amazing reveal for the kids that was covered on the NBA's All-Star broadcast on TNT, which was a major score. Overall, it was another successful LJFF event. 
Images courtesy of my friends at the LeBron James Family Foundation. 
After a busy day, we headed over to a local art museum to help set up and manage LeBron's GQ Magazine cover launch party. It was a lot of work managing the outrageous guest list and incoming media requests, but it was all worth it when I got to walk LeBron on the red carpet. Just another one of those moments I will be telling my grandkids about someday!
Caught in a picture on the red carpet. 
Despite the rocky start, overall it was an awesome weekend full of experiences I am more than thankful for. But no matter where in the world I go and what adventures my job takes me on, nothing is better than coming home to Corey & miss Ruby. Corey was waiting for me with flowers since we were both gone for Valentines day, and Ruby was full of happy kisses. Coming home is always the best part.
xoxo Steph

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