Local fans take Super Bowl vacation

Published 1:00 am Sunday, February 7, 2010

MIAMI — When it came time to decide where to take the family on vacation, Lee White had no second thoughts.

If the New Orleans Saints were fortunate enough to make it to the Super Bowl, that’s where he and his family would be.

“I booked this trip back in November,” White said. “I said if the Saints were going to the Super Bowl, I wasn’t going to miss it.”

And it didn’t take much convincing to get the kids in on the trip as well.

“I told the kids we might not take a summer vacation if we make the trip to the Super Bowl,” White said. “But they didn’t care. Everybody was all in.”

And Forrest White, 21, didn’t mind that trade-off one bit.

“This absolutely beats the normal family trip,” he said. “All of us are having a blast down here.”

White and his wife Dee spent a few days in Key West, Fla., before heading to Miami, where they were joined by Cap, 23, Forrest, Jeb, 20, Semmes, 17, Suzannah, 17, and Sarah Ellen, 19, on Saturday morning.

And while the street signs all say they are in Miami, the atmosphere is all New Orleans.

“It’s nothing but a sea of black and gold here,” Lee White said. “It’s wild. It looks like Bourbon Street on South Beach.”

Lee White said the city of Miami has had to make changes to its laws to accommodate Saints fans.

“They had to block off South Beach, which is not normal, and they also are allowing open containers on South Beach, which is not what they normally do,” he said. “They had to change all the rules for us Saints fans.”

While the family spent Saturday soaking in the atmosphere and dining with friends, they’ve taken it up a notch for Super Bowl Sunday.

“We’ve rented a party bus that will accommodate 30 people, and we’ll ride around in it,” Lee White said. “Then we’ll get to the stadium and tailgate out of the bus until almost game time.”

And while the seats aren’t great — the family is sitting in the upper deck behind one of the end zones — just being there is a dream come true for a lifelong Saints fan.

“My husband is a passionate Saints fan and has been his whole life,” Dee White said. “This trip is a dream come true for him.”

In fact, the trip is a double dream come true, Cap White said.

“The Saints are in the Super Bowl and we’re here with them,” he said. “It’s just unbelievable.”