Saturday night, for me at least, was the last event of the weekend. I wasnt there for Sundays all out private high speed Ferrari parade through the French Quarter, so I cant speak of it. My flight was scheduled to leave at 8:10AM Sunday morning. So Saturday night was when the weekend came to a close for me. and what a close it was. How does one begin DEScribing the lengths John & Franco went to make sure this event was the best of the year ? Can mere words convey the thought, time, imagination and no-expense-spared attitude with which this event was approached ? No. However, words are all I have, so well just have to make do. After Monte dropped me off at the hotel, Matt and I were reunited, preparing for the Black Tie Ball at the Bourbon Vieux. Matt was tuxed out, looking every bit the part of a young VIP on his way to having a very memorable night. My black suit/white shirt/black tie ensemble would have to make do. We were running late and rushed from our hotel to The Windsor Court, hoping to catch a ride to Bourbon Street. Well, we did in the last horse-drawn carriage left. Thats right. A horse-drawn carriage escorted Matt and I from The Windsor to The Bourbon Vieux. Like I said, no expense was spared. In the two front seats of the carriage were two sealed, plastic bags. One for Matt, one for myself. Each containing beads. Lots of beads. We tore into our bags, removing the beads and relocating them around our necks. Bourbon Street was crowded and, upon arrival, we exited the carriage and made our way through the throngs of people, into the building and up the stairs. There were beads everywhere. We went out on to the balcony, where a majority of the people already were. There was barely enough room to squeeze in on the edge, to start throwing beads down at the bare-breasted women in the street. But I managed to find a space. Judiciously tossing beads to the eager, skin-flashing peDEStrians below was entertaining, to say the least. Lined up in a row on the railing, we all did this, laughing and talking with the people below until we were called in. It was time for dinner. A short awards ceremony preceded the meal. Since it was decided that it would take too long to give out the awards for the winners of the concourso, only select awards were given away. The Spirit Award, The Females Choice Award & The Obert Award were but a few. John had mentioned that, months prior to the event, he was looking at Swarovski or some other such crystal to use as awards this year. Then Franco mentioned that his father was a glassmaker in Italy and they could have awards custom-made. And thats exactly what they did. To the left of the podium was a table. Atop that table, sat prancing horses, made of glass. Each prancing horse award stood at least a foot tall. They were gorgeous. A sort of final touch of very epic(urean) proportions to a weekend whose every moment spoke of a very upscale quality. To get into detail about bartering beads with breast-baring women doesnt suit the end of my story very well. I feel it incumbent upon me to express to you, even a modicum of the degree to which these days events were planned out and staged. However, my words just dont seem to be enough; so Ill end this with someone elses. Ray Meringues was given The Spirit Award Saturday night for having the best spirit throughout the weekend. On Saturday morning, while being unloaded, his Enzo was scratched. Two horizontal scratches, one noticeably deeper than the other, about 3 or 4 inches long, adorned the drivers side rear quarter panel of this yellow super car. Ray took it in stride and decided to forget about it by taking his 360 GT out on the track for some good ol thrashing. Shortly after getting on the track, the clips on the bonnet of his GT unhooked, thus allowing the hood to pop up and crush his windshield. Later on, a warning light came up on the dashboard of his Enzo, indicating his rear spoiler wasnt functioning properly. He was having a hell of a day. Not to mention that the same people who unloaded his Enzo were responsible for reloading it at the end of the day. Still, DESpite these occurrences, Ray kept a great attitude. When he went up to the stage Saturday night to accept The Spirit Award, he said: Ive been having a great weekend and, if this is what it takes to have this much fun next year, Ill take a baseball bat and smash all the windows of my Enzo. If that doesnt sum it up for you, I dont know what will.