For most Ravens fans from Harford County heading to New Orleans, this weekend's trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Not for Ron Pieper – he's headed to his seventh Super Bowl, so he should be able to give some pointers to the other Baltimore Ravens fans headed to the Big Easy to watch the Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
Regardless if it's their first or their seventh, Harford's Ravens fans heading to New Orleans say they're so excited, they can hardly stand it.
"I'm ecstatic. It's on our bucket list, but you never anticipate it's going to happen," Tamera Rush, of Forest Hill, said. "I'm shocked that the timing, the financing worked out. It's just everything aligned and it's working out great."
She's going with her husband, Jim, a converted Ravens fans, who until not too long ago cheered for the 49ers.
Krista Kenny, of Jarrettsville, is going to New Orleans with her husband, Steve, and her parents, Kip and Tia White, also of Jarrettsville.
She's going to the game with her dad.
"It feels very surreal. I kind of can't believe it's happening. It's not just like a bucket list item, that I can cross off that I got to go to a Super Bowl, but I get to go to New Orleans, too, at height of Mardi Gras."
Tom Knight, of Baldwin, was supposed to be hosting a Super Bowl party Sunday with his wife, Donna. When he was offered the chance to go see the Ravens in New Orleans, the party was postponed until next year.
"It wasn't really a hard decision," White said. "I wish Friday was here."
Some got their tickets on Ebay, others won them through the Ravens season ticket-holder lottery. Some are good seats, some not so good. But they'll be in the Mercedes Super Dome while everyone else is home watching the Ravens on television.
Rush's daughter told her mom during one of the playoff games last weekend that she would watch her sons, ages 10 and 5, if her parents wanted to go to the Super Bowl.
"By the time the Ravens game was over, we already had our airfare booked," Rush, a vice president for the defense contractor STG, said.
They paid $3,700 for two tickets and $1,000 for their airfare. Rather than stay in a hotel, they're renting a four-bedroom house with friends, which is costing them $650.
It's also in New Orleans and her husband, who she said "is all about the food," already has dinner reservation for Friday night.
"I don't think I would want to go to Indianapolis or New Jersey, where it is next year," she said.
That the game is against the 49ers, her husband's second-favorite team now, makes it even more special.
"It's still a waste of money," Rush joked, "but it's probably one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. I don't think I'll ever go to a Super Bowl again."
With young children, the Rushes only go to one or two games a year, but when we do, "we go crazy," she said.
Rather than just wear her jersey, like usual – she wears Ray Rice's No. 27 – Rush is thinking she has to get even crazier than normal to go to New Orleans.