Saturday, October 29, 2011

Road Trip to South Bend

Last Thursday, the day after the Cardinals game, Mom flew up to St. Louis so we could drive up to South Bend on Friday for a Notre Dame football game! I was so excited – I had never seen the Fighting Irish play in person before!

We’ve always cheered for Mizzou when they play, because that was the nearest college football to Dad growing up. But there’s something about Notre Dame – that’s where Dad met Mom in law school. So when Mom said she had an extra ticket to the big ND-USC game, I jumped at the chance to go. Road trip, here we come!

After six hours on the road, we met up with Mom’s friends and headed towards campus for the pep rally on the Irish Green.

Notre Dame vs USC Weekend in South Bend (2)

They even had a trojan horse with an Irish army inside! Hehe.

Notre Dame vs USC Weekend in South Bend (7)

The mascot was a guy dressed up in a Leprechaun outfit, complete with a shillelagh! Awesome.

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Even though we were all bundled up, it actually wasn’t as cold as we had been warned it was! For the pep rally, we didn’t wear our long underwear and we were fine. The next day, however, since we knew we wouldn’t be back to the hotel in between walking around campus, the tail gate and the game, we opted to wear our long underwear the whole day. We were actually hot and ended up carrying around our coats rather than wearing them. But I’ll take that over 30 degrees and raining, any day!

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So the next day started out with breakfast at the hotel and then walking around campus. Man, I know that I visited this place when I was looking at colleges and I know that I loved my experience at SLU, but this would have been an awesome place to go to school. Other than the cold. And the snow.

Who doesn’t want to see Touchdown Jesus giving you the ok to run for a touchdown in the stadium? This mural is painted on the side of the main library on campus and from one side of the football stadium, you can see Jesus lifting his hands up like a referee, hence, Touchdown Jesus!

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Notre Dame also has a beautiful administration building with a big gold dome on top. I think Mom said that the statue is of Our Lady of the Lake, the full name of the college – Notre Dame du Lac.

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After a good walk around campus and a trip to the Grotto and the lake, we headed to my mom’s friend’s tailgate. I have never been to a real tailgate and it was a blast! But it made me wish that I drank beer.

Finally, it was time to head to the stadium and find our seats.

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Once we sat down and I had this look over the field, I burst into tears. My dad would have so loved to have been there to see his Fighting Irish take on USC! It’s a big rivalry and so everyone was really pumped up. There are still things that make me hurt so intensely that my dad isn’t there to experience with me. After the Cards won the first game of the World Series this year, I wanted to pick up the phone and tell him how awesome it was. It feels like a sucker punch when I realize that I can’t do that anymore.

But I had my mom there and we got some good pictures. It was good to be there with her.

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I’ve always been a sucker for marching bands – and the Fighting Irish was no exception! Their lines were perfectly straight and the sound was spectacular.

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We were given rally towels when we walked in and the student section really got into using them – it was neat to watch!

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The game was pretty good to watch, even though our team didn’t do as well as we had hoped. But we got to see the band form the ND logo during halftime!

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Notre Dame lost but we had a blast anyway.  What more could you want from a road trip weekend?

2 comments:

  1. Looks like you had fun! One of my BIL's friends/roommate was the Leprechaun when they were there. I've met him. He's short and he looks like a leprechaun. It's pretty funny!

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