Weekend Road Trip: Visiting the Fighting Irish

20131203-225722.jpgOnly a couple weekends after driving down to Madison for the Wisconsin vs. BYU game, we took off on another excursion to cheer on our team. This time, it was against the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame. Though we were excited to be at another BYU football game, I think that Kyle was even more excited because he was crossing off something from his life list. The movie Rudy, and his long-term love of college football has always kept him interested in Notre Dame. An interest that was confirmed during our visit.

Once again, we had our partners-in-crime, the Hylands! We love traveling with them. Since South Bend, Indiana is an 8+ hour drive from Minneapolis, we opted to stay the night before the game in Chicago. This worked out well, except the traffic the morning of the game was a little slow, due to the speedy winds, and falling snow. However, we drove on, arriving with plenty of time to join in the pre-game traditions.

First, we visited a mural on the side of the school’s library that is informally titled “Touchdown Jesus”. It gets this nickname from its location in relation to the football stadium. Standing directly behind one of the end zones, the up-stretched arms of the Jesus figure look to be showing off the sign of a touchdown. I’m not sure if this was on purpose or just a happy coincidence…

After checking out that mural, we walked toward the Main Building, and it’s Golden Dome. It is here, before every home football game, members of the marching band gather to play the school’s fight song and a few other melodies. We arrived a half an hour before that started and were lucky to find a place to stand in the already packed dome. As we waited for the band to come, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful paint work. At first glance it looked like intricate wood work. In reality, every pillar, beam, and molding were painted on. When the band finally arrived and began their playing, we were grateful we had come. It was a really neat experience to hear the sound reverberating around the room!

Right next door is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. It is a beautiful building to have on campus. I loved being able to walk through and enjoy the architecture, artwork, and stained glass windows. It is also there that I ran into our friends Spencer and Mandy (who came to visit us during the spring). We were so happy to see them again before they move to California for Spencer’s job.

20131203-225925.jpgAnd then the game began… It had been chilly through our walk around campus, but as soon as we sad down, we realized it was going to be a long game. We had the wind, accompanied by snow, blowing right in our faces. It was frigid! However, we were seated very close to each other which made things a bit more cozy. At halftime, we checked the temperature. It was close to zero. Thank goodness for hot chocolate, heated bathrooms, and five layers of clothing exposing nothing but our eyes. I think we can now deem ourselves the opposite of “fair weather fans”.

Unfortunately, BYU lost this game, too. We were a bit disappointed but at that point, we were just ready to get out of the cold. There was just one more thing that we had to do before we finished our trip. As we traveled back to our hotel in Chicago, we searched menus for the famous Chicago deep dish pizza. We ended up getting take out from Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (the same place we had gone when passing through on our way home from Ohio), and were not disappointed. It was a delicious, and warm, way to end our trip.

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Thanks Chad and Kandace, for the pictures and for driving on this weekend road trip! Where should we go on our next adventure?

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