Friday, October 1, 2010

A Dame Good Time

This season’s annual trip to Notre Dame was less victorious than prior years, but we still managed to have a fantastic time. We had a few hang ups here and there, including a horrible loss to Stanford, but for a long weekend with my husband, beer, and pizza, I really have nothing to complain about! We did things a little differently this time around, as we didn’t actually stay in Chicago, where it takes trains, planes, and automobiles to get to South Bend, IN for the game. We made the somewhat irrational decision to rent a car and take a mini interstate road trip and spend both nights in the University Town. 

That was, of course, after we got our fix of family, fun, and PIZZA in Chi-town ;) Tim’s great Aunt Charlotte, a seasoned actress back in the day,  lives in an awesome high rise smack dab in the middle of Michigan Avenue, and all things awesome in Chicago. To my disbelief she is turning 90 this December, which I can honestly say age ain’t nothin’ but a number with this little lassie. She is a ball of fun, and so interesting to talk to, as she gives us the scoop on the long lost Parlier fam. We picked her up in our sweet "Victory Red" HHR Cruiser, (**wink wink Robin**) and headed over to Navy Pier where we dined at REVE overlooking the Lake, then hit up this amazing Smith Museum of Stain Glass , and even splurged on a Haagen-Dazs ice cream cone and a cool magnet for our fridge. 
Last year, it was cold, windy and raining, so I prepared for the worst, only to show up to 70, sunny, and blue skies. It was fabulous! Next, we hit up Michigan Ave. for my two guilty pleasures, Pizza and Nordies. Neither brought us luck as we lost our parking ticket and had to pay a full day’s fare for parking at Nordstrom **not cheap**, then by the time we gave up looking and decided to go to dinner, our restaurant(s) of choice were already on a 2 hour wait! BOOOOO! Was this a sign for things to come!? We ended up at an oldie but a goody, Pizza DUE, which is owned by Pizza UNOwho originated the Chicago deep dish. Nuff said. It was delish, as always, and before we knew it we were on our way to South Bend, Indiana, rockin’ out to their random, but awesome electro channel. 

It might as well have been Christmas morning as Tim was up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, dressed for the game before I even opened an eye lid. We rushed off to campus to find parking, and looked forward to a great day ahead. We started off the morning with breakfast in the student cafeteria, which was pretty much a Soup Plantation/MGM Grand Buffet hybrid, with all kinds of yummy food for the taking. 
It was so interesting to see the breed of students from ND and how they look and interact, in comparison to our experience at SDSU. HA! Regardless, everyone appeared to be pumped for the game. As expected, the campus was packed with eager fans with tons of sightseeing to be had. The Touchdown Jesus Mosaic, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and the Grotto to name a few. All were stunning, especially the Basilica, as I felt it was more breathe taking than the churches we recently visited in Italy!

Touchdown Jesus! 

The Grotto
We had plenty of time to kill so we perused through the loyal tailgaters and landed at the Linebacker Bar, where they sold 32oz beers for less than $5. I haven’t had as much as a sip of alcohol in almost two months, but I considered this an “in the moment” exception. ;)  
Details of the game are neither here nor there as Notre Dame ended up losing 14-37. Booooo. We still had a great time meeting new people, seeing old friends, and naturally, ended up back at the Linebacker to drown our sorrows.  

After a long day/night we roamed the campus as total trespassers, and I had to literally talk my husband out of intruding into a dorm room party, although tempting. ;) Instead we marveled at how truly amazing their campus is, even at midnight, and ran around taking a few silly pictures 
with some really important people. ;) 

Our trip concluded with a way too early flight back to San Diego Sunday morning, but being the piggies we are, we stopped for Chicago style Pizza on the way home at Lefty’s. Not quite the same, but good enough for us!  Despite the loss of the game…and the parking ticket, we still managed to have a barrel of good laughs, no tears, and a lot of great Pizza! We are already talking about our trip next year, as we learned even more of the Do’s and Don’ts this time around.


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