Monday, November 5, 2012

Chicago and the BYU/Notre Dame game!

Mark and I have always talked about going to a BYU/Notre Dame game in South Bend, Indiana,
so as soon as we saw it was on the BYU 2012 football schedule, we started planning.
We thought we would go with the group that went to the BYU/Texas game last year
 because we had such a good time together!
But then Scott Howell decided to run for senator (good luck on Tuesday, Scott!),
 Julie was due to deliver a baby and did the day we left (Welcome to the world, Little Miss Emily!), 
and the Robinson's were closing on their new house in Midway. 
 That left Mark, me and our dear friend, Pam Peterson, 
which is, by the way, a lovely group to travel with.
Pam and I found that we were great travel companions back here 
when we traveled together to Tampa to attend the GOP convention,
and we were excited to be traveling together again, 
and that Mark, who is so good at planning and organizing all the sight-seeing events would be joining us.
And that is exactly what Mark did... he was our tourist guide for the weekend and did a great job!
We only had a day in Chicago, and a day on the campus of Notre Dame in South Bend,
 but we packed it in and I feel like we saw quite a few of the sights.
It was a quick but wonderful trip and I fell in love with Chicago and the campus of Notre Dame
and I definitely want to come back and spend more time at both places!
First on our list of things to do in Chicago was a boat cruise to see the beautiful city 
and learn about the architecture and history of the buildings.
I had heard so much about the gorgeous architecture of the buildings 
and how it is best to see it by boat so I was excited for this tour,
and I was not disappointed at all!  
I was totally fascinated by the history of the city 
and loved the views of the city landscape!
I know... I took lots of photos of the buildings 
but I just thought each one was so unique and beautiful but I couldn't help myself.
Loved the reflection of the buildings off the buildings!
It was a chilly day on the river so we were so glad that we brought our coats and gloves!
Enjoying some deep dish pizza at Giordano's was next on our list.
We actually hit up this place twice because it was just that good!
Then we headed over to Skydeck at the Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower.
The views of the city were incredible!
The coolest thing was "The Ledge" where you could step outside the building at 1,353 feet in the air.  
The Ledge’s glass boxes extend out 4.3 feet from Skydeck 
and even though I have a fear of heights, I was determined to step out on "The Ledge."
This is the view from our ledge of Pam on the ledge next to ours.
"The Ledge" was actually really cool... I loved it!
 And I quickly got over my fear of height and started taking cool pictures!
Although, I have to admit, I did feel safer when Mark went out on "The Ledge" with me!
Or Pam...
and I made them both do it more than a couple of times to get these fun pictures!
And then I got the courage up to take a photo looking straight down.  Incredible view!
Next, we headed to the Millennium Park and on our way we passed the lovely bride and groom, 
who were stopped in the middle of a busy street taking pictures.
It was like something out of the movies and looked glamorous so I had to take a picture of them taking pictures.
First stop at the Millennium Park is the Crown Fountain,
 a video sculpture that displays digital clips of local Chicagoans.  Very cool!
It started to sprinkle just as we approached the Cloud Gate, or "The Bean" as it is referred to.
The rain gave a different and unique look to the photos...
and as you can see, Pam and I loved staging lots of fun photos of all of us at "The Bean."
Yes. We kind of went crazy with the photo shoot at "The Bean."
But it was so fun that even Mark got in on the fun, and encouraged some of this craziness.
It was just as much fun taking the pictures as it was watching others
 that were so intrigued by this sculpture who were also taking photos!
I loved the Chicago city scape in the background of every photo!
And the rain dripping off the sides of "The Bean" made it even more fun!
So glad that Pam loves to take pictures as much as I do!
And truly, Mark was such a trooper and I appreciate him being a good sport
 and accommodating my requests to pose for photos!
And the last photo with "The Bean" and probably my favorite!
That night we went to Catch 35 for some yummy local seafood!
The decor was fun and eclectic!
The salmon and mashed potatoes were amazing!
It was the perfect way to end a fun day in Chicago!
We headed out early for South Bend the next day.
We arrived at the campus around 11 am and were surprised to see the place packed 
with both Notre Dame and BYU fans everywhere!
The campus is absolutely gorgeous!
The views of the Golden Dome on top of the Administration building
 and the Basilica were absolutely gorgeous!
 Mark is a big Manti Teo fan.  Manti is related to Mark's mission president and
 we even ran into some of his relatives that day, which was very fun for Mark.
 We headed to the Administration Building and this is the view of the campus from the top of the stairs.
 The incredible murals painted inside the dome of the Administration Building.
The Rosary Crown found inside the Administration Building.
The Basilica of the Sacrad Heart.
 Waiting for the team to enter the Basilica.
Here the Notre Dame football team enters at the side door 
The beautiful view of the ceiling at the Basilica.
The gorgeous stained glass windows were incredible too!
Our friend, Michael Kierl told us that we had to try the Knight of Columbus steak sandwiches.
We had heard that these sandwiches were really a popular item but we had no idea!
The lines went on and on.  But we jumped into line and waited...
along with hundreds of other football fans!
And finally we got our steak sandwiches.
And yes, this is what everyone was waiting for!
And here is Mark enjoying his steak sandwich!
And here we sat, eating our sandwiches, watching the enormous crowds line up for these steak sandwiches!
It kind of cracked me up!  
I mean, is there no other food sold on campus or is it just such a long standing tradition
 that people are willing to wait that long for a sandwich?!
Either way, I'm glad we did it because everyone that found out that we went to the game 
asked if we had a Knights of Columbus steak sandwich 
and we were happy that we could answer, "Yes!"
 We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the campus,
 taking lots of pictures along with hundreds of other Notre Dame and BYU football fans!
Standing in front of the Administration Building under the Golden Dome.
More gorgeous photos of the campus filled with thousands of other football fans.
In front of "Touchdown Jesus", the famous mural at the Library building.
And the three of us standing in front of "First Down Moses."
Such a fun sight on the Notre Dame campus with so many fans, 
just socializing and hanging out for hours before the game.
Mark's goal was to get a photo in front of the Lou Holtz statue.
 Pam and my goal was to get a photo with a leprechaun...
and we did!
We made our way to the stadium and enjoyed the beautiful view of "Touchdown Jesus."
LaVelle Edwards, former coach at BYU, sat about 3 rows in front of us.
As he walked up the aisle to his seat, BYU fans started yelling, "Coach! Coach! Coach!"
I loved the way it made him smile at the crowd!  
Kind of like he was surprised by all the attention he was getting!
As he got closer, the crowd started to cheer louder and then he tipped his hat.
Absolutely adorable!  What a class act!
What a incredible sight!
It was a great game and BYU played tough and even lead most of the game
 but in the end, the "Luck of the Irish" went their way and Notre Dame won, 17-14.
After the game, we drove back to Chicago and had dinner at Harry Caray's restaurant.
Pam ordered the famous Harry's Famous Vesuvio,
which was named "Best Chicken Vesuvio in Chicago!"
Pam would agree... it was delicious!
It's a fun place with lots of sports memorabilia, newspapers and photos.
The walls were filled with many famous people with their pictures taken with this statue of Harry.
So Pam and I had to get our photo with Harry too.
And as we were leaving, look who's photo with Harry was found prominently displayed on the wall. 
Of course, we had to get a picture of Pam with her dear friend, Mitt!!
What a great way to end a fun weekend in Chicago!

1 comment :

Erica {let why lead} said...

Aw, this makes me nostalgic for our Notre Dame days! So many familiar sights! That picture of LaVelle Edwards is amazing, btw!