We just returned from Norah’s first trip to Notre Dame, and it was everything that one would expect from South Bend, Indiana: fun times, beautiful campus, good football…and awful weather. Six months ago, we all decided to trek to Notre Dame for a reunion weekend during the game against Stanford, and we had a huge group! Seventeen of us descended on South Bend on Friday and we had a fabulous weekend. Norah was an angel baby on the flight from DC to Chicago, despite our flight being delayed 2 hours! (It didn’t hurt that the man next to us was very sweet and smiled and talked to Norah the whole flight.)
Once we got to Chicago at 7 pm, we rented a car and drove to South Bend. We arrived around 9 pm and borrowed a pack and play from JP (thanks, JP and Katy!) and set Norah up in our room. We were worried that she would have trouble falling back asleep after sleeping in the car seat, but she did great! We put her to bed and played some card games until much too late Friday night. P.S. The house we rented was AMAZING. Van found a house that ended up being 8 separate little suites within one huge house, which was perfect for our group. We were each able to have our own space and bathroom, and Norah had her own little wing. Van and Tony scoped out the house before we got there, and made sure our room was the quietest for Norah. We were on the very top floor above the garage, and Norah was able to sleep soundly both nights!
Saturday morning, everyone got up early to pack up the car and head to campus. Mike and I decided let Norah sleep in, eat a good breakfast, and take a good nap before we started to tailgate. She managed to sleep through all of the beautiful weather!
We headed to campus around 11 am and joined JP, Katy and Mary at the ACE tailgate. It was so nice to meet Mary (20 months!) and see JP and Katy again! Then we walked around campus for the Notre Dame brainwashing to begin!
The Basilica, Golden Dome and Stadium. It’s approximately 40 degrees and windy. Norah was snug as a bug in a rug in our Ergo. She zonked out for a nap after lunch for almost two hours while we walked around campus!
While Norah slept on Dad’s back, we joined our group at our tailgate and hung out with everyone. By this point, it had started to rain, so we all huddled together under the tent.
Once Norah woke up, she had to experience all that tailgating had to offer, so we fed her some fried chicken for her afternoon snack. By this point, the rain was coming down, and we had A LOT of people under the tent.
The highlight of the tailgate was hanging out with Animal, and raising the Matterhorn flag.
Then it was finally game time! By this point, we had been outside with Norah for close to 5 hours, and it was only getting colder. Even though we were both warm and cozy, I decided to take Norah home before the game started while everyone else went inside. Kara and Katie and I walked back with Norah and we were sooooo happy with our decision. While we were walking home, the “real feel” temperature was 28 degrees and the rain had turned into freezing rain. When we walked in the door we all took hot showers and started the fire. We watched the game from the family room in the house while Norah played on the floor and our friends almost caught hypothermia. During half time, Amanda walked home as well, and the four of us planned dinner for the group. While we were home, everyone showed their devotion to ND by standing in this weather for 4 hours:
After the game, everyone walked home (Norah was already in bed) and we all ate BBQ and pizza. We watched the Nats blow a tied ball game at home by playing the longest game EVER. Seriously, we watched a baseball game that went to 18 innings. We all went to bed early (you know, if 1 am is early) and headed back to Chicago to fly home Sunday morning.
Once we got home, Mike and I were ready to hit the road and get home, but thankfully O’Neill was traveling with us. We sped off the plane and waited for him in at the gate at DCA because he was seated about 4 rows behind us. We waited and waited…then he finally walked off the plane…with our carseat! We had gate checked Norah’s carseat in Chicago, and then completely forgot to wait to pick it up on the jet bridge. Luckily, he saw it as he walked by and grabbed it for us! Thank god for Mike O’Neill!
While we were gone, Annabelle was taken care of by our friends who also own a daschund. The two of them became fast friends andAnnabelle made herself at home right away!
What a great weekend! Excited to go to another game…in September.