The long drive was well worth the stress

CRESCO - Although the winter sports seasons are officially here, I’d like to share a football adventure that my wife, Sara, and I recently had that was mostly fun with pockets of frustration sprinkled in.
On Friday, Nov. 17, we drove from Cresco to Michigan City, Indiana, with the intention of attending a Notre Dame home football game in South Bend the following day. While we couldn’t have asked for better weather that day (temperatures in the 40s), the actual drive was anything but stress-free.
We departed Cresco around 8 a.m. and things went smoothly for the next few hours. We stopped for about 30 minutes in Galena, Ill., to have lunch and grab a coffee before getting back on the road.
Everything seemed to be going fine until we entered the suburbs of Chicago on Interstate 90 around 3:30 p.m., when we hit the Friday afternoon ‘get me the heck out of this city’ bumper-to-bumper traffic. 
Because we had borrowed Sara’s parents’ GPS, we knew we were still going in the right direction, however, our traveling speed had slowed down to about 15 to 10 mph or slower for almost two hours. The GPS would occassionly say things like, ‘in 3.3 miles, move to the left hand lane and prepare to exit.’ This type of statement can induce some anxiety when you are in the far right-hand lane, there are dozens of cars all within a couple feet of you and you feel like you’re trapped in a three foot-by-three foot phone booth. It was close to 6 p.m. when we finally made it to our hotel room in Michigan City (about 50 miles from campus). 
The next morning, Sara and I were on the road by 7:45 ready to complete our journey to Notre Dame. We got back on I-90 and thought we were going in the right direction until we saw a big sign saying ‘Welcome to Michigan.’ Son-of-a-biscuit! Only I didn’t say biscuit. Luckily, we found an off-ramp only a few miles down the road and we quickly turned around. 
Fortunately, Sara found some google maps thing on my phone which pointed us in the right direction.
We made it to the Notre Dame campus around 10:30 a.m. local time (they are one hour ahead of us). In terms of weather, we couldn’t have asked for anything better for mid-November (mid-50s and no wind). 
We had fun walking around campus for a few hours before heading into the stadium. I bought a steak sandwich from the Knights of Columbus food stand. Sara got a sandwich from the coffee shop inside the Hesburgh Library (aka Touchdown Jesus). We both had our cameras so we took a lot of photos.
Around 3 p.m. we made our way to the stadium to find our seats but even getting inside the gate wasn’t easy. We had the tickets downloaded on my phone because apparently no one in the world uses paper tickets for any sporting events anymore. Unfortunately, our password didn’t work so we had to download them to a google wallet application. 
It took us two or three times trying to access the tickets before we were able to pull up the code we needed for the ushers to scan the tickets. Finally, around 3:20 we were finally able to get in the stadium and get to our seats (three rows from the top in the north end zone with our backs facing Touchdown Jesus) about 15 minutes before the game was scheduled to start.
The game between Notre Dame and Wake Forest was relatively stress-free. The Irish led by 10 points at halftime before scoring two touchdowns each in the third and fourth quarter to win, 45-7. I got a few decent action shots from our nosebleed seats thanks to my zoom lens. I took a good shot of wide receiver Eli Raridon catching a touchdown pass from Sam Hartman and a neat shot of running back Audric Estime scoring a rushing touchdown. Plus, Sara and I got photos of the marching band before the game as well as the players singing the alma mater (Notre Dame Our Mother) after the game right in front of our section, which was pretty cool.
Walking around campus and taking photos of the famous landmarks (the Grotto, Sacred Heart Church, the Golden Dome, ‘We’re Number One’ Moses and Touchdown Jesus) is always enjoyable, even if we took similar photos during previous trips to campus. Although the drive was very long (nearly 800 miles roundtrip) and stressful at times, making it to my dad's alma mater for the 21st time was definitely worth it!

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

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Cresco, IA 52136

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