Notre Dame Football, part 1

I just got back from my first football weekend at Notre Dame, and I’m stoked to capture it all! But, writer that I am, I took in so many impressions I’ll have to break them up over a few days’ time.

Let’s get the preliminaries out of the way today.

This was a BIG DEAL for me. I imagine lots of people go to college football games every year, but I’m one who hasn’t.

Not that I haven’t wanted to.

It’s just that I live 500 or so miles from my alma mater (Go Rebels!), and that’s a pretty far piece to travel for a three-hour game.

So I watch on TV every Saturday, screaming at the screen, yelling with the fans, and scaring my poor Sheltie senseless!

And even when I was an undergrad, I was in the Band all four years, so I never really had to figure out the logistics of attending a game. Things like: how do you get a ticket, where can you park, what can you bring (or not bring) into the stadium, how do you find your seat.

That sort of thing.

So last year, when My Favorite Domer asked me to come to a Notre Dame game, I panicked and put him off. Couldn’t get tickets, couldn’t get a hotel room.

‘Fraidy-cat. Big time.

This year, he tried again, only he was ready for my excuses. He fired up his laptop and found me a convenient hotel (so it was in the next county, but Indiana isn’t that big!); he even sent me a link to order my tickets online.

How could I refuse?

My sister (who’s been married forever) said I was very brave to try something like this by myself. Several friends, jealous they couldn’t get tickets for the season’s first game under a brand new coach, insisted I take LOTS of pictures so they could experience it vicariously. Even my mom volunteered to go with me and stay in the hotel “so I wouldn’t be alone.”

They thought I was NUTS for wanting to be alone!

But I wasn’t. There were 80,000-plus fans screaming right alongside me!

Tomorrow, I’ll share more sights and sounds from campus.

What a bunch of weenies!

Okay, I promised another move-in story, so here goes.

Arriving in South Bend, I wanted to get checked in to a hotel before moving My Favorite Domer into his dorm for Summer Term.

He, of course, insisted he move in first.

Since he only had a small window of time to move in, I acquiesced.

It wasn’t as bad as last year. We probably packed better, the weather cooperated, and we had less stuff.

How much junk does a kid need for Summer Term, anyway?

It’s almost like packing for camp.

So we got him settled, then off we went to find me a room for the night.

That’s when the fun started.

We checked a couple of places — all full.

Finally, in frustration, I asked one of the desk clerks what was going on that had hotel occupancy off the charts.

He sheepishly admitted they’d had a wicked storm the night before, and most of the hotel guests were actually residents who didn’t want to be inconvenienced because their power was out but knew the hotels had generators.


You could have knocked me over with a feather!

After all, I lived on the Gulf Coast for several years, and every season (or so it seemed!), we had a hurricane blow through and knock out power for a week at a time!

In 90+ degree weather, day AND night!

No hot food. No hair dryer. No air conditioner. Not even a stinkin’ fan!

But we suffered through it. Brave little warriors, wearing our sweat-drenched T-shirts and sharing our tales of woe with anybody who’d listen.

Yet here these “weenies” were, spending a couple of hundred bucks to stay overnight  in a hotel — with FREE TV, air conditioning, and a pool!

Topping it off, the next morning I noticed the temperature had dropped to a cool 62 degrees.

I’m tellin’ ya, some people have more money than sense!

Of light vs. dark

Isn’t it odd how we never stop learning about ourselves?

I just returned from dropping My Favorite Domer off at Notre Dame for Summer Term (more on this tomorrow). Anyway, it’s the first time I got a hotel room away from the main lights of the city.

So it was dark. Really dark. The kind of dark that leads your imagination to play all sorts of tricks on you.

Like when you hear funny noises and imagine creepy critters scurrying about. Or when you see looming shadows and know you’re next.

I thought about leaving a lamp on, but no way can I sleep with that much light.

At home, nights aren’t that dark because there’s plenty of light from streetlamps and our neighbors.

Not in the hotel, though.

So I decided to leave the TV on. I turned the volume way down and aimed the screen away from the bed.

But the station kept switching scenes and the resulting flashes were anything but restful.

I jumped up and changed to a steadier channel.

Still no luck.

Frustrated, I jumped up again and turned it off.

Now hunkering beneath the covers in my dark room, I started to itch.

Probably just the Lysol I sprayed onto the pillow, I thought.

Or maybe it was bugs.

I jumped up again.


I swear I was more tired after “sleeping” eight hours than I would have been if I’d just stayed up all night!

So next time, I’m going to pack a nightlight and my own sleeping bag.

Can’t be too careful now, can we?!