Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 2 - More rain, ND and DADDY!!!

The morning started out dreary and rainy, sort of the way it ended the previous night. That put a dent into our plans but the kids were still troopers and ready for more adventure!

We were scheduled to see the Franciscan Sisters in Mishawaka but when that fell through, we headed just North and spent some time with the Fighting Irish at the University of Notre Dame (I saw Touchdown Jesus while driving in but the kids couldn't figure out who I meant). The kids are so cute. I guess the whole "post-secondary education" concept is still a bit foreign to them. Since they have a few years to decide on majors and universities, I'm not too alarmed.

We picked up our "Mass pass" (an hour or so of free parking!) and headed into the gated community. I will say this; we were traveling, as we usually do, with only guidance from above and we met some of the kindest people ever. One woman took me to an extremely plush bathroom in the administration building (perhaps we looked desperate?) and another man walked us to our car after we got turned around and couldn't find the correct parking lot. A+ Notre Dame - you are living the corporal works!

When we got there, we had almost an hour before Mass started (and, truthfully, I didn't think we'd last that long) so we took a walk to the grotto to say some prayers, visit St. Bernadette ;0) and light some candles for our friends near and far.

We headed up to the basilica and had a seat. What an amazingly beautiful place! The windows had 4 Saints each...the kids spent a good while just trying to figure out who they recognized. I spent most of the time praying to St. John to quiet his namesake who decided to smash his chin into the wooden pew.

Blondie had a lot to say the entire day. Every picture I took could have looked just like this one.

 Mass was a very pleasant experience - 4 priests on the altar! For daily Mass! More grace to fortify us for the rest of our journey.
We headed Northwest and were gifted with the view (well, those who were not napping) at Michigan Dunes State Park. What a cool place! Like Lake Erie but with sand dunes! I snapped these pictures from the car. #3 really wanted to run in the sand and lake...too bad it was raining :0(

Finally time to head to the city! We drove for another hour or so and were welcomed several miles out by the traffic that is Chicago. Again, thankful for the video, we made it!
I didn't plant the just stays there around the Blessed Mother statuette
We stopped just South of the city to check in to our new home for the night. The Monastery of the Holy Cross bed and breakfast. We were welcomed by Brother Ezekiel to the first floor of a lovely townhouse. It was tiny but quiet. I would have loved to be there in the summer - the garden is beautiful. Besides, who can beat the view (inside or out)?
 Some of our holy neighbors in the garden
the monastery church just across the alley

when was the last time you saw this in a hotel???

After a short rest, we were off to pick up my beloved from his conference. We met him at the University of Illinois-Chicago with his friend who teaches there. I've spoken about this man before. He is so amazingly bright but so kind and fun. He is a very accomplished professor but is still willing to "sneak" little kids up to the 28th floor to see the excellent view from the Provost's offices ;0) Thanks, Dr. Gib!

To celebrate the reuniting of our family, we stopped by neighborhood Italian spot, filled our tummies with calamari and pasta, and headed home to bed. More fun tomorrow! We are so blessed :0)


  1. Beautiful church, awesome sights, good planning, Sue! We are admiring a lovely sunset here (with cows) and missing you lots!

  2. I was at Notre Dame once - so beautiful! But those people are nuts about football. Traffic is crazy on game days!

    I have been to a "hotel" like that...when I stayed at a pensione (sp?) run by nuns in Rome. Wonderful time.

    What a fun family road trip :-)