We jumped at the chance to go to Chicago a few weeks ago. I wanted to go for a couple reasons...
#1: To see my sister! It was a long over due trip to visit them in their home town of Chicago. They've lived there for 4 years and just bought a home in the last year. We take advantage of her frequent trips to the northwest and our get-togethers in Utah during the summers, but it was time for us to visit her in her own home!
#2: My dad scored tickets to the BYU vs. Notre Dame football game. I've always wanted to go to Notre Dame!
#3: It was a much needed getaway for Trevor and I (and Miles....we decided to take him since he was free to fly and it was much easier for us to take him with us over the work involved for someone to watch him for 4 days. One kid on a trip, easy peasy).
For the first time, I farmed out the other kids to different homes while we were gone. Carson and Addy just couldn't miss more school after being in Utah for a week, so they stayed with amazingly generous friends close by. And then my sister willingly took Rylan. (And Addy joined up with her on the weekend after her soccer game). I didn't worry a bit, they were in good hands the entire time and had a blast during their time away from mom and dad. Thank you thank you thank you!
Ok...our trip! We arrived late Thursday night. My parents flew in at the same time and Bryce picked us all up and crammed us in the car. My mom, Camille, and I stayed up until 2 am talking...we were on west coast time! It was so fun to be together!
Friday we needed to cram in all the tourist sites. I'd been to Chicago back in college for a tax competition, but only had a few hours in the city. And didn't have a personal tour guide like we did this time. Camille navigated all the roads in this huge city (3rd largest in the USA!) like a pro. And she lined up a babysitter for her kids and Miles...which made site seeing MUCH easier!
First up the 'bean'. It's a famous, artistic sculpture of sorts...and very awesome! Each side provides unique reflections and views of the city skyline.
Chicago was crawling with BYU fans. You would think in this massive city that you wouldn't cross paths with a few thousands BYU fans in town for the game....but they were everywhere. Of course my dad bumped into a family from Centerville....small world even in a big city!
Camille drove us out to to get a shot of Lake Michigan and the best view of the city! Gorgeous!
Of course I really wanted authentic Chicago deep dish pizza for lunch! It was amazing!
And a little shopping on the Mag Mile. I wasn't prepared for the cold, so a new coat was in order.
It took us a couple hours to work our way home...oh the life of city traffic. But we didn't have kids and didn't mind. We ordered up Chicago hot dogs and had to make a quick stop at Camille's local Home Goods store for some goodies to take home to the kids.
And then on Saturday...game day! We left Miles and Camille's kids (again) with a great babysitter and headed out to South Bend, Indiana; about a 2 hour drive. Road Trip!
We got to the campus in plenty of time to wander around a bit. Oh man, BYU fans everywhere! It was so awesome to see! And the Notre Dame fans were SO accommodating...so happy to have us there. They wanted to know where we were from and if we needed help finding anything. Super nice people.
Had to get the famous shot in front of 'Touchdown Jesus' on the Notre Dame campus. You can see the mural from the stadium, hence the nickname. I loved it!
We quietly toured the Notre Dame Basilica. Amazing workmanship and detail. Everything about it was extravagant and beautiful.
The entire football team marches through campus (we missed it) and then the marching band follows a little while later. The pathways line up with thousands of fans as this ginormous band marches and plays through campus. The history and traditions of the university are unmatched. It was so very awesome.
And then the game! BYU actually kept it close the first half, but Notre Dame is having an amazing season and BYU couldn't pull it out (typical of our season). But it was full of big plays and excitement...just like a football game should be. And plus, we had great company!
After a late dinner in town after the game, we headed back exhausted. We had most of the day Sunday to relax and recover before heading out to the airport. It was fun to play with the kids we hadn't seen the previous two days, and we even got to celebrate little Claire's 2nd birthday too!
Camille was an awesome host and tour guide and lives in a beautiful home that she continues to rock on the decorating/remodeling front. Thanks so much for a jam-packed trip of fun!! We'll be back!