Last weekend we met up with college pals for our annual football weekend reunion at Notre Dame.
Hosted by our generous and kind friends, John and Ellen, more than a dozen of us descended upon their vacation home across the street from campus. A pied-à-terre in South Bend, Indiana.
This great house is warm and inviting just like its owners. Originally built as a two bedroom, two bath place, Ellen has used her magic, building out a couple of bedrooms and alcoves in the basement, utilizing pull out sofas and trundle beds so that this “little house that could” now sleeps about 28. Unbelievable!
The fun started on Friday afternoon as we all arrived from different parts of the country.
Ellen bought this sign when we were in Montana this summer and vowed to display it whenever and wherever we all get together.
Everyone rallied in the kitchen and joined in preparing appetizers and dinner. My contribution was an Irish Cheddar Cheese Ball made with a little Jameson Irish Whiskey (when in Rome do whatever Romans do, when at Notre Dame eat and drink Irish stuff).
I forgot to take a picture – rookie mistake – but here is the picture from the original source, the Four Points Foodie blog.
Throughout the evening we did what we always do: share stories and laugh and laugh and laugh.
One of the topics of conversation was what each persons pseudonym would be on my blog.
Sorry to destroy the magic. All names, except mine, have been changed to protect the innocent.
Everyone had the opportunity to choose their own name with helpful (?) suggestions from the crowd. One fellow in particular was not doing a good job of choosing a name. I told him he would have until our departure on Sunday to settle on something or else the name chosen by the group would stand. He did not make a choice and so will now be known, always and forever, as Byff (with a “Y”).
We ended the evening with an Irish coffee topped with fresh whipped cream and a green M&M, then tucked in for the night to get ready for game day.
Saturday morning we awoke to the familiar sight of Ernie at the stove preparing made to order omelets for all. As he does every morning, Byff (with a “Y”) brought a cup of coffee to the basement for his dear wife, Marie.
We scurried around gathering the last minute supplies for the tailgate party then headed over to campus.
Saturday’s football game featured Notre Dame vs Navy. This is always one of my favorite games because of the pageantry and mutual respect. We also have quite a strong connection to Navy among our group since Ernie and Elizabeth’s son and lots of other family members are graduates of the Naval Academy.
Although there were rumors that there would be a flyover to start the game, we were concerned that the low clouds and overcast conditions would ground the pilots. But sure enough, after the singing of the National Anthem, we looked up and saw fans at the other end of the stadium pointing to the sky.
The Blue Angels.
Then they looped around and flew over our heads again. It was breathtaking. Clare and I squealed with delight.
Later the pilots walked onto the field, introduced to a standing ovation.
Fortunately the clouds went away and all threat of rain disappeared. It was a crisp (45 degree) fall football day but we all managed to stay warm thanks to the extremely cozy (aka tight) seats.
Most of the seats in the Notre Dame stadium are on wooden benches with seat numbers painted on to designate each person’s spot. I firmly believe that when the seats were being marked, the crew determined spacing by lining up a bunch of freshmen (before the dining hall had graced them with the dreaded “freshman 15”) and did not take into consideration that regular and some plus-sized people would be sitting in those seats. And that they would be wearing puffy coats for most of the football season.
We were packed in but we were toasty warm!
The game was an offense-palooza – neither defense showed up – and Notre Dame emerged victorious.
In a heartwarming display of good sportsmanship, each team joined the other to gather in front of the fans as each band played their school’s alma mater.
We headed back to our hosts’ home for dinner, more football on TV, and our traditional Bailey’s Irish Cream night cap.
Sunday morning we all pitched in for clean-up duty getting “The Little House That Could” ready for the next home game. We snapped a group photo and were on our way home, already looking forward to the next time we are lucky enough to be together.
Go Irish!Thanks for stopping by,
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