We have been very, very fortunate … some might say lucky … on our trip to South Bend, Indiana and the University of Notre Dame.
The first occurred when we received the Chicago Blackhawk tickets from Matt, which we wrote about yesterday.
The second good fortune occurred when we crossed the border into the U.S.A. At customs, we ended up being assigned to a line in which the customs official seems to be taking and average of 7 to 10 minutes per vehicle.
When it was finally our turn, we provided our passports and were asked by the U.S. customs officer where we were headed, to which Harvey answered “We are going to South Bend, Indiana to watch Notre Dame play football.”, and then he added “Go Irish!”.
When the customs official heard this he smiled, returned both our passports (after looking at them of course) as well as a “Go Irish!” and let us through in about 60 seconds.
Yesterday, before dinner we were at the local grocery store near our hotel and I picked up another Notre Dame sweatshirt. When we scanned it at the self checkout it charged us only $16 rather than the $30 which was on the price tag.
However, the greatest amount of luck occurred yesterday morning.
Before we headed out for the day I went on NDNation.com, one of the many Notre Dame Football fan web sites and noticed a posting which indicated that some tickets were being made available for purchase by the ND Ticket Office. For fun, I went to the Notre Dame ticket web store and to my amazement there were indeed a pair of seats available in the lower level around the 50 yard line. Wow.
Even more amazing is that when I called the ticket office (a technical issue prevented me from purchasing it on line – my bad not the ticket office), they were still available so I made the purchase. Going from 6th row from the top of the end zone to seats in the lower level on the 50 yard line has to be Luck of the Irish, doesn’t it?
What to do with the pair which we had initially purchased at face value from a Notre Dame alum? What would you do?
In the spirit of the University, its ideals, etc., we decided to play it forward. We received good fortune, or Luck of the Irish this week, so why not share it with someone who could appreciate it?
What made the most sense to me was to try and donate it to Hannah and Friends, the “nonprofit organization improving the quality of life
for children and adults with special needs”. Having a special needs family member myself immediately provides an emotional affiliation. Perhaps they could give it to a local family with a special needs child. I tried to call my contact at Hannah and Friends but could not reach her.
Harvey, my buddy who is with me all week during my visit to South Bend and the University of Notre Dame first suggested that I go back to the ticket office and ask them if they had a contact at Hannah and Friends. Good idea, but the person did not have any contact information to me.
The game is at this point is less than three days from kickoff.
Harvey then suggested that I go to the Head Football Coach’s office and see if they could put us in contact with someone from Hannah and Friends. If they could not use the pair of tickets we should ask other contacts we had developed over this week in time for them to be able to use them.
Long story short, we went to the Guglielmino Athletics Complex (the ‘Gug’) on the campus of the University of Notre Dame where the football offices are located. Here is a beautiful sculpture of the Four Horsemen in the lobby with me (yes, in my newly purchased ND windbreaker) while we wait.
The very nice lady at the reception desk was able to put us in contact with someone (first name Kevin or Steve, I just cannot recall) who said yes they could use the tickets. So we left them with this very nice lady knowing that our original tickets would be put to good use. I received a call later in the afternoon from the contact I had with Hannah and Friends organization who was very appreciative.
It feels to do good for someone else, doesn’t it? Perhaps if you ever find yourself with an extra ticket or two to any sporting event you might consider offering it to your own local charity.
In the evening, Harvey and I went to the Fiddler’s Hearth, a very nice and moderately priced restaurant / pub in downtown South Bend. In fact, Mike from Toronto, a subalum like myself, recommended this restaurant. He was not wrong.
It is a relaxed family atmosphere with a menu of various Celtic food (and beverages) from the ‘Seven Celtic Nations’. Harvey had a very good (per Harvey) Sheppard’s Pie and I had, naturally, Irish Stew which was delicious with large chunks of lamb.
It is a great restaurant, very reasonably priced with great foot and beverages (mine is a Cider below ) and we highly recommend it.
Friday, we go back to the campus of the University of Notre Dame for some more touring (no, we have not seen everything yet!) and for some of the special activities which occur on the Friday before a home football game of the Fighting Irish!
It will be a late night and wet as the forecast is for rain and, well, more rain.
To continue to the next article in this series about our Notre Dame experience, simply select this link to Notre Dame Football Fridays.
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