We were already tired after just one day of running around campus, but fortunately the game didn't start until 3:30, so we were able to sleep in and spend some more time chatting with Martha (Shaun's grandma) before heading over to campus around noon.
We got brats at one of the many food stands on the quad and found a shady spot to enjoy them...
...watched from the steps of the Main Building (the one with the Golden Dome) as the team walked out of the Basilica (where we got married!) on the way to the stadium...
...and made our way over to Bond Hall for the marching band's Concert on the Steps, where they played some of the pregame and halftime music, before following them on their march to the stadium.
The Irish Guard raises the flag for America the Beautiful and the Star Spangled Banner.
The band forms N D and the team races out of the tunnel. "Heeeeeere come the Irish!"
We didn't take too many pictures during the game...we were too busy cheering! Not a bad start to the season...not at all.
We climbed to the top of the stadium to watch the band march out once again. That's the Hesburgh Library in the background - the mural is called "The Word of Life" but is more commonly known as Touchdown Jesus.
On our way out - you can see the brick of the original stadium. The expansion in 1997 added the upper level by simply building around the old stadium. I never went to a game in the old stadium, but I think it's cool how they preserved history like that.
We had to swing by the Dome one last time before heading to the car...this is one of my favorite sights. Even when I walked by all the time as a student, it never got old.
It was a little strange being back this time, because this is the first game we've been to where we didn't know anyone in the marching band. We felt disconnected, and it kind of made me want to go back and live there again and be a part of it. Of course, I wouldn't want to relive all four years, but there are plenty of things I'd love to experience a second time. Shaun and I started to wonder when it will feel normal to come back as an alum rather than being a student in the band.
We did have a fun evening though of reconnecting with a drumline friend who recently moved back to South Bend for a research job at ND. We chatted and watched more football at his apartment, then hit the road Sunday morning. We had decided to drive the whole way on Sunday so we'd have Labor Day to recover, but we made sure to switch up the driving every couple of hours, and it worked pretty well. It was an awesome weekend, but at the end of the day we were happy to get back to our own bed!
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