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With the Fighting Irish playing like national contenders again in the first season of the Charlie Weis era, the timing couldn't be better for the First Mate and I to make our second trip to see Touchdown Jesus, the Golden Dome, and the Notre Dame football team play on their home field. Last year, we made our way to our very first visit to South Bend by car, and we took 3 hours getting through the center of Chicago. Thanks to my brilliant navigation, I turned an eight-hour trip into a twelve-hour grueling marathon.
This year, I received tickets to the Syracuse game for next Saturday from loyal (and generous!) CQ reader TJ B. Thanks to his generosity, I will be able to invite my father, the Admiral Emeritus, along for the trip, although he and his wife will fly in from SoCal rather than drive. I decided to drive it again this year, but instead of listening to Mapquest and taking the urban route again, I've purchased a mapping program to re-do the route for better efficiency. Chicagoans should feel free to check this out and let me know in the comments if this improves my route, or if I'm just as insane as last year.
I figure that instead of taking 90 all the way through Chicago (and into Gary), I'd take 294 down to 80 and bypass most of the metro area around the Windy City. Then I'll take the 80 East out to the 94 to Michigan City, where I will be staying during the weekend. I figure it will only cost me an extra 20 miles, but it should save me that bumper-to-bumper traffic that got us stuck the last time.
We'll be leaving early on Thursday morning, and this time my hotel has Internet access, so I will be taking the camera and updating CQ readers about all of the campus activities to which we can gain access.
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