Touchdown in SouthBend

August 6th

“Coffee,” I mumbled as I got out of the bed on Friday morning. With our nonstop trekking, I had to remind myself what day it was or which city I slept in.  We arrived at South Bend late on Thursday night after a full day in Chicago and I was grateful for a deep and relaxing sleep before heading to Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.

“It is a gorgeous day to start our next adventure,” my mom noted, peering out the hotel window.

“After breakfast let’s do a quick tour of Notre Dame’s campus before we head into Michigan.”

“I hear it is a gorgeous campus,” my mom agreed.

We enjoyed a quick breakfast in the lobby and loaded our car by ten a.m.  The adjoining hotel had a Starbucks shop – so we enjoyed a caramel macchiato with extra shots.

South Bend is a quaint city that has a unique history from farming and industry to the foundation of the prestigious Notre Dame University.  I wish we had more time in South Bend, but we were happy to explore the town and campus for a couple of hours. 

            South Bend is in Northeast Indiana on ‘south bend’ of the St. Joseph River.  The area was first settled in the early 1800s by fur traders, where the St. Joseph River led development of a thriving economic and community center.  River access empowered heavy industrial development from the late 1800s into the 21st centuries.  South Bend was home to the Studebaker Corporation, the Oliver Chilled Plow Company and other large corporations.

            While industry declined after 1960, South Bend has had a resurgence with remodeling of the old Studebaker plant (Ignition Park) and other development.  Notre Dame is a leading university and has continued to nurture the communities cultural, spiritual and academic health. 

            My mom and I started our quick tour of South Bend at Notre Dame University.  We decided to forgo the walking tour (students were moving in and parking was a bit crazy) – we were able to drive around the campus and enjoy scenes of the stunning gothic architecture.  I felt as though I were at Oxford or some European cathedral and school.  It is stunning. 

            We wanted to tour the tour the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (and possibly attend Mass), but it was closed due to Mass and a school event.  We were able to witness the gorgeous Golden Dome of the Basilica and the ‘Hail Mary view’ of the stadium.  I’d love to go back in the future to tour the campus (outside of COVID restrictions).  I wish we could have seen the ‘Touchdown Jesus’ (road and parking blocked when we were there).  God knows how often I pray to Him to help my Carolina Tar Heels – I do believe God loves enjoy sports viewing with us 

            To learn more about The University of Notre Dame and take a virtual tour I recommend this link.

            To learn fun facts about South Bend

Continue to the next post as we drive to Grand Rapids and on to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park

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