I am currently sitting in my Aunt and Uncle's home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. R and I are pretty pooped but we both enjoyed a delicious meal, have showered, and are even doing a load of laundry (we will not be the stinky people in South Dakota, go us!). Obviously I have some catching up to do and have to fill in the blanks between Southbend Indiana were I last left off, and Minnesota.
We started our time visiting Notre Dame so we could see the "legendary" Touchdown Jesus. So named because he is on the wall of the library behind the uprights on the football field and his arms held aloft mirror the lines of the football uprights.
I'll be frank with y'all. Southbend, Indiana is not worth you going out of your way for. However if you're going across the country anyways it's not a bad stopping point and there's enough to amuse you for an hour or two. The above squirrel is proof that I have regained my dominance over the rodent world after that brief incident in Niagara. Just to make sure though I have been approaching squirrels at each of our destinations to make sure they're afraid of me.
In addition to Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame, we found out there was a Southbend Chocolate Factory with free tours. We got there a little early and waited till the tour started by sipping some pretty amazing hot chocolate. We got not only the history of chocolate but a nifty little tour of the factory.
It was definitely the day of serendipitous travel finds, since we next ran across the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and did a brief detour to hike Mt. Baldy, one of the many sand dunes on Lake Michigan. The view was fun and it was nice to stretch our legs. Plus you have to love free entertainment on a trip.
The last part before we hit Oak Park, Illinois was what I thought would be a scenic tour of Gary, Indiana. Ever watch The Music Man? Remember that part where he sings a song about Gary Indiana and how awesome it is? I'm a musical nerd and thought it would be fun but the image above shows about all Gary has to offer. This is one of the better parts of town, in the worse part of town Rick and I were stuck waiting for a train to move off the tracks for about 20 minutes and I got the scenic view of a drug deal or two although we managed to avoid the adventure of being car-jacked. The moral is- musicals lie.