Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday recap

** Please note this blog is a recap, the hotel's internet was down. So humor me.... read it like it happened today...
Monday night we didn't make it to the Indiana state line and just decided to stay the night in Ohio.

Then...after a nice stay in a surprisingly decent $32 a night motel in Perrysburg Ohio we were up and in the car. Over the Indiana state line...Now where to? A quick glance through the tour book revealed that we were not too far from South Bend Indiana... home of Notre Dame and the world famous Fighting Irish!

After some difficulty finding our way to the visitor center, Mom and I were right on time to make the walking tour of campus. Slight problem. Mom needed her hat so she rifled through the car while I ran to meet up with the tour group. There they were...but no Mom. I called out to the tour group as they headed off. One dumb numbnut heard me and never alerted anyone else. I watched the tour walk off at a quick pace while I fumbled with my cell to call Mom. They formed into tiny moving dots in the distance and disappeared around a bend. Mom and I subsequently stalked a group of people on campus for 500 yards until we realized they were not the tour group. Plan B. Get a campus map and try to give ourselves the tour.
An interesting bit of advice for those of you trying to navigate Notre Dame University....

DO NOT TRUST THE MAP. Ask everyone you see instead of trusting the map. Even the friendly groundskeeper that stopped to give us directions to various highlighted buildings said 'that map makes no sense'. Coming from a easily navigable and small upstate NY college perspective Mom and I were overwhelmed...but at our leisurely pace we plodded along. I'm a big fan of the movie Rudy. So I enjoyed every minute of this. Right down to the yummy looking school logo cookies in the cafe. The site of the golden dome was breathtaking.
NOTE TO SELF: Must watch Rudy for 101st time when back home.

Next up we headed through Illinois and bypassed it---save a quick rest-stop visit.
We crossed over into Wisconin in the late afternoon. The first stop was the visitor's center. My first reaction to Wisconsin? These people have it goin' on. Just look at this lovely line up of recycling receptacles. Seriously, I think Wisconisn has something over New York when it comes to environmental friendliness. I counted 5 batches of these recycling clusters just at this one rest stop. I've watched so many people at NY rest stops chuck plastic bottles that it's turned my stomach so this my friends, was a welcome breath of fresh air. Wisconisn, you get my vote of confidence.

At the rest stop we grabbed a bunch of those travel brochures and hotel coupon booklets. By the way if you are travelling on a road trip...this is the ONLY way to get hotels. Reservations are for the birds. Show up with that booklet and you'll save a lot of cash.
We drove into Kenosha Wisconsin and into Racine. Once you get through the dingier parts of Racine you come to a kind of cute downtown area and some really cool waterfront finds. Mom and I selected a restaurant randomly called Chartroom Charlie's which overlooked a marina. By the time we got there it was pretty late for dinner.
The parking lot was virtually empty, we almost turned around but took a second look and boy am I glad we did. Inside the restaurant was colorful strung with lights and a whimsical playground for the imaginative mood we were both in. And the food ? YUMMMMY.

Tuesday night we forked over a little more moola for a LaQuinta in Pleasant Prarie Wisconsin. Not the uber bargain from the other night, but we paid for the promise of superior internet. Supposedly, according to the advertising...La Quinta is Spanish for internet. As you can see from the lateness of this post that advertising is decidely false.
Although it pays to complain politely. Because I must say the LaQuinta manager knocked some of our bill off for the inconvenience.

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