It's been a rough month for me to be quite honest. As I wrote about earlier this month, October 7th would have been my grandfather's birthday. He passed away a year ago on the 20th. Every year, my mom, who owns an artisan bakery, has a huge feast in which she invites her regular customers, family, and friends to enjoy many of the foods that she serves throughout the year. It is her big thank you to all that are somehow involved in her business. I've been meaning to go home for her feast for some time and felt that this year would be the year, especially since this year's was in honor of my grandfather and many of my extended family members would be there.
However, I was not so lucky. Months in advance, I began searching for a plane ticket to South Bend, the closest airport. A ticket normally costing $250-$350 was now $783. I checked airfare prices the following week in hopes they would be different. $849. The next. $972. And finally several weeks before. $1443. I could have flown to Paris for half that price. Or to Sydney for only $500 more! Why were these tickets so expensive, you might ask? Well, it's called an old college football tradition-- one single game that is quite a huge deal: Notre Dame vs. USC.
Growing up near South Bend, I was always exposed to the ridiculous nature of Notre Dame football-- 2 hour waits to eat dinner at a restaurant on home game weekends, bad traffic in South Bend, trying to do fall clothes shopping in a mad house mall, friends not being able to book hotels for their visits to town, annoying tourists in a quaint little town. And now this football game was ruining my plans to be with my family.
Needless to say, I've been in a funk this weekend and needed to find a way out. So I did the one thing that I knew would at least sort of help and I made myself busy. So busy, in fact, that I did all of this in one afternoon:
Yes, I realize that I may be crazy when it comes to the Valentine's Day themed cards, but I had to get the ideas on paper before I forgot them. After a long, productive day we took a long walk across Patterson Park to Yellow Dog Tavern for dinner. It was a nice ending the day in cool, crisp air and enjoying dinner in a cozy pub. It wasn't my mom's feast, but it was certainly a fantastic way to end the day.