On the Road Again (Part 5)

While March was relatively tame from a travel perspective, April saw not one, but two 10+ day road trips. After returning home from beating Cornell on Long Island, the boys turned around and handily beat UNC 14-6 at Arlotta Stadium.  It was a much-needed statement game from the defense after giving up 17 goals the game before. 

Our next 12-day road trip took us to Charlottesville, VA, and Charlotte, NC.  It was one of the most beautiful parts of our trip. There are trees and greenery as far as the eye can see. For those wondering, we hired a dog sitter to stay at our rental in South Bend while traveling.  The entire month of April the house was for Rocco and the dog sitter as we were on the road!   This road trip was a total of 1,700 miles and 28 hours of drive time.

Pittsburgh, PA

Once again, we headed through Ohio to get to our first stop in Pittsburgh, PA.  Unfortunately, our travels didn’t take us to the Salty Longhorn, oh well! On our way, we decided to listen to an audiobook about the American Revolution.  It was a great educational experience, and the amazing part is we were driving through several places mentioned as part of the Revolution.  There was a Fort in Pittsburgh that we visited which was so cool. We enjoyed Pittsburgh quite a bit.  It is a nice little city, with two stadiums right on the Allegheny River.  We found an awesome restaurant, Bar Marco, that had maybe six tables, but fantastic food. 

PNC Baseball Park on the Allegheny River. Heinz Museum.

Charlottesville, VA

The University of Virginia is located in the Central part of Virginia, in Charlottesville.  It is what I would call a “college town.” Plenty of bars and restaurants for young (and old) to hang out.  The campus was designed by Thomas Jefferson, so it had some beautiful older buildings.  UVA was a huge game for the Irish as they were the only team to beat them in 2023 (twice in fact).  Notre Dame beat UVA in the Semi-Finals of the 2023 NCAA Championships, so there was a lot of buildup heading into this game.  It was a beautiful day; the stadium was packed and once again the Irish came home with an 11-9 victory.  On our way to Charlotte, NC we stopped at a beautiful winery, Pippin Hills.  We discovered there are wineries in just about every State. 

One of the most beautiful places we visited on our trip.

Charlotte, NC

Our next stop was Charlotte, which was about a four-hour drive.   We were there for the better part of a week and Joy found this great Airbnb in this historic part of the city.  Charlotte was probably one of our favorite places of the entire trip.  It is a city but has smaller little districts so it doesn’t feel like a “big” city.  I would venture to guess the average age of the population was 30!  There are breweries on every block.  The food was great, and we enjoyed our stay.  We took a day trip to Asheville, to visit the Biltmore Estate, which was built by the Vanderbilt family in 1895.  We took a short hike on the grounds and got caught in a major downpour, no umbrella! Charlotte, has these greenways all through the City which are great walking paths.  We took the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and saw so many beautiful trees and flowers, it was truly special. One day we went to an action water park, that was incredible.  They had many adventure activities, but also fantastic hiking trails as well. The Notre Dame lacrosse team played and won the ACC Tournament in dominating fashion beating UVA (again) 18-9 in the Semi-Finals and then Duke 16-6 in the Finals.  Both sets of grandparents made the trip to Charlotte, so it was great seeing everyone together.  The team was looking ready to make another run in the NCAA Tournament which started the following week.

I have a feeling we will be back to Charlotte at some point.
Dominating ACC tournament performance. It was great to have the Grandparents in attendance. Marco holding the ACC trophy!

Lexington, KY

As I mentioned in my first post about our trip, we loved our time in Louisville, KY.  So on the way back to South Bend, we decided to go to Lexington, KY in the hopes we would find another small town we enjoyed.  It was just “OK.” It is a small town; the University of Kentucky is located there.  We walked the campus, and it wasn’t all that memorable.  We found a nice place for dinner and had a few more Bourbon tastings (of course).   Then we were back off to Rockne for our last few nights in South Bend.

Not many photos of Lexington, because there wasn't much to see.

5 thoughts on “On the Road Again (Part 5)”

  1. Marco Napolitano

    I left the ACC tourney not knowing if every other team just sucked or if we were really that good. Turns out in the tournament that both were true!! Another great post. How many more are left?

    1. For sure, it was hard to know for sure. But it didn’t matter the Irish were not going to be denied! I think I have 3-4 left in the Great American Roadtrip series. Then I have to see what I write about next. I appreciate your reading.

  2. Part five is another beautiful summary of trip planning and progress.
    I love all the pictures you posted. Thanks

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