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Friday, January 4, 2019

A very nice after Christmas treat!

The day after Christmas, we decided to take Dan's Uncle to visit Belmont Abbey. Belmont Abbey is a Benedictine monastery dating back to 1892. There is a Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on the grounds that is a pilgrimage shrine. In 1904 St. Katherine Drexel visited the abbey and in 1910 Belmont was created as a  nullius ‘diocese’ by Pope St. Pius X which gave the abbey church cathedral status. In 1998 the church was designated a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II. There is also a college there which dates back to 1876.

On our way to visit the abbey, we stopped for lunch in Charlotte.  After a delicious hamburger at Pinkies Westside Grill  we decided to drive past the Panther's stadium and see if we could locate their practice field.

Peter did some quick googling and directed us to the field.  He wanted to see if he could spot some players but of course, they had black draping around the fence so you could hear some football sounds but couldn't really see anyone.  Also, there was another fence around the field to keep Lookie-Lous like us from bothering the players.

We parked (in a lot that said "No Practice Field Parking" like the rebels we are.  This was the only lot remotely near the field and the businesses at this lot were not working because it was the day after practice.  And it was clear that everyone else trying to get a glimpse of practice was parked there as well.

Dan and his uncle stayed in the car while Peter and I walked up the hill to the fence.  We were disappointed when we realized that we wouldn't be able to see any of the players.  There were probably 20 people there with chairs, their lunch, snacks, etc. 

One of the men there turned around towards us and I asked him if the players were going to come out soon.  He replied that they said practice would be done at 1:30.  It was currently 1:15.  After further conversations with this man, it was clear that everyone that had brought chairs had been there since the morning when all the players went into practice and they were hoping to get more autographs as the players came out.

This nice man convinced us to stay with the logic of "it's only 15 minutes and you might never get this chance again."  So we stayed.  He even gave us a piece of heavy art board and a sharpie. 

When the players came out his family moved their chairs so we could get right in beside them.  They started calling out the players names and this family had researched the players favorite treats and had them.  They would call the players name and say, "We have your favorite Haribo gummy bears will you sign and autograph for us?"

And the player would come over and sign for them and then we would meekly say, "Will you sign this for us?"  Peter was able to get the autographs of 3 of his favorite Panthers.  Sadly Cam Newton wasn't there because he was injured and Luke Kueckly rode out on a golf cart but Peter was very pleased with our impromptu stop! 

Honestly, he was just as excited about these autographs as he was on Christmas morning!

Getting DJ Moore's autograph.

Getting Dante Jackson's autograph.  That's Peter's hand behind the other boy with sunglasses.

Christian McAffrey!  
And then we made it to Belmont Abbey.  The church itself is very plain but there was some beautiful stained glass windows inside:

All in all, I would say it was a great day!


Madeline said...

What a fun day! I am impressed with the dedication of the family who had the favorite snacks. So glad Peter got to see some of his favorite players. That Abbey is spectacular!

Maria (also Bia) said...

autographs ... totally cool!

Mari said...

You had an awesome day!

Tina said...

Beth ,
Sounds like a good day! The world is small ,my uncle Mike McCormack helped start the Panthers years ago. There is a statue of him at the stadium.I have been reading your blog for about 4 years .One day I like to come out and see it and the Abbey.

Busy Bee Suz said...

How exciting for Peter to meet some of the players! What a great day for you all.