Wow! Can’t believe it’s been almost ten months since I wrote here. I’ve missed it, and God knows, I’ve still been traveling. Have so many trips to share. You’ll have to give me your patience as I get caught up. Since I’ve just returned from a two-week road trip, I’ll start there and work my way back. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share more on fun times and fun places like Bonnaroo and Sydney, Australia.
So, in just under two weeks, I drove my lovely new Toyota Highlander (Special thanks to Seeger Toyota for selling me this gem!) and three teenage boys throughout the northeast for a series of college visits. After 10 states and 2400 miles, I’m just a wee bit tired and wishing for a vacation from my vacation. However, it was worth every minute to laugh at silly boy jokes and watch my son and nephew discover the possibilities that lie ahead for them at college.
Our first leg of the trip landed us in Pittsburgh where I had a work meeting. Man, Pittsburgh is an awesome city. For being the home of steel and industrial corporations, Pittsburgh is vibrant, beautiful and full of surprises. The city is intertwined with three rivers; dotted with stadiums for frenzied-fans of the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins; and scattered with pedestrian market squares with boutiques, fruit stands and music tents. Seriously, it’s an amazing city!
My opinion of Pittsburgh is probably a bit influenced by a super cool tour of Heinz stadium…home of the 6 time champions Pittsburgh Steelers. Got to check out the locker room, walk through the tunnel where the players go out to the game, walk onto the field AND have dinner in the press box. All in all, not a bad night for a girl who happens to love her football. Although, I did feel a bit guilty since I’m not a Steelers fan and there are so many rabid fans in the city. Not too guilty though.
We enjoyed our first college visit at University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). Great academic and extra curricular programs including a quiddich team. That’s right! Our children have grown up with Harry Potter and immortalized Hogwarts with quiddich on the college fields. Check out this video…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UfPij5ABdo. Too fun!
Did I mention that this was a glamorous trip? I mean Hollywood has nothing on the flashy lights and screaming crowds of…Scranton, PA. Ha! We stopped in the sleepy town that was made infamous by The Office television show on our way to Connecticut. My nephew is a huge fan of the show so we did take some time to check out a few “Office” sites such as the paper factory seen in the opening credits and dinner at Sal’s Pizza (their menu hangs on the bulletin board in the lunchroom on the show). The only really memorable thing in Scranton was the bizarre music blaring in the city square. Heard Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like a Wolf” when we arrived. Strange.
After one night in Scranton (really, all that’s needed), we headed to New Haven, Connecticut where my son and I attended my friend’s wedding. Before the nuptial festivities, our next college visit was UConn with its very, very, very large campus…its own zip code and police department. Oh, and it happens in the middle of nowhere Connecticut. I was actually surprised by how remote it is for being in such a small state.
We had a very lovely time in Connecticut celebrating the wedding of Kristin Nelson and Derek Poundstone. A beautiful wedding and too much fun with good friends. Lots of laughing and dancing. Always my kind of party.
Next stop, Boston. We visited Babson and Northeastern, both known for innovative programs in business. Each very different and both excellent options. My favorite part of this leg of the trip was catching up with our friends Gene and Amy and their sweet little boys Eli and Max. Eli is a very talkative 20-month-old who loved having a crowd in the house. He especially connected with Cam and had a good time goofing around. Can’t wait to see them when they visit St. Louis in August.
The final leg of our trip was the big apple, NYC. My favorite city in the world. Also my son and nephew’s favorite. Here’s one tip for anyone going to New York for the first time…don’t do it in the summer. It’s like the world’s craziest tourists descend on the city all at once. Super crowded…but still awesome. Here we visited Baruch College and NYU, also both with strong academic programs.
Beside visiting colleges, we did a few of the fun NYC touristy things like hitting up Canal Street, enjoying the views of the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park and wandering Times Square. We even had a great celebrity siting! Cam’s priority activity was going to Flight Club to buy a pair of birthday shoes. While he stared in wonder at the wall of shoes, in walks Jaden and Willow Smith. Then a few minutes later, big brother Trey joined the fam. Fun times.
The very best part of our NYC visit was going to Sirius radio and sitting in with The Covino & Rich Show for their daily show. Before that, we took a tour of the studio (with the ever, super cool Producer Spot) and then with the best luck we got a tour of Howard Stern’s studio. Walking into the highly secured area, we met Baba Booey. All very unexpected and super cool. The boys loved it!! Covino & Rich and Spot are the coolest guys and very gracious hosts. Thanks guys!
So, in all, we visited four states and six colleges. After much consideration, we’ve ranked them as such based on academic program, student living situations and fit for Cam:
This was a thoroughly enjoyable trip for me and I hope the same for my boys. While Cam just turned 16 and started driving, it was so exciting to see how college will be for him. It’s really hard to believe it’s that time already…the time when my son goes off to college to start his path in life. The next two years will be gone in a flash so I’m just going to keep my eyes wide open and embrace every moment.
My next post will be about “The Beauty of Bonnaroo”!