Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Roadtrip

Virginia Tech -Blacksburg VA
Burris Hall
The white stones are the Memorial with each person's name engraved on them
The only picture they took of Squirrel on campus
In a classrooom, contemplating college
I don't know what this building is but I thought it was a neat walkway

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These are a few of the pictures from the Squirrel's VA Tech tour on Saturday. It is such a beautiful campus - all the buildings are built from the same quarry stone and the entire campus is surrounded by mountains - it is especially spectacular in the fall.
Since I couldn't go on the tour with them they took a bunch of pictures plus a video. If I had felt up to it the wheelchair wouldn't have been a problem as their tour guide, Michael, was also in one. He was really cute when he said "Just so you know I give the longest tours on campus." He was incredibly informative and answered every question.
I had asked Pooldad to take them to lunch in the dining hall after the tour but when they arrived they discovered it was "Steak and Lobster" Day and the place was packed! They didn't want to brave it so they came back and ate DQ instead. From what I can tell VA Tech has awesome dining options - the only thing that worries me is we pay a set price for a food plan but instead of being charged per meal [buffet style] - as I was in college - they are charged for exactly what they eat. Squirrel may run out of money in the first month eating bacon! I guess we are going to have a chat about exactly how much she can spend each day, eh?
They were able to see a model dorm room - which was neat - and from the video I can tell they haven't gotten any bigger!
It was incredibly successful for her and I really think she is leaning towards accepting. She is going to visit James Madison this weekend [it is 2.5 hours away] but I won't be going because it is going to be a day trip. [Just for comparison VA Tech is 4.5 hours away]. After that we only have one more Saturday to visit a campus before she has to decide. So, we shall see.
I should tell you about our hotel stay!
  • When I made the reservations on Thursday [soooo last minute] I spoke to the nicest front desk clerk named Samantha. We were on the phone for about 20 minutes - she could not have been sweeter. She put us on the first floor - bonus - and the original rate was $89 per night [which I thought was good for all the amentities they offered] but she gave us a 10 % discount because Pooldad is over 50. Bonus again!
  • Speaking of amentities - they are pet friendly with no size limitation [thank goodness] and pets are FREE. Absolutely FREE. I have never seen this. They also had FREE wi-fi, awesome cable with HBO and a FREE hot breakfast and we had a fridge and microwave in our room. I couldn't believe the deal.
  • Everyone was so nice and helpful. It was refreshing.
  • For a pet friendly hotel, and there were a LOT of dogs in house as they were sold out, it was incredibly quiet. We only heard one dog bark for about an hour but they promptly took care of it when someone complained [not me!]
  • The room was very clean if a little cramped with 4 people, 2 dogs and my chair - but we made do. Next time, if I still need it, we will definitely request a accessible room and leave Spot at home.

Speaking of Spot - and this is what we call Skippyfamily luck - we discovered right before we left that she was in heat. Grrr! How thrilled do you think she was to ride in a crate [which we had to buy before we left] for 4.5 hours? Whine, whine, whine. Agrhhhh.

Remember when I said DQ was a block away? Nope! It was right across the street, as in walking distance. YAY! An added perk was the Mexican restaurant adjacent to the hotel [The Mariachi] - WOW! The food was incredible and worth every penny. The people that owned it and worked there were so friendly and really gave you huge portions. I only ate a couple of bites each night [yes, we ate there twice that is how good it was!] because I wasn't quite sure of the salt content, but I was happy, happy and the family was thrilled.

Funny story about Wallene - the first night she had some yummy looking tacos and asked if I would like a bite. I told her when she had one bite left of the third one I would eat that. She happily munched away and a few minutes later I looked over at her. She was wrapping up her garbage, obviously forgetting the last bite was for me and suddenly she realized "Oops" - the look on her face was priceless. She peeked over at me hoping I hadn't noticed [or forgotten too?] and I just laughed. She felt so bad for eating them all - but it was fine - at least I knew they were good tacos, as were the enchiladas, burritos and fajitas. Even the french fries were delicious [I know! French fries at a Mexican place? One guess who ordered them - weirdo Wallene :D Nothing like tacos and FF]

I want to thank you for the nice comments on Wallene's picture. She is tickled. I think it is a neat pic' because she took it from the moving car and you can't tell. It was incredibly foggy when we left Blacksburg - so thick you could not see. It was a bit precarious for the first few miles but once we were on 81 it thinned out.

The kids were really good on the road trip part - they didn't ask to stop for lunch and only once for the bathroom so we made it in 4.5 hours which is just a bit much for me right now - but I really appreciated their thoughtfulness.

I am really happy we went but it will be a while before I attempt that again. I am thinking...August perhaps? :D


Sally said...

Add my husband to your list of people that orders french fries at a Mexican restaurant. He just loves his fries, I guess :-)

Rudee said...

it sounds like a good weekend. I'd say your Squirrel has a lot of thinking to do. JMU is a pretty good pick, too, but I think the VT campus is lovely. A 2.5 hour drive home to visit Mom and Dad and wash your clothes isn't too shabby though.

Good luck to her, whatever she chooses.

Wallene took that from a moving car? Impressive!

RVVagabond said...

What a beautiful campus and what a simple, lovely memorial to the slain students. Surf and turf at the dining hall? Reason enough to pick that college!

I'm glad the visit went so well because I know it was hard on you physically. I notice you didn't mention how often you went to DQ in one weekend....

Amy said...

Sounds like a great trip.

The second picture of her "thinking" is awesome! You need to frame that one.

Tell her to enjoy this part of her life. It is so much fun!!! (can you tell I miss my college days?)

Teresa said...

What a beautiful campus! I love the picture of her in the classroom.

Glad you had some good food and great service there. That makes the trip so much more enjoyable.

Looking at all of this makes me really wish that I'd gone ahead and chucked my father's wishes and stuck with my own. Never had a chance to go away to college and stay in a dorm. {sigh} If wishes were horses, beggars would ride...

Oh well, I am content with my life and my choices - just sometimes wish and think about the "what ifs" in life. Tell Squirrel to make the choices today that she thinks will keep her going tomorrow, no matter what tomorrow may bring.

Michaela said...

Hi SKippy, wow its an exciting time in your lives hey? VT looks beautiful. Im glad Squirrel has some good choices open to her, her reward for working hard. xx Michaela

Word verification: boreco, a new kind of slow dance.
Would you care to boreco with me?

Khadra said...

wow, what a beautiful building in that first picture, and nice to see the memorial stones.

Sounds like you had a good trip all around :)