Monday, February 21, 2011

Road Trip

February 21, 2011

Since Point Loma is one of the colleges Brianna is considering, I took her this past Thursday/Friday to an overnight visitation at the campus. She did a similar overnight visitation at Fresno Pacific and just loved it. The two day campus experience consists of a campus tour, meeting with current students, panels with current professors, sitting in on a couple of classes, and even spending the night with a bunk mate in one of the dorms. When she went to Fresno Pacific's overnighter, she went with a good friend, but for this one, she was going it alone. Honestly, I'm really impressed; when I was her age, I was so shy and timid that even if my mom had offered to let me go to one of these college overnighters, I would have declined because I would have been too intimidated. (I've since learned to adapt and can now handle new and unfamiliar situations on my own, but at 17? No way.) Bree, however, has the confidence and sense of adventure to be able to see the fun and opportunities in new experiences--and whether she is alone or with a big group of friends, she jumps in with both feet. I love that about her.

Anyway, I had really been looking forward to the trip. How many more times would I have an opportunity to take a one-on-one trip with Bree before she packed up and moved away from home for good? We got up bright and early so that we could be out the door by six. (We didn't quite make it by six, but close enough.) After stopping by McDonald's for breakfast and Starbucks for caffeine, we hit the road. Most of the trip down--all six hours--was spent seriously rocking out to music. My job was to drive, her job was to man the iPod. Since she's my daughter and I raised her right, a good deal of the playlist was comprised of 80s songs. You simply cannot go wrong with a road trip to the soundtrack of the 80s, right?

We made excellent time and the weather was beautiful. As a matter of fact, we got there with some time to spare before check in. As it turned out, there were a few thrift shops just up the street from the college, so we spent a little time in those shops and found some great deals. Bree and I just love thrift store shopping together, so this seemed a perfect way to kill some time. Afterward we headed up the hill to get her checked into the college. We were greeted by a super friendly college student who ushered her in and got her settled in to the registration process. Within minutes, my job was done and she was the independent college student for a couple of days.

Jumping back into the van, I headed back up the freeway to my sister's house, which was a little over an hour away. I got to spend some time with my nieces and check out their new apartment (they had just moved the week before, and the girls were excited to get to show me the new place). Once we got the girls settled into bed, Lisa and I stayed up chatting until three in the morning. Unfortunately, we had to get up a little after six to get the girls dressed and ready for school, so there was not nearly enough sleep that night. It's a hazard whenever Lisa and I get together, but well worth it.

The next morning, after breakfast with Lisa, I headed back down to Point Loma to pick up Brianna. The visitation ended just after lunch, so when I picked her up, we just sat in the car for about an hour and she told me all about her visit. She loved the offerings and the professors, but the lack of cell phone reception nearly everywhere on the campus was a bit alarming to her. She met some really nice kids and generally had a good time. We had thought about hitting a beach before heading back home, but the weather had turned a bit windy and rainy-not so much beach weather--so we opted instead for some window-shopping at Fashion Valley Mall. We didn't have much money on the trip, so we knew we couldn't do a lot of actual shopping, but we did decided it would be fun the go into some of the boutique shops and try on high fashion, upscale, fancy dresses. We spent about three hours roaming around the outdoor mall, dodging the downpour that had suddenly kicked up, dashing into high-end shops, trying on dresses and shoes, and chatting and laughing. By the time dinner rolled around, we were both ready to sit down, relax, dry off, and dig into our PF Chang's.

Finally, it was time to hit the highway and head home. The rain was getting even more insistent, but luckily there wasn't a lot of traffic. More music and loud, boisterous singing from us both got us home and kept me from falling asleep on the road. We finally pulled into the driveway, and all I wanted to do was walk straight into the house and fall right into bed. I'm sure I was out almost as soon as my head hit the pillow, but I do remember thinking what a wonderful day it had been, spending all that time with my first-born, my baby getting ready to embark on a new adventure in a world all her own. It had really been a great couple of days.

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