Last week B was accepted into Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York but hadn’t had a chance to tour it yet. When we planned this trip, I wished for Tom to go because it was almost six hours away from home. He really couldn’t go because of work and so it was up to me to get B there.
Doubt in my driving abilities surrounded me as I really thought maybe I couldn’t do it without Tom. It was then that I turned to my faith in God and prayed. I prayed for strength and confidence. I prayed for protection for my son and myself on our trip. I even prayed for a sign to let me know if it wasn’t meant to be. Then a couple of days before, my neck muscles started to ache and I thought for a fleeting moment that it was my sign. Now I know it may have been a sure sign of stress.
Finally, I thought of my son and all his college decisions and how if he couldn’t see Syracuse University, he wouldn’t be able to make a fair decision. I put all the worry aside and made up my mind to simply go for my son. I would do it and it would be a great road trip with my son.
Our road trip started out in the wee hours of a Friday morning with the moon still shining above and a dark mysterious road ahead of us. Remnants of an overnight rain shower created a wet trail on the road.The GPS computer voice sounded rigid as it piped into our car interior, telling us which roads to take and how many miles it would be.
We drove down route 91 through Vermont, crossing into New York a couple of hours into our excursion. As we drove from state to state, it seemed like there were less mountains in our view. Endless stretches of countryside exposed humble and proud farms. Simple little farmhouses with attached porches dotted the landscape with neighboring red barns sprawling next to pastures.
In New York, As we passed by the Mohawk River, fluorescent green signs informed us of nearby Erie Canal. We didn’t stop but rode on by, wondering about it silently.
Six hours and a few minutes passed by…a time of adjusting seats, rolling windows down, stopping for drinks or for a full body stretch in a parking lot of a food venue. I’ve always wanted to go on road trips and experience seeing different areas of my country but now that I’ve lived it, it’s not really pleasant. Stretch breaks are a must because of my middle aged tired, sore neck and upper back as the roads flowed on for hours.
B slept some, leaned his seat back and put his long legs on the dash. He listened to his music with his ipod mini and other times we both listened to the classic rock station on XM. We talked of his future and what he was looking for and we sat in silence at times, wondering what this trip would prove.
The Syracuse University campus
After arriving around 10:00, we attended an accepted students program. This was to inform us of programs, majors, activities and sports at the university. Later, we toured the huge prestigious university, stretching our cramped up legs from our trip. It was a great exercise routine for me and I was thanking God for the chance to walk.
B talked with a current student, asking all his questions stored in his brain. As they went to lunch together, I ventured down a few streets to the infamous Marshall street to grab lunch. Crowds flocked to the little eateries as rain sprinkled now and then. I ducked into Acropolis, a little Greek pizzeria sub shop and ordered a veggie wrap and an iced tea. When you’re in a strange new place, there’s nothing more liberating and confident building then sitting in a solitary booth eating yourself. No one to talk to but a quiet space of eating while watching people. I must admit that at first I was weary about going alone. I clutched my shoulder bag tightly to my body and held my little phone in my pocket for safety. Through all this, it got easier and I actually was okay. I can do anything if I really believe in myself and this trip was all about B and so I could do this alone for a half hour.
It was interesting and impressive touring this university, despite this, I couldn’t help thinking it didn’t seem to fit B’s personality. Throughout the tour, it registered on his facial expressions as well. An athletic hype hung over the campus as hundreds of students wore proudly orange t -shirts. The Final Four, everyone chorused as the tour continued. Beautiful chimes rung in the air and the sun started shining hot.
The Hall of languages Building
A full day of touring and B questioning students and a professor led us to seek our hotel to rest awhile. The Hampton Inn Syracuse Clay lay a few miles outside of the city. It was tucked in an area of malls, sitting between an Outback Restaurant and the Red Lobster. We crashed into our beds, taking needed naps. A few hours later we walked over the Red Lobster for a late dinner and more conversation about the college.
Yesterday we arrived home, mother and son weary and excited from our trip. My husband smiled a wide grin when I turned into our driveway, honking frantically for fun. He was happy to see us home and safe. A crock pot steamed with our supper for later.
Our road trip was a fun adventure and very successful! We had been quite close to the finger lakes and had seen new places, as well as a well known university. Our time was shared with wrong turns ( I do this when I don’t know a place), laughs, and learning for both of us. My son learned something about his decision and later we will learn of his findings. I learned that despite my anxieties about driving the whole way, I can do anything if I set my mind to it and with many prayers.
All my Best,
Heart and Soul