This last month, my father and I embarked on a journey that would change our lives forever. Not really. It actually just made us really tired and want to go home.But the journey was definitely epic. Not many 17-year-olds can drive cross country in a car with their father and come back in one piece.
Our mission was simple, if we chose to accept it. Go visit the schools I was contemplating applying to in the fall. For most, this would be simple. Most people apply to colleges in the surrounding area.
Not me. I chose schools all the way across the country. For those applying to schools across the country, when they visit they generally fly out to them. Not my daddy and me. No way. Why fly to seven schools on the East Coast when you could DRIVE. And thus began a 21-day wild road trip.
Our first stop, ignoring the night in Denver as it takes two days to drive from California to Minnesota, was Macalester College in St. Paul. It was a lovely school, but we enjoyed the nearby Mall of America with the Largest Underground Aquarium and an indoor amusement park much more.
Then, we drove like mad people through Wisconsin, making stops in other countries like Norway, Norway, Wisconsin that is and Michigan to a little school in a little town in the middle of NOWHERE.
We didn’t even bother to stop and kept on going to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There we saw University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon in the rain and walked home. Twas fun.
We had an extra day so we went to Hershey, Pennsylvania to smell the chocolate and see the factory. Then, on to Boston. Bostonians do not drive. Everywhere we went, we asked people about driving and they were petrified of the idea. They also do not walk long distances. For walking from Harvard Square to our hotel in Newton we were hailed as amazing.
Boston was nice but not for me. We stayed with some friends of mi padre in Philadelphia and were there for the Fourth of July. It would have been amazing had it not rained. No fireworks this year. Then, it was off to Charlottesville and Lexington, Virginia. After stopping at the University of Virginia and Washington and Lee University, it was time to begin our winding journey home.
We planned on making stops in Charleston, West Virginia to see my daddy’s old home, Atlanta, Georgia and visit the Coca-Cola Factory, Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canyon, and go to Las Vegas to see my sister. My mother thought we were insane to attempt our winding cross country journey home, but we were excited about the prospects.
Driving nonstop until we were tired or got to our stop, we were able to make it home in six days and see everything we wanted to see. In twenty-one days we were able to see seven colleges, thirty states, most of the U.S. geographical changes, thousands of people, lots of family and friends and a lot of the inside of my father’s car.
We put 8,814 miles on that car and drove for almost 155 hours total, but it wasn’t just a journey of epic proportions across the country to look at schools. No, it was also a great bonding experience between my father and me. We are now a lot closer than ever before and I am so grateful for our trip.
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