Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Discovering the 'College Parent's Weekend Vacation'

Fall season is upon us and for the empty nest parent with college kids, that means Parents Weekend and Football Games! Most schools place their Family/Parent's Weekend Visitations during the Fall calendar, which is especially important for those with Freshman students. The kids have been away long enough to settle in and meet some friends and the parents are anxious to see firsthand how their child is doing away from their home nest.

I have found that the schools provide many excellent activities so everyone keeps busy and happy. There are tailgate parties, football games, seminars on cutting-edge topics, fun runs, dinner fundraisers and evening entertainment. Getting into restaurants is always difficult and the line for the Starbucks/coffee stores runs down the street! We have enjoyed attending the weekend activities at both Miami University and Arizona State University. One thing is probably universal at all schools, when Sunday rolls around, it's time to leave! The kids are ready to study (right?) and get back to their new routine and you are left with a sinking sad feeling. Well, I propose that we do not fall into this depression and start taking the attached 'parents weekend vacation'.

Since most of us no longer have much of a vacation budget, due to paying for school (or in my case, paying for the photographic supplies for class), it is a smart idea to add a day or two after the weekend, and stay someplace near the school. You've already paid for the gas or airline tickets, so in essence, it's just the extra hotel and food costs for this special vacation. You will get to know the area of the country that your child is also experiencing. But more important, you can leave your child with a big smiley face knowing that you get to spend a little down time with your significant other. I think it makes the transition a lot smoother.

Now...where to go. I have two parents weekends, so I will explore the southern Ohio region and the southeastern area of Pennsylvania and maybe places in Maryland. Of course, I will try to convince my sister and her husband to join us after the Dickinson College weekend, so I'll start my plans for this one first!

Since I saw the movie 'Wedding Crashers', I have wanted to stay at the Inn where much of the show was filmed. It's called the Inn at Perry Cabin and is located in St. Michael's on the eastern shore of Maryland. I figure it's a 2 1/2 hour drive from the campus, just enough time to dry up my tears. The weather should be crisp and fall like, which sounds divine, coming from Arizona. This is my kind of cabin! They have a nice spa package that sounds interesting and other than walking around the grounds, eating and drinking, I have no other requirements for a relaxing mini-vacation.
Now for the Ohio trip we are flying in and out of Indianapolis, so I am trying to decide between two events that will be taking place that Sunday evening in this area. The first is a dinner at the Overlook Restaurant and live concert with Dave Miller at the Salt Creek Golf Resort. They have a condo-hotel so we could stay and enjoy the fall foliage the following day. My second thought is to attend the 2nd Annual Wine and Tapas Tasting Party at Agio Restaurant. This is actually a fundraiser sponsored by the Indiana Sheep Association. I think it might be hoot to go and everyone looking at Bill and me and trying to figure out who we are, who knows us! And wine and tapas with Bill sounds pretty relaxing, too.

Do you have plans for a post college parent's weekend vacation? If so, comment and share those ideas for other adventurous parents!