Monday, October 26, 2009

A Guide to Road Trips for the Mature College Student

     Drop the backpack,  Mama's going to Chicago!!
     Don't get me wrong, I am loving my return to college life, and the time I'm spending with the university kids is priceless, but I am really, really, r e a l l y looking forward to my all adult weekend jaunt to the Windy City. It's time for Mama to take a road trip, the adult kind, fall break from freshman, no kids, no classes, no schedule,no homework.
      I'm flying up to Chicago on Thurday for a little R and R. A quick trip, but time is precious and I'll take what I can get. Unlike the average college student, I have no interest in getting into a car to drive 30 hours to a fraternity party in East Egypt. I'm way past those crazy capers. My son and his fraternity brothers took a  trip like that last semester and it bordered on insane. They left UVA on a Wednesday night, drove to the University of North Carolina, the University of Georgia, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt in two days.....for the heck of it.  Just to do it. Just because they could.  I'm not talking roaring through town non-stop, either. They actually visited friends along the way, stopped in at a few parties, did a little sight-seeing.  I'm just so thrilled we're paying to send him to college so he can learn that it is probably not a good idea to take a thirty hour road trip on a Wednesday night.
    So, nope, not this old goat. I'm not driving thirty hours to go anywhere. At this stage of the game, it's gotta be fast, comfortable, and have a restroom on board. "I'm leaving on a jet plane."...oh, sorry, I was digressing. Back to Chicago....
       I'm going to stay in an adult hotel, eat in adult restaurants, take in some adult theater (and I do NOT mean porn, get your mind out of the gutter)and do some adult shopping with my adult credit card.  Strolling down the Magnificent Mile, I won't stop at a single Aeropostle, Anthropologie, Banana Republic or J. Crew. I plan to browse through Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor to check out all the new adult fall fashions, then zip over to Filene's to see if I can find them for a 70% discount. 
     I am going to sleep late, then have brunch- a real, leisurely, full pot of coffee brunch, not a biscuit from Bojangles while driving down Highway 9. I am going to read a real newspaper, the black and white, printed, hard copy kind, instead of surfing the net to catch the day's headlines. I'll do this, of course, while I'm having my leisurely brunch, enjoying my full pot of coffee, which I will sip slowly, savoring the aroma of freshly roasted beans, hand plucked from trees grown in the sweet Ecuadorian earth.
      That night at the theater, I am going to close my eyes and smile while the strains of "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Oh What A Night" take me back to my college days. I'll be dreaming about shagging on the boardwalk to the sounds of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons until the curtain comes down on "Jersey Boys,"  then it'll be off to the Redhead Piano Bar for a little late night jazz before bidding good night to that toddling town.
     Oh, I'll be ready to come home again on Sunday and jump right back into the college routine. But until then, Chicago, Chicago, that's my kind of town!

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