Forty-nine mixes later – highlights of trip

My son and I just got back from a 15 day road trip to explore possible college choices. Here are a few highlights.

Best Advice, Fun Facts and Wisdom from Student Tour Guides:

“The swans living on this pond are the 13th generation from the original swans brought here when the school was established!”

“If you go here you have to love Lady GaGa, I mean it is not a box you check on your application or anything.”

“We don’t really have school spirit. But people paint this cannon when they feel like it.”

“Our mascot is an elephant named Jumbo who died saving a smaller elephant from being hit by a train. But we stuffed him and had him on display until the building burned down. A math student saved his ashes. And I think we still have his tail. You can see it if you want.”

“Here is the silent library. I don’t study here though. In fact I had never been in here until I started giving tours.”

“Everyone gets along here. I am a nerd and my roommate is a basketball player!”

“Seriously, my advice is, don’t get a tattoo. Only I’m just kidding because tattoos are awesome.”

“My apartment is pretty close, it’s not like you have to take planes, trains or unicorns to get there.”

Best Advice, Fun Facts and Wisdom from Admissions Directors:

“Don’t write about sports events, your grandmother or Jesus.”

“Proofread. No one wants to read that you were a candy stripper all through high school.”

“Parents stop living through your children. Apply yourself or stay out of it.”

“Face it. You are probably not going to get into this school.”  

“When I used to think about people doing chemistry, I thought if I got too close I might become infertile or something.”  

 Best “please don’t make me choose from 30!” music mix: The Middle Finger

F**k You – Cee-Lo Green                                                                                                                                                                                                             Rebel, Rebel – David Bowie                                                                                                                                                                                                 Picture to Burn – Taylor Swift                                                                                                                                                                                                  One Thousand Sarahs – Eddie from Ohio                                                                                                                                                                                   I Hate Everyone – Get Set Go                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Chain – Fleetwood Mac                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Cave – Mumford and Sons                                                                                                                                                                                                 Smoke without Fire – Duffy                                                                                                                                                                                                          You’re so Vain – Carly Simon                                                                                                                                                                                                   Not Ready to Make Nice – Dixie Chicks                                                                                                                                                                                 Death on Two Legs – Queen                                                                                                                                                                                                        Take Me or Leave Me – Glee Cast                                                                                                                                                                                                F**k You – Lily Allen                                                                                                                                                                                                                       These Boots – Nancy Sinatra                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fighter – Christine Aguilera                                                                                                                                                                                                       You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette                                                                                                                                                                               Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood                                                                                                                                                                                         King of Anything – Sara Bareilles                                                                                                                                                                                             Rolling in the Deep – Adele                                                                                                                                                                                                     Don’t Think Twice – Bob Dylan

Best “you can go home again after 9 years and 12 inches of height”: old house, Walden Pond, Armando’s Pizza, Newbury Comics and Border Café in Cambridge, MA.

“Everything is so much smaller.”

Best roads not taken and regretted:

Book of Mormon Musical

Dollywood Theme Park

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Best roads unplanned but taken happily:

Tour of Human Rights Campaign Headquarters                                                                                                                                                         Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Worst movie to watch with son: Woody Allen’s Manhattan.

Before: “This was my favorite movie when I was your age!”

After: “Um, apparently I was a very dark teen.”

Best movie to watch with son: Exit through the Gift Shop.  

Most embarrassing mom moment – to cabinet maker in Colonial Williamsburg:

“What stylistic themes and techniques were brought over from Europe during this time period and when did America begin to establish a unique furniture identity in form, manufacturing and functionality and what historical or social events or material availability were driving this shift and what can you tell me about veneering?”

Worst fight: mom using restroom at the Hill Cumorah Vistior’s Center in Palmyra and then leaving without the listening to the spiel.

Son: “That was so disrespectful, it is like using the bathroom in a church.” 

Mom: “Trust me. It is more like a gift shop than a church.”

Best experience that does not translate in retellings: Circle G Farms Wild Animal Rides and Safari.

Hitchcock’s The Birds only with emu, llama, donkeys, zebras, assorted deer breeds with twisted horns, potbellied pigs and other 500 EXOTIC ANIMALS – all rushing at the car demanding feed that we did not buy. “Animals are really scary up close.”

Best experience that we cannot stop translating: Alexander McQueen at the Met.

No video, no magazine layout can prepare you for the fantastical detail, the mastery of craft and the psychological impact of this show. Watching my son “get it” – worth the entire trip.

6 responses to “Forty-nine mixes later – highlights of trip”

  1. PB says:

    Sorry to be a bit late this morning – I fell into a formatting hell hole and could not get out. Notes to self: no lists for you PB, stick to prose.

  2. Rachel says:

    Wow! I am vicariously reliving this trip again and again. Thanks, PB. (btw, if THAT’S the most embarrassing mom moment, the kid has got it pretty good.)

  3. LP says:

    Wow, those student tour guide quotes are awesome! I can’t decide whether I should get a tattoo or not – there’s clearly a right answer, but he disguised it beautifully.

  4. I was in Montauk with a bunch of New Yorkers on a “get me the hell out of the fucking city” weekend. We were at a bungalow with a fire pit, a tree full of lanterns, and a movie screen hanging from another tree. So we of course watched Manhattan.

    This was a most entertaining list. For a minute I tried to guess the schools but I gave up.

  5. PB says:

    Rachel, in his defense, imagine that question multiplied at every shop with every costumed person. I am a hopeless geek.

    Mister Smearcase, I will give hints on the tour guides. One is a school in upstate NY that sounds like toothpaste, two are from a certain school downtown NYC, two are from a school in Boston that sounds like a bunch of hair sticking up on your head, one is from another Boston school run by Jesuits, one is from a school in DC that is in the embassy district, and one is a school very close to Colonial Williamsburg.

    And LP, I had to edit, I could have written a book on these kids. They are hysterical and obviously so not scripted. Another favorite, when asked why someone would not want to go to a certain school in downtown NYC: “How should I know? My blood runs purple.”

  6. lane says:

    that was amazing list making!