Meandering Out Loud

Don Thorp’s Musing, Muttering, and Mischief Along a Random Path

Alex Goes to Washington

Off and on all summer, we’ve been trying to figure out how to get Alex to school. He is attending The American University in Washington, DC and will be majoring in International Studies.

We had several options:

  1. Drive and tour the eastern part of the US
  2. Drive one-way and fly home
  3. Have the Family fly out carrying some of his bags and have a mini-vacation in DC
  4. Put Alex on the plane and say have fun

The last option may seem a little harsh for sending your child off to college, but we’ve had a couple of years to prepare. Alex attended the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at the University of North Texas for his last two years of High School. The program is a residence program where kids can take college courses and earn their High School degree. This period allowed all of us to adjust to him being away from home, but not so far that we couldn’t meet up on a whim.

Soon after he graduated, we put him on a plane for summer school in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico at the Universidad de Guadalajara CEPE. He took a couple of courses and was able to tour the region where he took many interesting photos. All of Alex’s photos are available on his SmugMug account. He may have visited other places, but I do know he went to Puerto Vallarta, Guanajuato, and Zapopan a suburb of Guadalajara. One of the messages from him during the trip informed us that Guanajuato would be a great place for us to live if we ever do decide to retire in Mexico.

After he came back from Mexico, he hung out with us for a while before taking a driving tour of the Western US. I have yet to go through all of the photos of ‘Road Trip 08′, but it looks like they had a great time. The trip started in Jackson Hole, WY where his friend Laura picked him up from the airport and ended in Corpus Christi, TX at Laura’s house.

Alex came back in time to get off the bus from Corpus to help us load a U-Haul trailer full of stuff to transport to Tulsa where we exchanged it for other stuff, to bring back to Texas. I found out that he’d had maybe one hour of sleep since leaving Corpus after he learned of the Canadian bus incident; after the trip had started. He helped us prepare for the garage sale before packing his things for school. He had whittled things down before he left for Mexico, but he was able to make another pass through to provide more fodder for the sale.

I’ve been telling a good friend of mine for weeks, that we were probably going to just send Alex to school because he didn’t have enough stuff for us to need to drive. Here’s the proof.

His total belongings amounted to:

  1. 3 boxes shipped via UPS ($88 ground, 2 day air was $425, um no thanks)
  2. backpack (not shown)
  3. 2 bags with him on the plane ($40 in excess baggage fees)

Sorry for the poor images (silly camera on phone), but I think it shows that it really was minimal.

Boxes at Fedex Bags carried with him.

So this morning at 5:30 AM, Alex and I headed to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport so that he could catch his 7:20 AM plane to DC. We walked in, I paid for the extra baggage, $40, gave him a hug and headed back to open the garage sale.

When I got home, I realized he had forgotten the tracking information for the boxes. So I typed them up and shipped him a quick email. Then to let me know when they arrived, I added them to TrackThis so that I would be notified on my Twitter account when the packages arrived.

TrackThis items.

A few hours later, at approximately 10:00 AM CDT, I sent this tweet.

At 10:10 AM CDT, I received this text from Alex

Just touched down

At 11:36 AM CDT, he announced his arrival at his room, which he’s sharing with two others.

…only two desks.

At 1:46 PM CDT, I knew everything was ok, because I was informed I owed him money.

School supplies were 50 … showers are good..better than our house

At 1:53 PM CDT, I received an email, that told me that he was settled in and rarin to go.

… edited …
Now I’m off to look into getting my iphone (:

Hopefully soon, I’ll get the text or phone call from said iPhone to prove that everything turned out as expected. Otherwise, he’ll need money at some point, then I’ll hear from him.

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Date
August 16th, 2008

Author
Don Thorp

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