On Tuesday the adventure continued! Dad and I set off bright and early to visit Wake Forest, his alma mater. It would probably be meaningful to explain the college strategy at this point. I sum it up simply as "defining x". Visit a few colleges that are geographically close to where I'll be (Bowdoin in Brunswick, ME), and see what some of them are like. Not difficult. Not stress inducing. I take issue with the strategy of mass visitation during the summer of sophomore year. How much of that would one actually remember in two years when application time comes? I certainly wasn't overwhelmed by Wake Forest. I actually found it somewhat similar to a scaled-up Hawken, which I think is a testament to my high school. Going forward I think I'll have to adjust my expectations to be more down-to-earth, and not to expect something wholly more grandiose than the high school that I am already in. Relatives have already mentioned when visiting my high school how similar it is to a college environment: in size, in resources, in academic rigor. I am incredibly lucky to be where I am!
This has been the first long road trip that we have taken the Volvo on; I love it. I've done longer drives in the Honda CRV to West Virginia by myself, and it is a completely different experience. These are all comparative statements, but while the Volvo is primarily designed for more luxury, the "Fahrvergnügen", meaning joy of driving, coined by VW, is strong. Going through these mountain roads, I come back to one thing: the engine. It's powerful with 6 cylinders, but the true star is the turbocharger. It gives the car enough power in the highest gear to climb hills, overtake, and not have to downshift. It's brilliant!
Finally, vacation life seems to be getting back to normal (somewhat). After Monday's flight cancellation driving fiasco, Tuesday served as a nice reprieve. Dad and I stopped in Asheville for an oyster lunch. They had 1 dozen East coast half-shells on happy hour, and then we finished with a "pan fry" of oysters and paprika cream sauce. Also excellent. After that we were all back to the cabin to prepare for entertaining our friends that I stayed with on Sunday night. In reality, they did the cooking, a wonderful Thai coconut milk curry. Not too spicy. Wednesday we are off to the Biltmore. My keen eye quickly honed in on the website to the Land Rover off-roading experience. That should be in the cards. Very exciting!