OK, Michelle and I were considering our getting-her-installed-at-Penn-State options, and the Road Trip looked like the best option (though she though I should not join a sorority). A five (maybe six) day drive through Four Corners, across Kansas, stopping at my relatives in Indianapolis, on down into Pennsylvania would be long and tiring but fun. And we now own just about every Glee CD on the planet, so we could sing across America. There was the added advantage of being able to shop for all of her stuff here and hauling it rather than cramming what we could onto a plane and joining the mad shopping rush near college.
I didn’t want to make the solo trip home, so the idea of a one-way rental car seemed to fit the bill. Bill is right. I looked into it, and by drop-off in State College the car alone would cost me over $1700 (economy model); the one-way luxury adds a lot to the cost. Factor in gas, hotels, souvenirs from half a dozen Mystery Spots along the way, and this move was looking prohibitively expensive.
The train is a possibility (I love train travel), but if we popped for the cheapest sleeper (and we would; it’s a 57-hour trip), the price is still pretty steep (though we would not have to add gas and hotels). The downside is the stations are quite where we want them to be, and trains are not always on time. I’d hate to be stuck in Chicago an extra day and not get to college on time. Though, honestly, I’m not too worried about that; we could leave early.
Another option (and the one that’s at the head of the list at the moment) is taking the plane to Raleigh and visiting my brother and his family for a couple of days before getting a car to drive 8 hours up to State College. This has the one downside of traveling with quite a bit of stuff on the plane there (and I’m not a huge plane fan), but we could manage a couple of checked bags, and we could do the rest of the dorm shopping in Raleigh while my brother and his wife are at work. We’d have a rental car (relatively cheap because I’d return it to Raleigh airport and take the plane back).
This also gets in the way of my mad desire to shop for all of the stuff on The Definitive Freshman Checklist . I’m excited to shop for gizmos and gadgets with my daughter.
Pluses and minuses and practice: figuring out how to pare down here world so that she can have a comfortable, efficient, fun mini-world in her 1/2 of a standard college dorm (and further paring down that list to figure out how to pack necessities for the plane) is good practice as I’m considering how to pack things Tetris-like into a hiking pack for a long walk down the eastern shore of Japan.