Friday, May 27, 2016

Official College Visit ~ Finlandia University

We've seen our suitcases so much this year that I don't know whether to be happy about it or not.  Travel can be exhausting and we still have more to go.

Back in April we set up a college visit for our son, who is graduating this year.  He was accepted to this school, so even though it was far, we knew this was a trip we couldn't postpone.  The baseball coach was very interested in him, so it was even more important to take this trip.

Finlandia University is located in Hancock, MI.  I had to look it up on a map because I've never traveled to Michigan and had no idea where this place was located.



I was in shock when I saw where it was!  All the way up there?  How do they play baseball, I'm sure it snows 95% of the year!!  So many thoughts ran through my head, but still, we had to give it a chance.  Besides, as of that moment, this was the only school that had accepted him and was interested in him pitching for the D3 team.  So the planning began.

I quickly realized that there wasn't an airport nearby that we could fly into at an affordable price.  A flight into Hancock, MI was $800 per person!!  There was no way I was paying that much!  So I kept researching, and looking for any airport within driving distance.

Chicago turned out to be the best option.  I got us flights for $150 round trip, you can't pass that up so I booked hubby, my son & me.  Baby girl would have to stay home with her aunt for this trip.  There was no point in bringing her along.  The drive to Hancock from Chicago would be 7 hours!  That was going to be terrible, but it had to be done.

Since our flight was late afternoon, I thought it best to stay at a hotel close to the airport and then head out early the next morning - like 4AM early!  We are all booked - now to wait on our travel day.

April 18th rolls around and after a few hours of work, we were at the airport ready for our flight!  The terminal was small and wasn't full at all.  Our flight was delayed, but they made an announcement about jumping on the next flight and to go see the attendant at that gate, so I jumped up and walked there as fast as I could.  I was not in the mood to sit around waiting for our flight - We were all tired and wanted to be on that plane already.  An hour later we were on board!


Our seats were all the way in the back and we couldn't recline them but I didn't care.  We were ready to take off!







We arrived and went straight to the hotel.  A friend of ours, who lives in Chicago, met us at the hotel.  He took us around Chicago to check out some sights.  We couldn't do too much since it was so late, but it was a nice ride around the city.





This ride just convinced us that we needed to plan a trip back to Chicago to spend time with friends and visit all these places.  Maybe watch a baseball game, or go see hubby's fave basketball team, The Bulls, play.  This is now on my list of places to visit.

Now on to our real reason for this trip-Finlandia University.
We were up at 3AM, got dressed and out the door.  This drive was torture...LOL!
Trees, mountains, lakes and more trees!!!

Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful, and I really appreciated seeing new parts of my country, but OMG, this was the never ending drive!




It looked and felt even colder by Lake Superior!  I could never, ever, ever live here.

I would visit - but never live here!




So finally we arrived in the city of Hancock!  The university was not difficult to find at all.



We had a nice tour of the entire campus, which was small.  The dorms and classrooms were nice and the teachers we met were very nice and full of information.  Sadly, the baseball team had a game in WI that day so we didn't get to see them play or meet the baseball coach.
Once we were done, I advised my son that he should go back home to think about it and wait to hear from other schools.  I had my doubts.  The school looked good, but it was a very small town.  I wasn't convinced that he would be happy here and I didn't want him to make his decision based on desperation because he hadn't heard from anyone else.

So, we got back in the car and headed back to our hotel in Chicago!


We had dinner and went back to our room to sleep.  Aaaahhhh sleep - it was wonderful!!  The next morning we were able to sleep in a bit.  We got up, I finished packing and we went downstairs for breakfast, then back to the airport.

This morning I had a headache and couldn't wait to get back home!





We arrived in NYC and now needed a ride home so we grabbed a cab.  This was terrible and I will never do this again!  Next time I need to plan a car service.
We squeezed in the back and it was sooooo hot!!
I tried to make the best of it by messing around and taking some surprise pics....




We finally got home and the credit card machine was not working, the fare was almost $200 and after several tries with the machine we decided to just pay cash!  Like I said before...Never Again!

Anyway, we are back home and I was so happy to see baby girl.  She had been texting us the whole time we were in the cab wanting to know when we were getting home.  She was waiting outside for us!

All in all it was a good trip.  We got to see a different part of the U.S. which is extremely different from what we are used to, and I was able to add 2 more mugs to my Starbucks You Are Here Collection!

Here is the one I got in Kentucky during our trip with the high school baseball team, and my two new additions.

Well, this is our last trip for now.  The next planned trip is Disney at the end of June.  I'll have more on that soon....I'm so excited, can't wait to share!!!


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