This is a monumental year in the Jones house.  Austin is a senior.

He’s not too shabby in the brains department, in fact, he wants to study physics, primarily sub-atomic particles.  So when he told me he wanted to visit his dream college, the University of Chicago, I wholeheartedly agreed to this  fantastic idea.  There was one catch; Kurt had recently accepted a new job and, therefore, had no available vacation days.

I was road tripping solo with my kids to the third largest city in the United States; a city with a population that is 300,000 folks shy of matching the entire population of the Natural State.chicago4

Was I a little intimidated?  Absolutely.

As the day of our departure drew closer, I kept filling my brain with positive self dialogue.

“Many women travel alone and do just fine.”
“I have driven through many large cities, including Dallas, Atlanta, and Denver, I can do this!”
“It’s important for my kids, especially my daughter, to see me as a confident, strong woman.”

With a head full of affirmations, a spirit full of prayer, and a Jeep Cherokee full of suitcases, off we went!

I really don’t know why I was so nervous, my little driving app got us right to the hotel and guided us through the city.  We got a brief taste of The Windy City that first afternoon by visiting Millennium Park……


…Grant Park


…and Willis (aka Sears) Tower.


The next morning, we headed to the University of Chicago in the Hyde Park neighborhood.  Founded in 1890 by John Rockefeller, the campus, consisting of many ivy covered structures, beautiful landscaping, and a splash of unique architecture, is absolutely impressive.  We met in the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel for an informational meeting.


I have to admit, I was holding back tears, as the reality of our visit started to sink in.  My son is soon leaving, to chase some pretty cool and lofty dreams.

His chances of getting into this institution are pretty slim with around thirty thousand students applying for less than two thousand slots, but my money is on him.

Which brings me to the last, but most important message I kept telling myself.

“Encourage his aspirations, and do everything you can to support him!”

One thought on “Chicago

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