As we walked into the admissions office of Wesleyan University yesterday morning, Dean looked at the rain clouds and wondered if any statistics were kept on what the weather was like the day students who applied to certain schools visited for the first time. If more were likely to apply if the weather was good and fewer if the weather was bad. Given yesterday’s weather and if students chose their schools based on the weather the day of the visit, both schools we visited yesterday would have lost several potential applications. It was horrible and all of us (excepting Rupert who was snug and warm in my waterproof purse) were wet to the skin by the time each tour was over.
Andrew loved Wesleyan University (as did I). We had an excellent tour guide (Wesleyan admissions folks, in case you monitor blog mentions about your school, the tour was the March 29, 9 am tour and our guide was the woman who was on the played rugby) and, despite the lousy weather, got a great sense of what the school was all about.
After a delicious lunch at a sandwich shop in town possibly called Brew Bakers, we headed towards New London and Connecticut College. On the way we saw signs for Gillette Castle State Park, and recalling a happy visit there with a friend who lived in Bridgeport in the 1980’s, thought we could spare a few minutes to drive past the castle so Andrew could see it.
It took much longer than we expected to find the state park, and even longer to drive to the castle, which was closed, but since it was raining and we were already wet from the tour, didn’t consider getting out of the car anyway.
Our trusty GPS took us through back roads to New London, which would have been fine — we had plenty of time before the tour — had the local rivers not been flooding. Did I mention there were flood warnings in Connecticut yesterday?
The car rounded a bend and we were dismayed to see the road ahead was flooded. I was ready to turn back and retrace our steps, but Dean drove on, deaf to my squeals of “OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD” and Andrew’s echos of “ohmygodohmygodohmygod”. The Highlander made it easily through the first part of the flooded road, but we could feel the pull of the water in the second half as the wheels began to lose contact with the road. All the time I was thinking about the warnings to NEVER drive through a flooded road and wondering if the fences on the side of the road were strong enough to hold our truck from being plunged into the pond on the other side.
We did make it through the flooded road, but Dean realized after that he should never have driven into it. We all have different opinions of how deep it was. I said 8 inches. Dean thinks 6. Andrew thought 4.
We made it to Connecticut College with no more mishaps and Dean had time for a nap before the tour.
This time we were given plastic ponchos with Connecticut College logos on them. Dean and I opted to wear ours. Andrew chose to not. Andrew looked much less silly than we did, but we kept reasonably dry. The tour group was smaller than the one at Wesleyan, but instead of stopping and talking to the group the Connecticut College tour guide walked backwards while talking and, unless you were in the very front, could not hear her over the sound of rain on the poncho hoods.
I felt nothing of the excitement I’d felt for Wesleyan. The campus was pretty enough, but I preferred the architecture of Wesleyan over Connecticut. Andrew preferred Wesleyan as well.
We had just enough time to check into our hotel in Raynham, Massachusetts before we needed to head out to meet our friend (and my matron of honor) Marie for dinner. She’d not known of a place to eat around where we were staying except for an outlet mall with chain restaurants. While we’re not so big on chain restaurants, we noted that there was a Timberland shoe store among the outlet stores, and Andrew had been wanting a pair of Timberland boots for a while. Dean found a couple of pairs of shoes as well.
Dinner with Marie was wonderful. We’d not seen her since the summer before she and Neal divorced about 5 years ago. This was the longest we’d gone without seeing her since we met in 1981. We used to visit Neal and Marie at least once ever couple of years and they would visit us occasionally. Despite not having seen her for so long, I always consider her one of my best friends.
Today we visit Wheaton College and Tufts University. The rain is not going to be quite as bad, but I imagine we’ll still get wet.