My daughter Allie and I anticipated Otterbein 2014 for a long time. As an outbound Rotary exchange student headed for the Czech Republic next month, she was required to attend this orientation. Parents are strongly suggested to go along too, so I did.
Before I looked into it, I had no idea why they called the weekend “Otterbein”. I suppose in the back of my mind it seemed a fitting name – German sounding – and fit the foreign exchange theme. Well, I was wrong. It’s Otterbein because the orientation is held at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Westerville is just outside Columbus, Ohio. Since we live in Lexington, Kentucky, it wasn’t a bad drive for us.
Speaking of drives, we had the fortunate luck of driving a FIAT 500 to Otterbein. Why? Well, long story short……our car, for which we are quite thankful, was inherited from my grandmother. It’s a 1998 Buick LeSabre. Rather than putting our fate in the dependency of a 16 year old vehicle, we decided to rent a car. I had reserved an economy car, since it was just to be Allie and I and we don’t take up a lot of space. To my joy, the young lady at Enterprise said on Friday morning,
We have a FIAT. Are you alright with that?
I resisted saying, “damn straight I’m alright with that” and explained that my daughter would be thrilled. I withheld telling her I too, was thrilled. Who doesn’t love a cute little FIAT? Especially if you’re under 5’5″ tall, which I am.
While my daughter was indeed thrilled, she made it clear her first choice of vehicles would have been a matte black Cadillac. In fact, we drove by this one while in Columbus….
It wasn’t just her dream car, but I truly believe her dream man was driving it. Note the back of his head in the photo, if you can see it. Personally, my dream man would drive either a Jeep Wrangler or an Audi or some combination of the two. I’m not really into the Cadillac scene, but to each her own.
Otterbein was an informative, positive weekend. Both Allie and I made friends with interesting people. I had discussions with other moms regarding topics ranging from our kids to divorce to religion to our work to how much we enjoyed having access to ice cream in the Otterbein cafeteria. Allie met a boy who is a young entrepreneur. The two of them discussed fashion, as he, quite obviously, believes in dressing for the occasion.
Which leads me to our stop on the way home. We drove through Cincinnati. As it was around lunchtime, I decided to pull off the interstate at Kenwood Towne Centre. This mall has a Nordstrom. Dear Allie has never been to a Nordstrom and she asked if we could browse a while. I, being the wonderful mother I am, said “yes”. She enjoyed perusing the shoes and clothes. It was fun, because Al actually studies this stuff. This is her thing. It was actually kind of exciting to touch a pair of Valentino rockstud boots (which could be purchased for the cool price of $1375.) Despite my frugality, practical nature, and bank account, again, it was a fun time.
Meanwhile, son Jamie decided to stay home for the weekend, alone. Instead of asking me to stock up on frozen pizzas, or better yet, leave him $20 to order from Dominoes, he decided to cook himself schnitzel Friday night, and a pot roast on Saturday. He’s an eccentric kid.
Tomorrow the FIAT goes back to Enterprise. I go back to work. Allie goes back to her summer job. Jamie will utilize his leftover pot roast in making burritos. Otterbein 2014 is forever a memory. Our longest excursion, just the two of us, Al and I. And we handled it well. Mission accomplished.