Parent's Weekend

<p>I don't post much, but thought I'd give my imipressions of Parent's Weekend at University of Mary Washington. It was lovely. My DH was out of town so at the last minute S1 decided to tag along to play the big brother role and to give advice that he knew mom wouldn't even think of giving. There were acitivities planned thoughout the day, including soccer games. We did do the van tour of historic Fredericksburg which was a nice way to look at the area and see some parts of the town that I didn't know was there. S1 (who is almost 22) spotted a wine shop in the old town part so we went back there later to check on it and do some tastings. They had a picnic lunch at Ball Circle, the main grass area of campus with entertainment. What impressed me was S2 noticed one of his profs there so took me over to introduce me. This is a macro econ class that has 100 students in it. He had already told me they had discussion in there, despite the size and sure enough, the prof recognized S2. S2 is enjoying himself and keeping busy. His First Year Experience program doesn't seem to have the substance to it that I thought it might, but they do have a few extra programs for them and he likes the small residence hall he's in. Of course, for him the best part of the day was going out shopping and eating out in the evening. I will warn anyone that does go there that I've decided that Central Park, the main commercial shopping area is just plan evil. It's very poorly planned and way too much traffic. Thankfully there's plenty to do near campus, including walking down into historic Fredericksburg and a small shopping center to keep S2 busy. What impressed me most of the day was how well my two boys interacted, like adults even! Even S1, who is a product of big state universities (25,000 plus) admitted that the campus was a nice place and he was impressed with what was within walking distance. Yes, there is a life on a liberal arts type of campus afterall, he discovered!</p>

<p>choff ~ We lived in Fredericksburg for about a dozen+ years. When you next make the trip, be sure to go to Goolrick's drugstore (with a real soda fountain counter and great "sammies") and Carl's (the ice cream stand on Princess Anne's fantastic...particularly the strawberry ice cream). A number of years ago, one Washington Redskin quarterback wouldn't play a game without a shake from Carl's for good luck. Also, be sure to try the antique stores downtown. And, to avoid the terrible traffic going from downtown Fbg into Central Park, take Princess Anne St all the way out, passing Rt 1, continuing along the Rappahannock River (the road changes names, but I've forgotten to what name). This road will cross over I-95 and eventually bring you up to the rear entrance to Central Park (on your left). A lot faster going. Enjoy, Fbg. It's a really nice small town. Be sure to try Hyperion Expresso coffee shop (on William St, between UofMW and downtown); it's great! And, for kids of any age, be sure to see the evening Christmas parade in early December...a real treat for young and old. And, if you ever want a neat day trip...go to Westmoreland Berry Farms...about 45min-1hr away. They have all kinds of fruits and berries to pick...good prices...they serve fresh strawberry shortcake and sundaes and have seating overlooking the river...very pretty...very charming. Another unusual activity...go to Caledon...a nature's preserve along Rt 218 near Dahlgren. They have an eagle tour which takes you out along the Potomac River and lets you view the birds and look for fossilized shark's teeth. Very cool.</p>

<p>OB - thanks for the ideas and the way to avoid traffic! Yes, I love the antique stores downtown. I've been down there twice and still haven't gotten further than one big one. I really need a day to explore on my own. S2 had already found a used bookstore down there that will give you stickers to put on your papers and depending on your grade you get, you're get a discount. Not bad. It was rather fun to see S1 actually jealous of what his brother had available to him within walking distance of campus.</p>