This past weekend, we took off to the Virginias with not much of a plan besides stopping in Oxford, Ohio for my brother (who is now a senior) to loosely explore Miami University and arriving to the Virginias safe and sound so that I could drop my oldest son off to his dad for the summer months.
Amazingly, it all happened in less than 48 hours.
We left Illinois at approximately 7:30 AM on Friday morning and arrived to Oxford, Ohio sometime around noon. I don’t even remember looking at the clock much. The skies were clear and it was a beautiful day to be road-tripping.
Oxford, Ohio is a small city which lies in northern Ohio, less than an hour from Cincinnati. The town was founded as the home for Miami University students and has also ranked as the “Best College Town” in the USA according to Forbes.
Being involved in my little brother’s college journey is important for the both of us, so when he asked to visit Miami University on the way to the Virginias, I was pleased.
The University is a public research university which has an engineering program that my brother is highly interested in. According to College Choice, Miami University has the 7th best software engineering program in the United States.
Once we arrived, we were awed by such a beautiful campus. It was also pretty packed, from guys walking in single-file lines for fraternity pledging all the way to the many Freshmen Orientations that were happening. So, instead of doing a lot of walking, we opted for driving around the campus, so that he could get somewhat of a feel for the college and decide if he wanted to move forward with a scheduled visit and orientation.
One of the only downfalls from this visit was that we didn’t stop long enough to get any beautiful photos of the campus. And, the one window photo I do have does the campus no justice.
Wild and Wonderful West Virginia, and Virginia
After stopping for about an hour at Miami, we GPS-ed our way back on the beaten path towards the Virginias, leaving Ohio, and crossing right into a downpour on the West Virginia Turnpike.
The one-hour turnpike mixed with rain is not exactly the combination you want, especially after so many hours of being on the highway.
Nevertheless, we made it there around 7:30 PM safely.
Once we arrived, I headed straight for friends and family. I mean, that’s the real reason we go.
I was born there, mostly raised there, and taught briefly at the college there. So, whenever I think of the Virginias, I don’t think much of attractions at all.
I simply think of it as a brief return home to visit with friends and family and to also, put flowers out for my loved ones who have passed, but continue to watch over us.
After a nice dinner at Texas Roadhouse, we checked into our room, and I headed out to a friend’s birthday gathering.
With only a few hours of sleep, Saturday morning came quick, and I had to decide upon a plan.
Instead of staying another day, the plan was to go ahead and leave by noon to make it home by dusk. With the few hours we had remaining, we spent time at the cemetery and stopped by to see family before it was time to head out.
What a quick trip!
Next time, I promise to relax, stay a little longer, and perhaps make my way to the West Virginia Coal Mine and Pipestem Resort State Park (again).