Go Ask Daddy About Carolina Colleges, Wireless Wildernesses and the Roads to Somewhere

photo credit: Halloween 2012 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Halloween 2012 via photopin (license)

Hello, from sunny Cancun. Not actually Cancun as I start this post.

GAD GRAPHICI’m in the air above the ocean on the way to Cancun. It is 885 miles as the crow flies, although a crow would have dropped dead in the Gulf of Mexico by now. With 30 minutes until we land, and the scenery unchanged since I attempted to eat a veggie wrap for lunch, I snapped open the laptop to work ahead.

It’s a two-plus-hour flight, which is nuts. It’ll be a two-hour drive to see Elise next year at college.

She picked Florida schools from the start. I made her a deal; visit a school within one hour of Charlotte first. Then, pick one two hours away, then three. She bypassed my alma mater, UNC Charlotte, and chose Winthrop, in Rock Hill, S.C.

It wasn’t a fit, and remained in last place as we visited Converse, Lees-McRae, Mars Hill, and Wofford.

Without a visit there, though, and meeting the temptress that is a Church’s Fried Chicken on campus, how could she compare other schools? Or know that Warren Wilson would win out?

“Grace could play in there when she comes to visit me,” she said.

At Winthrop, though, Elise noticed a game room in one of the common areas.

“Grace could play in there when she comes to visit me,” she said.

As a dad, you just turn away and smile when they say something sweet like that.

1. Is Coastal Carolina farther than Winthrop?


It’s a 3-hour, 8-minute drive from Charlotte to Conway, home of Coastal Carolina. Rock Hill, home of Winthrop, is just 33 minutes away. College.startclass.com rates Coastal an 84 on the Smart Rating Scale, and Winthrop 86.

Coastal Carolina’s mascot, the Chanticleer, is a fighting rooster, basically, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

That’s based on financial affordability and other factors.

Coastal Carolina’s mascot, the Chanticleer, is a fighting rooster, basically, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Winthrop’s Eagle has no literary history, although he could kick the Chanticleer’s ass.

Count on the rooster to put up a fight, though.

2. How do you pronounce miniature?

Like this:

It’s also pronounced MIN-yuh-chur. It’s slightly different in British English. Miniature means small in stature, but also a small, detailed painting, usually of a person, according to Oxford Learner’s Dictionary.

It evolved from late 16th century Italian, which evolved from medieval Latin, where it came from ‘illuminate,’ from vermillion, used to mark words in manuscripts.

3. Do we get wifi here?

You asked this at McDowell Nature Preserve in South Carolina, where we camped for Independence Day.

No, and isn’t that the beauty of it? True, it’s tough to blog with no Wi-Fi. Or check the Rockies’ nightly butt-whoopin’. No Wi-Fi means we can cast lines into the lake, though. And walk trails.

And play cards or build a fire and roast marshmallows. No Wi-Fi means no screens. Just sunscreen, and maybe bug spray, and face time. I love the idea.

4. Why do we color snowflakes blue?

Because ever colored with a white crayon?

A white crayon is as useful as Colorado Rockies playoff tickets protocol.

It’s like vacuuming a room with kids in the house. Futile. A white crayon is as useful as Colorado Rockies playoff tickets protocol. Compacted snow looks blue in the real world. In coloring books, it must makes us feel like we’ve accomplished something.

Blue snow ranks ever so slightly higher than, for instance, yellow snow.

5. How many types of streets are there?


Those include the common streets, such as avenues, boulevards and courts. Also among them are highways, lanes and roads. Did you know, though, about woonerfs, autostrasse, and autostradas? We don’t have those here in America, though.

We do have Route 66, the Long and Winding Road, and the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. U2 sings about a place where the Streets Have No Name.

Tons of artists have sung about the Crossroads, where guitarists sell their soul to the devil in return for the ability to play anything by ear. Bob Segar sings Down on Main Street, and Eddy Grant about Electric Avenue.

I just hope, Elise, the road between us always stays wide open.

Plus, Life is a Highway

I just hope, Elise, the road between us always stays wide open.

street quote


27 Comments Add yours

  1. Aw, congrats to Elise on picking her school for next year and sounds like she made a wise choice. But Cancun, I am totally jealous of as I am sitting here in NY in the aftermath of last weekend’s blizzard. I am honestly spring dreaming here and it isn’t even February, but sunny Cancun sounds quite perfect to me. Enjoy 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It feels like I’ve written about Madison’s choice – maybe this is a senior moment for me.

      It was only in the mid 80s in Cancun, and as many co-workers pointed out, it was breezy and cool, like, low 60s, the first night, for a while. Kind of.

      I did enjoy the sun on my face for a few days, Janine. And street quesadillas in my stomach (with some rum probably.)

  2. kismaslife says:

    Congrats to Elise!

    I hope the sand and blue waters are treating you well! They are calling for snow here over the weekend in CO but say there is a chance it could swing more south. 😉

    Have a great time!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks! It was a good trip, yes. Funny how things can change in a year, huh?

  3. Kim says:

    Have a blast in Cancun. And congrats to Elise! It’s always nice to have a game room for hanging with the sisters. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Oh I did, Kim. Thanks about Elise! I love that she thought of Grace right then.

  4. I love #5 – not sure why. I guess because I had no idea there were so many types? And because you mention cool things like The Long and Winding Road and Where the Streets Have No Name and Electric Avenue.
    Congratulations to Elise! I can’t even think about college. Luckily, I don’t have to for about ten years.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Why knew, Lisa? A street is not just a street. And those song streets are the best streets.

      Thanks for Elise. You have to start thinking about college soon. It’s here before you know it.

  5. Anxious Mom says:

    I’m a Winthrop grad — great school! Good luck to her with the selection process.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Seems like a very good school. I think she found her collegiate home in the mountains.

  6. stomperdad says:

    Way to go Elise! Congrats to both of you 🙂 You’re in Cancun with your @$$ in the sand and toes in the water. Meanwhile I’m here in Canada under 10 inches of very wet, very heavy snow. I’d unfollow you but you’re a Rockies fan and I feel some sympathy for you and don’t want to disappoint more than them 😉 Enjoy that sunshine!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Eric. She’ll love it there, I think. I spent more time off site buying authentic Mexican food than on the actual beach.

      Be kind to Rockies fans – three hours after catchers and pitchers report, they’re traditionally eliminated from playoff contention.

      1. stomperdad says:

        You know what they say, “when in Mexico”. Or is it “What happens in Mexico”? Either way glad you got some authentic Mexican food. I love that stuff. 14 days until pitchers and catchers report!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Whatever they say, maybe they say it in Spanish, and I’ll not know anyway. The off-site grub was heavenly. I’m so ready for baseball season – I’ll be more ready on Monday.

  7. ksbeth says:

    distance is all relative.

  8. amommasview says:

    Love it! Must feel so weird knowing your children will move away… I’m glad mine are still a little while until they will consider it, or have to consider it… But time will fly… Hope you had a good trip and arrived safely!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks! I just want my kids to experience all they can out of life.

  9. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    Yay to Winthrop! Glad she will be close to home. Have a blast in Cancun!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Winthrop didn’t win – Warren Wilson did! So she’ll still be close. Cancun was just enough sun, fun, and rum.

  10. Rorybore says:

    No idea if you are back yet. I’m still jealous though. Even though it’s actually above zero here. Still jealous. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m not entirely sure I’m back, either. Don’t be jealous – all my Coke Zero now tastes funny porque no tiene rum.

      It’s going to get down in the 30s here soon. Probably.

      1. Rorybore says:

        But…. why is the rum gone?

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Porque esta en los estados unidos, y a trabajo tambien. estoy muy cansado.

      3. Rorybore says:

        Te entiendo. 🙂

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