One Moment | Liam’s College Years Have Begun!

I’ve been back a couple days now from delivering Liam to Vanderbilt; if you follow me on Instagram you saw bits of what was going on while it was happening, but I wanted to share it all in one big post here, it’ll help me to remember, and you may get a kick out of it too!

Liam had a lot of stuff to pack up – since he started dating Celia in February, his wardrobe has expanded beyond dress clothes for concerts and tee shirts for everything else to include nice but still casual button up shirts. So between all those clothes, books, and MUSIC, we ended up with 6 suitcases of his stuff and 1 small one for Andrew, Logan and I:


At the car rental place, my mid-size SUV reservation got increased to a large SUV at the counter when he saw all our baggage, and then the guy in the lot upsized us again to a huge Nissan Armada:


That did the trick, but poor Andrew had a tough time driving this behemouth all weekend!

We didn’t do much sight seeing in Nashville, but we did get to see the Parthenon in Centennial Park:


And all weekend there was plenty of great FOOD! Hot Chicken at Hattie B’s:


Pancakes at the Pancake Pantry:



There’s a great coffee house/restaurant called Fido’s that’s really close to the school of music, we met Liam’s new trombone teacher Jeremy Wilson for lunch on the “day of shopping” we needed to do to get Liam stocked up with bedding, school supplies, etc…etc….


Logan absolutely loved the hot chicken and insisted we return to Hattie B’s on Sunday for chicken and waffles:


Luckily we did LOTS of walking in order to burn off some of this deliciousness!

Saturday morning was move it, we had a 10 AM time. I’ll tell you, the Vanderbilt folks have this down to a SCIENCE, and they’ve got LOTS of student volunteers to make it all work! We started in a line in a parking lot, where Liam got his room key while we waited a bit. When it was our time to pull up to the dorm parking lot, we were met by a swarm of move in crew, like this:


The photo above was taken by a Vandy photographer, we were too overwhelmed with help when we drove up…none of us had to carry a single thing up to Liam’s room (except Liam took his trombones). He’s in the biggest freshman dorm, it’s part of a whole section of campus devoted to housing for freshmen only: Hank Ingram house is on the left here:


Liam’s room is on the ground floor, the ceilings are incredibly high! Here are some pix I snapped halfway through unpacking:


His roommate is an econ major from Arizona, I didn’t want to scare him by snapping pix of him a half an hour after meeting!


Here they are getting the computer hooked up etc…



At this point, we realized that Liam needed some sort of shelving for books and DVDs, we spent some time later that night searching for the right thing, finally 3 wooden crates at Home Depot were found.


Here’s the view out his window


I circled that window in this picture, man what a great location!


The dorm is truly amazing! Here’s just a portion of the main lounge in the center of the main floor:


There’s a full kitchen in the basement – a lot bigger and better stocked than the kitchens in my dorms at Oberlin!


Here’s another lounge (if you can’t tell, Logan had a fun time photo bombing all weekend long!)


Here’s the laundry room:


The dorm even has 2 practice rooms in the basement as well!


Here’s the Commons of the Freshmen quad, a cafeteria plus all sorts of functions I can’t remember:


The eating area reminds me of a modern Hogwarts!


Beyond  10 different food type stations (including a pizza oven!) there’s a small store where you can buy sandwiches, snacks, simple groceries and…a milkshake machine!!!!! Logan is in LOVE with this thing!


Although Logan and I tried to wander around the campus some while Liam was practicing, I didn’t take any pix, and this is the only picture I took of the Blair School, a cool terrace outside the student lounge on the third floor. Blair is separated from the rest of campus by the Vanderbilt Hospital complex. Luckily that lounge has a coffee shop/sandwich setup there so Liam will eat most of his lunches there.


Vandy hosted all the freshman families to dinner:


and breakfast the next morning.


It’s quite a hike between Blair and the dorm, Liam’s going to get his exercise this year. I enjoyed seeing Andrew talk to Liam about all sorts of this; last minute advice if you will!


We were still searching for a small rug for the floor and some other bits and bobs (who knew it would be so hard to find a box of staples???) for Liam while he started in with orientation stuff: the entire class is divided into 16 person “Vision” groups; with both a student assistant and professor, they do lots of activities the first week and then meet once a week for an hour all semester to discuss different issues having to do with being at college. So we made a final delivery late Sunday and said a swift goodbye! No pix or tears, just a hug and a reminder to wash his face, brush his teeth and practice and we were gone!

Lots of my friends on facebook have been asking if I’m sad…no, I’m not! We’ve been working for this day for 18 years, I am so happy that it’s finally here! Vanderbilt is really doing everything they can to offer their students a fabulous education, both inside and outside the classroom, I know Liam is in the right place. And with cell phones and facetime I can ask him questions and find out what’s going on a lot easier than when I was in college!

We headed home Monday, with a LOT less luggage:


While festivities continued for the new freshmen! Although he wasn’t too thrilled with the DAYS of orientation and group building exercises, they’ve had some cool pictures posted on their facebook pages. Here’s Liam’s dorm, it’s called “Hank” and all the kids make an H with their hands:


Here is Liam’s entire class, all 1600 of them! (He’s in the middle of the 1 on the 9 side, I zoomed in and couldn’t find him though!)


Tuesday night, the night before classes actually started, Liam’s teacher threw a party at his house, combining pictures of the studio taken by his talented wife Kristi Wilson with volleyball and dinner:


My goodness, what a handsome young man…where did my baby go???


The next morning was his first day of classes, he was so happy to actually get started! Before I left, I made him pose for one last first day of school doorway picture…in front of his new front door!


13 Responses

  1. Thanks for all the lovely detail of Liam’s first few days at College. I really enjoy sharing your family’s progress.
    I have really enjoyed your Free motion machine sketching dvd too – I just have to find time to put it into practice! I’m too busy trying to weave some exotic scarves with rather a large number of warp threads at the moment. Too many crafty things on the go at once!!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, I love sharing moments like this, and I’m glad at least some of my blog readers enjoy it too! 🙂

      I know all to well about having too many crafty things going on at once! 🙂

  2. Thanks for all the pictures of the college drop-off day! It looks like a nice dorm, great college. It should be an exciting year!

    1. Glad you enjoyed them! It really is an amazing setup, we are so excited! And he’s had a great couple of days in classes too! He’s really hit the ground running and wants to do a recital this Fall – you know how unusual it would be for a Freshman to play a full recital his first semester! Anyway, Jeremy has given him the thumbs up to go ahead and work on the program, so we shall see!!!

  3. Hi Candy,
    What a wonderful experience! I can’t imagine driving the Armada though it certainly was necessary. Love the school and I know Liam is going to do fabulously. I adore Logan’s photobombing.
    You have to be such a proud mom! 🙂
    Thanks again for such a wonderful post and all the photos!

    1. Thanks Christina! And yes, Logan’s photobombing was hilarious!!! He really got into it – one of our goals was to get Logan excited about college so he would do his best for the next four years, and this trip certainly did that, hooray!

  4. Glad you had a good time dropping him off. My sister went to Vanderbilt (graduated about 4 years ago) and loved it. The Pancake Pantry is the best! When she was there we ate at an excellent Indian restaurant that was across the street from campus where there was a long strip/row of shops. I’m the oldest and my sister is the youngest, so my parents moved many kids to and from college. They always said Vanderbilt was hands down the best move in experience of anywhere.

    1. OOh, I’ll tell Liam about the Indian restaurant, but I’ll bet his friend Rama, who is a sophomore flute player there, will take him there soon! Vanderbilt has forever spoiled us for college move ins, it was amazing!!

  5. Oh My Goodness! He looks so confident and grown up! Logan is going to find it a big change too. I hope you all get through the inevitable first semester hiccups easily. How proud you must be of him.

  6. LOVE your photo story!!!!! Made me belly-laugh most of the way through……esp. the rental car bit…..and LOGAN!!!!

  7. LOVE your photo story!!!!! Made me belly-laugh most of the way through……esp. the rental car bit…..and LOGAN!!!!