I remember my first mother-daughter weekend in Gainesville. Although it was a sorority event, we did not participate in all of the planned activities, opting instead to just have some alone time. We took a long walk around the campus, passing by Lake Alice. We are not big fans of alligators or other wildlife up close, but we did — carefully — get close enough to see several gators.
There is nothing like walking the campus, seeing the Spanish moss hanging from the trees, visiting the Baughman Center (which is a beautiful non-denominational chapel), even walking by the Bat House. We had no desire to wait for dusk and actually watch the bats. But we did catch up with what she had been doing, how she liked her sorority, how classes were going and how we were doing without her home (where we still had her 14-year-old sister with us).
We also joined in some of the organized events including a trunk show at the sorority house, a picnic, lunch at Lake Wauburg and happy hour at a local venue. And I got to take her to her first UF baseball game! It was a beautiful spring day in Gainesville and a perfect outing for both of us avid sports fans. With this being her second year at UF, I was surprised she had never gone to a game. Students get in for free and a single ticket for me was eight dollars. The baseball stadium is right by the O’Connell Center so we parked in that lot, although there is also a parking garage located right by the football stadium.
But, while we love sports, it is inevitable that in the four years at UF, a little shopping and pampering expedition may be called for. I’m not going to lie, it is one of our favorite past times. Should you get up to UF for a little mother-daughter time, you may find yourself at one or more of the private shops that many young ladies like to frequent. These include Urban Thread and the new Lululemon Store at 3730 Southwest Archer Road. A little more expensive but also liked is etc boutique. Some young ladies prefer to try their luck at some of the consignment stores including Sandy’s Savvy Chic Boutique or Flashbacks Recycled Fashions. And when you’re done, you and your daughter may want to indulge in a mani-pedi at Swan or Tami Nails, two of the favorites among UF students. For eyebrows and other waxing, many of the girls like Uni K, Brazil’s and Salon Ziba. Ziba also will go onsite to sororities but has their salon location for appointments. Be sure to remind your shopper to ask for student discounts; many stores offer one with an ID. Some of the salons do as well. As a follow-up to all this mother-daughter fun, you may want to send along our blog on student budgeting.
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