Time definitely moves quickly when you’re having fun! In four days, I board a plane at O’Hare airport to go back for my last year at Homewood. I’m all prepared: I’ve hired movers to help get my and my roommates’ things from the basement storage unit to our apartment on the third floor, made an appointment to install wifi, turn on the electricity, and drafted a shopping list of what I’ll need to buy at CVS when I arrive on Friday (not to mention dreaming about my Peko Peko order for my first dinner back in Balti).

a photo of Buckingham Fountain in Chicago

Buckingham Fountain, in Chicago, one of the best spots in the world

But I’m also thinking about my mother’s favorite Onion article, titled “Mom’s Fears About Daughter Leaving For College Channeled Into Fight About Storage Bins.” During my freshman year, my whole family – mom, dad, and brother – all came out to help me move in. We made the 13-hour drive from Chicago with all of my stuff in one day (my advice: think carefully about what you really want/need to bring). And, predictably, there was some sniping at each other on the trip and during move-in, but it was all out of love. I’m the oldest kid and so of course it was hard to watch their daughter move out of the house. I can’t imagine what it’s like for my little brother, with only three people living back in Chicago – my entire, since I was 5 years old, I’ve known these three people around me all the time.

a photo of Caroline's mom looking at the solar eclipse

My fantastic mother looking at the Solar Eclipse at home in Western Springs, IL

So my advice to you is, let your parents baby you a little bit during move-in: let your mom make your bed, let your dad build the shelves, and remember that if you get a little irritated now, in a few hours, you’ll be on your own in a whole new place! Soak up the time you have with your family now.

In the interest of doing just that, here’s a few recommendations of where to visit with your family before they leave you 🙂 (below are all placed I’ve eaten in Balti with my family – we haven’t gotten one wrong yet!!)

Caroline, her dad, and her brother in the Inner Harbor

My brother, my dad, and I in the Inner Harbor the first night we arrived to Baltimore to move me in freshman year!

My mom and I went to Tamber’s for dinner the night before I left for my pre-O program, as it’s a Hopkins classic. It’s an American-Indian fusion diner, good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and just a block from campus!

Since move-in is in August, ice cream at the Charmery in nearby Hampden is crucial! Honestly the Hampden neighborhood as a whole is a fantastic, fun, artsy place to walk around in the summer, and it also is home to….

Golden West Cafe – for me it’s particularly special because when I first visited as a prospective applicant, it’s where my mom, brother, and I went to lunch after my tour! I remember us talking about everything I would do here at Hopkins, and even if we were mostly incorrect, I’ve gotten to do pretty cool stuff all the same.

Also a fantastic neighborhood that you’ll hear a lot about it Mount Vernon, home to our beautiful Peabody campus, and the amazing Ryleigh’s Oyster Bar – their crab pretzels are to die for, and they have sweet oyster deals!

a photo of caroline and her dad with their car to drive to Baltimore

My dad and I the morning that we drove all the way to Baltimore my freshman year

Finally, my favorite restaurant in Baltimore (and probably the whole world): the incomparable, delicious, amazing, fantastic Zaatar. Hummus? Yes. Falafel? Yes. Schwarma? Yes. Baklavah? Yes. IT IS ALL SO DELICIOUS. And the owners are an amazingly kind family to boot (and will probably remember you if you come back!).

So, in conclusion, indulge your parents, incoming freshmen. It’ll be a long two months before you see them again at Parents’ Weekend.