On Graduation Day we had originally planned to meet at Boston Public Garden’s and go on a Swan Boat ride. This would have been a nostalgic trip for Helen and Sue and they thought that Kaelina would like it, but due to logistics and timing issues we had to regroup on our plan. We ended up meeting at Mathew’s house and then walking to a nearby cafe expecting to have lunch. Much to our surprise they only served a breakfast menu on Sunday – so we all had breakfast for lunch. Fortunately the food was great. Because we wanted Kaelina to take a nap, Janet, Amy and I took a taxi to the graduation area, and then the rest of the crew, Brian, Kaelina, Helen and Sue came in the rental SUV. We used Sue’s local knowledge extensively on routes, places to park etc. The cab got caught in very heavy traffic due to multiple graduations, a Red Sox game in nearby Fenway park and normal weekend traffic. It took us twice as long as normal to get to graduation and we didn’t even have to find a place to park!
Amy got there in time to get her gown on, hood on, and get in line for the march into the huge tent they had set up in case of inclement weather. We figured that the tent must have had seats for 2000 people (500 which were graduates) and faculty and guests. There were about equal numbers of graduate degrees awarded and undergraduate.
The commencement speaker was a lady MD who has had MS for 30 years and spoke from a wheelchair. She called it her “mobility assistant” or something like that. She gave a very upbeat inspiring talk. Kaelina was very well behaved during the whole event and we were very proud.
After the graduation we drove to Boston’s North End under Sue’s guidance and to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Ristorante Fiore. The service and food were out of this world. Appropriate for a graduation celebration dinner. The only problem was when we had to wait about 30 minutes for our car when we were done because the Celtic’s had just won game 7 in the playoffs and downtown was a zoo with all the Celtic’s fans walking and driving around downtown and generally causing chaos. But it was worth it! Thanks Sue! Afterwards we headed back to Matthew’s house and called it a night. Helen, Sue, Brian and Kaelina headed to NH.
It was a great graduation day and celebration of Amy’s accomplishments.
On Saturday we joined up with Aunt Sue, Helen, Amy, Brian, and Kaelina and caravaned to Beverly MA where Sue’s son Adam and Kristen live. The fed us a wonderful breakfast and we were entertained by the cat “Tech” and Kaelina playing together. Also little Sue joined us from nearby. Adam was going to the Red Sox game so we gave him a ride into Boston and we all drove to Cambridge for a short visit with Elli and her husband Tom who live near where Helen spent part of her growing up years. We split up for lunch. Brian went with Helen and Sue and they had lunch and went to the place the Duck tour starts. We took Kaelina and put her down for a nap and then got takeout again so we could eat while monitoring Kaelina back at Matthew’s house. After Kaelina woke up we joined the rest of the gang at the Duck tour. The Duck tour is conDUCKted in a WW2 restored amphibious Duck fitted out with bus style seats to accommodate 32 people per Duck. Half the tour is on land (like a normal vehicle) and half is on water where you chug around Boston at about 6 mph. Our driver/conDUCKtor was very entertaining and educational. We saw a lot of sights/statues/ landmarks that we would otherwise have missed. We think we saw the helicopter that transported Ted Kennedy to Massachusetts General Hospital after a seizure. We happened to be on the water right by the hospital when the landing happened.
After the duck tour we drove to Faneuil Hall in the heart of Boston and had dinner at one of the many restaurants there. We were eating outside and the people watching was terrific. It must have been prom night because we saw lots of people very dressed up going by as well as many normal tourists. Because of her graduation on Sunday Amy stayed with us in Cambridge at Matthew’s house and Brian, Kaelina, Helen and Sue went back to Sue’s house near Manchester NH. I put some pictures up on Flickr and called it a night.
I forgot to mention yesterday that Helen flew into Boston and drove straight to Sue’s house and met us there when we arrived. Dennis is in Rochester MN interviewing MD candidates in his specialty and was not able to come to Amy’s graduation because of this prior commitment.
Tomorrow is Graduation Day!
This is a journal of our experience in Amy’s graduation weekend.
We left Boulder Thursday afternoon around 1:30pm for DIA. Our flight was supposed to leave at 3:34. The trip was uneventful, but when we got to Wally Park the self park was full and we “got” to take valet parking. Should be nice on the return trip. 🙂 We went through normal security on the south end of the terminal. It seemed to take longer than normal (we usually go through the terminal A flyover security) but wasn’t able to compare the length of the lines. There was no plane at the gate when we got there and United Airlines posted a notice that we wouldn’t be leaving until 4:00pm. They finally started boarding at 4:00pm and I think we took off about 4:30. On a direct flight it wouldn’t matter but we were on a connecting flight to Chicago and then had another plane to go to Boston. It all worked out alright but we did not have a relaxing layover in Chicago. We needed to get something to eat there and had to eat quickly. Of course we disembarked at the C terminal and our connecting flight was on the B concourse. That meant a long walk underground to get between the two.
The flight to Boston was much better and we actually arrived about 20 minutes ahead of schedule. By now it was after midnight in Boston so getting luggage and a cab didn’t take all that long. There was very little traffic, but there was night construction on the entrance to I93 that we would have taken so that delayed us a little. We arrived at Matthew Burkley’s house where we were staying about 1:30am and got the key as Ben Sterling had promised and were in bed by 2:00am.
Matthew’s house is in a very quaint section of North Cambridge just off Massachusetts Ave. In the morning we went exploring and found the nearest T (subway/mass transit) stop and shopping center and checked out all the places to eat in the neighborhood. Amy and Brian called saying that they had landed and were on their way to get their rental SUV. So we got some takeout lunch from a nearby cafe and had it ready for them when they arrived at Matthew’s house. After lunch Kaelina went down for a nap and Amy and Janet went shopping at the shopping center, Brian tried out Matthew’s Wii game and I worked on my computer.
After Kaelina got up from her nap we packed up the Dodge Nitro SUV and headed to Manchester, NH where one of Brian’s Aunts (Helen’s sister Sue) lives. Kaelina had a great time looking out Aunt Sue’s back window at some wild turkeys that walk by her house every evening. Sue grilled a wonderful swordfish dinner and we were joined by Helen and Sue’s brother Jimmy and his girlfriend Sue. It was great to see the interplay between the 3 siblings. Aunt Sue had made a DVD of some old 8mm movies from their childhood and we watched part of the DVD before we made our way to the local Marriott Courtyard for the night. This ends Day one (or 1.5 for some) of Amy’s graduation weekend.
See pictures at flickr.com/photos/kws1111/