Thursday, June 13, 2013

Graduation Weekend

A couple weeks ago my husband finished grad school, and last week Graduation had finally arrived! We spent a wonderful weekend celebrating with my husband's parents and his classmates, friends who we will miss very much as they scatter across the US pursuing their new careers. After two years of very hard work, it was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on their accomplishments and to have some fun.

My in-laws arrived late Tuesday night, just in time to eat a piece of Lemon Rhubarb Buckle and to crawl into bed.  Wednesday night, we went to Fenway to see the Rangers take on the Red Sox (our second time to see the Rangers within the week, strangely enough). We indulged in Fenway Franks and ballpark nachos, and thankfully this time the Rangers eked out a win!
Thursday, after a lazy morning sipping champagne punch, we headed out for the Sloan School of Management Convocation at the Wang Theater.
My husband with his proud parents:
The Wang Theater, recently refurbished, was just beautiful and a great spot for Convocation. I might have welled up with tears a few times (Pomp & Circumstance + my husband in a graduation robe is not a formula for dry eyes).
Following convocation, here's my very happy graduate (maybe happiest because he only has to wear this robe one more time).
We had a celebratory dinner at Marliave, not too far from the theater. It's one of the oldest restaurants in Boston (the fourth oldest to be exact), and they serve wonderful food and drinks, including a $1 oyster happy hour each evening.
After drinks and oysters in the bar area, we made our way to the dining room for the main course. We were seated at a table beside the floor-to-ceiling windows with a beautiful view of downtown. After dinner, my in-laws got a heavenly piece of chocolate cake, but we opted for a cheese plate.  We selected two of our favorites (Comte and Brillat Savarin), which were served with toasted brioche, candied walnuts, fig jam, and honey.
That evening, Sloan hosted a reception at the Prudential Center Skywalk, offering a staggering array of food (if only we were hungry), drinks, and a fabulous view of the city.
The Skywalk encircles the top of the Prudential Center so you can stroll along, admiring a 360-degree view of the city. Not a bad place to celebrate!
Back at home, we ended the day with presents and champagne -- what could be better?
Friday, Graduation Day was upon us, and what a rainy day it was! The remnants of a Tropical Storm were passing through Boston, perfect for an outdoor graduation (and a long graduation at that -- 3.5 hours where MIT reads the names of every undergraduate and graduate student as they walk across the stage).

We arrived early to get seats, counting on ponchos to keep us dry.  We laughed, knowing this would make for a heck of a story someday. It just wasn't so fun in the moment. The graduate procession began, and we managed to spot my husband on his way in. That was the only glimpse we got of him, but thankfully they had viewing screens enabling us to see him walk across the stage (some 2.5 hours later).  Once his name was read and his diplomas were in hand, we cheered and then immediately left to make our way out of the rain. The poor graduates had to endure another hour in the rain before the graduation finally drew to a close.
Following the ceremony, we attended two receptions: one for the business school and one for the LGO program.  Both were very nice (once we dried out) and a great chance to finally chat with friends.

Saturday, sunny and beautiful following the previous day's downpour (go figure), we drove to the North Shore for fried clams at Woodman's of Essex. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, as usual, but we made a respectable dent in our tray of fried whole belly clams, fried clam strips, clam chowder, clam cakes, and onion rings!
After driving to campus to return my husband's graduation robe, we checked to see if his thesis was bound and on the shelves in the engineering library. Turns out it won't be on shelves for another couple months, but we did get to see the inside of the Main Building's dome in the Library Reading Room, which was quite a sight. Out the front doors of the Main Building, we came upon the aftermath of the previous day's rainy festivities and took a few photos on the stage.
To take advantage of the beautiful day, we went for a little stroll along the Charles River. Along the MIT campus, you have the best views of the Boston skyline. See?
After living in Boston for four years (five and a half for my husband), here's our first picture together on the Charles! Not sure what took us so long!
We finished the evening with drinks at Meadhall (because sadly, the MIT bar, The Muddy Charles, was closed), dinner at Trina's, and more champagne!
Sunday morning, my husband's family headed back south, and we spent a lazy afternoon on the couch watching old episodes of 24 and recuperating from the weekend's festivities. It's hard to believe that these two years are behind us, and while it wasn't easy, I'm so proud of my husband, and  I'm so grateful for the friends and memories we made along the way. I look forward to seeing where the coming years take us all!

Congratulations MIT Class of 2013!

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