The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. A rowing state championship followed the next weekend by a college graduation!
This weekend? Mike was able to get away early and we drove up to Tallahassee to celebrate Ian’s graduation from Florida State University. Mike and I are Gators through-and-through but, we once again (Danny also graduated from FSU) sucked it up and left our blue/orange clothing at home. Ian was working Friday night so we planned to check into our hotel and head over to his restaurant (Bonefish Grill) to visit and let him serve us dinner.
So . . . we checked into our hotel. First, it’s my own fault. I should have booked a hotel back in January. But, back then, Ian was waffling about whether he wanted to participate in the ceremony. When I went to book a hotel a week ago, everything was booked or $400/night. In Tallahassee people. NO. WAY. I found a room for $250/night. I knew the location of the hotel and we fully expected to spend the night in a 70’s time capsule. What we did not expect was to be given the keys to hell. Seriously. We are not terribly demanding. We walked into the room. Looked around. Cracked open a beer from our quick gas station stop. Mike rarely gets mad. After 27 years of marriage I can count on my fingers the number of times I’ve seen him really angry. I’m running out of fingers. Insanity. After a lot of back and forth, the manager suddenly found us a perfectly lovely room with a king-sized bed, a real bathroom and everything else. If you’re planning on going to Tallahassee anytime soon, let me know, I’ll tell you what hotel to skip. Gah!
During the great room debate, we were texting with Ian – who had graciously made reservations for us – to keep backing up our reservations. No small feat on a graduation weekend! When we got to the restaurant, Ian’s co-workers were waiting for us. We had a wonderful dinner and even had a chance to talk to Ian. As Ian was not closing the restaurant that night, we decided to find a cozy pub and meet him after work. Oh my. The fact that people keep letting us wander unsupervised is so wrong.
I looked on my phone and found what looked to be a charming Irish pub close to Ian’s restaurant. We found the place and were busy talking as we walked in, not paying too much attention. We sat, ordered drinks and kept talking. Once settled we started looking around. Mike pointed out a woman in a sequined dress saying how rare it is to see a woman well over six feet tall. Yep. That woman was a man. The Irish pub is now something else. I’m not sure what exactly it is but, everyone was having fun, including us. When Ian finally turned up, he was hysterical. “Do you even know where you are?” he demanded? I don’t know about you, but I hate to disappoint my children. And, if I’m going to freak them out, I like to do it in a big way.
This morning, we picked Ian up (woke Ian up) at 7 am. We found a good parking spot and I was thrilled when we saw Ian’s old roommate, Alex, coming to join us. We dropped Ian off and went on a hike in search of coffee. The ceremony was long but fun. So many happy people in one space. I knew Ian’s grades were good but, I was so thrilled to see him come up to the stage with his Summa Cum Laude “decorations” on his robe. In his entire college career, I think he had one ‘B.’ We’re so very proud of him.
After the ceremony, we went for lunch (well, mostly caffeine but food was involved as well). Afterwards, Ian took us on a tour of the college radio station where he has been a DJ for the past couple of years. So fun. I could have stayed there all day reading the posters and graffiti from the past three decades – the walls are completely covered.
I’m proud of Ian but his graduation is yet another reminder that my kids are grown ups (mostly) and part of me would love to go back to when they were 8. But not really. Mostly, I’m looking forward to what the next chapter of Ian’s life will bring – I know it’s going to be amazing!
The last weekend of April involved a trip to Sarasota with OARS for the FSRA State Championship. It was, as always, an exciting and exhausting weekend. Mike and I help with the “food team” and keeping 150 kids fed and hydrated for two full days on a shade-less race site is no small feat!
In an effort to save some cash, Mike and I split an Airbnb apartment with our most excellent friends, AJ and Maria. Thus far, my Airbnb experiences have been very positive. Last weekend? Not so much. Fortunately, the reason we get along so well with AJ and Maria is the fact that they have great senses of humor. We laughed until we cried and made the most of a very strange apartment. In addition, we each saved about $600 for the weekend. The a/c worked and the weekend will go down as a fun, memorable one!
Andy’s boat took second place. The boys on the boat were not at all pleased to take “first-place-loser” but, it was a hard-fought, exciting race. I’m proud of them. Next weekend, the team heads to Georgia to race on the course that hosted the Atlanta Olympics – you know, in the last century? I’m still debating whether to go or not. Mike won’t be able to make it. I know Andy doesn’t care one way or another.
But, Andy’s days are numbered and I’m starting to get that feeling that I want to be there for all I can. Stay tuned . . . and if I do go, cross your fingers I pick a good hotel. 😉