Well, that was a weekend. Oy. For starters, the whole thing was driven by an event that isn’t even possible: our oldest daughter, who was only recently a tiny pookie-bear hugging a stuffed caterpillar, suddenly up and graduated from college. Not just any college, but RPI; not just any degree, but nuclear flaming engineering. Cum laude. She’s just amazing. So, not possible, and yet it happened.
Started the weekend at the Pig Pit, because honestly, I’m having a little trouble with what they call pulled pork around here, and there’s nothing like the Pig Pit. Next day, lunch with old friends, a tradition going back to when I left state service and we had to find a place off the beaten path to get together and reminisce about the glory days of regulating automobiles and cleaning up anthrax. Then, a visit to my mom. Then, one of the most beautiful Troy Nights Out ever, followed by ice cream at Mac’s in Watervliet. There’s no better ice cream in the Capital District.
Saturday, bright and super early, commencement. At RPI, they like to make sure the engineers go outside once in their college careers, so commencement is held outside, and man, was there sun. The hot was fine, but the sun, that was intense. The speakers were quite good; I particularly liked the message of David Rubinstein, who went up against the currently dominant trend of “I’ve got mine, Jack” in telling graduates “you are obligated as a member of society to give back your good fortune.” And the headliner, Admiral Michelle Howard, was not only incredibly impressive, she was funny and inspiring. And as we waited for Hannah to cross the stage, I was able to keep the tears to a minimum.
Then, dinner with her friends and family at the Charlton Tavern, which I hadn’t visited in years (and which was the perfect venue for a small gathering). As if that weren’t enough . . . oh, no, that was enough. What a day.
Sunday morning, up bright and early again, to visit the most magical place on earth: a U-Haul store on the last day of the month, in order to help her move. I believe every U-Haul in the tri-state area was in Troy that day. Opposite of sun that day, it poured rain, which always makes moving more fun, but we got it done, had lunch at Spillin’ the Beans, and headed back down to the Keystone State.
Unfortunately, what should have been a 5 hour drive, maximum, was turned into more than 7.5 hours thanks to torrential downpours and insane flooding pretty much everywhere we turned in New Jersey. After spending an hour crawling through dangerously deep puddles complete with waves, we gave up on travel, got off the highway, and were lucky enough to find the perfect diner to wait it out before we got back on the slow road to home. There was some tiredness at the end of that drive, which was an experience worse than any blizzard I’ve ever driven through.
Quite the homecoming weekend!