What a crazy weekend!
So…Friday morning, we went to Target, finally found The Perfect graduation card after looking at Walgreens, HEB and Party City and finding NONE, wrapping paper, then went to breakfast at Taco Garage (where everyone came by, wondering why we were there on a Friday! Then congratulated us when we told them.) Then we went to the UT Co-op and I got Josh a “class of 2014” shirt and got myself burnt orange nail polish. Then we came home, I wrapped the presents while Fred packed. We headed out to get Lexi, then stopped at Starbucks for coffee/tea and snacks, then headed to Austin. We dropped Lexi off at Josh’s, then went to the Erwin Center, which is where we saw U2 when Josh was a baby. The previous graduation was just getting out, so we were swimming upstream! But we got in and saved an entire row for the family. For two hours. And I had to go to the bathroom, but I dared not get up, because Fred couldn’t hold it by himself.
What was cool was that when Josh came in, we were about even with him. He could see us and we could see him!
Afterwards, we found him really easily, which, with that many kids, was crazy. Then Josh, his roommate Pete and Jolene walked back to their apartment to get Josh’s car. We couldn’t fit them all in the Mini! The other crazy thing, when we were leaving the parking garage, we saw Mom and them (they had Dale, Sonia and the Maneys in the Suburban) and they followed us out to Salt Lick. We were about 45 minutes early, and the kids were half an hour behind us. There were more families from the UT graduation, which was weird because it is about 45 minutes outside of Austin. But we had a nice meal, LOTS of food, so much that we had to have 4 boxes to take it! I could go for some of that bread right about now.
Then we headed back to Austin for the first snafu. We got to our hotel room, which I’d booked in February as a non-smoking room, and when we walked in….but sadly, there were no other rooms, and I’d already paid, so we were stuck. The counter girl gave us some spray, which helped until about 2 in the morning.
So Saturday we woke up early-ish, went down for the free breakfast, but we didn’t have anything planned so we sat in the lobby since our room smelled. We finally checked out around 11, then went to South Austin for those tiles I told you about. We went to the shop, then went to South Congress, which has a lot of fun shops, and we saw the tiles at LEAST 2 more places! Anyway…Fred’s knee was hurting so we texted Josh asking to come over. He was getting in the shower, so we drove around a bit, found parking for the rest of the day, went to the convenience store, then walked to Josh’s apartment. We hung out for a bit, then went to lunch, also within walking distance. It was a cool burger place, but not too tasty. We did like their drinks–black cherry root beer and watermelon tea. We went back to Josh’s, hung out until 4, then Fred and I walked to campus to line up for seating for the big ceremony.
Not even kidding about the big, BTW. HOLY smokes. We had to save a seat for Lexi on the bleachers where we were. Mind, this was 4 and the ceremony didn’t start until 8. She and Josh weren’t planning to come until 7. I texted right around 6 because they’d stopped letting people in because it was so crowded, and it was harder and harder to hold her seat (we weren’t supposed to save, but the family behind us saved about 10 seats, so….). People were coming in DROVES. The family behind us who saved all those seats were making me CRAZY.The woman NEVER STOPPED TALKING. Lexi laughed and said she knew everything about this woman. NO KIDDING. Plus, we’d been there 2 hours longer and heard her repeat stories to everyone who came up. She said she’d had 10 seats because hers kept getting stolen, but if she’d just SIT DOWN….
Anyway, once Lexi got there, I could go to the bathroom. There were THREE stalls for ALL those people. I mean, 8000 graduates, and at least 2 people per…A LOT of people.
It took 45 minutes for the graduates to walk up, but the wildest thing–Josh sat really close to us! They had a couple of speakers, and the keynote was from the Navy SEAL who commanded the attack on Bin Laden. He had a great speech, about the things he learned in SEAL training that could be applied to the graduates. He told them they could all change the lives of people and make the world a better place than they found it. He was AWESOME. (Compared to the speaker at the college graduation, who was DEADLY dull.) Then they presented the candidates from each college (made them stand and the dean of each college attested they were certified to graduate). While they did this, they lit up the tower in different colors, signifying the different colleges. Then we sang “The Eyes of Texas” and then the fireworks! It was so cool! But 2 hours of ceremony after 4 hours of sitting…We took pictures, then walked to the car and were home a little before midnight, amazingly.
It was just a wonderful experience. I’m so happy and proud.