On Sunday, May 27th of Memorial Day weekend, we picked up Rob’s parents in RI and headed to Albany, NY to attend our niece, Katie’s graduation. Since we had to be there before noon, we picked up Mom & Dad at 7:00 a.m. Once we loaded all of their stuff into the van, we headed over to Denny’s on Route 2 in Warwick for a quick breakfast.
Once breakfast was over, we made our way to I90 which is the Massachusetts Turnpike. It was a nice day out, sunny, blue sky with very little traffic so it was a pleasant drive. After stopping a few times for potty breaks, we arrived at Dave (Rob’s brother) and Nancy’s house around 11:00 a.m. Rob’s brother, Dave, greeted us clad in an apron and proceeded to clown around with a huge bunch of aprons that had managed to tie themselves together in the dryer.
Rob’s Aunt Linda and Uncle Herb also made the trip staying in their motor home at a campground in Schenectady. Rob’s brother, Jeff, flew in from Chicago but unfortunately his wife, Michelle and their three children were not able to make the trip. Their twin girls, Sienna and Olivia, graduated from 8th grade on Friday. Hard to believe they will be in high school next year! Congrats to them!
It was a little hectic at the house as everyone was trying to get ready to leave for the graduation and then trying to figure out who was driving and who was riding in what car. And of course, there had to be a photo op session (that’s Dave, Nancy, Katie and Jonathan in the photo on the left). But eventually we all left for the short drive to the school. Katie has been a student at the Academy of Our Holy Names school which is a Catholic school for girls from pre-K through 12th grade.
After dropping Rob’s parents off at the door, Rob managed to find a parking space a short distance from the school. In the gymnasium they had two areas for seating – the reserved seats which were folding chairs on the floor and the non reserved seats which were the bleachers. Since Rob’s Mom was using her wheelchair, his parents had seats in the reserved seating area while the rest of us had to find seats in the bleachers. That’s Rob’s parents in the middle of the photo on the right – she has on a yellow blouse and his Dad is next to her is a blue sports jacket.
A few minutes after noon, the 57 graduates walked down the aisle to the stage while the string quartet and pianist played the usual Pomp and Circumstance. Katie was near the front of the processional but it was hard from our vantage point in the bleachers to get a good picture of her. Once on stage she ended up being seated in the front row of the section on the left (she’s 4th from the left).
Overall it was a lovely ceremony and luckily it only lasted a little over an hour since it was a fairly warm in the gymnasium. Speeches were given by several of the girls who were graduating as well as the school President, the Bishop of Albany and the Principal of the school. After the speeches they presented the diplomas, calling each girl up to the podium. After the student was presented with their diploma, they walked center stage and were presented with a bouquet of roses by one of the flower girls (all sisters of a graduating student). Nice touch!
You’ll have to bear with me here as I do a little bragging about our niece! Not only is she a good kid and becoming a lovely young lady but she is very smart as well and we’re all extremely proud of her. And it seems she is a budding scientist! Last year she developed a biogas digester which won her first place at the Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair. Following that she was invited to compete as a finalist in the 62nd Intel International Science Fair in Los Angeles in 2011. In 2012, she was named a semi-finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search which is the nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. She graduated with honors, receiving an Award for Science and the Lisa Philo Corcoran Writing Scholar Award. She also was awarded scholarships from Worcester Polytechnic (WPI) in Worcester, MA (Rob’s alma mater), Drexel University, Odin College in Needham, MA, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public Semifinalist Honor Award. She was accepted at MIT but she has decided to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute since she received a full scholarship there. See I told you she was smart! Congratulations Katie!
After the graduation and more photos, Rob and I along with his parents headed over to Cresthill Suites where we had reservations for the night. We initially were going to stay at the TownPlace Suites but their rate was $134/night versus $89 for Cresthill so we switched. Rooms were quite nice with a full kitchen, a living room area and a separate bedroom. (Not as comfy as the Discovery though!)
Around 4:00 p.m. we headed back over to Dave & Nancy’s house for the graduation party. It was enjoyable meeting some of their friends and seeing Nancy’s family – we hadn’t seen her parents, her two brothers and her sister probably in over 10 years. Being a nice day we were able to sit out in their lovely backyard. Great party!
We left the party around 10 p.m. On Monday morning, we had the free continental breakfast at the hotel, then headed over to Dave & Nancy’s house for a short visit. We left there around 11:30 p.m. It was another pleasant drive on the MA turnpike although there was a lot more traffic since it was Memorial Day. After dropping Rob’s parents off, we arrived home in MA around 4:00 p.m.
Overall a very enjoyable weekend!