Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dateline: Boston

My younger cousin graduated from Boston University with a BA on Sunday. In a fit of family affection, I decided to go up for the luncheon. My mom, on the other hand, decided to go up for the ceremony. Which means I went up for the ceremony. :-) Hubby was going to go, but realized he had too much school work, which was disappointing, but just as well in the end as it would have been a seriously long day for the pups.
Mom came up Saturday night, which gave Samson, the furry little traitor, the opportunity to abandon us in favor of sleeping with Grandma. Baru stayed in with us, but got really upset when he heard them get up in the morning.
It's a 2 1/2 hour drive to Boston, which didn't bother us as we do not fear long car trips, although maybe we should considering the price of gas. We got there just in time for the procession, so we didn't miss any of the speeches. One nice thing was that the university opened all the parking garages for the day. I had seen that online, so when we hit Commonwealth Ave and it was bumper-to-bumper like the Merritt at rush hour, I took a random right turn toward a garage and kept my fingers crossed. As it turned out around half the level we were on was empty and we were right in the garage for the Agganis Arena, right next door to the ceremony sight. Can you say sweeet?
It was a nice sunny day, so I got a bit of a burn on my arms. And the speakers weren't so bad. It was just as well Hubby didn't come as the keynote speaker was the president of the Red Sox. He still managed to take a shot at the Yankee's and ended up quoting extensively from Yogi Berra, so apparently they still have younger brother syndrome.
And why is it that commencement speakers almost always say "I was told to be brief" and then never are?
Of course all this means that I finally crossed the line on having knitting in my birthday purse. But, really, can you blame me? All that extra room came in handy not only for my sock, but for the free bottles of water the uni provided, which were appreciated almost as much as the free parking. (They were also giving out cheese BU painters caps, but I gave that to mom for the niece and nephew.) My mom heard some people, not in our group, call me Madam LaFarge, which is a reference to the character from Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities who was knitting in the gallery during the French Revolution. I believe she was based on true events. I haven't read the book, not a huge Dickens fan. And I choose to think they were just jealous because I was happily entertained. HA!
After the ceremony we proceeded to a restaurant called Tasca on Washington St in Brighton. Nice little Italian place. They had price fix on Sunday, but a really good selection of stuff. I had the duckling empanada for an appetizer. Seasoned, shredded duck in a phillo dough with an orange sauce. Yum. For my entree I ordered the lamb shank with root vegetables. That was also quite good. Mom was disappointed there weren't more veggies. She had the crab cake for an app and seemed to enjoy them. Dessert was a nice mixed fruit salad with a sauce that might have been sangria. And there were pitchers of sangria on the tables, which I haven't had in ages. But I only had a few sips, since I was driving. It was all quite lovely, but the service was a little shaky. However, there were 25 of us, so I guess it was understandable to a degree. My uncle, the father of the graduate, was disappointed because he wanted flan and it was unclear if they had any, but then it didn't materialize.
The ride home was fine, although getting through the city and back onto the relative safety of the highway was hair raising. I hate city driving as it is, but there were people double parked and I'm sure some of those taxis were aiming for me! We made it safe and sound though. I think we were home by 7. The lunch broke up around 4 because the relatives had to go for a second, smaller commencement where my cousin actually got to cross the stage.
It was nice to see all the family, most of them were the California contingent so we don't see them much. There was good food and I got some knitting done. How much more exciting could you want a day to be?
(Oh, and Yes, both puppies abandoned us Sunday night in favor of Grandma. But we're used to it.)

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