Rutgers in the Rearview Mirror

Graduation

Our boy is an official Rutgers graduate and we couldn’t be prouder of him!  He worked very hard for his final 3.55 GPA earning him cum laude honors.  For those of you who don’t know, he’s continuing his studies in the Fall at the University of Maryland pursuing a PhD in molecular and cellular biology.  We told everyone who joined us for the Rutgers festivities that we plan to do it all again in 5 years or so when he becomes Dr. Iverson.

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This was a big event since President Obama was the commencement speaker.  A great honor for the school to snag the sitting president, but it came with a nice set of security and logistical issues.  All the family could no longer attend the actual commencement since each student only received 3 tickets – this announced just 3 weeks before the big day after travel plans were already made.  Ah, but we worked it out and my sister and brother-in-law, along with Ethan’s cousin, watched via the webcast.  They likely had a much better view and certainly were warmer.  We weren’t prepared for cold temps and 20 mph winds.  It even hailed on us as we left the stadium.

But I digress.  Loooong day and Ethan got an interesting sunburn from his mortarboard. It was, however, truly memorable with armed security, snipers, Osprey helicopters and Marine One flying over the stadium to deliver the President (the teensy flying thing in the pic below).  Coldest I’ve been in a very long while, but well worth it.

The Celebration

We said from the first day we dropped Ethan off as a Freshman, that we would celebrate his graduation in style in New York City with a Broadway show and fancy dinner.  We did just that with a trip into the city the day before commencement to see a few sights along with Wicked at the Gershwin Theater, followed by dinner at Azalea’s next door.  (Thanks Ann for the great suggestions!)

The whole group included Ethan, his girlfriend Stephanie,  my sister Elaine and husband Jimmy, Ethan’s Grandma Judy, Ethan’s cousin Brandon and of course Dad and Momster.  Loved, loved, LOVED the show – such talent it moved me to tears!  Dinner was excellent as well and Ethan opened all the generous gifts he had received so far.  Kudos to my friend Celeste for the most creative way to give cash – currency sheets – and the hit of the party!

New York City!

Of course we promised Pat’s Mom a trip to the city so she could truly experience some of the Big Apple.  We had limited time, but decided that a visit to the Statue of Liberty would be a great One Big Thing to visit.  The Lady is truly a sight to see and was so impressive in person.  A great family day I’ll remember for a while.

Mom wanted a picture with the boy from the backside of Lady Liberty, but just goes to show that every side is this statue’s best side.  And here is proof that Mom saw the big city firsthand!

Of course no trip to NYC is complete without planes, trains and automobiles.  We added several subway and ferry rides to that as well.

Here we are waiting on the train at Edison station, buying subway tickets – always an adventure – and actually riding the subway.  This was what Mom had pictured in her mind!

Back to Florida – ahhhh, warm again

Graduation was actually a two day marathon – commencement on Sunday and Convocation with the actual walk across the stage and diplomas on Monday.  This because 12,000 graduates could not possibly be conferred diplomas and us all still be standing on the same day!  Anyway, Mom took a pass on the second cold day (at least this one was sunny), and we opted for inappropriate dress to make it through.  I’m sure my parents would have been scandalized by our jeans and tennis shoes that day, but honestly, I wanted to enjoy the moment and did just that.  All that to say, we owed Mom another dress up event since she didn’t get to wear her second set of new stylisth clothes in Jersey.  We decided to go out to a dress up dinner at Bonefish Grill and then take a stroll on the beach.

Mom and her boy.   She’s wearing her dress from NYC, complete with new shoes and jewelry!

I leave you with one more picture.  A stunner from Ormond Beach with the moon, ocean and Spring flowers.  And for those anxiously awaiting news of the new camera, yes, all these pictures were taken with it.  Pat said I was scared of it, and must admit I was a little intimidated, but bit the bullet and read the entire manual on the flight to Newark.  So happy with it and think it will serve me well on our travels.  Thanks to all who helped to provide this great retirement gift!

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Long post I know, but didn’t want to skimp on this momentous occasion and trip.  We are ready to hit the road again in Lucy and will do that on July 4th headed to Vermont.  Until then, I’m hearing “On the Road Again”!  See you down the road.

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6 thoughts on “Rutgers in the Rearview Mirror

  1. Looks like you had a great time. Sad for the limited tickets. I am sure it is because they were giving the tickets to Alumni to see the president, that just does not seem fair. If I remember correctly I got some email regarding attending the graduation. Tell Ethan congrats for me. The card is in the mail – Wendy is never on time. Have a great 4th!

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  2. Hey Wendy! Glad I didn’t know about the alums before. Anyway, we just chalked it up to “is what it is” and moved on. Didn’t want Ethan to stress about it. We’ll keep an eye out for the card. Fortunately there is no deadline for celebrating. Ethan will appreciate it whenever it arrives!

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