Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Pretty Exciting Day

This weekend, WH and I were fortunate enough to be able to travel to Orlando to  see HS graduate from the University of Central Florida with his Master's Degree in Public Administration.  As all the trips in our family seem to be, this one was an adventure from start to finish.

BD#2 was also able to join us, and that is where the adventure began.  You see, WH is a retired airline pilot, which means we have travel privileges on the airline.  Pretty cool, right?  Well the downside is that we travel standby, so we never know exactly which flight we will be on if we make the flight at all.  BD#2 is in Idaho and her big brother's big event was in Orlando, Florida.  So, the intrepid girl set out on Wednesday afternoon and flew to Salt Lake where her loving big sister retrieved her from the airport, put her up overnight, and delivered her back to the airport the next afternoon.  By this time, the flights that had looked promising the day before looked anything but promising.  This event always triggers WH's planning mode, and he and HS began to look into alternative routes to get BD#2 to Orlando in time for the event.  One of the alternatives was that she would fly home and drive down with  us.  She made her original flight, which was fine, except that instead of leaving at 2pm and arriving in Orlando about 10pm, now WH and I would leave at 8 pm and arrive at 4am.  I'm never at my best when I've been up all night, but we arrived safely and did manage to catch a few hours sleep before we were joined by

HS who was naturally excited about the day.

WH and BD#2 weren't anxious to get up after their abbreviated night, so this occasioned one of our kids' favorite games from childhood, fondly known as "lump in the bed" where one covers their head in the belief that they are now invisible, while the other jumps on them and chants, "I found a lump in the bed."  Great fun!

And who did the lump turn out to be?  You guessed it!  It was BD#2.  Amazing!

Once we were ready, we drove... and drove... and drove... out to the UCF campus, where the campus police had created a real mess of the traffic.  We ended up parking all the way across campus, necessitating a very long walk in

not very comfortable shoes, which meant when we finally reached the UCF arena the only seats we could find were in the nosebleed section right under the blowers for the air conditioning.  Brrrrrrrrrr!!

I have dozens of these photos, each as blurry as the last, taken from our vantage point at the very top of the arena.

After several text message conversations, we finally found HS by asking him to wave his program in the air.  Great photo, huh?  Still, it was progress of a sort.

Since WH is a bagpiper, we were thrilled that the faculty was led into the arena by a pair of bagpipers.  (I have no idea what made the halo effect around said bagpipers, but I venture to say they are NOT heavenly messengers, at least in this instance.)

And if you look closely, here is HS walking across the stage to receive his degree and shake hands with administration officials.

Since HS was one of the first 100 or so to receive his degree, and since by the time his name was read we had sat under the air conditioning blower for almost an hour, the three of us decided to go to the bookstore across the street and thaw out.  We read magazines about the RW and kept one ear on the TV monitor on which a seemingly endless list of names was read.

We were, in fact, at the bookstore early enough to claim some of the soft seats, and wait...

for a very happy HS to join us....

 after which we took the obligatory photos...

in the 15 minutes that were left to us before the regalia was "late" and would be charged the full purchase price.

And then, while HS returned said regalia, we stopped for a tender moment in our hike back across campus to retrieve the car.

HS, we're proud of you.  Go forth and do good!


I love comments! Please - make my day!