Old friends, new beginnings

A little bit too early on Saturday morning, we piled into our little rental and made our way down to Athens for the graduation at UGA.

We just happened to bump into Wife and Ted and the whole Wife and Ted crew on our walk from the parking lot to the big auditorium. After six years in school (and here I am complaining about three all the time!) working toward Ph.D.s in Social Psychology, the two seemed appropriately enthusiastic to be graduating!

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Once seated inside, we sat through many hours of official proceedings. I was very excited to spot my Wife (and her Ted) in the processional:

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Post-ceremony, we headed back to Wife’s house. The girls chatted; the boys cheered their beers:

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Clearly, no one is trying to combat any gender stereotypes here!

I happened to open the fridge, and my heart did 5 thousand jumping jacks at the sight inside:

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Chocolate-covered strawberries, hand-picked and dipped only the day before! Yummmmmmmmm. It took a lot of willpower to wait for their official unveiling to start sampling.

We “kids” spent some time catching up until I spotted this scene down in the parking lot:

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It was Wife’s family arriving with lunch!

Hummus and bread:

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Sandwich selection:

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I made a colorful plate of salad, loads of hummus with some bread, and an open-faced turkey sandwich:

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The turkey sandwich had a layer of mango chutney. Very exciting, especially since I assumed it was mustard on initial inspection!

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When we were stuffed from lunch, desserts arrived!

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I obviously had a number of chocolate-covered strawberries. Alongside them, however, I had at least half of every single kind of authentic Italian cookie that Wife’s mom brought all the way down to GA from Providence!

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That one on the bottom right with pistachios and dried berries — amazing!!!

The adults soon left to prepare for the night, leaving us kids to splash around in the pool for a couple hours until we worked up an appetite for dinner. Wife and Ted’s parents joined forces to put on a lovely graduation party/dinner at La Dolce Vita in downtown Athens:

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I actually felt like I was in Italy (well, I have never been to Italy, but I imagine it would feel similar to this restaurant) with all of these warm colors, strategically run-down patches of exposed brick, and bottle upon bottle of wine:

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I got going with the delicious red while contemplating the constantly refilling appetizer platters with arugula-tomato bruschetta and antipasti:

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I kept grabbing all the arugula I could find — it was soooooooo tasty and peppery:

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The crowd mingled:

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While the other diners tried to pretend they were not inadvertently crashing a graduation party:

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Chris and Wife’s brother Matthew wondered when the main course was going to arrive:

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We killed some time by posing with our wine:

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In all honesty, though, we did not really need to kill any time because we were having such a blast! Finally, Wife and Ted calmed the masses so they could give their speech:

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Holding court:

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Post-speech, the family style food started rolling in! We began with a super-dressed (though quite delicious) Caesar salad:

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Paired with mixed greens:

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And then the main pasta courses arrived!

We had rigatoni (?) in meat sauce:

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With spinach ravioli in a brown butter and sage sauce (omggggggggggg, I wanted to take a bath in this sauce!):

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Plus a caprese-esque pasta dish:

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And gnocchi in that same brown-butter sage sauce:

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We did not like anything:

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Just when we thought nothing else could fit, we were offered a choice of two graduation cakes that Wife and Ted had picked out! I chose the lemon custard:

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Erik picked the tiramisu:

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We shared bites, but I was overall quite pleased with my lemon 😀

I cleansed my palate with a lovely cappuccino:

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Meanwhile, night had fallen in Italy:

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We made a quick pit stop outside with the Georgia Bulldog:

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(I promise I am pregnant with food and not with a baby in that picture!)

And then headed across the street to dance it all off in the club until the wee hours:

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Overall, it was a perfect whirlwind of a trip with scrumptious food and amazing friends and almost too much fun! Wife and Ted should be making one more appearance when they come out to NYC in June for one last hurrah before they move to Bilbao, Spain for a two-year post-doc, AHHHHHHHH!! So jealous. Anyway, stay posted for more adventures to come 🙂

When you graduated from college, did you ever imagine that you’d be going through a whole new round of graduations years later? I was sure college was the end of the road for me and my education!

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2 thoughts on “Old friends, new beginnings

  1. Vani says:

    this looks like so much fun!!! I love graduations . . . and hope I’ll have another one before my 20s are over 🙂

    doing anything fun for yours??

    Like

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