I recently traveled to New York to celebrate with my family as my sister, Amanda, graduated with a masters degree from Columbia University. We attended two different ceremonies: one for the entire university and one for Teachers College. Somehow, we also found the time to explore the city a little bit!
We kicked off our celebration with a little pre-theatre dining at Room Service in Hell's Kitchen.
The non-graduation-related highlight of my trip was our evening at the theatre. My sister, my mom, my dad, my husband and I saw Peter and the Starcatcher.
It's hard to satisfy five very different tastes, but we were all laughing hysterically throughout the show. It was one of the most creative, well-written, and entertaining plays I've ever seen. I'm so excited that it's getting the recognition it deserves with so many Tony award nominations!
The next day, we attended the Teachers College commencement ceremony at the Cathedral of St. John the Devine. The organ was fantastic:
I played paparazzi waiting for the candidates to proceed to the cathedral. Can you find my sister?
The ceremony was beautiful. The weather was not.
Remember how I was stressing out about what to wear to this thing because of my stupid splint? This is what I went with:
I bought two maxi dresses from Nordstrom, and I went with a pearly pink pair of Toms. By day two, they had stretched out around my splint and were actually pretty comfortable!
After ceremony #1, we played tourist at the American Museum of Natural History.
If you're in the area, there's a temporary exhibit on bioluminescence that was really cool! Who knew fireflies were so interesting?
The next day, we attended Columbia University's commencement ceremony.
It was huge, and very long, but the speakers were good. I think it's important for a graduation speaker to praise, inspire, and challenge the candidates...and I think they did just that.
Afterwards, we celebrated with my sisters' classmates (there were only three of them total in her program) and their families at Havana Central. Of course, my husband was devastated that he had to eat Cuban food.
Later that day, we finished up our trip at The View, a rotating lounge at the top of our Times Square hotel. We had a beautiful view of the city as the sun set.
The Empire State Building was illuminated in blue to celebrate Columbia's newest alumni!
We had a really great time, and my foot held up okay (though I was glad to be home relaxing for a couple of days before being back on my feet at work). It was a good balance of family time and sightseeing, and we had a blast celebrating Amanda's accomplishments...congrats again, dude!
Are you traveling to any graduation festivities this May?