Happy Graduation!

Good news! I am extending the Tapeña Wines giveaway until Monday! If you haven’t entered, you can do so here.

http://traveleatlove.com/2011/11/celebrate-the-holidays-with-tapena-wines/

It’s our last day in Ireland. We head home tomorrow, and while I am sad to leave, I am looking forward to seeing my cats, sleeping in my own bed, and hopefully seeing some sun. The weather here has been absolutely abysmal, the worst I have ever seen it. Cold, blustery, raining, hailing, flooding, you name it.

Since it is our last day, I have to give a shout out to my husband, the very reason for our trip to Ireland this November. You probably already know if you read my blog, but he received two Master’s degrees last Wednesday, one in Software and Information Systems and one in Software Engineering and Database Technologies from a joint program between the National University of Ireland Galway and Regis College. The three years of his double Masters program were tough. He worked full time, often spending 80 hours in his real job, followed by studying and papers until sometimes 3 am. Holidays and weekends always meant assignments. And he still managed to remain cheerful and fun and my favorite person to be around. . . most of the time!

When I was a senior in college, my friends and I decided to start toasting “Happy Graduation!” every time we went out, starting in September. Sometimes we still toast the same thing, 10 years later (eek!), so I am wishing Eric a Happy Graduation today with more than good reason!

graduation

There were two ceremonies, one for each degree. The first ceremony was conducted in Irish, English, and Latin, and seemed a bit long. But I teared up when all of the graduates stood up to clap for their families who had supported them over the course of the degree. The second ceremony had food and wine and was for the smaller program, so was much quicker, and was definitely my preferred way of watching a graduation.

Galway

National University of Ireland

I spent a semester and part of a summer at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Here is just one of the impressive buildings on the campus.

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We celebrated after at McSwiggan’s, one of my favorite restaurants in Galway. I had the same thing I always have, a massive portion of vegetable curry with naan, rice, and minted yogurt. It is amazing.

After dinner with the family, we did some pub hopping and ended up at The Quay’s for their after midnight live band. Somehow, even though we were up all night flying the night before, we got a second wind to stay out until 3 am!

The Quays

We toasted Happy Graduation with pints of Guinness in one of Galway’s oldest pubs. Many pints of Guinness. It’s got iron in it though, making it more of a supplement than a beer.

Guinness

The Quays

Every nook and cranny of this pub has something cool, whether it be a sculpture, a stained glass window, or wall that is hundreds of years old.

The Quays

As we often do, we ended the night here.

Supermacs

For a bit of this. If you haven’t had garlic and cheese chips, you need to seek them out in your lifetime, even if just once. While I rarely feel well after eating them, they are worth every garlicky, cheesy bite! After our crazy transatlantic trip, graduation, dinner, meeting our baby nephew for the first time, and partying like rockstars, it was time for bed.

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I love an excuse for a celebration, and this graduation certainly was a big one!

Have you celebrated anything lately, big or small?

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Tags: Food, Guinness, Ireland, Travel

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    Congratulations again to Eric!

    Your late-night chips are making me miss my days at Oxford. We ate WAY too many chips late at night after a long night of drinking!

    Reply

  2. Megan’s avatar

    Happy Graduation to Eric!

    Reply

  3. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    Congratulations to Eric!

    Reply

  4. Daisy’s avatar

    this looks like so much fun!!! Congratulations, Eric. what a rockstar.

    Reply

  5. Terri’s avatar

    Congratulations to Eric! Soooo proud of you!!!!!

    Didn’t the Saw Drs. start at the Quays? I remember going there with you!

    Miss you!

    Reply

  6. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    Congrats to Eric – what a feat! I love that restaurant’s name – McSwiggins!

    Reply

  7. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Congrats to Eric! I can definitely identify with the pride you feel. I got so teary at Dave’s graduation.

    Reply

  8. Raija’s avatar

    Wait until we can all toast Eric Happy Graduation together! Then it will seal the deal!! Are you sure you didn’t take those photos from when I came to visit Junior year? Looks very similar… ;) It will be nice to catch up when you are back. Love you and safe travels!

    Reply

  9. Julie’s avatar

    Congrats Eric! Looks like a FANTASTIC celebration!!

    Reply

  10. Alaina’s avatar

    Congratulations to your husband!!

    I LOVE the Quays! And the Kings Head. And Supermac’s! Oh my gosh, I just miss Ireland so much!! :-P

    Reply

  11. Meghan’s avatar

    Happy Graduation!!!

    Reply

  12. Eric King’s avatar

    :) Thank you m’lady and muh ladies :) – The love, support and energy I received from Meghan and our families made these graduations possible. Patience made this happen – but without Meghan and her family and my family doing their bit,,,, I was convinced I would not make it last year… but it takes a village – so thank you for all of your great messages, and I bow to the lady of my life for making this at all possible. thank you meghan, you really are mo anam cara agus an gra mo chroi.

    Reply

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