Hello! I don’t really know where to begin….last week was pretty darn special. My family arrived in Miami on Tuesday and we had three full days of graduation celebration. I want to share a quick recap before making you all happy and never talking about it again. I say that now…
**WAIT- go enter my giveaway from Thursday! One person will win a Kate Spade planner and Volupsa candle in celebration of my graduation, Christmas and my 21st next week!**
90% of my extended family lives in the Northeast so I was really lucky that a few were able to fly down to celebrate. On Wednesday I showed them my beautiful campus and a few of my favorite spots in Miami, including Whole Foods of course.
We packed up my apartment before going to dinner at Red Fish Grill. It was a beautiful, secluded restaurant on the water. Highly recommend! However, it was so dark that attempting to take a picture would have been pointless. Thanks, Daylight Savings.
Oh, one thing I am definitely glad to leave behind in Miami….INSANE traffic every night. It took us 75 minutes to go 10 miles for dinner.
Thursday was graduation! I like lists and quick facts, so here is a breakdown of the ceremony:
Number of students graduating: 950 (a mix of undergrad and grad school)
Length of ceremony: 2 hours
Commencement Speaker: H.T. Smith; civil rights attorney and U Miami trustee
Commencement speech highlights: “I know you’re all wondering how long this is going to take, so I’m going to tell you what Kim Kardashian told her ex-husband…’Honey, this won’t take long.'”
(Serious) commencement speech highlights: “Don’t say something is impossible, say it just hasn’t been done before.”
After the ceremony we went to the Biltmore for a delicious lunch at Fontana. This was actually the first time I had been inside the Biltmore when I wasn’t disgustingly sweaty from running. The Biltmore used to be a bathroom/water break stop for me during runs, sorry realllllly not sorry. Safe to say I looked completely different today.
I opened presents and was tremendously surprised by a few gifts. My family nailed it. For my meal I ordered a steak salad (no picture) and it made me question why I don’t order steak more often. I love it but don’t think about it.
After lunch we went back to the hotel, took naps and hung around the room. In typical Emily fashion, we went to Whole Foods for a late dinner before watching Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of 2015. What do you think of the 10 people on the list? Obviously “fascinating” differed from Time’s qualifications for “person of the year.”
On Friday we packed the car and made the trek back home. I was so happy to walk into a fully decorated house and immediately switched gears from “graduation” to “Christmas” mode. The rest of the weekend was spent eating, writing Christmas cards and procrastinating unpacking/cleaning my room. I’m proud to report that I was very successful in all three matters.
*Linking up to MIMM*
Margaret @ youngandrungry says
What a great way to end your time in Miami! It looks like you’re leaving with some great final memories and now you get to enjoy the holidays at home! I love how you took your family to Whole Foods it was just so fitting. Congrats again on graduation and I’m excited for you to finally have some time to yourself!
Margaret @ youngandrungry recently posted…Soundtrack to My Weekend #3
Thank you so much! I’m excited too ;)
We generally speaking wind up at the same restaurant I find… Maybe it is just because we like the food too much? I’m not a fan of steak but my husband LOVES it!
Looks like a fun weekend with lots of memories!
Kristin recently posted…Mother Nature And Friday Favorites
If I was in Tampa I would have picked my all-time favorite restaurant. I probably would have ordered my favorite meal there too!
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
It looks like you had an amazing time with your family. It’s so nice you got to show them the place you spent the last few years before graduating!
We usually have celebratory meals at the same few restaurants. There are a bunch of very-different, amazing restaurants founded by Cameron Mitchell in the Columbus area, and we usually pick one of those. And I love steak, but rarely think to order it… maybe I’ll have my dad grill some up while I’m home over break. :) Congrats again on graduating! Enjoy some relaxation!
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…No Big Deal
I loved having them there and it was nice to have a few days of “touring” and rest in the midst of packing. There is something similar in Tampa! A bunch of restaurants owned by the same family but different cuisines. I love them all.
[email protected] says
So so happy for you girl!! HUGE accomplishment! And all before your 21st birthday!? Incredible! I would say, “you have big things ahead of you” or something like that, but as a fellow college student who is about to graduate I know that that can feel like a lot of pressure. So instead, do out and follow your passions! Explore. Make mistakes. And learn more about yourself than you ever could in a college classroom!….But also, you really do have big things ahead! ;) Because you’re just that awesome!
This comment made my day! So sweet of you, Kaila. You totally get the “pressure” thing. Someone asked me yesterday “so, are you going to take time off now?” and I literally hugged them for not asking where I’m going to work.
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood says
Congratulations on graduating! It was such a relief for me to finally graduate and just be done. Looks like you had a great time with your family, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you!
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood recently posted…Best of the Weekend: Angry Tubbies and Driving Lessons
A huge relief! Thank you for your supportive words, Morgan!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
It looks like you had such a great graduation with your family. Now it is making me look forward to mine ;). Absolutely love your graduation cap! I always loved seeing all the creative quotes and symbols on those at my brother’s graduation!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…Top 10 Lean, Clean, & Brie Recipes of 2015
Decorating the graduation cap was a very last minute thing. At like 10 pm the night before my mom went to CVS and they only had glitter glue so that’s what we used. I stood out in the crowd because not many people had anything.
Sam @ See Sam Run says
Congratulations again, Emily! I’m so happy for you that you had a great time celebrating with your family. Many of my close family members went to MD from NH for my college graduation, which made it so special. We went to my favorite outdoor bar/restaurant after my ceremony. It had a great tropical atmosphere which I knew one of my uncles would love! Enjoy reveling in your successes!
Sam @ See Sam Run recently posted…2015 Running Recap
Thank you so much, Sam! Congrats to you for the end of grad classes too. Your Orlando trip looked like so much fun :)
Congratulations!! You look so beautiful and happy! And I’m a same restaurant for celebratory meals type of person. Why fix what’s not broken, ya know?!
Sami recently posted…Reflecting on 2015
Thanks, Sami!! I’m with ya- I’m like that for my favorite entree at restaurants too. I make my mom order something I *might* like so I can test it out first ha
Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl says
Congratulations! Looks like it was a wonderful weekend that you and your family enjoyed together, with delicious food and celebratory smiles. Have a wonderful Christmas now :)
It ended up being better than I imagined! Thank you! Same to you :)
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Congratulations again!!!! So proud of you!!! Academic freedom ;)
What a fantastic day and you basically never how to stop celebration mode for a few weeks no ;) So much goodness!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Cranberry Pecan Spiced Skillet Granola
FREEDOM! Seriously, it’s been non-stop celebrating. I don’t mind :)
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
What a great graduation week! I love your dress too :) I actually skipped my graduation to run my first marathon, so I missed all of this! I went to Penn State though and my college’s graduation alone was a few thousand people, so it would be have SO LONG!
Thanks! I told my parents I saved them a few hours because regular graduation would have been much longer. Oh and I would have skipped for my first marathon too ;)
Amanda @ ExploringLifeAndThings says
Aw your graduation celebration sounds perfect! What a great way to end college. Now time to relax and celebrate Christmas :) I’m all about trying new restaurants all the time. I don’t know why but sometimes I would way rather try a new place than go somewhere that I know I love.
Amanda @ ExploringLifeAndThings recently posted…Christmas with chickens. And a survey!
It was the best way to wrap up my time in Miami! My parents love going to the newest restaurants in town. I should learn to be a little more like that!
Sarah @pickyrunner says
Aw it sounds like such a perfect week with the fam and just in time for the holidays! LOVE your graduation dress. Miami is really pretty even if it is a lot of hustle and bustle.
Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Training 12/13-12/19
Typical Emily story…I waited until the LAST minute to try on that dress. I kept telling my mom I liked it/it fit but “embellished the truth.” Thank goodness it fit like a glove!
So happy and excited for you! Like hello, you just graduated college!!!! Love that quote from your graduation speech (the serious one :P) Your family is adorable btw <3
Georgie recently posted…The 7 Best Healthy Packaged Bars
HELLO I’m a college grad! Doesn’t feel real. Thank you xoxo
Hayley Blake says
How special!! Congrats girl. I’m excited to see where life takes you post-college!
Hayley Blake recently posted…Christmas Survey 2015
Thanks, Hayley <3
Heidi Kokborg says
Congratulations on being graduated! It must feel amazing. & it looks like you had a great time with your family! :)
Thank you! It was really a fabulous few days.
Congratulations! So happy for you <333
Thanks, Edye! :)
CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m so glad you had some wonderful graduation celebrations after all of your hard work :)
I am the same on steak- it never crosses my mind to order it myself but I usually enjoy it if it is served at a set-menu dinner…
Have a fabulous Christmas and a well deserved rest. xxx
Thank you friend! I really appreciate it :) Same to YOU!!!
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me says
You looked fabulous at your graduation. You are such a stunner, Emily. Thank you for giving us some insight into your celebration. CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATE! You’re wonderful.
LOVE STEAK too.
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me recently posted…Recovery Roundup #5
Thank you thank you! Really feeling the love (and it feels good). Enjoy your BREAK! Yay!
Kerri Mcgrail says
Yay congrats! Graduating from college is such a fun and exciting time – even more so when you get to celebrate christmas right after! I actually don’t eat out too often, but when I get to pick the restaurant, I like to choose something new. Also totally would have hit up Whole Foods as well- WF is my happy place.
Kerri Mcgrail recently posted…Loaded Veggie Pizza (Vegan & GF!)
Thanks, Kerri! WF is my happy place too. Never disappointed with that choice (if I can’t pick a place that’s where I go ha).
Congrats!! This is so exciting! What a great time celebrating with your parents! The restaurant looks great and you look so beautiful!! :) Such a time to celebrate!
Cailee recently posted…The TRUE Meaning of Christmas!
Thank you, Cailee! It’s been a fun few days of celebrating.
Congratulations Emily! That’s amazing you already have your bachelors and your only 21!
What did you get your degree in? I’m transferring to FSU next fall, I’m scared but excited ?
Thank you! Public relations and sports administration. I have so many friends at FSU! They absolutely love it :) Are you from FL?