Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Graduation Weekends - Michigan Tech and Carnegie Mellon

Wow, it sure has been a busy month of May!  Two graduations in two different states and all the traveling and adventuring that comes along with it.

Michigan Technological University Graduation 2013

Many trolls - i.e. Michigan Lower Peninsula residents - may not realize how large the U.P. actually is. From Detroit, it takes 10 hours to get to Houghton, where Michigan Technological University is.  I can get all the way to Tennessee in less time!  But, instead of Nashville, we decided to go to MTU and see my bro bro graduate.  We got in late Friday night, had dinner at the Pilgrim Restaurant (which is not as good as it once was), then my bro bro and I had a night out on the town with a beer at the KBC (Keewenaw Brewing Company) and a pickled egg at the Dog (Douglass House).

The next day was graduation!

 Where's Bro Bro???

Yay!  He is all graduated now!

We headed to Carmelitas in Calumet and then the Ambo (Ambassador Restaurant) for the most amazing pizza ever.

No fishbowls for us though.  Got up early Sunday morning to drive back downstate.  For less than a day in a half in Houghton, I think I got my food and drink worth  :)   and bro bro graduating is pretty neat too  ;)

Carnegie Mellon University 2013

I had never been to campus; I had done the entire masters degree online.  So what better opportunity to visit for the first time than graduation weekend?  Lets take note that Pittsburgh was only 6 hours away (much more manageable than Tech's 10 hours!).  

We decided to go mountain biking prior and found THIS SITE which told us that the most beloved mountain biking trail in and around Pittsburgh was Bavington - which resides in the Hillman State Park. I'll just come out and say it - this ride was terrible, not fun, not fun...  although we can laugh about it now I guess....

We entered from the north, because that is where we were coming from and the model airplane airfield was the only thing that seemed to be in the park.  There were no gates or signs or anything for the park, but we found the trails based on the map we found online.

The first loop we did was the blue one up on the top right.  There is a Parking icon just south of the model plane airport which we parked at.  Parking Lot = Intersecting the way....

 After that 0.2 mile ride my legs and arms were completely cut up and we ended up taking the road back to the car instead of trail.

On a positive note, my volt rules and can fit 2 mountain bikes plus luggage in the back.

So, after that trail, we decided that we would try another one.  Maybe people didn't ride that one often?  So, we took another trail south.  About 0.3 miles in, we stopped at a gigantic hill (that I don't even think I could walk down with my bike).  When bro bro looked down he saw 2 ticks on him!!  EEEEK! I had never seen a tick before, but lo and behold, as I looked down at my legs there were some on me as well.  We freaked out, checked all of our exposed skin and luckily were able to get them all off of us before they burrowed in our skin.  We then rode out of the woods as fast as possible, putting our lives in danger to avoid touching grass and branches.  hahaha

We get back to the car and stripped. down.  Just the time I am wandering around in my undies and sports bra checking every square inch of my body for ticks is the time the ONE person from the model airplane airport drives down.  I got my pants on just in time! hahah

We got some good photo ops - but ohhhh  myyy  what a terrible mountain biking experience.

Bro bro isn't good at posing for pictures  :P

Now that we got that story out of the way.  Lets back track 2 hours before.  Our spirits were high.  We had found this cute little downtown area and had a nice brunch on a patio.  Love life fo sho!

And then, we made it to Pitt...

And ate some food...
Joe Mamas

And plugged in at a super sweet charge spot (just across from campus) - Thanks Electric Garage!

And then Sunday came and I got my Masters Degree in Software Engineering   :)

This is the best photo of me getting my degree - which was blank, or course, and I had to give it back promptly after the ceremony.

Well, that is what I have been up to the last month.  Pittsburgh was fun and if we would have had a good mountain biking experience then it would have been a super great trip.  Oh well, maybe next graduation  :)  Time for a PhD?  hahah, riiiight...

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