A Gainesville Graduation

It’s hard to believe my younger sister (by 5 years!) graduated from college 2 weekends ago! I remember my college graduation like it was just yesterday… Although it was actually four years ago almost to the day. I remember the excitement, the fear, and the uncertainty. Even though I had already had a job lined up and my sister is set to go to pharmacy school in August, there is still that uncertain feeling of moving onto the next chapter in life. After that weekend I got to thinking about my college years and feeling nostalgic. Looking back, there are so many things that I could have (and probably should have) done differently, but without those experiences I wouldn’t be where I am today!

At least Haley chose to go to the University of Florida so I had a nice little weekend getaway in the sunshine state. At least that’s what I thought… My weekend actually consisted of a lot of driving, packing, moving, cleaning and lifting heavy furniture. Oh, and food… a lot of good food! And it was all worth it to see my sister walk across that stage Sunday morning with a big smile on her face!



My parents, grandma and sister all drove down to Charlotte Thursday night so we could leave early Friday morning. That night I took them to Paco’s Tacos & Tequila for dinner. If you live in the Charlotte area and have not been there and love Mexican you HAVE to go! They have the best, fresh guacamole and margaritas that are out of this world. Also, try the volcano queso dip… don’t ask what’s in it and just trust me 🙂

After arriving in Florida on Friday, we just relaxed and spent some family time together over cocktails and beer… it had been a while since we were all together. We ended up actually staying at a hotel in Ocala (45 minutes away), since Gainesville hotels booked up 6 months before graduation! We were in for a long day Saturday since we had to pack up Haley’s room and load the UHaul truck.

I was up bright and early Saturday morning… I was able to get a quick workout in too, but I would soon realize that was a mistake. We spent the next several hours helping Haley pack, cleaning her apartment and loading up the UHaul. Luckily she did a good job at having everything together so it didn’t take nearly as long as it could have.


And afterwards, I insisted on going back to 3 Natives! This place is SO good… I wrote about it in my blog post about our Naples trip. They honestly have the most amazing acai bowls I have ever had! I haven’t been able to find a place like it in Charlotte, unfortunately.


We got back to the hotel in time to spend a few hours by the pool and it turned out to be a beautiful day! We had a few cocktails, listened to some good music and took our time getting ready for dinner. Haley had made us reservations at this Italian place called Leonardo’s and it was delicious! The service was excellent, wine was great and the food was so fresh and authentic.





After dinner (and dessert) we went to a nearby rooftop sports bar downtown and watched the sun set.



Outfit Details Below
Romper: Nordstrom, ONLY $45!
Wedges: Steve Madden by DSW
Body Chain: Kendra Scott ‘Joslyn’ (similar only $13)
Bracelets: Bourbon & Boweties
Watch: Nixon (similar, similar)
Earrings: Kendra Scott ‘Rogan’ (similar)

On Haley:
Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (similar, similar)
Lace-up sandals: Lilly Pulitzer (similar only $19!)

Sunday morning was the big day! Haley had finally made it and everything she worked so hard for over the past 4 years was all for this moment. I was so excited and so proud of her! After a long ceremony, and lots of coffee, we were able to celebrate with the grad! And by celebrate, I mean we spent the next 7 hours driving back to Charlotte. She will be starting Pharmacy School at Ohio State University in the fall and I can not wait to see everything that she accomplishes there! Best of luck Hales and congrats!




Outfit Details:
Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (similar for $39, similar)
Shoes: Lilly Pulitzer
Bracelets: Bourbon & Boweties
Earrings: Sugarfix by Baublebar at Target (similar)
Haley’s shoes: Lilly Pulitzer
Mom’s dress: Lilly Pulitzer, old

The gang eventually made it back to Maryland on Monday morning… here they are unloading the truck, and my mom clearly loving Haley’s scooter!



I hope you all enjoy your weekend!