The morning actually didn't start out wonderfully. I woke up around nine (would rather have slept till ten, but my grandma is sharing my room and has some demonic concept that none may sleep past nine), snagged a quick breakfast of toast, and was promptly nagged by my mom until I took a shower. As it turned out, EVERYBODY needed a shower, and by the time we had all gotten in the car, I should have already been in the Coliseum (where the graduation was taking place).
Thusly began one of the worst car rides this year. My mom drove at a seemingly glacial pace and ran into massive amounts of traffic, I was freaking out ("If I don't get there by 2:00, I don't get to graduate! Guess what time it is? 1:45!"), and, the two in the back seat were having an avid conversation about landscaping. Needless to say, I felt like strangling small animals.
When we finally got to the Coliseum (at 1:55), I bolted out of the car, ran inside (directed by very nice teachers in very noticeable black gowns), and was greeted with a high five, lots of cheering, and cries of "There she is!" I felt pretty special.
The fuzzy warm feeling of specialness did not end there. Oh no. A few moments after that, we all marched out into the stadium (yes, stadium. It's the only place they had room for all 700 of us) in our bright green gowns and mortarboards to find ourselves totally surrounded by a full crowd of people cheering and calling our names. If that doesn't feel awesome, I don't know what does.
Everything eventually settled down, the valedictorian gave one of the best speeches I've ever heard at one of these things (and I'm not being biased). Paraphrased, "I have no idea how to make a speech that means something to all of you, so I'm cheating. Think of a word that sums up your high school experience and shout it." Everyone shouts. Ta da. Speech over. And thusly, we commenced to wait two hours while some poor teacher stood at a podium and called all 700 or so names. At the end of it all, some people tossed flowers into the air and one smacked me in the back of the head.
After we left (and after much carrying of many more flowers), the whole group went to Charleston for dinner. Dinner was one disappointment after another, followed by awesome. My first choice, Chai, is not open on Sundays. My second choice was Meritage, which is now out of business. FIG is also closed on Sundays. We wandered around looking at menus, none of which looked at all appealing for a grad night dinner, while people tried to "comfort" me because I have an annoying tendency to tear up when I'm aggravated and they thought I was sad. This last part, as it so often does, also made me want to strangle small animals.
Finally, when all seemed lost, I found Hank's Seafood. Hank's Seafood was a shining beacon of utter win in the middle of a city full of casual dining and restaurants that don't open on Sunday. If you're ever in Charleston, South Carolina and you have the money, go. Don't hesitate. This is probably the best seafood restaurant I have been to in ten or so years of living in this state.
Now I didn't know this to begin with, of course. The menu itself made my mouth water just looking at it. Once we were inside, I was totally mind boggled and had no clue what to get because it all looked great (Hey mom, why don't we order the entire menu minus tomatoes?). I was at a loss.
It was at that moment that the waiter came up and described the specials of the day. I think there were three or four, but my ears were deaf to all but one. A lobster (both claws and tail) in a portobello mushroom, white truffle oil, and white wine (don't remember which kind exactly) sauce; sweet corn, spinach, and raw tuna risotto; and to top it all off, a large marinated divers' scallop. My first thought was "I love you" and the second was "Gimme."
Our orders, which I thought would take a half hour or more (there were seven of us, and we hadn't exactly ordered the simplest things on the menu) took maybe 10-15 minutes to reach our table. I cleared my plate (rare occurrence), and received compliments on choice of dinner spot for the rest of the night.
The night does not end there, but since this is getting long, I'll cut the rest of it short.
We walked around the city until we thought we could stand the sight of food again, then went to Kaminsky's for dessert. I had a flourless dark chocolate tort, which my brother aptly described as "Like drinking fudge out of the jar, " and a grasshopper steamer, which is pretty much minty hot cocoa.
After this, I went home and passed out on my bed, feeling very much satisfied.