The main point of going to State College for the weekend was to go somewhere, really, and to check out a convention in Altoona. We’d been talking about spending a weekend in State College, and we figured splitting the weekend between there and Altoona was a good way to go. It was part a nostalgia trip–we started dating just before my senior year of college, when he was a junior, and ended up spending the bulk of the first two years of our relationship in a long-distance relationship. Almost any free weekend I had, I drove up there since he didn’t have a car and came home with friends rarely, so I ended up there once a month or so.

Funny thing about dating in college is we didn’t have money, so we almost never did anything. Maybe dinner and a trip to the used book store, sometimes a movie, but that was about it. And although part of the point of small weekend trips as opposed to big, weeklong vacations was to save money for the wedding, we still have enough money saved and enough money to play with that we’re okay. In other words, we could actually afford to do stuff in State College the way we could a few years ago.

So we checked out Penn’s Cave after breakfast, which is, well, a cave about a half hour outside of town. It was a pretty cool place–the cave is filled with water, so you tour it by boat, and it leads out onto a manmade lake they made to prevent the cave from flooding with rainwater that’s also part of their wildlife preserve. Paul joked that the place had something for each of us, because he loved the cave and I was a little more into the wildlife tour. They don’t have a whole hell of a lot of animals, but it was a neat bus tour across the huge property. Zoo critics will probably feel a bit better about their setup, as the animals have a ton of space and aren’t caged so much as they are fenced in and left to roam.

We grabbed some souvenirs and ate there, then ended up falling asleep back in our hotel room and hung out for a bit before having dinner at my relatively new favorite, Big Bowl–I only got to go there once, and it was after Paul graduated when we took Katie back up after Christmas break last year. It’s basically the best Chinese food I’ve ever had served in huge portions, but the highlight this time was probably their Coconut Snow bubble tea. And it wasn’t even mine. It was Paul’s. I had the mango, which was delicious, but I think I preferred his coconut.

We walked around and did a little shopping–State College has some pretty neat stores, though I discovered one of the ones I used to like has since closed. And I was kind of relieved to find that I didn’t really like much of anything in the ones we visited, meaning I didn’t spend a lot of money. I knew the weekend was gonna be expensive regardless, so the less I spent on clothes and shoes, the better, even if I did get paid that morning.

Saturday brought the arboretum, pool, and sunburns.


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