The hotel we stayed in in State College was a historic one–meaning one little room, a tiny bathroom, and no Internet. Which was actually mostly okay. I was able to pick up WiFi that downtown State College has, but you have to pay to use it an it’s expensive. But knowing we had no set plans for Saturday, I decided to spring for it. I knew we’d have some downtime, and although our room did have a TV and we brought books, I knew neither of us would want to rely just on those. Also, I’m a workaholic.
Speaking of, I forgot to mention that I’m writing for yet another website–the women’s lifestyle blog Urban Cashmere. I’m excited. I’m always excited about a new opportunity, and with this one especially, I feel like I’ll have an outlet (other than this blog) to explore so many topics I’ve been wanting to write about. You can find my posts here, although at the moment, there’s only one.
So anyway, one of the things I used the Internet for was to look up other stuff to do. Penn’s Cave was the only real thing on our agenda, aside from eating our way across the town. One of the top suggestions online was the arboretum, and when I mentioned it to Paul, he had an enthusiastic reaction that was similar to, “Oh, yeah, that’s a cool thing I never visited and should have!” So after breakfast at The Waffle Shop, we went.
The arboretum had a little visitor center of sorts that we unfortunately didn’t get to visit as a wedding ceremony was going on right about the time we got there–we heard the cheers when it ended across the arboretum. I guess that’s a downside to getting married in such an open, public place, but if you’re open to strangers potentially wandering into your wedding, it could be kind of cool, too.
But the place was like a labyrinth of flowers. I’m pretty sure we didn’t actually go through the whole thing just because with all the turns, I think we lost track of where we’d been and where we hadn’t. But it was a beautiful place, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something free to do in State College. They had a ton of really pretty and interesting flowers, plus a play area for kids, pretty fountains, and a boardwalk of sorts that goes across a meadow. Paul’s favorite thing, though, was the huge bamboo stalks flanking the paved path right in the middle, leading to a big fountain.
We spent a couple hours walking around. The day before had been perfect weather for outdoor excursions, but Saturday was really hot, and after strolling through the arboretum, I was ready to head to the pool. I’d hoped we’d get to go but wasn’t really counting on it, and in fact, they were calling for storms Saturday, but when we had clear skies that didn’t look like they were leaving anytime soon, we decided to go ahead and visit the pool.
We had to make a quick Target stop first–although I’d brought swimsuits, I didn’t actually pack towels because I figured we could just use hotel ones, and those ended up being just barely big enough to use after a shower let alone a pool. So we picked up some beach towels, plus I picked out a new swimsuit. All the ones I have, included the one I packed, are a few years old, and I’ve gained weight since I bought them, so I wasn’t sure how they’d even fit. The new one I found is way cuter anyway. I invested in a coverup, too, which I’m been needing for a few summers now.
All in all, we didn’t really spend much time at the pool. Paul didn’t want to go in the first place, so when he was done, he was done. But it was enough time to swim and cool off, enough time to discover that I swam across the pool twice and had enough. I floated the rest of the time, pretty much.
I also followed a grand tradition of underestimating just how pale I am. I’ve gotten a slight tan over the past couple weeks just by spending more time outside in the sun, but it wasn’t enough to protect me from a nice burn. Paul got one, too, of course. It’s like it wouldn’t be summer at this point if we didn’t.
After the pool, we walked to the creamery, which I’ve come to appreciate more since Paul’s graduated. Somehow, all the good flavors have caught my attention in that time–before, I honestly felt the creamery ice cream was overrated. Then I found the dark-chocolate cherry, and this past trip, I found coconut chip, my new favorite. It could just be that the flavors alternate at times and I just missed both and was limited to basic, unimpressive flavors, but that coconut chip has made a convert of me.
When we went back into downtown, I made a pit stop at a store I’d wanted to visit Friday but was closed, and it’s really only the super discounted basement of the store above it. But it was a success–I found a couple things I liked on the cheap. We stopped for a smoothie on the way to the hotel since I was really thirsty by this point, fell asleep back in our room, and got up and showered and dressed for our last hoorah for the weekend in a way. We wanted to hit our favorite book store but knew that was a trip best saved for last, yet funnily enough I didn’t find a thing and Paul only got a few small books. We followed that up with dinner at Green Bowl, my favorite. Even Paul’s mom knows it’s my favorite and asked if we went when she was talking to him on the phone last night.
Sunday, we were off to Altoona.