Or, ‘a walking tour of the best school ever.’
(I can’t help it, I’m a bit biased.)
Let’s go chronologically, shall we?
A friendly face greeted me when I opened up the cabinet to get a mug for my coffee! Yet another surprise Adam had waiting for us.
Adam and I went for a trail run together once he was up and going. We ran right out his back door and onto the trail.
I’d been on that trail before, but never to run. Ninety-one percent humidity today = lots of sweat!
We swung into the visitor’s center (located next to the stadium) to pick up Adam’s race packet and for me to register for the 1oK tomorrow. Yay for being spontaneous and getting some exercise at the same time. I love races!
While there, we took some photos of (and with) JoePa’s statue. In light of recent events, I felt like we couldn’t get there fast enough to snap another photo should the unthinkable happen. Thankfully, (at least for now) the statue is safe.
We lunched at the Penn State Sub Shop, located just off campus on Beaver Avenue. It’s one of those rinky-dink places with limited seating and its walls are covered in photos from the 70s, 80s and 90s in which the subjects are all displaying sub shop banners.
We walked around the booths and we actually ended up buying something. Andrew loves photography, and with the new house needing some more ‘stuff,’ we chose four different prints of the campus at different times of the year. Can’t wait to have them framed and up together in some sort of grouping.
Arts Fest is both on and off campus, and features all sorts of art and street vendors. Allen Street had a giant structure in which water systematically filled and then was dumped out of buckets hanging above.
After we made the rounds of the art booths off campus and then made some purchases at stores along College Ave (the obligatory Family Clothesline purchase, a neat PSU football field platter to match the one Abigail gave me for Christmas, and a vintage Buffalo Bills t-shirt from People’s Nation, similar to Homage in Columbus, OH), we made our way back onto campus as we meandered toward the car.
We passed Simmons Hall, where Andrew spent three years and I spent two.
Look! Here’s Andrew in front of his window (which, for awhile anyway, he used as a door for the convenience factor).
We wandered through the HUB (student union building) as a shortcut to get to Adam’s staff parking lot. Many a lunch was eaten in this building, mostly at Panda Express. Since leaving college, Starbucks has invaded the campus as they bought what was there before–Seattle’s Best.
We passed the Armsby Building, which is where I took my Advanced Creative Writing class.
Our destination: the creamery! When we were students, the creamery (at least the retail part of it) was housed in a small building on the north end of campus. It’s now been moved into a giant, brand-new building on the same road.
I have to admit, while the new building is beautiful and the blue-and-white umbrellas and tables outside are nice, it just doesn’t feel the same. Granted, whenever I go back to campus now it’s typically an event weekend, which means there is a huge line at the creamery and you basically file in and out as fast and as efficiently as you can. There are ton of people working behind the counter; yelling peoples’ orders and scooping ice cream as fast as their fingers can.
All the cones and cups come in one size; and yes, I ate every last bit of it! I chose Alumni Swirl: vanilla with swiss mocha chocolate crunchies and a blueberry swirl. Yum. And I was genuinely hungry after four hours of trekking all over downtown and campus.
We walked back toward downtown and passed one of the buildings they built while we were students. I tell you what–each time Andrew and I come back there are buildings and green spaces popping up all over the place. One the one hand, it’s nice that the campus is growing well and looks beautiful, but the more it changes, the less I recognize it.
Here’s Thomas Building, which houses the largest classroom on campus–it seats a whopping 1,000 students! I actually had a class in that room–100 Thomas–my first semester on campus: LARCH 60–the History of Landscape Architecture. It’s hugely popular.
Here’s a view of the Shortlidge Mall, which used to just be Shortlidge Road.
Not all of the buildings on campus are beautiful and old; this one is very much in the 50’s style of architecture.
And here’s the front of the HUB:
Here’s one of the prettiest areas of campus, the mall leading up to the library:
We went to Golden Wok for dinner, a favorite of Andrew’s from college.
Here’s Andrew’s fortune:
After reading it, he quickly replied: “I already have–I married her.” Awww. He must want something.
After dinner we walked back up through the engineering quad and discovered that Penn State now is home to a bunch of ducks in a small pond near the alumni center. They were incredibly friendly, but that’s to be expected; the squirrels here are all but domesticated. I mean, think about it? There are like 40,000 students walking around for nine months of the year; they couldn’t avoid them if they tried.
And our last surprise of the evening? The fact that we barely recognized the Peace Garden, which was being put in while we were students. See those trees? They were just saplings when we were here! Look how they dwarf Andrew and provide all that shade–I remember sitting and reading here in the sun before the trees were tall.
We walked our little legs off today, and I’ll looking forward to some rest! Adam and I have 6.2 miles to run in the morning, followed by lunch at the Waffle Shop!