I went up to Erie for a few days to spend time with friends while watching Penn State kick Texas A&M's butt in the Alamo Bowl. We also went skiing at Peek'n Peak in western NY for a day. It was a nice break from the boredom of packing in Pittsburgh.
Like father like son, Mr. Spinelli and Matt intently watching the game. Eric went over to impersonate them.
Ok so we didn't "kick their butts" but I can pretend. It was still another glory bowl game for PSU.
Matt practicing his skiing skills on the Wii!
Eric and Matt hanging out on the slopes.
It was Donati's first time ever skiing. He did pretty well.
I'm going to miss Spinny sooo much! He promises to visit sometime (or maybe work in AK for the summer?!)
Woo sunshine!! It's so cloudy in Pennsylvania this time of year that the littlest ray of sunshine is nice to see.
This past weekend was my graduation at Penn State. My mom, sisters, and friends Alexis and Meg came into town for it which was awesome - it was a bunch of my favorite people all rolled into one day. My buddy Spinelli also came in earlier in the week to spend a few days in SC to visit and see us graduate. Graduation was extremely short - only 1.5 hours. I was still having issues staying awake though because the girls and I went out the night before.
Two of my best friends at once! That's trouble. :-)
At the Lion Shrine for one last time
Mom, Patty, Maria and I after graduation
Most of the graduating meteo majors. We're missing a few in this picture.
I had five people help move me out - which was incredible. One minute I had a pile of stuff to load into the cars, the next minute everything was gone, and the rest of my scattered crap was cleaned up. Record time moving out, that's for sure! And I don't think I missed anything important either. Thanks moving crew!!
Four of the five of my "moving people"
The drive home was interesting.. very thick fog at parts
Was welcomed back to Pittsburgh by a beautiful sunset.. and we had another amazing one tonight.
Today I decided to abandon State College and head up to New York with some friends to go skiing for the day. I was a bit nervous getting back on skis since I only learned how to downhill ski last year, but I ended up getting right back into it and even advancing to the black diamond trails! The snow was awesome powder, which made us really REALLY happy.
Jud smiling for the camera!
Vives making faces as usual
That's me, kicking up snow, hell yeah! Thanks for the great picture taking, Jud!
Petters was our lone snowboarder.
Aviva, Nat, and I smiling for the camera.
What is cool is that Jud and Aviva will be in Alaska this May!! They are taking a cruise then spending a week or two wandering and visiting me. I'm already counting down! It's so nice to say "see you in May!" to my friends here, because saying goodbye has been really really sucky. Can't I bring you all along with me??
And I made Dean's List, Baby!!!!!! To many college students, making Dean's list might not be such a big deal. But to me, this is a moment of excitement - something I've worked towards, and barely fell short of several times. My goal was to make it just once before I graduated, and I did it, and did it well.
Alli poses excitedly after our tropical final. (Don't be fooled, all of that snow is crappy ICE that you can't play in.. but at least it looks pretty!)
The Christmas tree is adorned with my cap and tassel, for one last picture before being taken down and packed away.
And tomorrow I celebrate by road tripping a few hours with some friends to go skiing. Can't wait to kick up some real snow!
Last night was the first time I had to say goodbye to some people.. it's all becoming real now that I'm actually leaving, but I've had nothing but a smile of excitement on my face through all of it.
This squirrel likes to taunt Maggie when she's barking at him from the other side of the door.
Good friends of mine - all of us came in as a freshman together and we are all still here! Luke and I had dinner together tonight - we only met last spring but it seems like forever ago!
I'm so excited because I keep finding out more and more of my friends who have graduated are coming back to SC next week either for graduation or just to visit. I'm pretty sure I have some of the best friends in the world! Can't wait to have the crew partially together again, should be a blast.
..for temperature, not for any other countdowns right now. ;)
High today: 28 Low this morning: 9... or 5 in some places
It was a good morning to test out the down jacket, and it did fantastic! All I had was one thin shirt underneath it too. It was one of those morning where your nostrils freeze up a little bit.. yeah, better get used to it. Several people said to me today, "this is warm where you're going!" JANUARY 10TH!!! Wahoooooooo! I got my flights today.. it will be a very very long travel day. I have a layover in Las Vegas which is sweet except that its way out of the way.. somebody claims there's a casino in the airport.. I just want to try just once. ;) Maybe I'll strike it rich on my way up, you never know. A little more snow expected tomorrow, hooray! Will all melt this weekend though which is a bummer. Oh well at least I got my wish of a little bit of snow and cold before the move. I should check out the long range models to see if there's hope for anymore..
For the first Wednesday I think all semester, I did not have a meeting to go to. And there was fresh snow on the ground. You know what that means, right?!!! SNOW RIDE!!!!! I tried to convince a few people to go but one had an exam, one was doing something else, the other one didn't answer their phone, so I went solo. It was soooooo much fun and it was good to get an idea of where my body gets cold in extended outdoor winter activities.. and you guessed it, my FEET! I have no winter gear for my feet while biking.. just wool socks. On the list of things that I need are toe warmers and shoe covers (although they are so ugly..) I guess. This morning the snow cover was pretty sad..
But thanks to the shortwave that came through, we now have enough to cover the grass! Self portrait pretty early in the ride. Like the way I duct-taped the headlamp to my helmet? Works great!!
I took a nice wide trail most of the way - the singletrack still has so many rocks sticking out that I didn't want to get a pinch flat with my tire pressure so low.
Kinda looks like Rocky is trying to turn white to blend in with the surroundings!
My tropical class decided that we were going to make our professor remember us well before he retires and moves to New Mexico in May. He likes to talk about pirates all the time, so when he turned around to the board, we all put on these pirate hats so when he turned around he was talking to a classroom of 17 pirates. Everyone was great in their participation and we pulled it off perfectly. He really enjoyed it..And some group shots...
Our meteorology department is so awesome that they randomly throw parties in the wx station. Here is a sample of the tastiness that we delved into. (oh, and my roommate is the one who put the decorations up!)'Tis the season!
Today Marcie and I were feeling ambitious and went on a morning ride with the temps lingering around 25 degrees. Yeah yeah Fairbanks, it's not THAT cold, but for as warm as it's been, it was a brisk ride. It was great getting out in the morning as always.
You know, a few things get me really excited about life. Some of them are (in no particular order) biking, great sunrise/sunsets, alaska, windy days, and snow. And the forecast was just bumped up to 100% chance of snow tomorrow night. That makes this little lady very very excited. I hope to have some good snow pictures later this weekend. :-)
So I have been eyeing up this bike for awhile now. It's a Surly Pugsley, made for serious snow riding. It can hold up to 4" tires, which is EXTREMELY burly.. a typical mountain bike has tires that are about 2.1". I got 2.4"s last year for my mountain bike and I've noticed a huge difference in awesomeness in those. Unfortunately the price tag on the Pugsley is about as proportionally big as the tires, but maybe once I get settled in I can start saving for this beast. As one of my friends today said, "hey, it's still much cheaper than a car!" Unfortunately I don't know how I feel about biking in -40 degree temps.. my face has been already turning red from the wind in 25 degree temps! It's all relative, right?
Traditionally upon returning to State College after Thanksgiving break, I like to blast Christmas music and set up my Christmas tree. And this is exactly what I did last night. And to those wondering why there's a bike helmet on the top, it's a shout-out for my buddy LeeAnn up in Maine, who has a lobster hat on the top of her tree. It's the only thing I could find lying around to match her creative lobster tree topper.
Happiness sprinkles my sister's car on Tgiving night.
Patty had turkey dinner at her house tonight, which was delicious as turkey dinner number 3! (Great part is, I have one more to crash tomorrow!) The kids kept us well entertained. We played some guitar hero afterwards to work off that food, as well as watched the Muppet Christmas Carol!!
My siblings + sig. others +kids minus 1 sib and sig. other, my parents and Reeds parents graced the dinner table. As usual there was bread tossing across the table from one end to another and all kinds of madness going on. Ohhh I will miss the big dinners!
High today: 55 (in the wee hours of this morning) Low so far today: 37 (right now)
Finally, break is upon us! Before traveling to all directions and going back to our families, there was a bit of pre-Thanksgiving celebration all around. One of the girls in the Cycling Club (and her roommate) hosted a turkey dinner last night at her house. Everything was delicious! I was very impressed that a college student could cook a turkey so well.
Kelly, Jess, and Felix all trying to stay awake after the deliciousness.
Clay making faces as usual.
To top it all off, my boss invited all of us at the climate office over to his house tonight for the 4th annual PK Thanksgiving dinner. As always, everything was amazingly delicious, especially the sweet potato dish! And the company was fantastic.
It was fun getting the crew together - ages ranged from 14 months to.. well I guess 50-something. :-) The little one kept us entertained most of the night.