Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy in Happy Valley

High today (UNV): 16 F
Low today (UNV): 7 F

Each part of this break has included someone or somewhere I was really excited to go back to visit. State College, my previous home and the location of Penn State, is probably the place I looked forward to the most, because of its huge role in my life. Many of my classmates have moved on, but I still found the amount of friends and acquaintances I saw within the 3 days there quite overwhelming. Overwhelming in a positive sense of the word!

Took a greyhound up to Altoona on Sunday and met up with Aviva, Justin, Petters and Nat for some skiing at Blue Knob. I took very few pictures but here is one of Jud just finishing up a run.
For some reason I did not take a ton of pictures in State College. I think I honestly was overwhelmed by running around and being with more people than I probably even know total in Fairbanks.

One of my best buds, LeeAnn just so happened to be in PA from Montana for a few days so she came down on Monday to hang out with me for the afternoon.

A group of us went to the hibachi grill for dinner.. for the price of a cheap plate in AK. I love the cheap cost of living down here!

Then Aviva took me down to the new bar in town, Inferno. Quite nice and classy-ish, and now most bars are smoke-free in State College. Hooray!
Also on Monday was the grand opening of the new PSU weather station. Holy cow!!!!! What was a 1970s old fashioned wx station with one of the few remaining paper mapwalls, is now what you see below, a modern looking lounge area with the 3rd (or 5th??) largest electronic mapwall in the country. What the crap, yo?! I was a little more than overwhelmed by this since I spent hours and hours on end everyday of my undergrad in this room and now it is completely revamped. A spectacular renovation, though!
Another place of great memories was Freezethaw Cycles, begun in 2004 in my friends' living room, of where my red singlespeed commuter was built. They have moved locations twice, now thriving in downtown State College. I can't help but be a little proud of Justin and Jordyn for their success.
Below are Sparky (who spent many hours teaching me how to fix bikes) and Justin, one of the two co-owners of the shop.. oh and don't forget Bosco, the shaggy dog, who has noticably calmed down in the past year.Some of my old profs and colleagues took me out to the India Pavillion my last day since I always take them to get Thai when they are in Fairbanks. (two of them have been up multiple times in the last year!) It was so nice to see so many people who were influential in getting you through college and are still there cheering you on!One of the last things I got to do in town was to meet two newborns, 2nd kids of Nicole and Marisa below. Looking good for just popping out some babies!!
Below are Chad and Sarah. I stayed at their place my last night in town. Sarah was one of the very first people I met my freshman year. She was my "mentor" on a freshman camping trip I went on. She is an avid blog reader and I'm glad to provide entertainment to the world of Ph.D procrastination. :)
There were quite a few people I wasn't able to see in town due to lack of time or conflicting schedule, but overall it was I think my favorite part of this past 3.5 weeks.

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