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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekend in State College

At the end of April we spent the weekend in State College, PA for the wedding of our friend Will who went to high school with Eric. This was my first time in Pennsylvania. We left Charlotte late Friday morning and flew into Harrisburg. We met up with Keith and Megan, grabbed our rental car and drove the 1 hr 45 min to State College with a stop on the way for lunch at Panera. Let me tell ya, the food options in or near the Harrisburg airport are extremely limited. The whole area and the drive to State College was definitely more deserted than I expected.

After arriving in State College, checking in at the Marriott and opening up our Penn State colored gift bag, we met up with some other friends in the lobby bar for awhile.

Little Felix was there crawling about which made for great entertainment. A few from the group including Felix left for the rehearsal dinner and the rest of us headed into downtown State College, less than 5 minutes away. We decided on dinner at Spats Cafe & Speakeasy based on a recommendation from Ross and Susan's cab driver who was also a student. The food was delicious and there was a ton of variety on the menu. Many of the items were Cajun inspired and Eric's jambalaya (which I had a bite or two of) was yummy.  I had an almond crusted chicken with a honey glaze and it was moist, a little sweet and really good. The brie appetizer was delicious but honestly how can you go wrong with anything brie?

Right after dinner it started to rain so we went back to the hotel to hang out instead of staying in downtown.

Saturday Eric and I were up and ready to really see Penn State. Carla and Felix came along too. We started by exploring some shops downtown. There was the cutest little kitchen and gift shop.

Then we headed over to walk through the campus. I really love walking around college campuses and college towns. This was a pretty spread out campus with many more buildings than Clemson.

There were so many greenhouses.

And also a ton of laboratory buildings.

Wonder what really goes on in the mushroom science building...

Later Chris met up with us and we walked far to the other side of campus to see the football stadium. I was thinking there would be a neat Lion statue or sign or something but there really wasn't much to photograph and you couldn't see inside at least from the side closest to the campus and we didn't have time to walk around the whole thing. That was disappointing as I had really wanted to see the inside of the stadium and it's so easy to see that when you are in Clemson.

We hopped on a campus bus so we could get back to the main campus area quicker. It was interesting that the campus bus was not free. May be it is for the students but not for visitors, like in Clemson where the campus bus is free for everyone.

A few people that passed by gave Eric and Chris and Felix in the stroller very long glances (one guy in particular)... Carla and I were cracking up walking fairly far behind them.

We walked back to the downtown restaurants and shops to have lunch at The Corner Room. There were sandwiches, salads, burgers and such on the menu. Eric was able to get a Philly cheese-steak in as close to Philly as we had ever been. They had etch a sketches for kids to play with... or for big kids.

After lunch Eric and I met up with Keith and Megan to go to the college creamery on campus. It is the largest college creamery and is extremely popular judging by the line and volume they put out. Clemson makes ice cream and sells it on campus but it's nothing like this operation. There are about a dozen flavors to choose from. Eric and I had chocolate chip cookie dough, my favorite.

We went back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding. A yellow school bus was chartered to take everyone from the hotel to the farm about 25 minutes away where the wedding was. The ceremony was outside which was a tad tricky since it was very windy and a little chilly. At least it wasn't raining like it had originally called for!

After the ceremony, they had appetizers and drinks in the bottom level of the restored barn while photos and such were going on.

We took a few photos as well :) We got one of our whole group but it's on the groom's parents camera I believe.

Of course Felix was the center of attention with his adorable bow tie and smiles.

I was able to snag this photo of the bride and groom, Mary and Will look so happy and her dress is just gorgeous!

Then everyone went upstairs to the top level of the restored barn for the buffet dinner, dancing and a photo booth.

They served Penn State ice cream along with their cake... that's how popular this ice cream is around there.

The yellow school bus took people back to the hotel in two trips, 10pm and 11pm. We caught the later trip back. The bag that a very excited Justin is holding is a bag a grits, the wedding favors.

The next morning we drove back to Harrisburg with Keith and Megan so we could all catch our flights home. We did spot an Amish horse drawn buggy in a town on our drive... that was probably the highlight of the drive... like I said not very exciting driving through PA.

Eric and I hadn't been to a wedding for a year (Ross & Susan's was April 2013) which was the longest stretch without a wedding for us since we started dating in 2006 so we truly enjoyed the trip, especially the dancing. That's by far my favorite part of weddings!

Congrats to Will and Mary! Anyone else think it's cool that both their names are sorta in the phrase Will You Marry Me? They totally should have played that up!

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