If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you might know I recently spent some time in Philadelphia. My first day there, while waiting for my cousin (of October 27th fame) and her fiancé to get home from work, I stopped by The Continental for coffee.
But in Philly, nothing stands on its own. There’s always history. And on the Continental building was a Historic Sites in Journalism plaque explaining that, way back in the late 18th century, this was John Dunlap’s printing shop.
What, you don’t know John Dunlap? He’s only the printer who first stamped out distributable copies of the Declaration of Independence.
Back when I lived in Madison, I drove past several Asian grocery stores on my way home from work each day, and thanks to friends in the know, I got hooked on certain products from their mysterious and inviting shelves. I thought I’d be fine when I moved back to PA, but no. Inevitably, I began feeling the need for sweet red bean paste, citron tea, and glutinous rice flour, none of which are available in my little town.
Enter Penn State University. Thanks to the international student body, the town of State College can sustain several Asian grocery stores, and on Monday, I took a field trip to stock up on supplies.
At first I thought I wanted to go by myself, and then I started to picture my grandma in these stores and invited her to come along. At 90 years old, my grandma loves grocery shopping, and she was thrilled to join me and my mom for an all-new grocery store experience.
Along with a tour of the capitol building, I also wanted to visit St. Patrick’s, the State Museum, and the State Library. Unfortunately, I have now learned never to trust anything the internet claims about opening hours in the capital of the Commonwealth, because when I went to the library on Saturday morning, I couldn’t get in. But St. Patrick’s was beautiful, and the museum was well worth the price of admission (which was $6 with my AAA discount).
The lady at the desk told me to start at the top of the museum where the animals and dinosaurs are because they’re everyone’s favorites, and I smiled politely but thought, “That sounds kind of boring.” Instead, I turned absolutely 6 years old when I walked into the room, which was quiet, empty, and alive. I was sure everything I saw was going to follow me around and attack the moment I turned my back.
Augh! The dinosaur is going to get me! It’s aliiiiive!
I grew up in Pennsylvania and went to college near Harrisburg, and yet I never made it to the capitol building until this past weekend. After spending so much time in and around the Wisconsin capitol building while living in Madison, I had high expectations for Harrisburg—none of which were met.
Just so that we’re on the same page, here were some of my expectations after living in Madison:
- View of the city from the rotunda.
- Lively surrounding area (shops, restaurants, etc.) outside the building.
- Bright and friendly inside the building.
I’m sure some people learn about their genealogy and find they’re descendants of famous people. My mom has not had that experience. The closest we come to famous ancestors is Conrad Weiser, the brother of an ancestor and an interpreter between the colonists and Native Americans of 18th-century Pennsylvania.
Beautiful day for wandering around outside.
Growing up, I heard the Pirates referred to as the Bucs or Buccos more often than as the Pirates, so it was especially fun to my wordplay-loving brain when I went to their game against the Cubs. BUC/CUB—it’s like the teams were made to play each other.
So the game ended disappointingly, who cares. The point is I got to watch it with two of my best friends in the best seats I’ve ever had at PNC Park.
Let’s Go Bucs! I wore a bandana and hoop earrings since I don’t have a Pirates shirt.
I’ve been hearing about Mountain Craft Days for years. My BeFF‘s family has a long-standing joke about how the event doesn’t actually exist, thanks to her mom driving the kids around for hours trying to find it a few years in a row. With that background going through my head, I was sure I’d have trouble finding it, but the signage was excellent and I made it in good time.
I’m gonna interrupt myself here to say how much I missed driving these mountain roads when I was living in Wisconsin! It’s so cool to have your ears popping when driving up and down steep hills—a sensation I’ve until recently only been able to experience in an airplane. What a great aspect of the state!
I’ve been traveling! Little trips, yes, but travels nonetheless. Which means it’s time for me to learn the ropes. How do I balance the travel and fun with the writing about it? I guess I’ll find out if I’m going to make a thing out of this blog, eh?
Here’s a taste of what I’ve been up to:
- Somerset Mountain Craft Days
- Pirates game vs. Cubs at PNC Park (Pittsburgh)
- Harrisburg capitol and museum tour
- Conrad Weiser Homestead in Berks County, PA
- Winterthur Museum and Gardens in Delaware
I plan to write a post about each of these, but they won’t be all at the same time, especially because tomorrow we leave for yet another brief adventure. What is it with September and the sudden spontaneous travel ideas? I love it!
Today’s plan: publish my post about Mountain Craft Days, air out the camping equipment, and pick up my car from its very first PA state vehicle inspection.
In other news: I started a Facebook page for my blog.
Get excited, people! I’m going to the Somerset County Mountain Craft Days this weekend! Don’t let the photo on the homepage of the bonnetted lady fool you—well, actually, that’s exactly what it’ll be like. So it’s lucky for me that I like learning about how they did things in Ye Olde Pennsylvania.
But primarily, I’m just excited to see local artisans and craftspeople. It was at this time last year that my mom met her bobbin lace teacher, and as an avid knitter, I love to browse the local fare. My mom says there are metalworks, too, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love watching an ironsmith make sparks on an anvil?
I’ll let you know what it’s like once I’ve gone, but this is the first real travely thing I’ve done since driving here from Wisconsin. Rest assured: I have a few more things planned over the next few weeks and will be sure to post about them as they go.
In health news: I’m two pounds and one inch down over the past two weeks! We had a rainstorm last night that’s really made the temperature drop, so I’ve upped my hot tea consumption. Some might call it an addiction. When can I get back to Scotland? 🙂