Field Trip to Asia

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.

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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.

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I’m back!

Guys, Merry Christmas to ME! After a month of being computerless, I finally bit the bullet and bought a new laptop. I don’t want to get into which kind I got because I don’t want to be all product-placement about it, but I love it, and it’s fast, and I’m keeping it far away from water.

In the meantime, what have I been up to, you ask? Continue reading

What Do I Have in Common with Indiana Jones?

What do I have in common with Indiana Jones? Is it …

  • Shocking good looks? I wish.
  • Household name? Not … yet.
  • Irrational fear of snakes? Bingo.

Today when I was out hiking, I encountered one of these little guys:

Eastern Ribbon Snake
Eastern Ribbon Snake

 

Notice the picture is from Wikipedia. I didn’t take it. I was too busy FREAKING THE HECK OUT about the proximity of a snake to my open-toed sandals and ground-skimming pant cuffs. A SNAKE. Near my SKIN. Here’s how it went down. Continue reading

A Capitol Museum

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!

Augh! The dinosaur is going to get me! It’s aliiiiive!

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A Capitol Tour

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.

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Conrad Weiser Homestead

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.

Beautiful day for wandering around outside.

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Bucs vs. Cubs

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!

Let’s Go Bucs! I wore a bandana and hoop earrings since I don’t have a Pirates shirt.

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Somerset Mountain Craft Days

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!

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Learning the Ropes

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.