happy valley haps

well, yes, it happened, i experienced my first motorcycle ride in the rain on friday. in spite of cloudy gray skies, we hopped on and headed up to state college, pa. all was well for an hour and a half or so... then BOOM! down came the rain. i gotta admit, i was anticipating something just plain awful... my whole life when i've seen people on motorcycles caught in the rain, i cringe and my heart aches for them like they're experiencing some sort of grand tragedy. but when it was me, i was sitting back there thinking, "huh... i guess this sucks, but i'm just getting wet, who cares?" then i realized that bryan was using his fingers as windshield wipers on his glasses and got a little worried about him and our safety. but all was well and we were out of the rain in less than 10 minutes. then we stopped to put on our dry jackets since the temperature had dropped significantly, and promptly drove into another batch of rain. nice. thankfully, this batch was even shorter lived than storm #1, and after that we had clear skies.

getting to penn state, we ran inside, changed clothes and showered quickly, and headed downtown to pretend like we belonged in the bars with the college kids. i think we did a pretty good job, but we both looked at each other when we got into this bar where a fun band was playing and asked if we really used to enjoy this... the hot, sweaty people invading your space because there's no room to stand, the half inch of water/beer/liquor on the floor oozing into my flip flops, the ungodly temperature... i think at that moment we both realized that we are definitely beyond the college partying scene in our years now! the first of several of those moments over the weekend. we did, however, manage to enjoy the band, which was playing fun cheesy 80s and 90s rock... bryan noted that when he was in school there, they played cheesy 80s rock only and that was retro. now, to be retro, they are dipping into the 90s, which was the music that was current when he was there. crazy.

saturday we spent roaming arts fest, the whole reason we went. arts fest is this fabulous event where they line up booths of artists for a couple miles with all sorts of different stuff... paintings, photographs, pottery, jewelry, etc. etc. etc. we had a great day just sort of strolling along, stopping when we felt like it for whatever reason... oh, and bryan made a nice friend in the italian street art section (see picture).

after dinner, we decided to hit up this thing called "astrofest" that the astronomy department was sponsoring saturday night. this was moment of oldness clarity #2: we spent 2 hours at an astronomy fest instead of at the bars on a saturday night in a party town. lucky for me, we both have dorky sides, because we got to take a 3-D tour through the galaxy (who knew it was SOOOOO huge), a 3-D tour of mars, go in the planetarium, then check out jupiter and some other random astronomical wonders through telescopes on the roof of the building. yes, we're geeks. and i love it. :)

after that, we just sort of wandered around observing the madness that is a saturday night in a college town. one of the craziest parts to me is a little place called canyon pizza. the kids line up 4 deep and a block long to get this pizza, then they all loiter around on the corner where it is. hundreds of them. the first night we went by here and i thought maybe there was a fight or something crazy happening, then realized that it was just the pizza. we didn't have anything that fabulous in charlottesville, so this was pretty foreign to me. i made bryan take pictures, which unfortunately aren't that clear since it was 1am. but you get the idea.

yesterday, we were homeward bound. it was hotter than crap, even with a 70mph wind in your face, and by the time we got home i was pooped and glad to be there. the weekend, however, was fabulous. :)

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