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4000 Miles: Part 3

You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 4000 Miles: Part 3

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

4000 Miles: Part 3

The next stop on our trip was our alma mater, Penn State University! The Department of Meteorology had a 75th Anniversary celebration weekend, and Dave and I took advantage of our time without the kids to have a good old fashioned party weekend!

We took a scenic route from Niagara down to State College, and had a chance to see what will soon become the extension of Interstate 99 from I-80 near State College up to I-86 in Corning, NY. It's currently U.S. 15 and it's really beautiful.

The heat wave was still in force, and Dave and I began to wonder if it was a good idea to book our accommodations in Irvin Hall. But that's what our arrangements were, so we were sort of stuck. After all, it was half the price of all the other hotels in the area...more bar and souvenir money, right?

So here we are, Irvin Hall! This is the dorm I lived in all 4 years of college, Dave lived here his junior and senior years. It's one of the oldest dorms on the campus, but the central location made up for the lack of A/C, old-school hot water radiator heat and small rooms. Remember, it's all about location.

From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

Here's Dave checking in, like going back in time almost 20 years ago!
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

We had arrived in mid-afternoon, so we had a few hours to get out and enjoy Arts Fest and take in the local sights.
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

The first Meteorology event was a BBQ at the Hintz Family Alumni Center. It was a fun event, complete with record-breaking rains! We celebrated Dr. Charles Hosler's 60+ years with Penn State, complete with a Nittany Lion to visit (note: I can't be completely sure this was THE Nittany Lion. The costume seemed, um, older).
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

After the BBQ, we met a couple friends out at a bar, and managed to get the rock-star treatment by also sitting with a local TV weatherman who is lucky enough to have Penn State in his market.
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

Joe Murgo works for an Altoona TV station and is friends with the owner of this bar we were at in this picture. Folks kept coming up to him to chat about the weather and take pictures with him. The lady in purple is Kristie Kubovic, who works for a station in Lexington, KY.

On Saturday, Dave and I enjoyed a dining hall breakfast, in the same dining hall we frequented as students years ago. Then we headed over to the newly-remodeled 6th Floor of Walker Building: The Penn State Weather Station. This is the new "digital map wall",
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

For reference, let's show you a picture of the map wall I remembered as a student:

Yep -- I posted PAPER MAPS. And there were paper maps in this weather station until early 2009! This new map wall is pretty sexy, I have to admit!

You can get a sense of the new weather station here --
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

One of the day's events was formally dedicating the weather station to one of its recent benefactors -- Dr. Joel Myers, the founder of Accu-Weather.
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

After the dedication and luncheon, Dave and I headed back out to Arts Fest for a bit....
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

That evening was a semi-formal dinner banquet and I was so excited to break out my new dress!!!

Okay, a word about the dress.

I have some events in the next year or so that will command a pretty dress. I have dresses, usually sundresses or ones I'd wear to church. But I needed one of those semi-formal, cocktail style dresses. For something of this caliber I usually wore my Air Force Mess Dress, hence no need for a dress. The last dress I bought was from R.E.I. (a granola-ish sundress that is ready to wear out of the backpack!) Probably wouldn't work for a semiformal. So I planned a shopping trip...

...and I needed backup. I called my friend Shannon and asked if she'd like to come along. I like her fashion sense, and she'd be brutally honest. And would help me make sure I dressed my age :-)

Shannon and I went to a department store called Von Maur in Omaha. They had a great variety of dresses and I tried on several. I was wanting a Penn State blue and white dress. There was this teal dress that made the finals, but I was considering also needing new shoes and possibly jewelry. And since it wasn't Penn State blue and white, my heart wasn't in it. Shannon was loving how I looked in it, and I definitely valued her opinion, but if only it was more of a navy blue...

I asked the saleslady to hold the dress, while Shannon and I took one last wander around the dress department. And Shannon found it. I tried on my size and it was fabulous.

I'm usually my own worst critic. But in this case, for once, I thought I looked GOOD! The colors were PERFECT, the cut was PERFECT, and it hid my thighs and hips PERFECTLY! My only complaint was the bathing suit tan lines...but I figured I could even that out before the event.

Double Bonus Word Score! I had shoes and jewelry to match!!! This is a good thing because this dress is now the single most expensive piece of clothing I've ever owned! It's by one of those "fancy designers". More than my USAF Mess Dress, and more than the dress I got married in!  Dave and I worked out that I can wear it about 5 times and get our money's worth :-)  

So here's the dress in full resolution, and my super-handsome husband sporting one of his tailored suits from our tour in Korea. Thanks to our friend Mike P. for taking the picture.


The dinner event was wonderful, and we were treated with a great meal, a good time with friends and several videos of the history of the meteorology department.
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion
From 2010 07 09 PSU Meteorology Reunion

After hanging out at the Rathskellar after the event, Dave and I turned in early so we could get an early start for our next stop: New York!!!

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