Juliana’s Visit to Happy Valley

I was excited to take Juliana to Penn State (I wrote a little bit about our trip already here). She wanted to see where I went to college and was looking forward to spending the day with me but she wasn’t thrilled about watching the football game. I was worried about how Juliana would be on the car ride so I picked up a few new activity books and other surprises for her bag. She opened the bag in the car and was quiet for most of the trip…I bought a lot of quiet time with those books.

We exited the highway north of Penn State and as we were driving toward campus I told Juliana that we were almost there.
Juliana: Mommy, Where’s the party?
Me: What Party?
Juliana: You said we were going to your college so won’t there be a party?
I’m not sure who has been telling her about college…


We parked near East Halls (where I spent my freshman and sophomore years) and I showed Juliana the building where I lived for those first 2 years.  She told me she didn’t want to go to college because she didn’t  ever want to be away from me.

Then we headed across campus with plans to visit the Lion Shrine. After a few minutes of walking I realized that we were never going to make it to the other side of campus and back to the stadium – Juliana was already dragging and I didn’t want her to miserable at the game. So we turned around and went to the Creamery where we waited in line for 45 minutes. Juliana was busy blowing bubbles so she didn’t complain too much about the wait (Score more points for me thinking to bring bubbles).

Creamery ice cream is worth the wait. I had my favorite – Coffee Break – coffee ice cream loaded with little chocolate chunks, mmmmm so good. Juliana had chocolate and she loved it and my Dad had strawberry. By the time we reached the stadium her mouth was covered in chocolate; it was in her hair and on her forehead. The girl loves her chocolate.


Our seats were behind the goal post opposite the student section. We were in our seats early and watched the teams warm-up. She started to ask questions about football – Juliana has obviously watched football on TV, but like hockey she didnt’t have any interest until we took her to a game. I wasn’t a big hockey fan until I saw it live so I understand this and it is one of the reasons I wanted to take her to a college football game.
J: Where is the goalie?
M: They don’t have a goalie.
J: It must be really easy to score without a goalie to stop them.
This makes sense when you consider that hockey and soccer are her reference points.

She loved the band,especially the pretty girls in the outfits covered in sequins (majorettes). She enjoyed the dancers and cheerleaders and watching the Lion.

As the student section started to fill up, I pointed it out to her and told her that is where the college students sit.
M: Look how much fun the college students are having.
J: Are all of their moms sitting with them over there?
M: No, that is just for the students.
J: I only want to be with you, I am never going to college when I grow-up.
At this point she sat on my lap and stayed there for most of the game.


Five minutes into the game she asked if we could go home. I was prepared for this comment and told her to watch the scoreboard clock and we would get cotton candy at the end of the 1st quarter. We left our seats to get cotton candy and drinks (and I had reverse sticker shock when I purchased fresh-squeezed lemonade, cotton candy and a large drink for $10 – I am used to hockey concession prices). She sat and happily watched the game with her cotton candy. By the end of the game people were starting to leave (Penn State was winning) and there some empty seats in our row so she moved off my lap and watched the game.

She said that she had fun and loved taking her to one of my favorite places.

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