Day II: Pennsylvania

We had to get up at about 8:30 for the tour that my brother had scheduled. The campus of Juniata College is situated at the north-western end of town, and is composed of a mixture of both old and new buildings. I did not stay with my parents for the information sessions, since I have sat through quite a few of those during my own college search. I did give myself a little tour myself, and found the facilities to be of a high quality. They even have a business incubator, where students can receive capital in order to launch their ventures.

I walked about a mile down the street from which I came, to visit the shops and other attractions of the old downtown. The Motor Inn had a brochure for that area, and given my curiosity for small town gift shops and adventurous spirit, I had to check it out. The streets were lined with fine nineteenth century architecture, many buildings having plaques noting a National Register of Historical Places designation.

not remember the name of but will try to find, was a small antique shop. I walked in shortly after it opened for the morning, and saw a number of various items. The variety of books especially interested me, such as the old Arabian Nights edition with stunning illustrations, the Swedish translation of the Book of Mormon, and the fake book that had a secret compartment. But what interested me the most was a book, printed in 1897 (though initially published about ten years prior), used by a German immigrant to learn the English language. It contained over 2,000 engravings (sketches) of English word meanings. Considering the effort required to produce a book with so many engravings, it must have been an expensive book when it was new. I purchased it and after minor repairs will add it to my collection.

“Mary’s bargains” largely dealt in entertainment and video games, but also had hotwheels cars and various toys for children. The lady who was working (presumably Mary) told me that students would often patronize her store. A staff member at the college later confirmed this, claiming students utilize it as a source for bicycles and DVDs. Her husband avidly enjoys video games, especially for older systems, having “every single system” according to her. Boxes sat under the counter of various games for systems of bygone generations, with a significant collection of NES and Genesis cartridges. As the name implies, the pricing is bargain in nature, but demand has grossly inflated prices of older games and even bargains are more than I am willing to pay.

I also checked out the library and historical society. A prominent citizen of the town donated two grand houses next door to each other for them many years ago. The library seemed popular among the local children spending their break, though there were also adults. Two clerks manned the desk, and I figured that while the collections couldn’t have totaled more than ten thousand volumes or so, it was still significant for a town of such a small size.

The historical society had several exhibits outside on the lawn, such as a parade float from the late 19th century, a canal mile marker, and an old train station sign. I decided not to go inside due to time constraints.

After being done seeing the town and college, we drove down to Gettysburg to see the battlefield. We followed the recommended driving tour route, and saw a large number of monuments and signs. The Pennsylvania monument was the most amazing, being a hundred feet tall with stairs to the top.

We made it to the hotel at about ten, and wanted to go to Chili’s afterwards. We drove to one in Arlington, but due to the lack of parking, continued on to the next closest one to our hotel in the suburb of Bailey’s Crossroads. The restaurant was understaffed, and the staff present did not do a good job. For instance, I did not get the item I ordered. I got a similar item, though they charged us for what I got so I wasn’t too upset.

We got back at 11:30, and went straight to sleep. We had an exciting day ahead of us, and couldn’t wait to see the city.

~Bob

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