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Our family adventure in quest of hot dogs continued on January 23rd as we revisited a county most familiar to every member of our family (except Joshua who wasn’t born when we lived here). Our visit to Centre County immersed us in nostalgic recollections. As the name implies the county is in the center of the state and is best known as the home of The Penn State University, residence of the Nittany Lions (A fictitious animal.) The area has been nicknamed “Happy Valley”. At The Hot Dog House in Bellefonte we reconnected with special friends, Marc and Tracy. We shared a close relationship with them and their daughters when we lived in near-by Boalsburg for five years of our life journey. It was like old times sharing a meal with these two very precious friends.

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As has been the case at every stop on this quest we had a great experience meeting some new folks. At the Hot Dog House we met Sheila our server and Jeff the owner. These are two neat people who were enjoying what they do. Jeff opened the House 29 years ago and seems ready to keep going another 29 years.

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We even recruited Brian, who was eating his lunch at the time, to take our photos at the outside sign.

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Thanks Brian for being such a good sport and joining in the party. Our conversation with Sheila and Jeff spilled over to others who appeared to be regulars at the eatery and joined in the laughing and banter. We had a great time visiting and eating. Thank you Jeff and Sheila.

Our quest in Centre County continued on to the Berkey Creamery on the campus of Penn State. This student run operation is a mainstay of the State College community and a must stop for anyone visiting the area. Another special friend Alice was waiting for us when we walked into the Creamery. Alice is an exceptional person with the most fascinating life story. She has written two books Green Gravy, Monster Bread and Other Adventures and Holes in My Shoes, One Family Survives the Great Depression about her life journey. Her books are available through Xlibris, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

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We shared ice cream cones (Death by Chocolate.) and were still telling stories when good friend Lori (another friend who has shared a special place in our lives) hurried over to our table. Unfortunately we must have been done taking pictures by the time Lori arrived. The day was filled with hugs and laughter, stories and love.

Eventually we had to break up the sweet party and go our separate ways. But, our family made one last stop at the Nittany Lion Statue. On the way to the statue Sarah picked up a copy of the college paper The Collegian to complete our visit to “Happy Valley”.

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Our quest has been a joyful experience as we traveled through twelve County Seats. This journey has reconnected us with friends on Facebook and Linked-In and we have made new friends along the way. We are looking forward to the adventures waiting for us in the next fifty-two destinations! I hope you will continue to share this adventure with us.

See you next time.