An Adventure in Victorian Bellefonte

Posted by Anne Yorks on Sunday, March 28, 2010

(Welcome to longest blog post of all time. If you make it to the end...you could get a special prize.)

Two Christmases ago Topher gave me an Italy calendar. Seemed like an ordinary calendar until I opened it and found the real gift inside. He had blocked off one day a month with a highlighter and wrote, "Team Family Yorks Day".  My Christmas gift was family time. With our crazy schedules of coming and going, he decided that we would make time just for each other and some family fun. This started a tradition. Since that Christmas Team Yorks has enjoyed a number of activities from a snowy day making homemade pizza, to a trip to the Hershey Gardens, to an adventure at Whipple Dam, to a 10-minute shopping spree at Daffin's - the largest candy store in Pennsylvania, and so many more! We always look forward to TYFD!

Yesterday we decided to take Team Yorks to our very own town and explore the treasures of Victorian Bellefonte. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, a sunny March day in the 50s. 

First stop on the list was the town coffee shop, Cool Beans.

This is the same place we go for my daughter's weekly art class. The motto at Cool Beans is, "Where Bellefonte Gathers." It's true. They have great traffic and everyone is so friendly. We were first greeted with this sign.

So the three of us hurried in to get warmed up. This is where we met up with Bubba (Toph's dad), Kim (our sister-in-law) and her son, our little cutie nephew. They were coming along on our Team Yorks adventure. I'm in the blue. Do you see what I have? Those are our Contigo's, a.k.a. the best coffee travel mug on the planet. Don't worry about spills with the Contigo. The lid really seals shut. But best of all it keeps the coffee so nice and warm. Can you read Bubba's shirt? It says "Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting." This made me smile. Oh Bubba. How we all love you!

While the adults enjoyed the coffee (I had the medium roast and I highly recommend it!), the kids enjoyed Saturday morning cartoons on the big screen. Cool Beans offers cartoon fun every other Saturday from 9-11 am. If you become a fan of their shop on Facebook, you'll get all the updates on their fun specials and activities!

Once we polished off our coffee and homemade breakfast treats (I had the cranberry white chocolate scone) we bundled up to make a visit to The Plaza - a very, very large antique shop/mall.

This antique shop is a renovated Theater which was designed by Anna Wagner Keichline, the first woman registered as an architect in Pennsylvania. Cool, huh? We actually got lost inside. I'm not sure how many square feet it is, but there are multiple levels and shopping areas. 

This was my first cool find. A super cute tote bag that I plan to use as a laptop bag. 

Isn't it great? It is the perfect size for my laptop and a few other supplies. I love the yellow - my favorite color! I'm sure J. Crew could charge an arm and leg for this bag, but I only paid $14!!

Then I discovered these...

A tall pedestal antique cake platter and an antique marble cheese plate - both with glass domes! Together they were under $30! That seemed like a great find to me.

I love the detail! I just don't think you can find stuff like this at Wal-mart or Target!

I didn't have any fancy cheese to put on the plate, so I used cupcakes. They are little favor boxes that I found in the $1 section at Michaels. They open up so that you can hide a little treasure inside. I think they look so cute under the glass.

But, the best find of the day was scored by Bubba.

A tan leather jacket worn exclusively by a model on a runway in Philadelphia. Well, actually, we're not 100% sure on those facts, but that is what we think is this history of this jacket. It was sold by a former model that sells many of the items she wore on the runway, including furs, suits, and evening gowns. It's really quite a collection. The model is now 70 (although I would have guessed that she wasn't a day older than 50. Really, she looks that good), and is now parting with a few items in her collection. She did mention that there are some special garments that she couldn't part with and they were safe at home in her wardrobe. I told Bubba we need a night out on the town with that jacket! Maybe karaoke. Is there a karaoke bar in Centre County? I would love to go. 

So that is our crew, trucking down High Street to Talleyrand Park, to visit these guys.

At the park we fed the ducks      

and the fish too.  

We sat around, 

went down the slide, 

lost a shoe, 

and enjoyed the scenery. .

But then after all that coffee, I had to use the little girls' room. So I mosied on over to my favorite joint in town, The Cafe on the Park. Great food, great people, and a great atmosphere.  I knew my mom was having lunch with her friend Edna. I was excited to say hi.

By this time it was lunch time. So, Bubba, Kim and the little guy took off. Toph and I decided to grab a bite to eat with our little sweetie. And with Nana and Grammy Edna at the table, she was spoiled with a delicious lunch!

Here we are...

My mom is next to me and Grammy Edna is next to Toph. See how we are all smiles. 

It's the atmosphere, it's just so great!

After lunch, we had one more stop to make, the Victorian Rose. 

It had been quite a while since my last visit (I think last June). The details in their displays are like nothing I've ever seen. So much planning, so much work. 


This next one is my favorite. So Sweet!

I found two lace doilies to go with the two platters I picked up at the Plaza.

Plus, the owner of the shop was so nice. She gave my little girl a cute pink sparkly bracelet for "being so well behaved". Wow. 

And with that...Team Yorks was exhausted and ready for naptime. We left Victorian Bellefonte with some really great memories! I hope we'll get back downtown for more fun. There are so many other treasures to explore - more shops, the Bed and Breakfasts, and the architecture. And I know we won't miss this summer's Jazz Festival, the Arts and Crafts Show, or the Victorian Christmas Celebration. 

When I moved to Bellefonte a few years ago, I had no idea how much I would grow to love this little town. Team Yorks is just so happy here!

Have a sweet day,

PS - Did you make it to the end? Here's your chance at a prize...post a comment by Wednesday, March 31st and let me know what you would do during a family fun day. To see the comments box, you need to click on the blog post title. The comment box will appear at the bottom. I'll pick one comment (randomly through a hat drawing) and give away a $20 gift certificate to 'Cafe on the Park'. The winner will be announced on Thursday, April 1st! Good Luck!