Valentine’s Weekend Update! Love is in the Air!

PMO Singing Valentines

PMO Singing Valentines

Valentine’s Weekend Update! Love is in the Air! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

This Friday, February 12, enjoy Romance and a good cause with the Almost Home Humane Society’s “Spay-Ghetti and No Meatballs” Valentine’s Dinner. The dinner is all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs. The event will be held at the Lahr Atrium connected to the Knickerbocker. Animal themed movies will be played all night to set the mood, and live music, dancing and wine sales to benefits the pets will follow.

HTM 492 cordially invites you to join them on Friday, February 12 for a special Valentines Dinner.  Enjoy a fabulous meal of six courses and six wines prepared and served by the students of the Advanced Food Service Management Class in the beautiful John Purdue Room located in Marriott Hall on the Purdue University Campus.

Paint with your Valentine this Saturday, February 13. Whether it’s your first Valentine’s Day date or your 25th, make it a date to create! Do something different with your loved one this year! Together you can draw, paint a canvas, or even propose in plaster at the “Painting with your Valentine” event at the Morton Center.

Stop by the Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art after dinner and enjoy wine and dessert in a romantic and relaxing setting and stroll through the mansion’s amazing display of Indiana art and ceramics during Sweet on ART. Join in an evening of wine, music and chocolate on February 13 anytime from 7 to 10 pm. Enjoy the music of Indiana’s own Cole Porter, performed by the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. A glass of wine, a decadent dessert and tempting chocolate treats all add to your enjoyment of this special evening.
Before the night is over, be sure to capture this memorable evening with a charming free digital photograph by David Marshall. Images will be available for download at your convenience.

Celebrate the perfect Valentine’s Day wrapped up in a single event during Valentine’s Cinema, Chocolate and Cheers at the Delphi Opera House on February 13! Enjoy an evening of early classic film romantic comedies, paired with wines, chocolate and cheese sampling. Film historian Eric Grayson will offer history of the art form and commentary on selected film.

Purdue Jazz Band - Evening of Romance

Purdue Jazz Band – Evening of Romance

On February 13, head to Marriott Hall in the John Purdue Room for an “Evening of Romance.” Celebrating a new partnership with Purdue Hospitality & Tourism Management, this cabaret-style event will include dancing to live music performed by the Purdue Jazz Band. This year, gourmet food and beverage options will enhance the evening, making it a night to remember for sweethearts and friends alike.

February 14 is Valentine’s Day! Lafayette Chamber Singers Present: Valentine’s Afternoon Delight at Duncan Hall. Savor mouthwatering sweets and the poetry and music of love as the Lafayette Chamber Singers explore the delicate, whimsical and dramatic moods of love through the centuries through the bubbly mix of classical and pop melodies.

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Valentine’s Treats Galore from Kathy’s Kandies

IMG_5688Valentine’s Day is this Sunday! Do you have a special present for your Valentine? You must make a stop at Kathy’s Kandies, where a plethora of Valentine’s Day treats are handmade for this special day and all year long. Kathy’s Kandies owner Kathy, spends 12 to 18 hours a day making 12 different kinds of candy in over 80 different flavors. There is something for everyone!

Valentine’s Day: this day means Hallmark cards, handmade local sweets and smiles.  Every year growing up my Mom always had a special Valentine’s Day present for my Dad, Sister and I. My Mom would choose our favorite chocolates, sugary sweets and pick out a silly, yet sweet, Hallmark card.  And we always received socks with little hearts all over them.  I am in my 30′s and she still puts together themed packages, only now she has husbands and grandchildren to add to the mix!

If you are looking for delicious, handmade candy to add to your own Valentine’s Day present, Kathy’s Kandies is the perfect place to visit. Visitors have the choice of 12 scrumptious truffles, fudge, chocolate covered nuts or fruit, crème filled chocolates, gourmet popcorn, bark, pastries, cheesecakes, and/or the perfect Valentine’s dessert, chocolate covered strawberries (call to order these in advance!) And the list goes on!

Past Romantic Getaway Winners!

Past Romantic Getaway Contest Winners!

This candy shop is a what kids (and lets be honest, adults) dream about!  Visitors walk into a bright, airy room filled with every candy one could imagine.  Kathy is behind the counter with a smile on her face greeting guests and fulfilling their sugar cravings.

DSC00927Also, note Kathy’s Kandies is the perfect place to host a fun party! Get a group of your friends and family together and savor decadent desserts.  Death by Chocolate – this is one party theme! If there is one way to go, why not by chocolate!!!

Share with us your favorite chocolate or sugary treat?!  What special snack puts a smile on your face? Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cozy, Quaint & Peaceful: Cellar 422

Cellar 422Cozy, quaint and peaceful. Cellar 422 is the best addition to our ever changing downtown! Like no other business, Cellar 422 is a wine bar, restaurant and wine retail store all wrapped into one.

Co-owners and sisters Michelle Wise and Marla Milner claim they have been dreaming of opening a wine centered business since they were 7 and 9 years old. As they grew older and moved around some, their dream never left their minds. The sisters bond over wine even though they have very different palates. In May of 2015, Michelle moved back to Lafayette from California. Just a few shorts months later, in September of 2015, Cellar 422 opened its doors for the first time.

Located at 422 Main Street in downtown Lafayette, in a converted photography studio, the original charm of the building built in 1879 has been restored. Many beautiful features of the inside of the building are still shining bright. One side of the wine bar has a vast original brick wall that climbs high. The ceiling is such a wonderful piece of history left behind. Some additions have also been made by the sisters.

The bar itself is the pride of the owners. It was built from the wood of a tree that grew on the owner’s family farm near Rossville. For some unknown reasons, the tree had to be cut down. The owner’s father had the wood cut and stored in his barn for many years. When the sisters decided to open their restaurant they knew that wood would make for a beautiful piece. With the help from a craftsman, the bar was put together and now stands proud as a reminder of the owner’s roots.

With a constantly changing menu, the sisters are still in the process of finding exactly what the Lafayette community would like to see. During my visits to the wine bar in the beginning months of operations, I enjoyed many delectable dishes. The cheese plates are the perfect pairing to any wine. The flatbreads are flavorful and filling. The cheesecake is to die for! All of the options are what you would expect to enjoy with your many glasses of wine.

Sisters Marla and Michelle pride themselves in carrying a variety of wines you will not find anywhere else in our area. They do not want you to be able to find these wines in any grocery store. However, since they are retail permitted, you may take home a full bottle or even a partially drank bottle of wine. This is such a great alternative when you cannot finish what you have already opened.

The wine tastings seem to be a very popular option for those open to a palate adventure. With many options to choose from, the tastings allow for a new favorite to be found.

Cellar 422 is an exciting new place for social and date night gatherings. With seasonally changing hours, check their Facebook page for the most current information. Grab your hubby or your girls and head over to Cellar 422 for a new tradition!

Rachel, Sports Marketing & Recreation Manager, shares this blog.

Weekend Update! A Plethora of Fun in and around Lafayette-West Lafayette

Harpeth Rising

Harpeth Rising

Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

FEBRUARY 5

  • Swing Dance at France A. Cardova Recreational Sports Center- Partnering with Purdue Night Train Swing Dance Club, live jazz music will accompany instructions and dancing at the feature gym in the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center on Purdue University’s campus. Put on your dancing shoes to enjoy swinging jazz performed by American Music Repertory Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band and Concert Jazz Band at this event.
  • The annual Lollipop Concert is a fun-filled evening for the entire family! Join the LSO for an engaging and interactive experience with real, live orchestral instruments at our Instrument Petting Zoo! They are rosin’ up the bows so you can take a shot at the violin and the cello. Don’t forget to put on your jazz hands and try out the saxophone, talk with some brass players, and make beautiful music! Stay for the LSO’s performance of “Music, Music, Everywhere!” from Richman’s Picardy Penguin Series, and learn how music is part of our everyday lives.
  • Dare to Bear (Polar Bear Skate Night) at Riverside Skating Center – Put on your swim suit and skate! Cocoa and pizza provided while supplies last.
  • Nicky Rood in Concert at Delphi Opera House – Country singer, songwriter and piano player Nicky Rood will perform her brand of country music at Delphi Opera House. Rood divides her time between West Lafayette and Nashville, Tennesee.

FEBRUARY 6

  • Harpeth Rising at Carnahan Hall – Flowing through the heart of Tennessee, the Harpeth River carries ancestral culture on its currents—from Native American earthwork mounds of centuries past to anecdotal stories of the antebellum era, from the birth of bluegrass to the contemporary Nashville sound that floats downstream. Like the river for which it’s named, self-styled “chambergrass” trio Harpeth Rising is similarly suffused with unforgettable culture and unexpected dynamics.
  • China Art Gallery is hosting the Chinese Spring Festival. This includes an exhibit of Chinese antiques and arts, artists are going to show their arts and do Chinese water color painting and calligraphy on site and also explain some Chinese tradition and culture.
  • Howl with the wolves at Wolf Park during Wolf How Night!

FEBRUARY 5 & 6

  • The Rainmaker at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. Watch as a man claims to be a “rainmaker,” and rain does come, and so does love.

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day Today!

As many of you probably didn’t know, today is National Girls & Women in Sports Day! February 3rd, 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of this national celebration. This day is held to honor the achievements of women and girls in the world of sports. This brings up the perfect opportunity to commemorate all of the wonderful girls and

Purdue Women's Volleyball

Purdue Women’s Volleyball

women who have contributed to the sports industry at Purdue and in the Lafayette – West Lafayette community. So many amazing women have walked on the same streets that we take everyday. I wanted to take some time to share a few of their stories, so we can look back at all of their accomplishments throughout the years.

Stephanie White: Stephanie White was born on June 20, 1977. She graduated high school from Seeger High School in West Lebanon, Indiana. After graduation, White continued her basketball career at Purdue University. In 1999, she led the Purdue Women’s basketball team to the NCAA Women’s National Championship. After graduating from Purdue, White played for five years in the WNBA. During this time, she played for the Charlotte Sting for a year and with the Indiana Fever for 4 years. She retired from the WNBA in 2004. She began her coaching career as an assistant coach for the Chicago Sky in 2007. After serving as an assistant coach for the Indiana Fever for a few seasons, White was named head coach on September 23, 2014. This made her the youngest active coach in the WNBA.

Gertrude Billhuber: Gertrude Billhuber served as the head of the Department of Physical Education for Women at Purdue University. During her time at Purdue, she stayed involved in the lives of female students. In 1928, she started the first club for female athletes at Purdue. This club was known as Gamma Alpha Eta. She was also involved with a committee to look into residence halls for women students. Billhuber retired from her position as the head of the Department of Physical Education for Women in 1929.

Rosemary Anne Murphy: Rosemary Anne Murphy was one of the first, prominent female athletes at Purdue University. During her undergraduate years at Purdue, Murphy was very involved in the Women’s Athletic Association. She played soccer, basketball, and baseball. She also participated in the coed track meets. In 1927, Murphy became the president of the Women’s Athletic Association. She traveled to New York to represent Purdue at the Athletic Conference of American College Women.

 

Purdue Women's Basketball

Purdue Women’s Basketball

Katie Douglas: Katie Douglas attended Purdue University. In 1999, Douglas helped lead Purdue to a NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship. She was named the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2001. In the same year, she also received the Big Ten Conference Suzy Favor Award. This award is given to the top female athlete of all sports for the year in the conference. She was drafted by the Orlando Miracle in 2001. Douglas played for various teams, including the Indiana Fever, before she retired in 2015 after 14 seasons.

Amy Ruley: Amy Ruley was a member of Purdue’s first Women’s Varsity Basketball Team. She even scored the program’s first points. Ruley was the women’s head basketball coach at North Dakota State University where she led the team to over 600 wins and to five NCAA Division II championships. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

Joan Rosazza: Joan Rosazza competed in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. She swam for the United States and won a silver medal in the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. She also placed fourth in the women’s 100-meter freestyle. In 1960, she graduated from Purdue University with her bachelor’s degree in education.

Lauren Sesselmann: Lauren Sesselmann attended Purdue University, where she played soccer from 2001 until 2005. While on the Women’s Soccer Team, she set six records in points, goals, assists, game-winning goals, multiple-goal games, and shots on goal registered. In 2003 and 2005 she was named First Team All-Big Ten. After graduating, Sesselmann stayed in the Lafayette area where she played for F.C. Indiana. She played for a variety of teams in the Women’s Professional Soccer League until joining the new National Women’s Soccer League in 2013 for the FC Kansas City.

Beth Whittall: Beth Whittall was only 17 years old when she won a silver medal in the 1954 Britsih Empire and Commonwealth Games. She swam the 4×110 yard freestyle relay for Canada. Whittall attended Purdue University where she studied Pharmacy. Over the years she acquired numerous medals and awards. She was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy for being Canada’s top athlete in 1955 and inducted into Cana’s Olympic Hall fo Fame.

Other noticeable athletes include Jeanne Wilson-Vaughn and Kara Patterson.

This blog was shared by Megann Kramer, Purdue University Student and Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern.

Dining Divas Enjoy Mango Loco

Dining divas enjoyed another lunch out, this time to Mango Loco. The eyes on Kay’s whole shrimp lunch special were also on us, while we ate our way through some familiar and not so familiar Mexican dishes!

Camarones Enchipoclados

Camarones Enchipoclados

Mango Loco, at 1440 Sagamore Pkwy, Lafayette, is owned and operated by Pedro and Maria Juarez. Pedro explained that he and his wife have operated Mango Loco for about one year and are veterans in the restaurant industry. The two have worked every job there is, from bus boy to cook; now as owners they do it all!

Our first order was Dorilocos; a Mexican street food that starts with a bag of nacho cheese Doritos, covered with jicama (a sweet turnip like root vegetable), cucumber, peanuts, pickled pork rinds, salt, lime, and chili powder, for $5.00. A word to the wise, this is not for the faint at heart. This dish packs a lot of sweet and spicy heat! Pedro explained that is it most popular during hot summer months.

Kay chose camarones enchipoclados for $11.99 from the specials board. Kay and her lunch eyed each other while she prepared to eat the whole-shrimp dish. Up to her wrists in chipotle sauce, Kay announced that her lunch was delicious but really messy. After watching, we agreed and added yet another item to our “Not on the first date” list. Served with fresh avocados, additional red sauce and homemade tortillas, we heard “Really! Good!” more than once between bites.

Veggie

Picaditas

Jo ordered picaditas for $5.00 which comes 3 per order. This dish starts with a thick soft corn tortilla on the bottom with an edge, filled with red salsa, beans, onion and cheese. Jo noted the tortilla was crispy, softer and fluffier than ones you are used to on a taco. We had several sauces at the table to add to our food. Jo enjoyed the green sauce best to spice up her dish.

Cheese Em

Cheese Empanada

Margy decided on the cheese empanada for $5.00, 3 per order. The menu also offered the empanada loca, $2.00 each stuffed with potato, poblano pepper strips & cheese. Both are served with sour cream and lettuce. The dough was warm and flaky, and the cheese filling very mild but easily spiced up with the addition of the sauces, red and green. To round out the meal, Margy ordered the fresh mango juice to drink, giving it a solid two thumbs up.

Margy, Jo & Bev

Margy, Jo & Bev

Bev ordered carne asada from the specials board for $11.99. The dish included nicely marinated thin slices of beef with avocado, lettuce, tomato, beans and rice. The tortillas, homemade fresh daily, were up to the task of being filled with all that goodness. “It was delicious,” said Bev.

Bev Carne Meal

Bev Carne Meal

Several desserts were available to anyone who still had room. For Bev it was mango on a stick with lime and salt but she opted to get it diced. For $3.00, the dish came with chili powder and jicama sauce. An interesting mix of flavors! Sweet, hot, and salty depending on how much chili powder you put on it! Definitely a fresh mango. “I’ve never had a mango served this way and would have it again in an instant.”

Fruit Icecream

Fruit Ice cream

Margy ordered the ice cream mix. Given a list of fresh fruit and ice cream to choose from, you select three fruits and two ice cream flavors. Margy opted for mango, papaya and watermelon with homemade coconut and butter pecan ice cream. It cost $5.00. Chunks of fresh fruit, bits of coconut and nuts from the butter pecan all blended together for a fantastic treat. We all loved this and decided it was the most delightful part of the meal.

We saw lots of other new dishes to explore on return trips. Emoladas sounded good with a mole sauce. Seafood cocktail with shrimp, squid and crab. Did we mention they have ice cream?

Inside Mango Loco 2On their way out, Bev and Margy took a closer look at the freezer case and learned half of the ice cream is homemade. Curious about one in particular, Bev and Margy sampled the tequila ice cream. It’s made with essence of tequila so there was no chance of it affecting one’s ability to go back to work but it can improve your attitude because it is so delicious! If Mango Loco has one unique hook that other Mexican restaurants we have reviewed do not, it would be the homemade ice cream and worth a trip all by itself.

Kay Conner, photographer, seafood superstar
Margy Deverall, author of Lafayette articles, dedicated vegetarian
Beverly Shaw, author of West Lafayette articles, bring on the beef (or chicken or pork)
Jo Wade, founder of this food blog, very veggie

Make Romantic Dreams Come True Contest 2016 Winner

We have the winner of our “Make Romantic Dreams Come True Contest 2016″ worth over $450! Congratulations to Patrick from Brookville, Indiana. Pat shares, “That’s fantastic!!! I came home from quite a challenging day and checked my email and saw I had won! My wife is really excited also. We didn’t have the money when we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary to go anywhere so now we can have a really nice time out!”

Patrick answered this question correctly and was picked at random: The question was:

QUESTION: How many artists have artwork featured at Grateful Heart Gallery, located in Lafayette, Indiana?

He answered “5”, which is correct.

Thanks to all who participated in this latest contest! Stay tuned for our next big contest/package we will be hosting in March, 2016. The theme is yet to be decided, but may have a Spring Break feel!

Weekend Update: Tian Jianan Performs and Wolf Howl Nights

Tian

Tian Jianan

Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

On January 30, Purdue Convocations is excited to welcome visitors to come and listen to Tian Jianan, a 21-year-old virtuoso from Beijing. Accordions may be among the most misunderstood and unnecessarily maligned instruments known today. But in the hands of an expert, this instrument of great expressive potential reveals the riches of a highly internationalized collection of artists, composers, and traditions. Tian Jianan plays the bayan, a special chromatic-button keyboard accordion developed in Russia, and the international instrument of choice for accordionists performing classical or contemporary classical music. Using a free bass accordion allows for full two-handed counterpoint instead of melodies played with the right hand against predetermined push-button chords in the left. Under Tian’s hands, the bayan is transformed into a structurally complex, robustly symphonic, and emotionally engrossing instrument of astonishing possibilities. Still a student at the Central Conservatory of Music, China’s leading music school. Tian has nonetheless accumulated no fewer than 31 first-place finishes worldwide at competitions in Italy, Germany, Russia, New Zealand, and Canada. At the 2013 Coupe Mondiale, a premier international accordion competition, Tian took the top prize for Best Original Solo Work. Be a part of this evening that is also part of a collection of campus activities in celebration of the Chinese New Year at Purdue.

Fiona & Kanti Howling on the PondIn the mood for outdoor wilderness fun this weekend? Visit Wolf Park in the evening on January 30, and see the animals in a whole new light. As the night falls and the air cools, the wolves get frisky. Guests will have an opportunity to hear a more in-depth discussion of the wolf’s “trademark” behavior — the howl. You will have front row seats to a sing-along as Wolf Park’s expert wolf handlers enter the enclosure and interact with the main pack of wolves. Visitors are encouraged several times during the performance to howl, and will be able to see and hear the wolves return the call.

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Richelle in a Handbasket: New, Decadent Chocolate Shop Open for V-Day!

IMG_8901Happening Now!  Right now the talk about town is about a new, decadent chocolate shop that is the perfect place to get your sweetheart a Valentine’s treat. Richelle in a Handbasket! This shop features chocolates, coffee, gift baskets, caramel popcorn, custom gifts and more. Located at Market Square, it is steps away from Interior Objects, the Handmade Market, Legendary Games, Camera Outfitters, Arni’s and more if you want to make it an afternoon of fun!

IMG_8900My husband, daughter and I are creatures of habit, and when we like a restaurant we tend to frequent it quite often.  Arni’s is one such location. We eat there weekly if not more! A few months ago, as we were driving through the little alley way of shops to get to Arni’s, I noticed a new, bright pink sign hanging. It read Richelle in a Handbasket. I got excited and said to my husband, we must stop! He grumbled and said, “I’m hungry!” I swore we would only be a minute and that the shop looked to have treats.

When we entered the store my senses came alive with the smell of chocolate delights and bright cheery decor. My daughter and I love pink, and the place is decorated so tastefully with pink and fun messages on the walls. One area reads “Wall of Redemption” and another “Wall of Addiction”. Just the smells alone made me think, “This place most definitely is going to be addictive!”

IMG_8905On the counter were samples of biscotti to try. (I love samples!) We each took a sample and it was amazing. Biscotti dipped in coffee is truly what winter is all about. Warm, sweet and yummy!

We decided to get a collection of items to take home with us to enjoy after dinner. We picked a bag of caramel corn, saltine toffee chocolate bark, and destiny strawberry truffles. We thought the variety would give us a good idea if we like the items and would be back. One bite into the chocolate bark, and the answer was YES! The salty, sweet flavors make my tongue do a happy dance! The caramel corn was super fresh and the strawberry truffles were my daughter’s favorite.

IMG_8902One of the best part about Richelle in a Handbasket is the baskets! There are so many items to choose from to add to your basket including sweets and food items, but also gift items like wall art, baby bibs, body care products, etc. You can create or order a pre-set themed basket. Need a shower gift? What a better way than to get a present that includes a gift item they can keep forever while they nibble away on homemade chocolates they can enjoy right away!

IMG_8906With Valentine’s so close, make a stop at Richelle in a Handbasket. It will become one of your new sweet shop stops in Lafayette-West Lafayette!

Whether you are looking for delicious dining, interesting attractions and shops, enticing events or home away from home lodging—a getaway to Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, is sure to satisfy.  For more information about this shop and others in the area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Purdue: A Shooting Star Experience!

IMG_8327My college experience can be compared to a shooting star. Eye-opening at first, which then led to the time of my life. However, it was all so fleeting. In the blink of an eye, it is all over. All of the people I have met and the memories I have made along the way will carry with me throughout the rest of my life.

Last month, I had the honor of walking across the stage in Elliott Hall to accept my Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM). It is the greatest accomplishment I have achieved yet in my life, and it will lead me to even greater achievements. I look forward to what my bright future holds with many thanks to give to Purdue University. I may be moving onto big things; however, I will always come back to my second home to visit the area that shaped me into the professional I am today.

Starry Night Festival

Starry Night Festival

There are a variety of aspects from this community that I will hold dear to my heart. Surprisingly, I will miss the many late nights spent at the Union with my body solely powered on Starbucks. I will always crave Triple XXX’s root beer with their delicious hamburgers to pair it with. Every fall, I will always wish I were back in West Lafayette to experience my favorite festival, Starry Night Festival, with a warm cup of Greyhouse Coffee in hand. Every winter, I will remember standing in awe of the two-story Christmas tree within the Purdue Memorial Union. I will forever brag about the free zoo within Columbian Park and the many cuddles I have received from baby goats. I will always look back on the many times my fellow HTM students and I sat in the awkwardly designed lecture hall in Marriott Hall laughing along with some of the best professors in the entire nation. They are all such simple things, yet they are aspects of my time at Purdue that I will forever treasure.

Paris!

Paris!

It is not only the campus and experiences that have shaped me, but it is also the life-changing people who have impacted me in ways I could have never imagined. The friendships I have made are some of the strongest I will ever have. No matter where our lives take us, I know I will always have the support of my life-long college friends. My academic advisor, Maggy Leitch, and all of my professors in HTM have been nothing short of a blessing. They have guided me to opportunities that most people never get the chance to experience. My schooling has led me to amazing experiences in Indianapolis, Chicago, across the country in Portland, OR, and even across the world in France. Maggy and my professors have impacted my life more than they know. Finally, my work family here at Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette has been the biggest support system since my move to Purdue. These empowering, inspiring women have helped me professionally grow by seeing potential in me that I never even realized I had. It has led me to find passions within myself that will carryout through my life. The experiences through Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette have been my gateway to a successful career. All of these experiences and people have a special place in my heart, and looking back, there is no doubt in mind that this is exactly where I was supposed to be during this time of my life.

IMG_8330To my fellow graduating seniors, I hope you had the time of your life at Purdue. Be prepared for a life full of challenges but also the greatest rewards yet. I am very confident that our education and time spent at Purdue has prepared us for a prosperous life. Our undergraduate studies may be over, but we still bleed the Black and Gold. We remain ever faithful and ever true to the university that started it all. Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory, but now it is our time to make our fellow Boilermakers proud. Boiler up!

Kaley, Purdue University Graduate and Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette past fellow Visitor Information Specialist (who is dearly missed by Visit Staff), shares this blog.