Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Heard About Pittsburgh, PA?

This past weekend I went to Pittsburgh, PA for the first time. I was accompanied by my parents (their 2nd trip) and Matt (his umpteenth trip although former trips were mainly to skateboard and buy records). The purpose of the trip was to celebrate my dad's birthday and to take advantage of free rooms my mom earned through Holiday Inn Express.

We couldn't have gotten a better weekend weather wise. I not only broke out the shorts, but a tank top and bathing suit. Hooray for hotels that have pools.

Saturday, we left at the crack of dawn and got to IKEA by 10am. There we spent way too much money, but we really did need blinds for our kitchenette and stairway hallway. After lunch at IKEA, we enjoyed rush-hour style traffic on a Saturday that took us into Pittsburgh. There, we found the road we wanted to get to the top of Mount Washington where skyline pictures were taken. We also semi-crashed a wedding that was a half hour from starting because we wanted pictures inside a historic church.

After the overlook, we headed down to the Strip. This part of the trip involved a lot of wandering in and out of shops and buying ridiculous amounts of fabric and crazy, cheap prices (7 yards of upholstery-like material for $14). The highlight was drinking Augustiner lager at Bella Notte and watching the Penguins take on Philly in NHL playoffs.

After a swim and shower, we went to Church Brew Works for dinner and more beer. Fun evening.

Sunday, we all slept in but got up in time to partake in a somewhat decent free breakfast at the hotel. I want more cinnamon rolls! We drove up to the Phipps Conservatory, but opted to look at the gardens outside rather than pay the fee to go inside. Plus, it was getting to be pretty hot out and I can't imagine what it was like inside under all the glass. Since we were near the University of Pittsburgh district, we opted to eat at the Primanti Bros. on the main drag. Amazingly enough, we all managed to eat our coleslaw, french fry laden sandwiches without too much left over. Maybe it was all the walking we did, which we continued after lunch. We walked around some museums, but didn't actually go into any exhibit areas. Education wasn't a priority this trip. Mid-afternoon, we headed out of the city toward home.

You'd think we could have avoided Grove City, but no luck. My dad did get a new pair of shoes and I found some stuff I can wear to work that's casual. I still blame my mom for this because she wanted ice cream and, "I bet we can get some at the outlets." Yeah. Suckers, we are.

We got to Erie, PA in time to grab dinner at Smuggler's Wharf before finally making it back to Jamestown. A fun and fairly relaxing trip. I don't recommend driving around Pittsburgh if you can avoid it due to either construction or just the odd street layout. We'd go back though.

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