Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Rainy Day in Pittsburgh

Where does the time go? It seems like yesterday that I was nervously sipping coffee in the student center at Rutgers University with my twenty- something- year- old, Intellectual Heritage classmate/friend/crush. Now that classmate is forty- years- old.

A birthday dinner didn’t seem enough to celebrate such a milestone, so after thinking a moment, Shannon decided that he wanted to celebrate 40 with a road-trip to Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh? You might be asking. Some people hunt deer, we hunt experiences/activities.  We have a list, an actual list. I recently posted the list on here so you can now view it and follow along. 

Pittsburgh offered a chance to cross two things off the list. 
1) PNC PARK (baseball stadium)
 2) Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater

I’m not saying that we’re starting to get a complex…but we’re starting to get a complex.  Once again rain followed us on a trip. Once again we were grateful for our quality rain jackets.  

We started out walking around Pittsburgh's Strip District.  

We really liked the vibe in Pittsburgh, though we couldn’t quite put our finger on exactly what the vibe was.  It was lightly gritty, with a twist of hipster, and an uber amount of sports fandom. Every shop, and I mean every shop, was hawking some sort of team paraphernalia.

 If you’re an avid watcher of the Travel Channel or Food Network, you may have seen Primanti Bros.. It’s a food icon.

 There’s no frippery here, just sandwiches and fries, actually the fries go on the sandwiches.  

You know a place is fry-centric when you witness a line of men ascend the basement stairs, each with a sack of potatoes flung over his shoulder; it was a potato procession. 

We sat at the counter and watched as the ladies putting the sandwiches together hustled big time.There was constant movement. The regulars/locals and the staff engaged in some good natured ribbing.

I ordered the kielbasa and cheese sandwich, and Shannon got the pastrami. 

The sandwiches are  simple. Meat, a generous amount of fries, lettuce, tomato, on soft, freshly baked, white bread.

They were tasty, but a warning, due to the high level of grease consumed, it takes a pretty iron gut to digest one without regret.

While we were walking around, there was a delightful scent floating through the air.  We found that the sweet smell was wafting from Peace, Love, and Little Donuts.  

This was a great concept. Donuts in mini form. This way you don’t feel like a fat heifer eating a humongo dounut.  I got a Samoa and Shannon got the maple bacon dounut.  They were the perfect, cute, little bite of sweet.

Next, we had to figure out what we could do in the drizzling weather, with the limited time we had. We decided to go to the Duquesne Incline.

Yes, the incline is touristy, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not a good time.

There’s not much to it. You go up, 

and you go down, in an old time-y tram car. 

It’s a nice little piece of Pittsburgh history.

At the top, there is an observation deck, that has an eye pleasing view of the city.  

I bet it’s even better on a clear day.

After the incline, it was time to head to PNC Park to knock another baseball stadium off of the list (will report on the stadium in a separate post). 

When the game was over, we made our way to the Double Tree-Green Tree Hotel, booked using our trusty friend Priceline. 

Have you been to a Double Tree lately?  When you check in, they give you a warm, fresh baked, chocolate chip cookie. It is an absolutely heavenly, fresh baked chocolate chip cookie, where the chips are gooey-melty. 

It was incentive enough to look forward to my next Double Tree stay (take note other hotels, cookies).

It turned out to be a really nice hotel, what we saw of it anyway. 

We weren’t there very long, but the room was clean and spacious, and the bed was snugly. It was the perfect place to rest up after our exciting day.

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