The Pittsburgh Trip

We recently went on a mini vacation to Pittsburgh, home of our family’s favorite sports teams: the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about going there. I am a country girl who likes driving on country roads. Let me rephrase that. I like driving on normal two lane roads where maybe there is a stoplight every twenty or thirty miles. I enjoy the fact that I can drive down the road without having to worry about bumper to bumper traffic. Oh, and I don’t have to wonder if it is a one way street and all of a sudden I am coming face to face with another car, if I stay in my own lane anyways.

Luckily, our hotel was only two blocks inside the city, and what a beautiful hotel it was.

I felt extremely spoiled here, as most of my hotel stays have been at hotels that do not have bellboys, fancy restaurants, and offer milk and cookies in the early evening (which made my night by the way). It was at the perfect location and within walking distance of our fun destinations. About a mile away from the baseball park and a mile and a half from the football field.

Friday morning we strolled around the city and found a lovely bagel shop. Of course we had to get six bagels to go – how can you visit a one of a kind bagel shop and not get anything? Let me tell you, they are no grocery store bagel. They were delicious! You could tell they were made fresh and with love. Okay, maybe not the love part, but they were good. My favorite was the cranberry one. I have never had the pleasure of eating a cranberry bagel before, but now am hooked. Do you think they’ll deliver to Central New York?

In the afternoon we got a wonderful tour of PNC Park. For those of you who do not follow baseball, this is the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. We saw some private rooms (including the suites that cost companies $200,000 per year!), watched the players warm up from the front row, and learned the history of the team. The tour guides were friendly, knowledgeable, and made me want to take another tour the next day. But that would be silly, right? Then it was game time. The fans were great, our seats were awesome, and we had a good time just the three of us. It was a wonderful experience and one that I hope we can perhaps enjoy on an annual basis. And, of course, my camera was going off about every few minutes. At least for the first three innings.

An evening stroll back to our hotel was actually very relaxing and nice. Although it was a bit cooler out, I didn’t mind it at all. There was a man playing the saxophone as we crossed the Roberto Clemente Bridge and that just seemed to make the experience that much better. And let’s face it, walking around a city like Pittsburgh at night is kind of cool. And scary. But mostly cool.

Saturday we went to Heinz Field – home of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team. It happened to be Fan Blitz day where the stadium puts on games, special viewing of the locker room, photo op with the Super Bowl trophies, and special activities for the children. We had a good time here, but I think the mass of people in attendance was a tad overwhelming for us country folk. So we just walked around, saw the things we wanted to see, and back to the country we went.

So what did I learn from this trip?

I am a country girl. Always have been and always will be. Visiting the city is okay, but my favorite part is leaving 🙂

I love going to baseball games. In fact, I wish we lived closer and the tickets were cheaper. I think I’d buy season tickets – after I win the lottery of course.

Steelers fans are intense. Maybe next time we go to Heinz Field is on a day when it is not Fan Blitz Day.

I love spending time with my family. Well, I already knew that, but this solidified it for me. Time is going by so fast. My thirteen year old will be graduating soon and then off to college. I want to treasure every moment with her.

I am old. 34 is no spring chicken apparently. My body just did not like the 7 1/2 hour car ride. But that’s okay, because soon I’ll be 35. I heard that 35 is the new 25, so I’m all set!

And finally, in the words of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, “There is no place like home.”


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