Week in Pittsburgh Edition
I’m still adapting to re-entry following vacation, so before I forget where we went and what we did, I’ll recap. We spent our vacation in the city where my husband and I spent the first twenty-five or so years of our lives: Pittsburgh. We’re the only members of our immediate family who no longer live there, so our visits are harried as we try to spend time with as many family members and friends as possible. This year we took a whole week, built around my niece’s wedding, and did some things we hadn’t had an opportunity to do with the kids – or even ourselves.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
On our first full day, we visited the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The kids enjoyed all of it, but especially the gems and minerals and, of course, the dinosaurs. My two-year-old ran from skeleton to skeleton, gibbering wildly. You really have to see them in person to appreciate their enormity.
Fort Pitt Museum
I had never visited the Fort Pitt Museum before. The museum is situated alongside one of the entry ramps to the Fort Pitt Bridge and is easily overlooked. Despite their varied ages, all of the children enjoyed this museum as well. The ongoing Captured by Indians exhibit was fascinating, and if I ever find the time and energy to write historical fiction, I’ve got an idea based on the couple portrayed in the picture above.
Carnegie Science Center
Much to my children’s chagrin, the Carnegie Science Center was packed with summer day camp groups, which made our visit a little less enjoyable that we’d anticipated. We didn’t have time to explore all the exhibits or tour the submarine on this go-round, but we always enjoy the train display. This shot features an amusement park including a model of Kennywood’s Noah’s Ark atop the copse of trees in the center. I’m a huge fan of dark rides, so this has always been one of my favorites.
Mount Washington, Strip District, Point State Park
We hit the major tourist spots, including Mt. Washington. I drove by the overlook pictured nearly every day for four years when I was in college. I think this was the second time I’d actually been on the overlook. My husband got a great shot including a thunderstorm coming in from the east. You can see the rainfall to the far right. One of the girls was whining about being thirsty, to which my husband replied, “Open your mouth. The rain’s coming.” She did, and it did. A short downpour had us racing back to the Duquesne Incline and Station Square.
I’d never really experienced the Strip District before this visit. I’d been to Primanti’s once and to some nightclubs on Smallman Street, but that was it. We visited several spots including Kelly-O’s Dinner, which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Best omelet I’ve ever eaten, bar none. And it included Polish kielbasa.
We also visited Point State Park. Like the dinosaurs at the museum, the fountain’s size is best appreciated up-close. Those specs in the foreground are us.
Pirate Game and Fireworks Night
Despite the lingering rain, we attended the first game of the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals matchup at PNC Park. Even with a rain delay, the kids made it through to the post-game fireworks. Nobody does fireworks better than Zambelli. The display from one of the bridges over the Allegheny River was stunning.
My oldest dubbed our trip a “beer-cation” because Daddy made a good number of alcohol-related stops. It may have something to do with the fact that we gave him The Catholic Drinkie’s Guide to Home-Brewed Evangelism and Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour for Father’s Day.
We visited The Church Brew Works in the Lawrenceville section of the city, a brewery in the former St. John the Baptist Church. While the decor and atmosphere are tasteful, I’m still not sure how I feel about seeing brewing equipment where the altar once stood.
Visits with Family and a Wedding
Best of all, we had time for visits with parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. The week ended with my niece and goddaughter’s wedding. Our children were part of the wedding party, and they did look awfully cute if I say so myself.