So we were up about 7:45am or so, and Connie made everyone a nice breakfast to start the day off with. Scrambled egg and toast and sausage and potatoes and pancakes and coffee and tea and orange juice. Holy cow, I was stuffed!
Barry, Connie, Ruth, and Kevin
We've met up with quite a few of our blog readers over the past five years, and every time it's been a great experience! Too bad it was such a short visit because we easily could have enjoyed more time with them. Hopefully we'll get a chance to visit their summer home in Delaware one day. Thanks for everything Connie and Barry!
We left there at about 9:40am, a few minutes later than we planned. It was going to be about a three and a half hour drive to Pittsburgh. But there's no direct way to get there. I like going the straightest route possible, so when we stopped for gas in Lewistown, ($3.73 per gallon or $0.98 per litre) I had a look at the map and saw a road going over the mountain. I had the GPS set to avoid unpaved roads, and it let me go that route so we figured we were all set.
Well no road trip is complete without a mystery tour!
We found ourselves on this single lane gravel road.
But it turned out okay. Because we're in the little blue car, we don't mind going on these kinds of roads if it'll cut a few miles off. Makes life interesting anyhow! The rest of the drive was scenic enough, but just farmland and rolling hills.
Did get a freight train pic for Sam though.
Next thing we knew, we were in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. We didn't know it until we were actually there, but Pittsburgh has a series of highway tunnels built through the mountains around the city. We entered the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, and when we came out at the other end we were pretty much in the downtown area.
Inside the Squirrel Hill tunnel.
Our first view of downtown Pittsburgh.
We got set up at our hotel in downtown and then we wanted to get outside. It was a gorgeous day! Temperature of about 78F (25C) so we didn't have to travel very far south to get some shorts and t-shirt weather. So we went for a walk along the waterfront.
Ruth and the downtown skyline.
The north shore of the river has a beautiful walking and cycling path.
From that point, we walked back towards downtown and walked across the bridge that you see in the above picture. On our side of the river is PNC Park where the Pirates play baseball, Heinz Field where the Steelers play football, the Carnegie Science Center, and Rivers Casino. We saw the casino, and we saw a sign that said $5 free slot play. Well, we can't turn that down. So we went inside and signed up for their players club. The girl tells us they have a special promo on and we get $10 in free slot play instead of $5, plus we get to spin the wheel to win between $5 and $1,000 more! Of course we spun $5 each so we had a total of $30 to play for free on the slot machines. Well, we turned $30 in free slot play into $13.40 worth of cold hard cash! And then we left!
Heinz Field where the Pittsburgh Steelers Play.
We went and wandered around downtown. We came across a storefront display that was kind of funny. If you have a broken robot you could get it repaired here...
Fraley's Robot Repair!
We're going to be doing a walking tour of downtown Pittsburgh tomorrow morning, so I won't show you any of the architecture until tomorrow's post. But there are some interesting things to see and we're looking forward to telling you about them. We walked all the way down to what they call "The Strip" where there are some restaurants and ethnic stores. We found a nice little Latino restaurant advertising Peruvian chicken. It reminded us of a typical restaurant in Mexico, so we went into Chicken Latino and had roast chicken, rice, and beans for $6.50 each. Hm, that's about the same amount that we won at the casino. We like Pittsburgh so far!
Chicken, rice, beans, and salsa. We had fun practicing our Spanish with the waitress. She was actually from Honduras.
Good, inexpensive food at Chicken Latino!
We walked back across a different bridge, and back to the hotel. We had a fun day today, and first impressions say that Pittsburgh is a pretty neat place. Lot's more to tell you about tomorrow, and we've got a full day planned!
Pittsburgh at dusk.