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Travel | Pittsburgh 2019

I had a lot on my plate leading into what has become my annual October visit to Pittsburgh, PA for hockey and touristy things with my mother…

  • I had accidentally booked our room for only one of the two nights we would be in town.  While it was a pretty easy thing to fix, the unexpected hit on my budget and surprise “oops!” caused a fair bit of stress leading up to our departure.
  • We left the house later than originally planned and spent most of our time going through security worried that we wouldn’t make it to our gate on time.
  • And I’d only just talked with my boyfriend the evening before about not being able to go see him.

Day One…

Mac ‘n’ Cheese for me
Butter noodles with chicken for me mum

Pretty much our first stop in Pittsburgh is Noodles and Company for lunch.  After dropping off our luggage at the AirBNB, my mother and I enjoyed the fall weather on our walk to get ourselves some tasty pasta.

Before we’d reached the door, a man came running out of the bar across the street to say that “he loved my hoodie and thought it was great!”He was very excited and pretty much made my day, since almost no one recognizes this particular shirt!

As you can see in the picture, I was wearing my nerdy Stargate hoodie that says “There’s No Place Like…” and has the home symbol / or the “point of origin glyph” if you prefer.  He was very excited and pretty much made my day, since almost no one recognizes this particular shirt!

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Dallas Stars

It was so strange to be on the “wrong” side of the rink for this game. I nearly got lost trying to find my way back to our seats from getting snacks after the second!

Day Two…

Because of the migraine I’d had the day before, we slept in on Saturday morning… Okay, I slept in and Mother read a book, lol. Once we were both up and ready to start the day, it was time for breakfast at Cherries Diner, yum! I look forward to eating at Cherries each time I visit Pittsburgh and it is always a treat.

After breakfast, we spent a good amount of time figuring out the public transit system and getting a little lost while doing so. My mother and I were both very excited, since we both are big fans of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood show. Other than the hockey games, this was one outing that we were not going to miss out on.

The Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood exhibit is a special collection which houses the largest collection of original items from the show, from puppets and props, to set pieces and even Mister Rogers’ very own sweater!

Heinz Museum

While at the Heinz Museum, I learned something about Pittsburgh that I hadn’t previously known. They were, for awhile, a big name in glass-making! I knew they were known as Steel City, but apparently they were America’s Glass City before even that.

I’ve long been interested in glass-blowing and the making of glassware, so the Glass: Shattering Notions exhibit was a really interesting find.

Of course I had to get a picture of these glass owls.
Owls are great!

The very first thing you see when you enter the exhibit are a number of intricate vessels and, as you continue through, you get to see some truly artistic pieces. There was even a huge piece of waste glass that had to be chipped out of the furnace when it didn’t melt completely. You can still see the bits of sand in the glass cullet!

From the glass exhibit, we moved upstairs to the Clash of Empires: The British, French & Indian War, 1754-1763 exhibit, which was also pretty cool. I was already familiar with this period in history, but to see more localized information on the battles and the people who fought in them

There was also an oddly placed Stegosauraus?


Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Vegas Golden Knights

After we’d eaten and rested for a little bit, we hopped back on public transit and headed to the rink for the second game of our trip. This time, it would be the home team against the new kid on the block (and my second favorite team), the Vegas Golden Knights!

A little history: when the expansion draft happened, Marc Andre Fleury (who had been Pittsburgh’s goaltender for years and was at the salary cap) was gracious enough to step away from the Penguins. This allowed the Pens to keep the up-and-coming Matt Murray in their net.

Marc Andre Fleury, or Flower to his fans, moved to the expansion team in Las Vegas of all places. He has become the player that the team is built around, bringing years of experience (and shenanigans) to the Knights. It’s my opinion that they really should name him captain and put the “C” on his jersey, because Flower IS the Knights’ captain.

The Pittsburgh Penguins played a good game, but the Knights were just a smidgen better and managed to get a goal up on the Pens. There were two empty netters late in the game, as well, but it was that first goal and Flower’s skillful goal-tending that ultimately won it for the Golden Knights.

While the fans were, understandably, sad to lose it was really inspiring to see how much they still love Flower. He got a standing ovation from Pittsburgh at the end of the game and it was sweet.

We’ve started collecting pucks from each of the games we attend. It’s a great memento.

I’m sad that I can’t embed this video from the Pittsburgh Penguins official Facebook account, but click HERE to see some of the shenanigans that Fleury got up to while visiting his old stomping grounds. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Mother and I returned to the AirBNB exhausted but happy. It was a pretty good game and we had breakfast to look forward to!

Day Three…

Day three brought us to Waffles, Incaffeinated for breakfast. I got the “Benny” or eggs Benedict and mother decided to try out one of their famous waffles with marshmallow fluff. Both dishes were super tasty and made the 10-15 minute wait absolutely worth it. The staff were also great, from the greeter who got us seated to our server who had good suggestions for the menu. A+ experience.

And then we walked about half a mile to our bus stop to wait for the bus to take us back to the airport. On previous trips, we had used Uber or Lyft to get to and from the airport, but it is kind of expensive to do that. When we discovered that the public transit actually has a line dedicated to arrivals/departures, we decided to give it a try.

The public transit system in Pittsburgh is really very good, the buses are frequent and you can use them to get just about anywhere you need to go in the city.

All in all, another great trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and I’m excited for the adventures our next visit will bring.

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