In and Around Pittsburgh

The Superbowl* approaching reminded me of a trip I never shared with you.

*For my non sports fan out there, I promise, this is not a post about football.**

**If you know me, you know it is not physically possible for me to write a post based entirely on sports.***

***That is, of course, unless it is about the Special Olympics.

Back in October, when I was still on a bit of a blogging hiatus, we spent a weekend in Pittsburgh with two of Hubby’s coworkers.* As we planned ahead for our weekend away, the sports fans among us demanded we go to either a football or hockey game.

*Who really are no longer coworkers. They have jumped the ranks and become friends.

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We ended up getting tickets to a Sunday Steelers’ game.

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I’ve only been to one other live football game in my life.

And despite being in a new city with good friends, I have concluded I will be perfectly fine if I never go to another football game again in my life.

But I’m a team player and willing to endure the torture of football in order to have fun elsewhere.

And, have fun elsewhere we did…

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We took a bike tour of the city. 

I was a little intimidated by the thought of riding a bicycle around a big city because 1.) I haven’t operated a bicycle in years, 2.) I don’t completely understand all the rules about bicycle lanes*, and 3.) There was a small part of me which feared I’d get lost from the group.**

*Let’s be real, I don’t completely understand the rules about car lanes in the city either.

**An absolutely irrational fear seeing as I have never gotten lost from a group in my entire life.

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PPG Place in Pittsburgh

In the end, my childhood bike riding days paid off and I was able to navigate the city just as well as the rest of the group. I found the tour to be a fascinating way of gaining a snapshot of a city and all it has to offer in only a few short hours.

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We went to Wigle, a whiskey garden & barrel house.

I didn’t think I was interested in whiskey in the least, but after the tour I gained a new respect for the process of distilling whiskey.* Our tour guide was a major history buff and filled us in on the intensely detailed history of Phillip Wigle, who helped start the Whiskey Rebellion.

* I also determined by the end of our tasting that I am not a whiskey drinker.

But, my absolute favorite part of our trip to Pittsburgh was…

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Stopping for a cupcake at Bella Christie and Lil’ Z’s

…the food tour we took!

Up until this trip, I had a bit of an attitude towards food tours. My ultimate worry being that I wouldn’t get enough food to equal the price of the tour*. Also, I reasoned that if one of the stops on the tour really was worth it, I could probably go on my own.**

*I’m just being real here, people. Food tends to draw the realness out of me.

**Except, without going on the food tour, I probably wouldn’t have known about the stop in the first place.

This food tour completely changed my perspective.

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Fried pierogie at Franktuary

We took the Burgh Bits and Bites tour of Lawrenceville, a section of Pittsburgh that a little research told me would be my kind of place.

The six different food stops were spread out within walking distance from one another. They were close enough that our feet weren’t killing us, but far enough apart that we weren’t overly full from stop to stop.

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A street sign reminder I couldn’t help snagging a picture of

Everyone in our group was from Pittsburgh, except us!, which really put me in my place on my preset notions towards food tours. Now I’m ready to take a food tour everywhere we go!

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Waiting for hot dogs at Frankies

While I loved every stop, my favorite was Senti an Italian restaurant where they make all their pasta from scratch and have an automated wine dispenser*. The owner shared about his Italian origins and desire to create a menu comprised of sophisticated Italian flavors.

*Google it. It’s pretty nifty.

I could probably eat there every single night for the rest of my life.

Packed into one long weekend were so many ‘firsts’ which I wouldn’t have experienced it not for friends.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, grab a couple of friends and plan a weekend filled of things you wouldn’t normally do. It’s never too late to try something new.

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