Sep 27, 2010
|Sunday, September 26th – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I had a nice conversation with my girls today! “Devon has a new voice” says Courtney all excited! Adults call it laryngitis! And she loves Hebrew school.
We ended up with at least 10 rigs at Wal-Mart last night, plus several 18 wheelers. A delightful group! And the thermometer had dropped 20 degrees. We started the morning with 2 hrs at the Bloomsburg Fair nearby. It is a rather large facility so we did a quick walk around, just long enough for me to get my funnel cake (I wonder what food group it falls in?)…..
Then we drove to about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh/Pittsburg (we have seen it spelled both ways) over some very bumpy roads. After arriving it took ½ hr to find my computer mouse, which I leave on the counter behind the computer. Now, we know it can’t disappear. Allan was afraid it was crushed when he opened the slide. It was eventually found behind & under the couch which nearly broke his arm while searching.
This unusual RV Park is situated on a large grass covered plateau, no trees. The owners have 100 acres with a home at the entrance that is a mini Old Faithful Inn!!! The home is all custom, log cabin style but larger, high ceilings with log beams, all wood, large “great” room & fabulous custom cabinetry. I was blown away when I walked into what is usually a small office/registration area. They also have a stage/performing area that they have used for music concerts & other events. Not bad for a Passport America Membership Park which is $20./nite for this one! We selected it because it is the closest to the city. When we were hooking up to the utilities the owner said to just let the gray water run down the hill…. El Z. would have been very happy here. In others parts of the country this is an absolute no no!
Tomorrow…. Beautiful downtown Pittsburgh!
Monday, September 27th – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Off we went bright & early for our double tour of the city. I am happy to say I was pleasantly surprised & very impressed with the city. It is very neat & clean, flowers & greenery are well placed. They have a 30 yr old Mayor who has been in office 2 yrs!
Though originally known for being a coal & steel city & being totally socked in by the soot, smoke, pollutants & not being able to even see the sun…. there are no more foundries or factories here any more. He says they were all sold to China, literally lock, stock & barrel!
We had a 2 hr morning & then a 2 hr afternoon Trolley tour. There were only 4 of us since it was a wet, rainy, socked in day! But the driver/guide was super great!!! Our tour included:
We rode one of the 17 original Incline Cars up the Mt. Washington Hill to the West End Elliot District which gave us a fantastic view of the city.
The 5 enormous all glass PPG buildings which were build in 1983 using Pittsburgh Plate Glass & are situated in a plaza arrangement with a fountain in the center.
The Oakland area to the east has the University of Pittsburgh (28,000 students) with the Heinz Memorial Chapel & its’ incredible stained glass windows.
We had a special tour of the Neo Gothic style, Cathedral of Learning Building & many of the 27 different nationality themed classrooms. This totally blew me away!!! The rooms are not just decorated in the themes but the walls, ceilings, floors, seating, is all custom coordinated to the nationality. The building’s main floor, with its’ high ceiling, is like the inside of a large cathedral. It has chairs & tables & is a huge study hall. This is a most amazing building to see. Classes are in session so there were students everywhere!
Carnegie Mellon University (a premier private engineering school at $60,000/yr). A very high percentage of students are Asian.
Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood fame is from Pittsburgh & there is a memorial & statue in his memory along with an Andy Warhol Museum.
The Pittsburgh Steelers & Pirates stuff is all over the place!!!! We saw the new Heinz Stadium. The city has many wealthy philanthropists going back to the days of pre-taxation & the heydays of the coal & steel industries so donations of large amounts of money have been available to build & keep the city looking fabulous.
The Allegheny & Monongahela Rivers meet here in the middle of town to form the Ohio River which flows to the Mississippi River. The rivers are what made the coal & steel easy to transport.
The Primanti Brothers Restaurant is historic & famous for its’ humongous sandwiches, originally made for the steel workers to eat in one sandwich & is stacked high between their thick fresh rolls or bread with several meats, cheese, French fries & cole slaw. They are big!
Pittsburgh has its’ own “Bridge of Sighs” like in Venice, Italy! It crosses the street between the Court House & the old jail. It looks just like in Venice!!!
Many of the areas we toured has classic old homes, mansions & old buildings dating back to the 1800’s. So glad we stopped here. It was well worth it & we could have spent more time.