animal lover, gardener, knitter, and gourmet cook

pittsburgh, pa

Brian, Jacob, and I spent a long weekend in Pittsburgh. Sort of a pseudo-vacation if you will. Here are the details:

Carnegie Museum of Natural History & Carnegie Museum of Art

These two places go hand-in-hand because they are in the same building. Basically, the Museum of Natural History is the “dinosaur place” and pretty much the reason we went there. I had forgotten how cool the dinosaurs were. We didn’t catch much of the Museum of Art because, as you might recall, we took a 4 year old with us. Though we did manage to walk through the section labelled “Adult Content”. We peeked in and saw a bunch of nude statues and said “what’s the big deal about that?”. Of course while peeking in, we couldn’t see the pictures of all of the pole dancers on the walls. Oops. Oh well, it’s nothing he hasn’t already seen on the Sopranos.

I should preface my next story by saying that there are a ton of glass doors throughout the museums. As we were leaving one area of the art museum, I heard a thunk. It was the sound of Jake’s head connecting with the glass door. Apparently the museum window washers do a fine job, because he did not see the door. I turned around to see what was going on and he yelped “Nufin’ happened!” That, coupled with the mortified look on his face and Brian choking back a laugh did me in. I couldn’t stop laughing. The more I laughed, the madder he got. Poor kid. He’ll probably be scarred for life.

That evening, we were trying to figure out where to eat dinner. Brian didn’t want to eat at the hotel, so we went for a walk in order to find a restaurant. A few blocks from the hotel was Max & Erma’s. Brian didn’t want to eat there either, because we were going there on Sunday before the game. So we walked until we got lost and still hadn’t found a decent restaurant. By this point, Max & Erma’s sounded pretty good. Once we found our way back and settled in at the restaurant, Jake announced “I never want to eat at this restaurant again!”. Little did he know that we were only 2 blocks from the hotel, and not actually one hour away by foot.

Steeler game

We met up with Brian’s parents and our niece Erika at Max and Erma’s before the game. We trekked over to the stadium on foot. It was a bit of a haul to the stadium, but the Steelers pulled out another victory, so it was well worth it. I hate to say it, but the Steelers almost look good this season. I guess we’ll find out what they’re made of once they start playing some real teams. Next week: the Cowboys. That will be a good test. I hate the Cowboys, though, so they better win.

We spent the rest of the evening watching football on the tube. Jake busied himself playing with some toys I bought for the (football-watching) occasion. I bought two toys for our trip. We planned on giving one to him on Saturday night and the other Sunday night. Well, we were sitting around talking on Saturday and didn’t notice that he was looking through our luggage and he found both toys, so we gave them to him then. Booger. But, they did the job and kept him busy Saturday and Sunday evening.

Carnegie Science Center
Station Square

We planned on catching a boat to the science center, but since it’s the off-season, the boats only run on weekends. And, the closest bridge to walk over was under construction, so we had to take the long way around. Why we didn’t just hop in the car at this point, I have no idea. All of the walking we did to that point must have affected our brains. So we walked over to the Science Center. At first, things didn’t look too promising. But once we found the cool stuff upstairs, we practically had to drag Jake out of the place. He had a blast playing with all of the cool stuff and also interacting with the other kids that were there. On thing we all learned is to not go to any more Omnimax theatres. All of us emerged from the movie feeling a bit woozy.

We drove over to Station Square that evening for dinner. I wanted to check out a Japanese Restaurant there, but the menu looked too complicated (I’ve never had Japanese food before and want to try it, but have no idea what to try first) and they didn’t have a kid’s menu, so we nixed that idea. We ended up going to the Hard Rock Cafe and that worked out well. Jake was able to watch TV while we ate (albeit music videos were playing, but TV is TV). Jake had $10 that was burning a hole in his pocket, so he bought a toy garbage truck at one of the toy stores. But, that’s all of the shopping we did because we were all tired from all of the walking.

Andy Warhol Museum
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

The Warhol Museum was pretty cool. We blew through it in about an hour, though because as you might recall, 4 year olds and art museums don’t mix. We had planned on eating lunch there, but their cafe hadn’t opened yet, so we drove over to the Strip District and ate at a really nice restaurant called Roland’s Seafood Grill for lunch.

Next, we made our way to the zoo. Of course, everything was cool there. Unfortunately, seeing the zoo involved more walking. I don’t remember the last time I was there, but I’m sure it was at least 20 years ago. The exhibits were great–very natural looking. And, I really loved the PPG Aquarium. Jake’s favorite exhibit was the sea lions.

You can view our pictures here.