Thursday, September 15, 2016

FH Travels: Pittsburgh, PA (September 2016)

Over Labour Day long weekend, my mom, brother, Mike and I took a little road trip to Pittsburgh. Mike and I usually go to Pittsburgh a few times a year and we always talk about it. My mom and brother have never been and always wanted to go with us. The opportunity finally came along and we  went for two days right before my brother had to go back to school (and Mike had to go back to work!)

This trip was especially exciting for Philip, who is 11, because he has been asking to come for a few years. He even did a project on one of the bridges last year! I told him to go online and do a little bit of research on Pittsburgh and find out what are some fun things to do there. And he did just that! He asked to see PNC Park (which we obviously would at the game), Clemente Bridge, Heinz Field, Point State Park, the Duquesne Incline, and University of Pittsburgh. Well done, broski.

But let's start at the beginning. We left early on Sunday morning and made our first stop at the Angola rest area, which is right past Buffalo. It's a frequent stop for us when we travel down the I-90. We finally got ourselves an E-Z pass for tolls which eliminates stopping for tolls. Woo! We're so excited about this because we are always scrambling for change.

Our next stop was in Erie, PA for Krispy Kreme because there are none around us at home. They are my favourite donuts and very, very dangerous!

After that, we drove straight to Pittsburgh for the Pirates game. We walked across the Clemente Bridge (which gets shut down for the game for pedestrians) and walked around the outside of the park before heading in. We took my mom and brother to the exact spot where we got engaged on the riverfront outside of PNC Park. I loved showing them where I had the most romantic moment of my life.

Philip was so excited for the game and was learning all the players in the car. It was a give-away day and Philip got a free hat that he now wears all the time! The view, of course, was absolutely stunning (best view of all the baseball parks!) and I was so excited to share it with my mom and brother too! The Pirates played the Brewers and ended up losing but we all had a great time regardless and the weather was perfect.

Philip got to run the bases after the game and I think that was probably the highlight of the day for him. I took him down to the field and was referred to as his mom on more than one occasion. Haha, nope! That's what happens when there's a 17 year age gap!

After the game, we headed back to Cranberry (where our hotel was) for dinner. We wanted to give my mom and brother the full Pittsburgh experience so we insisted that we eat at Primatis. Primanti Bros is known for their huge sandwiches with coleslaw and fries on them. A must when in the area!

We love staying in Cranberry which is about 20 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh. It's a little town that has everything you could possibly want (Target!) without the crazy city prices! This time we stayed at the Marriott and Philip was so excited to stay in "such a fancy hotel." He hasn't experienced too many hotel vacations so it was so funny to me that it was such a big deal to him. He loved the room, the pool, the fountain in the lobby, and free wi-fi! The little things!

The next day was all about sightseeing. Our #1 attraction that we wanted to show them was the Duquesne Incline. Because Pittsburgh is a very hilly city, there's a cable car railway to transport people from Mount Washington to downtown. A lot of people use it as regular public transit but I definitely recommend it as an attraction. It was built in 1877 and has the most beautiful view! Oh, and it costs $5 return per person!

The views from the observation deck at the top of the incline are straight off a postcard. There are three rivers that meet in the heart of the city which means there are tons of bridges and it all makes for a very gorgeous view. You could see the golden triangle, the downtown skyscrapers, and the two sports fields perfectly.

Because the Liberty Bridge was closed, we were forced to take some roundabout routes on Sunday. We kind of just worked with the cardinal directions and guessed our way from point A to point B. And I'm so glad that was the case because there's nothing I love more than blindly exploring a foreign city. We got to see parts of Pittsburgh we have never been to before and it was all so scenic and beautiful!

Our next stop was in the University of Pittsburgh. Because Pitt plays in the same conference as UNC, they seem to always be on our TV and Philip wanted to see where we occasionally go to see the Tar Heels play. Of course, we saw the Petersen Event Centre and leisurely drove through the rest of campus to give them a general idea of what it looked like. It's such a nice campus with beautiful stately buildings.

After that, we slowly starting making our way back home. We stopped in Grove City for a little outlet shopping and then again in Erie for Chick-Fil-A (also because we don't have any locally! Tears.) We listened to fun music in the car and had some great conversation. Overall, I we all had a great time and I know that my mom and brother were so happy to visit Pittsburgh and see how Mike and I travel. I really loved showing them around!


  1. Looks like such a fun weekend trip! Love that your mom and brother got to join in and it seemed like your brother really enjoyed it!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  2. What a fun weekend trip! I don't know much about Pittsburgh, but it looks so pretty! I love that you stop where you got engaged - so sweet. Your brother seems like he had a blast - what special memories!

  3. What a perfect trip! I've never been to Pittsburgh, but it looks like there's a lot to do there! And how special that you got to take your family to see where you guys got engaged!

  4. All three of you have the same beautiful eyes!

  5. What a fun trip! I've lived in Pennsylvania my whole life, and in 28 years I've never been to Pittsburgh! I need to get myself over there, looks like a great place! And EZ pass will change your life!

  6. You guys really do go on some fun adventures. :)

  7. What an awesome trip! I love that your brother was finally able to go and that you were able to hit up all the touristy spots!

  8. What an awesome trip! I love that your brother was finally able to go and that you were able to hit up all the touristy spots!

  9. What a fun trip for you all. And so awesome that you got to catch a baseball game. We are huge baseball nuts over here. I love how much you love your little brother. So sweet!! The Incline seems awesome and like it would have beautiful views of the town. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, but now I want to!