Last Sunday Troy and I packed up the car and took off for a much-needed mini vacay to Pittsburgh.
Why Pittsburgh? We wanted to plan a end-of-the-summer trip somewhere we had never been, within driving distance, and preferably where the Tigers would be playing. But most of all, I wanted to meet up with some new friends for a visit to their hometown.
If you are a Weddingbee follower, you might remember Mrs. Palmtree AKA Stephanie. Steph was the very first bee of the Honeymoon Generation, and I was the second. We bonded over wedding planning, but truly became close friends afterwards, chatting randomly on Facebook about jobs, houses, and furbabies. Steph and her husband Jon invited us to come to Pittsburgh and it was the perfect way to finish out the summer.
We drove the 5-hour journey without stopping once (!!) and arrived in time for a dinner reservation at Meat & Potatoes. The four of us found that we love sharing food, so we ordered a few small plates and dug in. A marathon of a meal, this was the perfect introduction to Pittsburgh!
From top left: flatbread pizza, poutine, charcuterie; pork belly tacos, fried chicken livers, toast and jam; burger with egg, kobe beef corn dog, fried pickles
That night Steph and Jon also took us up to Mt. Washington. For anyone who hasn’t been to Pittsburgh, the downtown area is relatively flat, but cross over any of the multiple bridges and you will find yourself in the hills and valleys of the surrounding area. Mt. Washington offered a beautiful view of the city, as well as multiple bars and restaurants. Here we also met up with Miss Parisian AKA Jess, and the Pittsburgh Honeybee Trifecta was complete!
Monday morning we set out to do some sightseeing. I had planned on going to Craftwork Kitchen for breakfast, but we didn’t quite make it there before 10AM, so it was more like a brunch. They were technically closed when we rolled in at 10:30, but were happy to open up just to make us a couple sandwiches.
We drove over to the base of Mt. Washington and took the Monongahela Incline up to the top, then walked the mile to the Duquesne Incline for the trip back down.
After that we spent some time driving around and trying to avoid the rainclouds. Luckily, by the time we picked up Steph and Jon, the weather was improving and we had sunshine the rest of the day.
Lunch was at the famous Primanti Bros and was more food than I needed, but so delicious.
We walked to the area of bars around PNC Park, met up with Jess and her boyfriend, Alex, and enjoyed some libations and people watching. My favorite stop was Rivertowne Brewing where I got to try some of their Hala Kahiki (pineapple beer) — so, so good. Another new beer on the trip was IC Light — they had a mango flavor I really liked, too! Apparently I like fruity beer — who knew?!
Time for a quick 30-by-30 update: Monday night we took in a Tigers game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. While the game wasn’t so great, the park was beautiful and the pierogies were exquisite!
After the game, we said goodbye to our friends. Even though we’ve known each other for a while, it was never a guarantee that we would get along in “real” life, but I’m so happy we all meshed so well. I hope they can come visit us in Michigan once the house is done!
We were heading home on Tuesday, but not before the customary stops at Chick-Fil-A and the zoo. We love to visit the zoos in the cities we travel to, and the Pittsburgh Zoo was a great addition to the list — not too big, not too small, lots of very active animals.
The drive home was uneventful (lots of NPR), but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the great Asian restaurant we stopped at in Toledo on the way home. QQ Kitchen was packed (well, there are less than twenty seats in the whole place), and we soon understood why — Y-U-M. Check it out if you are in the area.
Special thanks to our friends in Pittsburgh for showing us such a good time; to my guest photographer, Steph; and to my personal chauffeur who will never, ever let me drive on road trips.