This blog will be partially my review of Pittsburgh and partially details of my trip. Going to the Steel City was more than a vacation away from life and checking out somewhere new it was also checking out the possibility of moving. As much as adore Asheville I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about the big portion of my life spent at work and have contemplated the idea of moving somewhere else in which a better paying job would be much easier to obtain. With my family all on the east coast I have decided I want to stay within a somewhat reasonable drive from my parents thus limiting my options. I have stared at maps and set my brain on overdrive and Pittsburgh came up as a high possibility but I needed to visit and that it what I did, partially for pleasure and partially to scope it out and see if it is somewhere I could see myself.
With my new job time off is very limited so I was able to take off two days giving me a 4 day weekend. What a trip to Pittsburgh in 4 days? Via car? Yep, it sounded a little crazy and well I am 🙂 Plus I didn’t want to wait a few more months to be able to take a longer vacation. I wanted to know more about Pittsburgh. Now.
So day one I spent a fair portion driving up. It’s a pretty drive through the Appalachians driving a few hours through familiar territory in Virgina and West Virginia and eventually making it up to Pennsylvania and arrived at my fancy hotel, the great Travelodge, around 3pm.
My travel companions Fred (my car) and Yoshi (my bike).
After unpacking a little and freshening up I was ready to do some exploring! So off Fred and I went to check out the city! Before even making it to downtown I ended up getting lost in a neighborhood but then saw some handy signs for “West End Overlook” and figured I should follow. So I followed and was rewarded with this:
Well it was time to make it down there, where the big buildings were. So I finally did. I had done a fair amount of research and had several neighborhoods and places I wanted to explore. I reached downtown crossing a bridge over the Allegheny River (I think that’s right, the Allegheny and the Monongahela rivers converge and form the Ohio). I drove around getting lost again but eventually finding my way around and enjoying all of the sites. I do refuse to get one of those stupid gps units that speaks to me and will rely on my maps (because maps are awesome) and don’t mind getting a little lost as long as it’s all in the fun of exploring.
After I did a little bit of initial checking out of downtown I headed over to the neighborhood of Lawrenceville and found my first brewery, Church Works. It’s located in a beautiful old church but honestly that was its best feature. The beer was decent but not great (yes I’m a spoiled girl living in Beer City, USA) and the food was good. After that I drove around checking out the surrounding neighborhood and eventually headed back to the hotel after the long day. I wanted to get ready for a day of biking the Great Allegheny Passage the next day and unwind a little from the long trip. I did want to stop and get some beer for the hotel room so I went to the grocery store. I learned quickly that many grocery stores in PA don’t carry beer and if they do you must purchase by 8pm and well my clock says 8:45. Crap. Okay I had seen a few places that claimed to be just beer stores. Well lo and behold in the same shopping plaza and it was open! It seemed like everything was for sale in cases and this particular store was small and I was tired so I quickly decided I should buy a case of the local cheap brew, Iron City. Apparently PA has weird alcohol laws as liquor and wine was always in the same stores separate from beer stores.
So I settled into my room with a couple of beers and crashed out early in anticipation of the next day.
To be continued….