Monday, March 6, 2017

Being a Tourist in My Hometown

This past weekend my good friend and I had planned to go skiing at a Resort that's not far from my parent's house in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately with the freakish weather that's been happening, it was too warm to ski.

So, because she has never been to Pittsburgh we decided to still go up anyway so she could experience it.

Now, Pittsburgh is a big 'small town.' It seems like everyone knows everyone and there are so many traditions that are embedded in the city and I wanted Marisa to experience it all. Only things is, we basically only had 24 hours.

We drove up Friday night and as soon as we got in we spent about and hour catching up with my parents and went to bed.

Saturday was the big day and we wanted to get as much in as possible.

We left the house by 10:00 and drove into the city. I live in basically the first suburb outside of city lines so it only takes about 15 minutes to get downtown.

The first stop was basically the most important for her to really embrace Pittsburgh: Getting a Primanti Bros. Sandwich!

These sandwiches are the most famous Pittsburgh dish because they serve French fries and coleslaw on top of the sandwich. I don't exactly know the history of who invented this sandwich or why, all I know is that if someone is visiting Pittsburgh for the first time it's a must-eat.

I got the corned beef sandwich and I basically made Marisa get the capicola (spicy Italian ham) because it's the most renown.

Verdict: SHE LOVED IT!

Pittsburgh isn't exactly the largest city. It's well-known, has a great industry and expands past the downtown limit into many various neighborhoods that embrace different cultures. But, the downtown limits are really only a couple square miles so it's very walkable.

We left Primanti's and did the rest of the day on foot. The first stop was Point State Park. This is the area where all three rivers meet and over looks the city behind us and Heinz Field (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers) right across the river.

Even though we couldn't ski, it was still a rather cold day so we ducked into the Ft. Pitt Museum to warm up and give Marisa a quick history lesson on Pittsburgh.

After leaving we walked along Ft. Pitt Blvd. and crossed the first bridge of the Monongahela River over to Station Square, a popular shopping and eating area that is along the river and has great views of the city.

In this area we were able to get the Duquesne Incline that climbs Mt. Washington: a small mountain that sits right across the river from the city and provides breathtaking views once at the top.

We grabbed a few pictures because you simply have to.


After that we ventured into the neighborhoods right there at the top for a quick café au lait and a cookie.

We decided that in order to truly brave the rest of the walk to the car in the cold we should warm up with a quick beer, and I also introduced Marisa to her first pierogie: another famous Pittsburgh dish that comes from the strong Polish presence in our city. Again, a HUGE hit.

We grabbed dinner with my parents in the North Shore area. This is the area right where both PNC Park (Pirates) and Heinz Field (Steelers) stadiums are. There are a million different bars and restaurants that sit right on the Allegheny River so it's another 'must' area while in Pittsburgh.

To continue to give Marisa the full 'yinzer' experience we took her to Jerome Bettis' Restaurant and Bar for appetizers and drinks (because honestly we were still pretty full from the rest of the day).

After that we met up with my best friends that all still live in the city in Lawrenceville for a night out.

Before leaving Sunday morning to head back to D.C. we got breakfast with my parents at Eat'n'Park: a diner chain in Pittsburgh that serves delicious breakfast that basically every person has been to after Sunday church.

It was a full weekend of Pittsburgh classics that Marisa adored! Also, I got the chance to really experience Pittsburgh. I think we can all say that the places you call home tend to get comfortable to you and you don't explore them for their full value. So, I'm happy to say that this trip home allowed me to be a tourist in my hometown: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

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