We drove to Pittsburgh and stayed at a Hampton Inn in The Waterfront area. This is a nice area with a couple hotels, a movie theater, restaurants, and shopping. It is also close to Sandcastle Water Park and Kennywood Amusement Park.
After relaxing in the area around the hotel for a bit, we headed over to PNC park for a baseball game between the Pirates and the Mariners. Johnnie is from Seattle and is a huge Mariners fan so we were pretty excited that this game coincided with our trip. To get to the stadium, we caught the bus just up the street from our hotel and had to transfer once.
Pittsburgh is the nearest large city to where I grew up but I never spent any significant time in it. I was impressed with the little bit we saw while walking... impressive and intricate stonework on old buildings, an eclectic mix of architecture, and countless bridges crossing the river.
We had awesome seats for the game... right behind the Mariners dugout and first base! I don't care for baseball on TV but I do love the atmosphere and excitement of actually being at a game :)
Ballpark food is a must at a game! We had it all: beer, hotdogs, peanuts, pretzels, and more beer :)
After the game ended, we stayed and relaxed while the stadium cleared, the field was groomed and equipment was packed up. The videographer in front of us tossed us a baseball that was used during practice before the game :)
We left the stadium and had a drink at an open-sided bar just down the street before catching a taxi back to our hotel. It was nice knowing that Cameron was in good hands with my parents and that we could take all the time we wanted to enjoy the night.
The next day, we went shopping!!! We started at REI (none of those in Hawaii) and hit up a few other stores near it in the SouthSide area before heading back to the Waterfront area where Johnnie went to see a movie and I continued to shop for many hours. There is no sales tax on clothing in Pennsylvania and the prices cheaper than in Hawaii so I had a great time! I bought some summer clothes to wear year-round here in Hawaii and I also bought new running shoes and running clothes. Our suitcases were packed to the max on our flight back to Hawaii!
After the long day of shopping, Johnnie and I walked to a nearby restaurant, Mitchell's Fish Market, for dinner. We had some great seafood and ended with a special coffee drink and a ginormous piece of carrot cake (literally 8" high and 5" wide) which we couldn't finish despite our best efforts.
Our nights in the Burgh were a fun little getaway in the middle of our trip and a nice little break from parenthood... at least a break physically, not mentally :)
"A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz."