torrie's travels

WHERE WILL I GO NEXT?

Pittsburgh, I hardly knew ye! June 12, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Torrie Schneider @ 4:16 pm

Another day of having to get up to an alarm, but for good reason. I was going to venture out into the Pennsylvania countryside for the day. First stop: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House. I had no idea it was going to be so totally out in the middle of nowhere. When I exited the turnpike, I had no clue what was in store for me! The GPS took me through these 2-lane, very windy and bendy roads through the Allegheny Mountains. It was crazy. I was sure I was going to be lost! But I made it and it was a very scenic drive, so I didn’t mind it!

It only took about 10 mins for my tour to start, which was nice (the website says even if you book for 10:45, which I had, your tour could end up starting 25 mins later than your scheduled time. We met our tour guide down by the house (it’s funny how the website also advises you to wear comfortable shoes because you have to walk .25 mile to the house….BEWARE! Seriously. I suppose some people must complain.)

The house was incredible. Just absolutely incredible. I knew very little about it before I got there and had no real idea what to expect. The way Wright used the nature around it and the painstaking detail just blew my mind. The lines, the materials, the colors. Everything was so great. It was built in 1936-37. It’s rather amazing that it only took 18 months to complete because they sourced the rock from a quarry nearby and used horses to transport it to the house location. They also used all hand tools to build it. Just amazing. Of course I love water, so the sound of the waterfall below was mesmerizing and I would love to live there!

As we left the tour we were directed, very imprecisely, where to go to get the view of the house and waterfall. She said to go right. So I exited the house area and went right (left was back to the visitor center). Well, apparently she meant left and then right. I had a good number of people follow me, so apparently when I look like I know what I’m doing, people will follow! One of the girls joked when we realized we went the wrong way that I’m clearly a leader!

Once we got the right place, the view was stunning. I just can’t get over how someone would have thought all of that up. He was clearly an architectural genius!

After Fallingwater it was time to make my way to the Flight 93 Memorial. I was hoping to stop in a little town on the way for lunch. Too bad all of the “towns” were too small to have a restaurant. So I ended up stopping at a gas station, but they have a kind of fast food place inside. I ordered a turkey sub and fries, which wasn’t very good. But I didn’t have the hunger shakes, so I guess it did its job!

The memorial was very sad, as expected. There were some Christian bikers there and two of them were talking and laughing inside the visitor center, where the exhibit took us through that day. I shot them several “looks” and when that didn’t work, I finally told them to shut up. But nicely, of course. I was holding it together seeing all of this information, watching the President’s speech from the elementary school that morning, and seeing the timeline of what those brave Americans did that morning. That is, until I listened to the three voicemails that passengers left for their loved ones. We all know that there were so many calls made from Flight 93 that morning, but three of them were recorded. Listening to those people say their goodbyes to their loved ones had me in tears and trying really hard not to start outright bawling. “I just love you” was the phrase used by all three of them. I just love you.

After going through the visitor center, I drove out to the memorial/crash site. They’ve done a really nice job in the area and there’s a lovely walking path, but it was almost a mile and I was running short on time, otherwise I would’ve walked. It is a very peaceful area with a paved walking path that leads to a marble wall of the 40 passengers’ names. To left of the wall is a wooden gate that shows the flight path and they keep that area mowed all the way to the boulder that the plane landed in front of. I learned something new today. I didn’t realize that the plane landed upside down. That they had flipped the plane upside down and that’s how it landed. It was a very touching memorial and I think it was very well done.

I then made my way back to Pittsburgh and to Primanti Bros for dinner. Primanti Bros is famous for their sandwiches and is a must eat when in town. I had a turkey sandwich, which comes with cheese, French fries, coleslaw, and tomato. It was HUGE. I had to contemplate how to get my mouth around it to eat it! It was good, but the coleslaw got to be a little overwhelming at the end. But very good and I’m so glad I tried it!

I was able to get back to my room and rest for about an hour before leaving for the game. I know spending the day in the car doesn’t sound like I should need to rest, but I did! Driving for that many hours is exhausting!

It was still very hot when I walked to the game (it had been about 95 earlier that day) and I sat in the outfield bleachers, so I had the sun in my face for the first 45 mins or so. Once the sun went behind the stadium, it cooled down. I was sitting next to two Cardinals fans, in front of two Cardinals fans, and several rows behind about 4-6 Cardinals fans. The usher came up to me, I was sitting on the aisle, and asked if I was alone. I was all, what? He asked again, are you alone? I said, yeeees?? The Cardinals fans behind me said, she’s not alone, she’s a Cardinals fan and Cardinals fans are never alone! I do love the fraternity of Cardinal nation! I still have no idea why he asked if I was alone. At first I thought he wanted to move me or something. Nope. So weird.

The Cards won again, which means they won every game I saw on this trip and all 5 games that I saw in person this year! Clearly, I am their good luck charm!

I loved Pittsburgh a lot, but I barely scratched the surface. I will definitely go back someday. The one sightseeing thing that I intended to do but didn’t have time for was going up on one of the Inclines that look over the city. I just was so pressed for time and exhausted. But I will be back!!

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