Thursday evening, our original host and backup host in Sewickley (about 15 miles NW of Pittsburgh) fell through, so we got a lift into Pittsburgh a night early, which allowed us to spend more time in the city. Thursday night we went to the local bar, the Squirrel Hill Cafe aka Squirrel Cage with Ian, Evan, his girlfriend Sumi, and her brother, visiting from England. We finally got to enjoy a Pennsylvania national treasure, Yuengling. We planned to explore downtown Pittsburgh the next morning.
Bright and early we left Ian’s apartment in the Bloomfield neighborhood and headed southwest to downtown. The views of the skyline heading in on Penn Ave. were breathtaking. With these views, and the character of the neighborhood, we were really starting to enjoy what Pittsburgh had to offer.
We always ask the locals where the best place for breakfast is, and almost everyone pointed us to DeLuca’s. It was a classic diner, though I think everyone there was a tourist. The atmosphere was nice, and we enjoyed the food too.
We continued on toward downtown, so we could see what it’s like on a work day. The sun was out, and the weather was gorgeous, so many people were about town for lunch. Our final destination was Point State Park, which offers great views of the rivers and skyline, with a fountain as its centerpiece.
Friday night, Ian took us on a walking tour of his neighborhood. We had some great Vietnamese food, local beer, and met some of his friends to watch the Pirates game (baseball).
Saturday morning he gave us a tour of his workplace, the University of Pittsburgh. The leaves were changing colour, and some were falling. “Is It Fall Yet?”, Tim pondered on the quad. The buildings and history of the campus really made the city one of our favourites on the trip.
In the ’70s the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball stadium was torn down to make way for a university building (the one Ian and Evan work in!). The footprint of the outfield wall is still visible in the building, as well as home plate! The last home game played there was against the Chicago Cubs on June 28th, 1970.
Sunday was our last rest day, so we wanted to do everything on our Pittsburgh check list. We didn’t quite have enough time to visit the steepest street in the U.S. (surprised it’s not in San Francisco?), but we were able to take a ride on the Duquesne Incline. We rode to the top of the hill at sunset, and were awarded fantastic views.
We really enjoyed Pittsburgh, and will definitely be back. From the food to the beer, the neighborhoods and culture of the city, it was one of our favorite weekends, and truly felt like a vacation on our journey across America.
Today(s) we walked through:
Tim: 27,396; N/A, and N/A steps
Rebecca: 27,369; N/A and N/A steps
2,785 miles finished