Pittsburgh - 2010/04/01 - 2010/04/04

My girlfriend Emily and I decided to take a vacation. Not having any specific plans where, I pulled out a map of the US and we started rattling off city names until we finally agreed on Pittsburgh. We both did some searching online for the cool places to go, and had a decent idea of what were were going to do. Here is the exciting epic that was our trip. Here's a map of the main places we stopped on out trip.

Thursday, April 1st

With the car loaded up, we headed southeast to the berg known as pitts. It's a little over 5 hours to drive, and our first stop was the Doubletree hotel downtown. We took a quick breather and then headed out into the streets to wander. Several people that I talked to though Pittsburgh was a odd choice--I guess they thought Pittsburgh was the ghetto or something. As it turns out, Pittsburgh was a very attractive city. The streets were clean, the riff-raff was kept to a minimum, and there was plenty of gorgeous architecture to look at.

We grabbed a bite to eat at a Greek restaurant called "Salonika Gyros" where I was tickled to hear everyone (including the workers) pronounce "gyros" as juy-ros instead of the correct year-os. That evening, we went to an improv comedy show at the Cabaret theatre. While we were waiting at the bar for the show to start, Emily convinced me to take my first shot of tequila (Patrón). It was palatable, but I think I would have enjoyed a shot of Kool-Aid more, and it wouldn't have cost $9 either. Anyway, the improv was performed by amateurs, so it wasn't side splitting, but it was still funny. After the show, we hit a pizza joint called Giovanni's. I ordered their New Pittsburgh Steel City pizza which is topped with steak, mushrooms, onions, peppers, provolone and mozzarella cheese, fries, and coleslaw. It was delicious!

Finished for the day, we returned to the hotel and slept a wonderful sleep.

One of the many bridges over the rivers.

Looking at the northern side of downtown.

More of downtown.

My typical sexy self.


Our view from the hotel. Mellon Arena looks like a giant boob.

A handsome red-bricked cathedral.

The distant hill domiciles.

Another church. This one looks like Jesus is going to jump off. Don't do it Jesus! You have too much to live for!


Close up of the red-brick church.

The intricate highway system of Pittsburgh. Good luck!

The city is beautiful at night!

A lone car drives down the road in the wee hours of the morning.

Friday, April 2nd

In the morning, we went swimming in the pool. The only reason why I wanted to stay at a hotel was because it had been a long cold winter, and I hadn't gone swimming since before the snow came! After that, we headed to the Inn On the Mexican War Streets, the bed and breakfast we were staying at for the remainder of the nights. Although their web site is pretty gross, the place itself is very beautiful. It is run by two wonderfully gay men named Jeff and Carl. They were very friendly and exceptionally helpful (unlike the staff of the Doubletree). We stayed in the main suite, Mr. Boggs' Room. It was very nice with a great view of the park across the street.

Our first stop was lunch. Jeff suggested several places, and we settled on a German pub called Max's Allegheny Tavern. The place was quaint and the food was magnificent! After lunch we headed over to the National Aviary to check out some evolved dinosaurs. They had quite the collection going on, and they let you get really close to most of them. Then, we hobnobbed around the Historic district for awhile.

Being a nurse, Emily wanted to check out the hospitals, but she settled with talking to some girls in scrubs instead. The girls ended up being X-ray techs (low on the health care ladder, according to Emily), and they said the hospital was great, but the neighborhood was pretty bad. I could tell by their fake tans and $200 haircuts that they had no idea what a bad neighborhood looked like. The historic district of Pittsburgh has its share of abandoned houses, but the area was well-lit, the alleyways were clean, I saw plenty of cops patrolling. I'd love to have these girls spend a night on the north-side of Flint. That would probably give them a heart-attack.

We stopped at Crazy Mocha cafe, and then headed to the Allegheny Commons Park. There were people enjoying the warm weather, picnicking, running, etc. We hangout on the Civil War Memorial for awhile and watched all the people scamper about. As the night came on, we headed to the Andy Warhol Museum. Now personally, I don't care for Warhol. I don't find his work aesthetically pleasing or even that interesting, but Emily wanted to check it out because one of her favorite singers was inspired by Warhol. We walked to the museum and felt out of place the moment we got inside. The lobby was full of scenesters with their scarves and tight pants, sipping wine and pretending to be cool. Emily and I, on the other hand, were dressed in our usual casual attire. I endeavored to keep my opinions to myself as to not spoil Emily's mood, yet, even without my influence, as we moved on she grew more and more disappointed with pop-art. By the end, I think she ended up hating Warhol more than I!

It was very late, but we were still able to get some takeout at a Nicky's Thai Kitchen and bring it back to the bed and breakfast to consume. It was delicious! We stayed up watching Lost In Translation, an amazing movie. Well, I stayed up, Emily feel asleep.

The boob in the morning.

More buildings.

Look at this long enough and vertigo will set in.

Mr. Boggs' room.


Different angle.

The park from our window.

A creepy zombie squirrel

Emily posing seductively!


Yeah, I'm effin' awesome!

It's all about the Queen shirts ladies and gentlemen.

Sure it looks like vomit, but this meal was to die for!

Emily's steak salad... and her boobs.


A Steller's sea eagle.

Our national icon, the bald eagle.

This is how close they let you get to the African penguins. You could even touch them, but they think fingers are food.

The other side of their habitat.


The avian evolutionary tree. Evolution is a fact people, get used to it.

This nest was made by a hamerkop. The nest is like ten times the size of the bird.

A blurry picture of a hamerkop.

A pretty starling.


A roadrunner!

Another bird with a mouse fetus in it's beak. Yummy!

Feeding time for the pennygwins!

An African grey.


A bright yellow birdy.


Emily loved this sign! That gate is just destroying that poor guy!

Taking a rest before heading out again. Yes, Emily does have clothes on (unfortunately).


I love this logo! That goat is hilarious!

This little boy was pouting because his parentals wanted to leave, so the little girl offered to let him play on her tricycle. Precious!

No, those jeans aren't rolled up, that guy is actually wearing kapris! Well, we were in the gay district.

Some of the park across the street from the bed and breakfast.


Emily sitting on a cannon.

A look up the hills.

I am awesome!

Emily at the memorial.


I just wanted to feel the power between my legs.

The inside of the cannon wants cleaning.

Riding the headless eagle of the Civil War memorial.

The Inn On the Mexican War Streets is really beautiful at night!


Saturday, April 3rd

Breakfast at the Inn On the Mexican War Street wasn't as impressive as some of the B&Bs I've been to, but there was plenty of fresh fruits, cereals, and breads to eat. After breakfast, we hopped on the bus, and headed to the Carnagie Museum of Art and Natural History. We took a quick detour at the Cathedral of Learning and got an amazing view of the university district. The museum was amazingly beautiful. We were only expecting to spend a couple hours in there and then check out the zoo later on, but we ended up spending most of the day there, and we still didn't see everything.

After the museum, we took the bus back to the B&B and got cleaned up for our spiffy dinner at Mallorca, a Spanish restaurant. Parking was valet only, and the valet seriously only took my car 10 feet, but I think they just had it to prevent people from taking up their since the area was quite busy. The food and service was wonderful, but the meals were far too large. They serve 32 ounce steaks, which was fun, but really only a gimmick. It's really not very convenient trying to eat a steak that large on a plate. I would have preferred to pay the same price for smaller portions.

We rode back in style, dressed up, and the convertible top down on. Seriously, the only way to drive through a city is while wearing a suit in a convertible. We felt like a million bucks for our last night in Pittsburgh.

Looking up at the Cathedral of Learning.

This is how I want the front door of my house to look.

Gazing down at the puny ants.

I wanted to spit on the sun bathers.


Buildings as far as the eye can see.

More stuff.

Fools! You will all perish in flames! Bwa ha ha!

A dino outside the Carnagie Museum.


A young T-rex. I could have taken him.

Couldn't they just use wall paper?

Don't any sphinxes have noses?

Those Greeks had too much time on their hands.



The Creationists nightmare: Radiometric dating!

Evolutionary trees give me such a hard-on.

That's a serious sulfur crystal.


A monstrous mass of malachite.

Myriad marvelous minerals.

Tons of tiny tourmalines.

A gator-like dino.


Ima eat-choo!

A silly stegosaurus.

Carnivores are so cool!

A long photo-mosaic I made from this long dino!


That's quite the big bone I've got there!

He needs CPR, STAT!

Oh, it's on!

A triceratops just hanging out.


Mammal cage part I.

Mammal cage part II.

Mammal cage part II.

Mammal cage part IV.


The dino fight from on high.

Zombie Jesus?

Jesus was a nose picker.

I absolutely adore this painting! My picture didn't turn out well, so I stole this guy's.


This modern "artist" hand-painted the date every day for fifty years. I mocked it, and a security guard tried to convince me that such dedication was reason to call it art. I've been taking a dump every day for the past 30 years, maybe he would call that art too?

This is wonderful. It's meant to show kids what the real animal looks like for those based on cartoons, so they put a bunch of corpses in a display case. I'm sure plenty of kids got nightmares from this!

More long dinos from up high.

We passed this beautiful cathedral on our way back.


Waiting for the bus.

Still no bus, but when it did come, a fellow Pastafarian commented on my shirt.

Emily looking damn-fine.

Yeah, I rock. As usual.


There was another picture where I looked silly, and Emily looked normal, but this is my web site, so I make her look silly!

We look damn good!

Don't hate the playa, hate the game.

These steaks were just a bit too big.



Sunday, April 4th

We got one more breakfast at the B&B, packed up the car, and hit the road. We snapped a couple more pictures on our way out of town.

Both Emily and I really enjoyed our vacation. Pittsburgh has a lot of culture and a lot of fun things to do. I hope to enjoy it again in the future and see all of the places we didn't have time for.

A note in the bathroom about the mansion's ancient plumbing.

You can't from the picture, but the front door is as wide as two normal doors, and solid wood. Very swanky.

One of the more attractive buildings on our way out.

One final look back at the sky line.