Monday, April 9, 2012
Day 10 and 11: Pittsburgh - Serious Heartbreak
There are moments in time that are just horrible and you want them to pass as fast as possible. And then there are moments you just want time to slow down or even stop at least for a while.
After the Pens game time was not good with us. It started running ... running out. And we hated it!
Friday was our last full day in Pittsburgh and it started with a full blown nightmare. I was just busy checking on my work emails to make sure I would not come back to a 1.000 + inbox and uploading pictures for the blog when suddenly a dozen warnings popped up on the screen saying something about hard drive problems and the next second the machine was dead. Again.
And the worst: I had the external hard drive sitting next to me to save my pictures. I was supposed to back up them right after blogging and I did not make it anymore. I might have lost all my pictures from New York to Fallingwater. I will see tomorrow when I can call the tech. Wish me luck.
After dealing with the shock we left home for breakfast at La Prima in The Strip District with Sylvia from Burgh Bits & Bites. It was so good to meet again in person and Sylvia knows so incredibly much about the city and its people that I could just listen to her all day. It took half an hour talking to her and I am already full of plans and ideas for the next Pittsburgh trip - awesome.
After breakfast with Sylvia we had planned to go to the Carnegie Museum of Art to see the Teenie Harris exhibition, but the computer problem, the exhaustion after a really powerful week and Gabi's and mine love for the Strip just made us cancel any further plans. We just stayed where we were. We inhaled the Strip holiday weekend atmosphere, bought Pens, Steelers and Pirates gear, went for lunch at Jimmy & Nino (pasta and meatballs = comfort food) and had some amazing crunchy caramel popcorn from the Pittsburgh Popcorn Company. It was wonderful and the right thing to do although the exhibition is for sure great and I am a bit sad that we missed it, but we just followed our hearts and guts on that last day.
After packing our suitcases we went for our last bigger tour to a small party a little out of of town. I had to fight with my tears almost the whole evening and watched old and new friends showing up with lots of great food, enjoyed the talks, sat by the fire in the garden and looked up into an insanely beautiful nightsky full of stars and a huge full moon. Unreal. Thanks a lot to Burghbaby for the incredible last evening.
Back to the city we went for a short stop at the Brillobox to say good bye to Justin Hopper at the Pandemic Party and had to call it a night then because a huge travel day was waiting for us on Saturday.
Neither Gabi nor I could really sleep. We woke up almost every hour and our hearts got more and more heavy.
Saturday morning the weather was even better than the day before. The cold wind was gone and only pure spring sunshine was left. Pittsburgh got its shit together to make the good bye as hard as possible, that's for sure.
To get our fix of coffee we went down for a last time to Espresso A Mano and Matt was not exactly helpful with making leaving easier. He drew even more pretty flowers into the milk foam as usual (and different ones for each of us), toasted the chocolate pastries and gave us some Espresso A Mano shirts matching our travel mugs we will carry around Europe now until we can get them filled with Matt's coffee again. Holy shit .. it was so hard to go to Roberto to drive to the airport.
As beautiful it is to get into town via Fort Pitt Tunnel so painful it is leaving the city this way. I was very busy with driving, looking at the skyline against the baby blue morning sky and trying hard to not to cry. Then the tunnel sucked us in and Pittsburgh was gone. OUCH!
But we were not done yet. When we arrived at the rental car return to say good bye to Roberto (good boy - I miss you!) I passed the keys over to Steve from the rental car company. Yes, I know his name. Why? Well, because we were still in Pittsburgh and not some random airport where the rental car staff wordless takes the keys and hands you the final bill. Steve saw my Mario Lemieux Foundation hoodie, liked it a lot and a minute later we were in the middle of the best hockey and Pittsburgh talk with him and his colleague. We chatted for awesome 30 minutes and I left with another issue of "Icetime" as a farewell gift from the two gentlemen, the best wishes for a quick return and a heart full of LET'S GO PENS!
That is why I LOVE PITTSBURGH! There is no other place like this. Period.
The flight back home went smoothly but it was a long ride from Pittsburgh to New York (where I spent some money on data roaming to follow the Pens : Flyers game on the Pens app) to London to Munich. At least the entertainment system worked this time and in my helpess attempt to understand baseball (one day, one day I will make it ... I hope) I watched "Moneyball". That was a pretty good movie, but a bit awkward to watch when your own team is "rebuilding" for 19 seasons now and running on a relative low moneyball aka budget. But hey .... passion is all what counts and so it's of course LET'S GO BUCS! (And the just beat the Phillies on Easter Sunday - YAY)
Gotta get my heart healed now from the pain of leaving and have to save some serious money, because the good thing is: Pittsburgh is going nowhere and I know where to find it. My return is only a question of time. And I am quite sure if things will work out I will not travel alone, because Gabi, who is now in Austin enjoying the next stops on her extended trip with her husband, left a piece of her heart in Pittsburgh, too. Who could understand that better than me ...
All Polaroids by Gabrijela Obert