It's 5.40 am in the morning and I am wide awake, but that's fine. I went to bed last night at 10.30 pm and that means I had comfortable 7 hours of sleep. That's more than usual and I feel good. It's just a very mild form of jetlag.
Yesterday my friend Gabrijela and I traveled around the globe to ... Pittsburgh! "Again????" I hear some people asking and I say "Yes, again." Last time in April we had a fantastic time but there's so much to do here that a week is too short and I can tell you already that we won't cover it all with this additional week, too. It is a relatively small city but it has so much to offer for travelers that it is almost unreal and the people are just great. We can't wait to meet with our lovely friends again. Our nights are planned out like crazy - and we love it.
But back to the start. When we started the trip in Munich I was kind of confused. I mean, we had decided for this trip right when we were back from the last one. We had booked it in August, we had planned it out over the last couple of weeks. I knew it was coming just my soul did not get it until the last leg of the trip, but then it kicked in: HAPPY TIMES!
But let's go back to the flight first. This was the first transatlantic flight with US Airways and I cannot really say anything bad. Yes, the plane was packed and the room little, but the entertainment system worked, staff was nice and efficient on ground and in the air, the food not worse than anywhere else and the flights were both in time. The last leg from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh arrived even before schedule. Oh - and our luggage arrived just fine, too - with us. I learned to cherish that.
On the transatlantic flight I checked the entertainment system and found in the HBO section "24/7 Rangers vs. Flyers" . "Great!", I thought. Since I do not have HBO at home I had watched just bits of it and I love 24/7. So that was much choice.
What I did NOT realize early enough was that this was the episode that is for the first half not Rangers/Flyers but Pens/Flyers. So pretty much in the beginning it starts with the bus of the Flyers coming out of Fort Pitt tunnel. And then my heart burst into pieces ... our locker rooms, our home ice, our team on the ice. That was when I started to blink. When James Neal scored on that stupid TV documentary and skates towards the camera arms up cheering .... I burst into tears. In an airplane. In public. Okay .. I am a silent crier and I wiped it off right away, but I could not really stop it. This lockout - I cannot deal with it! I really cannot! On a related note: It was big fun to rewatch Rupper kicking Flyers' butts and doing the Jagr salute on top. WE LOVE YOU RUPPER!
Then I watched "Unstoppable", because it was made in Pittsburgh and it has a lot of Pennsylvania in fall shots. It was okay. I like Denzel Washington and it was really nicely made - but you kind of know that they will catch the train. It's that kind of movie.
In Philadelphia then I had the nicest and funniest immigration procedure ever. The guy was cute. REALLY cute which made it already much more fun. When it was my turn I approached his booth and he looked at me in my Pens hoodie.
He: "Going to Pittsburgh?"
He: "How long? Why do you come to the US? (Note: He had to ask that - part of the procedure) And ... why Pittsburgh?
Me: "8 days. I am here for vacation. It's a great city and I want to see my friends."
He: "Aha, okay. And by the way: Boo Pens."
Me: "BOO Flyers."
He: "That's mean."
Me: "YOU started it."
He: "True. Have a great time in the US!"
Me: Thank you :)
Funny and cute this Flyers fan and we were laughing through the whole thing. During that time he managed btw to do all the regular stuff like taking the picture and doing the finger prints and checking the passport and the online visa.
Changing flights was easy and we had enough time. The flight from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh then was REALLY nice. The weather was beautiful and so where the sights. And FINALLY I sat on the right side of the plane (left hand) to see downtown from the airplane. Gabi and I were staring out of the window and Good Lord .... this city is SO beautiful! Sadly the pictures were not good due to the evening sun reflections.
In Pittsburgh we got our bags and picked up the car. It's a black Toyota. Not as nice as Roberto, but okay - kind of the same compact size. This time we have a Garmin GPS and Gabi gave the girl the name "Karla" for her not to be mistaken with the unfamous Suzy from the last trip. Karla seems to know a bit better how it goes than Suzy, but I hesitated to follow her because I wanted to go on the downtown side of the Allegheny and not the Northside because of that nasty road construction and 31st bridge detours. But Karla and I worked it out. She is at least much faster recalculating than Suzy. Fact is .... to get to Lawrenceville from the aiport I do not need a GPS anymore. I can do that alone. Ha!
About 8.30 pm we arrived then at Julie Ransom's lovely Briarwood B&B near the Childern's hospital where we enjoy two beautiful rooms, bathroom and kitchen. It's nice and cozy and Julie gave us a warm welcome. After the first test I can also approve my bed - I slept very well.
So all .... set for a great week in Pittsburgh! There's a lot on our plan for the next days and Gabi will do her famous polaroids again to bring in some extra fun to the blog posts. Stay tuned ....
Pennsylvania from above:
They have some really cool clouds here. Big ones that look like spaceships and very tiny and cute ones:
My cozy room: