Monday, April 22, 2013

Of dwarfs, delays and a return

St. Stan's in the Strip District

It is that time of the year again. Hockey season end week travel time. Pittsburgh time. Best time of the year time. 

Yes, we are back to travel blogging and we are back to writing about the wonderful city of Pittsburgh and incredibly enough there is STILL so much we did not do, did not see, did not try that we will be busy and buzzing again for the next two weeks. 

But let's start with the not so pleasant part of traveling constantly between Germany and the US - long distance flights. Gabi, who is again my partner in crime on this trip, and I chose again to go the Munich-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh route since it is the easiest and most affordable way to make it to  the Burgh. We started well with a smooth take off in time from Munich. Our seats were fine (as fine as economy class seats can be) and even the food was kind of okay.

I tried to relax and sleep as much as I could, listened to some music and finally switched through the available movies and found "The Hobbit", which I had missed (yeah, I know - shouldn't happen) when it was available at the Cinema (English speaking movie theater) in Munich. I was a bit undecided if it would really need a "The Hobbit" movie afert the epic "Lord Of The Rings" and especially if it would need THREE movies with this one being only part one. 

Well - YES IT DOES!!! It was so much fun - much much more than I thought it would be. Richard Armitage is some damn hot dwarf and Martin Freeman is the perfect Bilbo. Peter Jackson did once again a fantastic job and I felt beamed back into my childhood yelling (only in my head of course) at Bilbo when it gets really dangerous "THE RING, Bilbo! NOW!"  Can't wait for the next part now!

In Phildelphia all went well at first. I had once again a fun hockey discussion with the immigration officer and a smooth go at customs. We made our way through the aiport with plenty of time left and no rush, but when we arrived at the gate our flight had vanished from the boards - canceled. Ugh. Awful.
I left Gabi at the gate and made a run to the customer service center of the airline ready to fight for my right to get to Pittsburgh still at the same day, but that was not necessary. They had booked us on a later flight already. That was the best possible solution for the problem but still - we were traveling a whole day already and the additional hours were plain awful especially since our new flight way delayed, too. 

When we were finally in Pittsburgh it was already after 10 pm local time (4 am Munich time) and I felt like a zombie. Gratefully Kyle, our agent at the rental car station, cheered us up again with some really nice small talk and good jokes and shortly after we were on the road heading "home" to Lawrenceville.
I finally decided to overrule the GPS completely (three times) and chose my route via the Strip District to go to our apartment and it was the shortest and easiest ride from the aiport ever. We barely used the GPS since then and it is really fun to realize in most cases we just know our way. 

It's really weird. Every time I come to Pittsburgh it feels differently. On one hand I am super excited and the next morning when we for the first time drove down our usual way from Lawrenceville to the Strip and the skyline appeared in front of us we were gasping stunned by the beauty one more time. On the other hand it feels like we never left, like it is the most natural thing ever to be here, like just switching from one regular German life into the other equally regular Pittsburgh life. It's so damn good to be back!

The first day - Saturday - we spent with having our first morning coffee at Espresso A Mano, stocking up on the most necessary stuff in the Strip (food and hockey shirts ;))  and having a gorgeous lunch at Bar Marco. In the evening we went downtown to celebrate a friend's birthday and doing a lot of chatting and updating with some lovely people ... again all so normal while all so exciting at the same time. 

The magic is on again  ... 

1 comment:

  1. love that you feel at home here.
    and congrats on getting around without a gps! this town isn't easy. heck, i know people who have lived here for years and still use a gps for practically everything!