On Wednesday night we set off for an adventure that was going to take us on a whirl wind of a trip through 6 states (2 were airport layovers, but we were still in the state!) in 5 days.  To say that I was excited about going to Pittsburgh was an understatement.  Ian and I had been talking about this trip and what we were going to shove into the two days that we were there.  I loved Pittsburgh.  From the minute we landed and I saw the beautiful fall leaves on the trees, it was love at first sight. John and Pat picked us up from the airport and off we went so Max and I could see this city for the  first time.

The buildings are amazing.  The whole city just has character.  There were murals on building walls that were amazing.  The one thing I had a problem with were the roads.  They are windy and curvy and not good for my car sickness.  I was nauseous the whole time, but it was so worth it! Oh and the churches!  There are so many churches and they are huge, amazingly beautiful, spectacular buildings.

We went to the Strip District first and it was awesome.  I loved all the Steelers stuff around.  The city really embraces all their teams regardless of their wins or losses.  I'm pretty sure I stood out and screamed "tourist" with all the pictures I was taking and the excitement coming from me.  We went into this fish place that had tons of fresh fish, all kinds of fish.  Smelly-yes, awesome-yes! We went into a store that had pasta, fresh cheese (I couldn't handle the smell of the cheeses and had to leave), olive oils, olives....rows and rows of amazingness. (I think I'm going to say amazing, excited, and beautiful a lot in this post. )  We ate at Primanti Brothers for lunch.  The sandwiches there are ridiculous and I couldn't wait to get one.  A big yum-o to that sandwich!!  I only ate half, but it was delicious! Heaven. Seriously so good.

We then went to Mt. Washington and the Inclines.  The view was breathtakingly beautiful.  I got my first glimpse of Heinz Field and felt like a kid seeing Santa for the first time. Seeing it on tv is one thing, but to see it in person....you guessed it, amazing!  Max loved the ride up and down the Incline.  It was pretty cool.

Ian set up a tour for us to see the Consol Energy Center where the Penguins play.  The guy giving us the tour was very nice and took us all around the building.  Their building is really modern.  I loved it.   Seeing the ice was my favorite part.  I miss hockey. :(  Max got so excited when he saw the zamboni on the ice.   He was afraid of the huge hockey stick and helmet they have on the concourse.  We still took pictures though :).

On the way back to where Ian's aunt lives we passed the University of Pittsburgh (amazing), and the house John grew up in (now I can picture it when he tells his stories).  We rested up a bit before heading out again to meet up with Nicole and her family.

The next day we set off early to go see the house that Ian and Nicole lived in for the couple years they were in Pittsburgh, and the house Pat grew up in.  On our way Nicole mentioned something about the Dance Moms studio.  I've never seen the show, but when I told my mom that we were going to Pittsburgh she said I should go see the studio.  Jaden is a huge fan of the show (as is his mommy) and he saw the studio before we even noticed it!  When we got there this guy walked up to us and we asked if we could take pictures.  We went to take pictures and on the way back we actually saw Abby Lee Miller the dance teacher.   We ended up getting a tour of the studio.  It was awesome.  I'm going to have to watch the show now so I can see what it's about!

The Pittsburgh Zoo was our next stop.  I'm not a fan of zoos because of all the times I went to the Albuquerque Zoo on field trips, but this zoo is my favorite.  The animals were so close, and we saw a baby elephant and rhino.  The kiddos had so much fun.  Max and Amaya walked just about everywhere and acted like they were 5.  So grown up they are.  On the way back to Aunt Ann's house we stopped at Oakmont Bakery.  There were rows of yummy looking cakes, cupcakes, cookies, breads....sugar heaven.

I still have to talk about seeing Heinz Field up close and personal, the family dinner at an Italian restaurant, Columbus, and Cincinnati.  More to come!!

Max had fun playing at the airport at 10:30 pm.  He was a great little traveler!

Yum. Yum. Yum.

View from Mt. Washington.  Beautiful.

The Inclines!

Just a couple of the murals we saw.

Home of the Penguins!!

My loves.

John's house growing up.          Pat's house growing up.

The house Ian lived in for a couple years.

Dance Moms

Some of the sugary goodness at Oakmont Bakery. 


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