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Monday, July 26, 2010

Europe Day 1, Pittsburgh : A Night in the Burgh

Ms. Dancer and I arrived in Pittsburgh today on our first leg of what I will refer to as "Our Great European Trip", 3 girls, 25 days and eight cities across Europe. Ms. Pool Shark, our third musketeer for this vacation, picked us up from the airport and reality finally set in, we really pulled it off, a whim spoken over the phone a month ago resulted in a successful execution of our frantic planning, this was really happening, we are GOING.

I have not been back to the Burgh since I moved away five years ago and that statement right there makes me shiver, time seems really to be moving faster. I remember being a kid sitting in school really believing that summer would NEVER COME, now the summer’s wiz by with seemingly increasing speed. My mother has always said time moves quickly; as I get older her advice makes more and more sense.

Because I have not seen the city in so long Ms. Pool Shark swung by The Overlook, a vantage point on the outskirts of the city where you can get amazing views of the rivers and bridges.

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MS. DANCER, ME AND MS. POOL SHARK

Pittsburgh really is a beautiful little city, take out the freezing cold weather and the terrible driving roads and I may have just stayed a bit longer. Thankfully the weather and sun cooperated nicely today. We managed to hit the outlook point about an hour before sunset, one of my all time favorite times to take landscape photos. Everything was bathed in the rich tones and the vista was stunning.

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THE VIEW OF PITTSBURGH FROM THE OUTLOOK

Standing there the nostalgia crawled on my back and latched onto the side of my body like a kitten digging it's claws into my soft skin; a painful, touching and bittersweet moment where I remembered growing up in this city from a scared little girl to an independent confident woman. Looking over that cliff I thought about time, the hard lessons I have learned and the blessings of the wonderful people I have in my life.

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SO MANY MEMORIES

Since we were only together in Pittsburgh for the evening we had limited time to spend cavorting to all our old haunts. After deliberating we decided to have dinner at Primanti brothers, a sandwich that I crave and could never quite replicate and that you can only find in Pittsburgh. Yes I have been obsessing about a sandwich for five years but I am not crazy, you would too if you had ever tried its deliciousness.

My husband and I had a debate where I insisted that the sandwiches would taste as mouth-wateringly excellent as I remembered, he however insisted that time has warped my obsession with this particular sandwich and that unless I was going to drink a staggering quantity of alcohol that it would never compare with my high expectations. As a matter of fact ‘living in fantasy land’ I believe were his exact words.

Well I would like to let you know that I was right and he was wrong, I only have to point this out because it is not often the case when we have a disagreement. He unfortunately is generally correct, a phenomenon that I blame my impulsive, jump to the first conclusion, go with my gut nature. He has a more methodical well thought out way of analyzing a situation. In this we are well suited opposites but that is not the point, the point is that I was correct THIS time!!!!

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WORLDS BEST SANDWICH, THEY ARE NOT KIDDING

That sandwich was so incredibly mouth wateringly delicious that I am sure to spend the next five years obsessing about it. I did have the thought to offer the worker behind the counter a twenty to spill the beans on how the sandwich was made, what EXACT ingredients went into making it so I could make my husband memorize it and then make me one EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LFIE. However sanity invaded my fantasy and the thought of dissecting the magic into a grocery list and a quick how to list would ruin the sandwich forever.

After getting that food high we headed down the street to Smokin’ Joes. Ms. Pool Shark and I met here circling the pool table, hence her nickname on this site. Both of us were pool hustler’s intent on walking into a bar and beating everyone who tried to play. Very rarely do you find a lot of women on the table and generally if they do play they SUCK. We were both surprised to see the other, a kindred billiards lover in feminine form.

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MS. POOL SHARK KICKING MY BUTT AT POOL

Even more surprising than finding another female that loves to shoot pool was the fact that we are kindred spirits. That night we fell head over heels into friendship. Eight years later we are still close, or as close as we can with her living in Pittsburgh still and me living in LaLa land. I am still working on getting her moved out to Los Angeles but it is an uphill battle!

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MS. POOL SHARK AND I, KINDRED SPIRITS

Smokin’ Joes was a bar we continued to frequent a few times a week for years, a bar that we eventually introduced Ms. Dancer to, a bar that has housed many secrets, tears, celebrations and unforgettable nights. Although tonight we didn't have quite the same night as we would have had five years ago with us all being older, married or almost married girls, we still had an awesome time peppered with excitement for our upcoming trip.

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THE GREAT EUROPEAN TRIP TEAM

2 comments:

paul peggy zeus said...

I just saw this restaurant on TV last night!! So weird. I know you have great memories of this city and also some that are not as great. I'm glad you took time to reminisce about growing up here. The shots of you and your girls make the landscapes pale in comparison!! You are all so gorgeous!

lilmansworld said...

Age works in everyone's advantage I think and you three are a testament to that. I cannot wait for all the pics and stories that will come spewing from the screen!

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