Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dad and Me

After driving over with me, my father was able to stay for 5 days. And because it was both of our first times in Pittsburgh, we did a lot of exploring! We used my very thoughtful gift from Holly, a tourist book of Pittsburgh!
Dad, Admiring the CMU campus

Day one (Tuesday): Mostly spent unpacking my stuff and getting supplies for the room. At some point we made it over to CMU for the first time. Of course we had no idea where we were going... so we just wondered. We were able to find a campus map, and we were able to find the many engineering buildings, not that it was very helpful, because there was not much to see in them. But it was a very fun self guided tour of the campus. That evening we decided to go find some Mexican food in a city that was very far away from Mexico (or the Tri Cities). We ended up going to a place called Mad Mex, a place that labeled themselves as "West Cost Mexican." It was interesting. Fairly far from La Fama. It was a good place, but not very Mexican. My enchiladas had zucchini in them, tasty, but not what I was looking for. After a nice meal we decided to give a self guided driving tour of the town. We had no destination, and we had no real direction. It was very pleasant, until I had to cut the drive short because of a full bladder.

Inside the bathroom at MadMex
Dad and I outside my new home away from home.

He should be more worried...
Day Two (Wednesday): Father and I got up at a very reasonable hour and headed over to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which is located right next to CMU. It was quite the place, highlights included a wonderful and huge exhibit on Gems, the famous Carnegie Dinosaurs, and vivid and dramatic dioramas of wildlife. I would highly suggest it to any person visiting Pittsburgh. This is a side story, but it is important: As we were driving on Monday, my academic advisor e-mailed me and asked if we could meet on Tuesday. Well I did not get my computer set up in time to see it, so I missed the meeting, he then sent another request to meet on Wednesday. (I will go more in to this fiasco later) Because of awkward communication mix-up, I was not sure if he was going to still want to meet at that time, but I wanted to err on the side of him being there. So I left Dad in the museum to go find this professor's office on campus. I was able to find the office, however he was not there (which was fine, I actually expected this). So I wandered around the building for a bit (the Gates Center, it is HUGE!). An older PhD student in the computer science department approached me and pointed me in the direction of their (I say "their" because I am in ECE not Computer Science) graduate coordinator. She was able to give me a lot of information that I was wondering about, and sent me off to get my student ID card. After getting a horrible picture taken (it was hot out side... I am all sweaty) I decided I was done dealing with school and headed back to the car. We had parked in Schenley Park where there was a farmers market assembling themselves. Now from what I remember in the Northwest all of the Farmers Markets started fairly early in the morning. Apparently here they all start in the middle of the afternoon, weird... I was able to get some corn and a cucumber for dinner that evening, and I met back up with dad, who apparently had a wonderful time continuing to explore without me. We headed back home for a great meal prepared by Larry. He made his Kabobs, with corn and green beans. It was wonderful. After dinner, Dad and I played an intense game of Carcassonne, which he won by 2 points!

 Day Three (Thursday): This was a great day for exploring Pittsburgh. After I dealt with school drama, we headed to the famous Primanti Bro's Sandwich shop. I enjoyed a Pitts burgher Cheese steak (their 2nd most popular item, after beer) and dad had a Pastrami sandwich. The unique feature of these sandwiches is their size and unusual inclusion of coleslaw and French fries inside of the sandwich. To my discomfort they use peperoncinis somewhere in the sandwich, something that my body decided it did not like, and I suffered through a little allergic reaction, with itchy
spots popping up all over my upper half. After I recovered we headed over to the famous Duquesne Incline (yes, just for Chelsea, a funicular). Amusingly we drove up the mountain to the top of it, instead of to the bottom and riding it to the top, we were a little confused as to the directions. At the top station there is a great museum of Pittsburgh and how it has grown over the years. Outside there is an amazing over look of the city, this is also certainly a must see for visitors. We took lots of pictures. From here we headed to the area known, I think, as the north shore. That evening at 7 ish we were going to be attending a Pirates game, but we got there around 3, so we wondered the downtown area where we happened to be. We admired some architecture, and some bridges (because of the numerous rivers this city has a bunch of bridges). We made it to the confluence of the Monongahela and the Allegheny rivers, and took a plethora of pictures just for Gramps. This moseying was all very fun and enjoyable, we took in a lot of that area. This whole time we had been walking around PNC Park (where the Pirates play) which made it easy to get to the game. First, it is a great, new, modern ball park. It is very well laid out, and very comfortable. Second, Dad got us great seats. We were about 15 rows up from the field, and almost directly behind home plate. The right field of the park opens up to a view of the downtown area just over the river, great sights! The Pirates however are not the best team, and ended up losing, but it was still a great evening.
Look! The Confluence!

Day Four (Friday): I had orientation (I will post about that later). Dad however had a great time. I am not 100% sure where he went, but I know that he made it to what is called the Strip District (don't worry mom it is not the risqué type of area). I was told stories of a great History museum and really interesting foreign shops. 5:45 ish he made it back to CMU to pick me up. We went back home and found Larry and took him to Friday night pizza at Vincent's Pizza Park. It reminded me of a shadier 5 mile heights pizza, with great pizza! It was a very good last night, very relaxing, good company.
Look at the Pizza!
Day Five (Saturday): Sadly at 4:45 in the morning I had to drive Dad to the airport, bringing a close to our awesome trip.

Hey! Look! More Pictures!


  1. Please tell me photo 17 is for Bob. :) More great stories and pictures, thanks! Were you ever able to meet up with your advisor? The funicular there looks weird. Not at all like the funiculars I know. What is keeping them flat?

  2. Water Buffalo! I am glad that you got it!

    What do you mean flat? The track is about 40 ish degrees to horizontal. The cars are sort of like a normal rail car sitting on top of a triangle. So the Hypotenuse is running along the track and the long leg is touching the car.

    And no. I have a meeting tomorrow an hour before my first class!

  3. I mean, the cars are horizontal and not parallel to the track.

    Good luck at your meeting!!!

    We were at home today and dad showed us more pictures. Looks like the two of you had a great time.