Thursday, January 27, 2011

More, in honor of Dr. King

 Last weekend was awesome! (and by last weekend, I mean two weekends ago... it has taken me a while to write this.)

The fun started with a little sledding fun on Flagstaff hill with some of the YadGrad group. You would think that for a town built on crazy hills, there would be plenty of sledding opportunities. This is false. Any clear area they have built something in the way! And we all know that sledding down the middle of the road is a bad idea... so I we were able to go to Flagstaff, right next to CMU, a rather long and easy slope. People had previously been there, so the snow was packed down and jumps were already constructed. Which we hit. A number of times. Including a fiasco of a last run: So there were 4 of us. And we had two long sleds. So it was obvious that we had to do a group run, two people in each sled, legs connecting the two sleds. This was also going to be our last run, so we had all of our stuff with us. Like a saucer sled that I was carrying... on my lap... obstructing my view completely... and someone (I am not naming names) decided it would be a good idea to aim for the jump. I heard some worried yells, then peaked out behind my shield. Saw an impending doom, and put my feet out to try to stop us. That didn't have the effect I was looking for. Trying to stop a 4 person super sled with your feet just causes a bunch of snow to fly up in to your face. So we landed about 3 feet from each other on the other side. Awesome!

Yep. Gwyn brought a bowl to sled in....
 The next notable event was after yadgrad on sunday. Seeing as none of us had work the next day, a special gathering was in store. I got to experience another Pittsburgh thing: Eat'n Park. I don't really know much about this place, other than it is like Sharris, but local to Pittsburgh. And people have a little bit of a love hate thing going with it. The consensus was that no one liked the food, but everyone likes going there... and they have Smiley Cookies! Their trademark. And for the Steelers, they only had yellow and black ones. It was suggested that I got Grilled Stickies (apparently also unique to Eat'n Park). More or less a giant slice of Cinnamon roll that is cooked like french toast, in this case served with ice cream:
Mmmm... Apparently the sauce is key.
 I was also told that I had to get a Smiley cookie, so I did. The outing was awesome, lots of laughing, lots of stories. It was a great end to a week.

Ah... Yeah...

On The Doctors celebrated birthday, I got the pleasure of going to a 'sacred' place. Or at least a sacred place for someone. The Ashland University Art professors were showing some of their art, Gwyn (being a alumnus of the program) wanted to go check it out. So early Monday morning, we set off to Ohio. This would be the second time driving out of the city since moving here. It was great. Toll roads the whole way to Ohio... silly tolls. The drive was sunny and full of great music and equally good conversation. On the way we stopped at Swenson's a burger place (not to be confused with Swensen's Mom..) in Akron Ohio.
It reminded me of a classy old school Sonic, with way better food. Like if Zips got their act together and ran the food out to your car. Shortly after lunch, we happened past a Lama farm. Supposedly Lamas are not common in PA, and thus we had to stop and take pictures... and talk to them.

Eventually we got to Ashland, the whole drive, Gwyn was calling/texting people who might be in the area to let them know that she was on her way. When we got there, we met up with Dan! Who gets an exclamation point, because he is a cool guy. First stop was the art gallery, I would have taken pictures, but I didn't know if it was kosher to... so I didn't. There was some really cool pieces and some that I didn't really get... but hey I am an engineer, I am not supposed to 'get' art. From there on I got the VIP tour of Ashland University for two rather excited and proud Alumni:
That cool. (if you cannot tell, they are pointing to 'Alumni')
From my perspective, Ashland is roughly right in between Whitworth and GU in size. A quaint campus in a small-ish town. But it was fun to walk around and hear stories from Gwyn and Dan about their 'glory' days. One of the town's landmarks is 'Grandpa's Cheesebarn' where you can get a plethora of cheeses, sauces, mustards, and other tasty food items, including Ashland's best milkshakes! Directly adjoining is an aptly named candy and fudge shop.
That would be me and the Cheesebarn.
  Around this point in the trip we parted ways with Dan, and headed back towards Akon (I think) to meet up with Dayna and Cory, some more friends of Gwyn from Ashland. The four of us were heading towards a burger type place for dinner... but then Cory pointed out a mexican place. I asked if it was legit, or a bad attempt, he said it was great. After indulging in some Fajitas, I had to agree, it was the best mexican I have had this side of the Mississippi. After dinner,Gwyn and I bid farewell to Ohio and headed back to PGH. The drive home was accompanied with some Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan (Dad, you and I listend to them on the way here... 'Hot Pockets!').

The trip was awesome! Great company (thanks Gwyn!), great food, exciting (in a unique way, more because of the aformentioned company) location, and cool new people.

**ok, now I am caught up to last monday...  ugg. I need to write more! Silly school, get off my back!


  1. Fun stuff! You always have had a knack for finding fun things to do, places to go, and people to spend them with!

    Mom talking here: Hope you have sleep somewhere on the TO DO list :-)

    Thanks for bringing us up to date!!!

  2. LOVE all of this. Especially your rendition of the sledding adventure. You succeeded in making me laugh, for sure. Glad you're getting a chance to see some more things outside of the city!