Friday, August 27, 2010

Vacation Recap, Part Two - Pittsburgh, Day One

We got up bright and early on Sunday and loaded in the car for the trip to Pittsburgh. It was a gray and rainy drive, but by the time we hit the part of the trip where it really begins to drag (somewhere between Erie and, say, Grove City) it started to clear up. By the time we got to Pittsburgh, it was a pleasant sunny day. And by the time we got to the stadium, it was scorching hot. It was probably only in the low 80s, but there's just something about being in that stadium that makes things feel so much hotter. We've experienced it every time we've been there, and we're starting to think we should stick to night games. Of course, the main reason we had picked this game and this weekend was because the giveaway was a catcher's chest protector backpack. We thought Jacob would love it, and sure enough, he did. We were excited to get in, get one of those, and then find some food...even though it was game time. Oh, and did I mention that I totally stressed out once we got into Pittsburgh because we got a little lost and then couldn't find convenient parking? It was pretty horrible because I was sure we were going to miss the giveaway and miss the beginning of the game. We got the giveaway, but we didn't get to watch intros and all that...though we could hear them as we walked through the stadium and looked for food. We settled on the same thing we ate last year--a small pizza--and at least got a little food in our stomachs.

We finally headed off to our seats and had the same lovely view that we usually do... Jacob became immediately enamored with the Pirate Parrot, and kept saying all day how he wanted to "hug him". Too cute. Unfortunately, the Parrot never got close enough to hug, and the stuffed ones were $20. Grrrr. At least we got a decent view of him during this promotion--I think he was shooting hot dogs into the stands!
We actually didn't watch too much of the game because it was so hot sitting in the seats. We got there just as the game was starting, and once we ate and sat it was already the third inning. I made us sit there through the sixth inning, I think, when the pierogy race took place (I mentioned this last year--they have gigantic plush pierogies that race around the stadium--awesome), and then we got up to cool off and head to the team store. Jacob was a disaster in the store, touching everything and wanting balls, bats, and whatever else. We headed out of there quickly and decided to walk to the other end of the stadium to visit the kids area. First, we stopped for a photo op in an area that honors some legendary baseball players (I think at least some are negro league players).

The playground was less successful than we hoped. Jacob played a bit on the playground but seems to have developed a fear of slides so he generally just walks back and forth between sections and never wants to slide down. Then we took him over to the little kiddie baseball diamond, but some bigger kids were hogging it and Jacob couldn't understand why he couldn't be the pitcher. Still, he got in a swing or two on his own...
By the time we finished in the kids' area, it was getting close to the end of the game so we figured we better start lining up for the postgame running of the bases. Of course, we're used to the Sunday base running in Rochester, or maybe back from my intern days with the Buffalo Bisons. We weren't quite prepared for base running in a major league park with 40,000 people. By the time we got over there just as the game was ending, the line was wrapped halfway around the stadium. Oh crap. Jacob was tired and we knew he wouldn't wait well. Still, we managed to survive and the line ended up moving pretty quickly. We got to go in one of the back tunnels of the stadium and pop out at the end of the first base line. We walked along the base line up to home plate where Jacob and Craig started their run. Jacob didn't make it far before he was cranky about something. Craig had to pick him up and carry him most of the way. That pretty much sums up Jacob these days--try to do something fun and he finds a way to make it un-fun. He did manage to run from third to home, but then proceeded to attempt a run to the pitcher's mound, which is a serious run-the-bases no-no. Heck, I once fell flat on my face when I was a Bisons intern trying to stop a kid from taking a second run around...but touch the grass, oh no! Here's a shot just before Jacob nearly touched home (he's behind the second kid in white--Craig is in the black Pirates shirt and plaid shorts) and veered off toward the mound. The girls in yellow freaked out. Craig finally corraled him and we headed out. Of course, Jacob said he wanted to do it again (ummm, hello, you barely did it the one time you had the chance) and repeatedly told us how much fun he had at the baseball game and running the bases. ::Sigh::

Jacob was asleep shortly upon our exit from the stadium, and we decided to attempt to walk to dinner. Based on where we had parked, I knew where there was a Primanti Bros. location within walking distance. It was in the same area as the Moe's that I ate at last year with Craig's mom and sister-in-law, when we took an evening shopping trip to Macy's. Here's a picture of it from last year's trip... Fortunately, I was right and we found it easily. We walked right there, found seats on the patio, and sat down to order two of their famous sandwiches. You may have seen them on the Food Network. They're the ones that put french fries ON the sandwich. I ordered the classic one with a burger in it, and Craig got one with grilled chicken. They're supposed to come with coleslaw and tomatoes on the sandwich as well, but neither of us wanted coleslaw (next time I'll try it) and they forgot to give me tomatoes because Craig didn't get them either. But yeah, it's a burger, cheese and french fries on thick slices of french bread. YUM.
And this was the setting in which we ate it. It was lovely. Beautiful weather and a nice mix of modern and classic architecture...felt very city-ish.
I said on the way home that that meal was one of the highlights of our trip. Jacob slept through the whole thing so it was just a pleasant, uninterrupted, stress-free meal with good food. Of course, because Jacob slept through the meal, that left us with a couple other problems. We had to find him dinner and deal with the repercussions of a late afternoon nap. We headed to our hotel, which was a cheap Days Inn just outside the city. We drove up the strip a little further to survey our options, and settled on getting him a Subway kids' meal. It came with a baseball themed reusable bag, so I guess that was cool. And with milk and apples, it wasn't a bad meal for him. Once we were in the hotel room, he got settled right on one of the beds, asked for his bib (which he tore off at every other meal the whole trip) and started chowing down. How cute is this?
After his dinner, Jacob was very active all evening. Somehow our small hotel room contained him, but I feel bad for our neighbors. Between my coughing and Jacob's yelling, they must have hated us. Here's Jacob in his new "chest protector" (his freebie backpack), hat on backwards, glove in hand, playing catcher.
That night Jacob became increasingly frustrating because he didn't want to go to bed. We turned off the lights, pretended to go to bed ourselves, and nothing worked. He was up until at least 10:45, at which point he had climbed out of his pack and play onto the bed it butted up against, and snuggled with Craig. He and Craig slept in that bed together all night. I slept in my own bed but slept horribly because I was stressed about Jacob's bad behavior and the fact that he got to sleep in "daddy bed" for the night. Fortunately, it didn't start a bad trend...he's slept in his own bed ever since, mostly without issue (other than six wakeups overnight from Wednesday to Thursday...ugh).

So, that was our Sunday. It was quite a day. Believe it or not, Monday was even busier...

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