Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pittsburgh - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

We ended up taking a last minute trip to Pittsburgh over the weekend.  It had been discussed briefly the previous weekend, but it was only at the end of the week that anything really got moving on it.  It was a question whether or not we were going to go, right up until the last minute.  But go we did.

Craig's dad loves going to baseball games with his sons (and grandkids) and there hadn't been an opportunity to get to a major league game in a while.  The Pittsburgh Pirates were home this weekend, so off we went.  I was a little worried about it given how I've been feeling for, oh, the past two months.  It was a lot of last minute packing and planning, long drives, and the potential for a bad overnight in the hotel, which tends to happen when Jacob's around.  I was also concerned because the weather forecast was cool and rainy.  The rain was forecast to let up just before game time, but we all know how accurate forecasts can be.

We left for Buffalo Friday night, and fortunately Jacob fell asleep on the way and pretty much stayed asleep once we got there.  He didn't sleep in particularly late, but it wasn't too bad.  Still, I was tired and vaguely nauseous (as I am many days still when I'm short on sleep or otherwise out of my normal groove).  The drive was rainy, but Jacob and I hung out in the back seat and ended up sharing his Pillow Pet for a little nap.  When we got to Pittsburgh, our hotel was lovely--within walking distance of the stadium, in an old building in the Cultural District that was very chic and modern inside.  Our room had high ceilings, huge windows, and cool wallpaper and decorative touches.  Nice.

We headed out to the game early and walked around the stadium to kill time until the gates opened.  Here's a picture of the boys with the Roberto Clemente statue outside:   
No matter how many times I go there, I can't help but snap pictures of this statue.  It just oozes photo op.
By the time we had gotten to the city, the weather had begun to clear, and by the time we got to the stadium, it was gorgeous.  It wasn't particularly warm--definitely pants weather for me!--but it was sunny and pleasant.  I couldn't help but snap this picture to remember the lovely evening.

Once inside the stadium, we saw this fun piggy bank for charity.  Not every day you see a pig dressed up like a pirate!

Here's Jacob getting a look at the opposing team (the Cubs) during batting practice...

PNC Park has one of the best views in sports, and I was excited to be attending my first night game there because the view would change during the course of the night.  I snapped this picture the second I noticed the glare of the setting sun off that one building.  Later on there was a cool red reflection from the sunset but that picture wasn't quite as stunning...
It was a good game and we had a blast even though the Pirates lost.  The evening was perfect and Jacob was spoiled, of course.  He got a baseball and another racing pierogy guy--he's now got three of them!  We got one before he was ever born, and Jacob's gotten one on each trip to Pittsburgh.  I told him that we'll probably round out our collection next time, when he and his sibling will probably each get one.  I told him that if he has a sister, it would be perfect for her to get the only girl pierogy, the winner of that night's race, Jalapeno Hannah.  I'm sure she'd share :)  We all snacked our way through the game, and it was a nice change of pace to not be roasting during the game like we usually do during day games.  We stuck around late for the fireworks, and they were well worth the wait. 

We walked back to the hotel, and despite the late hour, Jacob still had a hard time going to bed.  Craig and his dad went out for a bit, but the good news is that I was so tired myself that I had no need to stay up and battle Jacob to sneak in a few more minutes of computer time.  It was lights out and he had no choice but to give in to the darkness after a bit! 

The "bad" part of the weekend (per the title) was overnight.  I didn't sleep very well despite the comfy bed, and then Jacob woke up early.  Hotels and travel are always a risky proposition when it comes to sleep and restfulness, but it's extra risky while pregnant when how I feel on any given day is directly related to the quality and duration of my sleep the night before.  I was tired and feeling even more blah than usual on Sunday.  As much as I would have liked to stick around and make the most of our trip with some sort of touristy stop on Sunday morning, I think we were all pretty much ready to go home, so we headed out late in the morning after breakfast.  The "ugly" part of the trip was Jacob's behavior on the trip home, which was most likely driven by sleep deprivation and being off his schedule.  He was constantly doing something annoying, be it touching me, whining, throwing animals, or being generally difficult.  That alone inspired me to get his new discipline chart together, which I got half done that night.  More on that in another post! 

We stopped in Erie for lunch (Steak 'n' Shake--yum!), and caught bits and pieces of the Bills game, which was pretty painful to listen to.  We had another potty stop and caught a decent nap on the way to Buffalo, then dropped off Craig's dad, grabbed some snacks and beverages and headed home.  I was eager to get home and do my usual Sunday night craziness before dropping into bed as early as possible.  Of course it's never as easy as I'd like, but you do what you can. 

In the end it was quite an exhausting weekend, but the game was great and I know Craig's dad enjoyed the time with us.  Pittsburgh is a great city and I always find myself wanting to stay longer and explore more.  Always motivation to go back!

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