Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I realized how expensive Phillies seats are when I went to buy tickets for the two Pirates games we planned to attend. While I paid $35 apiece for seats in the lower level for the Easter Sunday game, I picked up upper-level tickets for the Saturday night game for the kids for just $10 (the adult tickets were $16).
We left early on Saturday morning and traversed much of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We stopped for breakfast in King of Prussia at Ruby's Diner, where my son savored an Awesome Egg Sandwich served on a Udi's gluten-free burger bun.
Our lunch was further west in Somerset. Eat'n Park, a neighborhood restaurant chain with more than 75 locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, has a surprisingly large gluten-free menu. It was there that our son opted for a Black Angus hamburger, which came on a French Meadow sandwich roll.
The ballpark, now in its 12th season, is indeed magnificent. It stands along the Allegheny River and provides a fantastic view of downtown Pittsburgh. The vista was even more impressive that night when the post-game fireworks show began. (Turns out there really isn't a bad seat in the house.) As for the games - well, let's just say the Phightins' continued their struggles at that ballpark. They failed to hit the ball consistently and dropped both weekend games.
Before the Sunday matinee, we drove over to the popular Duquesne Incline, a century-old inclined plane railroad that scales Mount Washington. Once at the observation deck, we took in the gorgeous view of Pittsburgh's skyline.
Gluuteny bakery), so we ended up having dinner Sunday at the BRAVO! Cucina Italiana in the Galleria Mall. The chain just added a gluten-free menu that features pasta. Our son opted for the grilled salmon served with penne (cooked, intentionally or not, al dente) and I ordered the gluten-free pasta pomodoro with chicken. Although the menu was new, the staff and kitchen were knowledgeable about proper prep. We also appreciated that, for a change, none of the places we ate upcharged us for ordering gluten-free bread or pasta.
Fallingwater, a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1930s for a well-to-do Pittsburgh family, is an architectural marvel located about 90 minutes southeast of the city in Mill Run. The house, a National Historic Landmark, looks like it's built right over a waterfall. We took an hour-long guided tour of the house's interior Monday morning and were able to snap some spectacular pictures of the iconic building.
Guided by our GPS, we tracked down the address for the Flight 93 National Memorial and then drove to the Somerset County field where the heroic passengers and crew members on that plane lost their lives but saved countless others. The first phase of the Memorial was dedicated last year, and construction has begun on other features, including a larger visitor center and memorial groves. Our oldest was a toddler on 9/11 and our youngest wasn't even born. It was important for us - and for them - to fully appreciate what those 40 people did and to pay respects.
As I finished the drive home, my wife told me that she enjoyed the trip much more than she expected. When we travel with the kids, we're often trying to cram in so many activities and visit certain places that it's exhausting. Our long weekend in western Pennsylvania reminded us that it doesn't have to be that way.