Strangers in a Strange Land (also, Clevelanders in Enemy Territory)

It’s hard to believe that two weeks ago, Charlie and I went on our Pittsburgh vacation, and now is but a memory.

On the first day, we met up with Sunshine (not her real name), who trained for a short time in Cleveland as a sort-of intern in my department in the spring.  Before we met up with her, we hit the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Duquesne Incline.


For dinner, we met up with her and a friend at Pittsburgh’s version of BSpot, a restaurant called BRGR (which was AMAZING: Charlie and I got the spicy tuna burger, and the lamb burger and had a half of each). We also went to a local bar in an adorable young, hip neighborhood where I got to drink all the Yuengling my lightweight ass could handle.

On Saturday, the three of us trooped an hour and a half southeast to hit both Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob in celebration of Fallingwater’s 75th year. Both homes are beautiful representations of Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for the setting, but I don’t think either home is somewhere where I would want to live. It’s too hard to live in art; it’s much more fun to tour.

On Sunday, I took Charlie to Ligonier, PA, which he’d listened to me threaten for years. When my father immigrated to this country (he was born in Germany), he and my grandmother first settled in Ligonier before moving on to Cleveland. I’ve spent more than a handful of family vacations in the Laurel Highlands.

I took Charlie to Fort Ligonier, which I love because it’s both a museum and the reconstructed fort, build on the actual site, based on archaeological digs.

The museum has built a large new section of it’s display around the Seven Years War, and how the French and Indian War (which was the principal reason Fort Ligonier was outfitted) played into that.  Charlie and I got especially lucky because a reenactment group had organized and gave a demonstration.

We had lunch in town, enjoyed the sunny day, and headed back to Pittsburgh to take a night river tour on the Gateway Clipper (which we both way undedressed for because a cold front moved in, so we spent the second half of the trip trying to escape both the cold night air and the cold air conditioning, too).

On Monday, we went to Kennywood, but we have no pictures because he and I made a pact not to carry anything on our personage except his wallet. We succeeded at that, but failed at turning the phones off, so we came back 8 hours later and they were dead.

Exhausted from a day of roller coasters and fair food, Charlie and I were both happy to head home. We cheered when we crossed the border into Ohio, and enjoyed the feeling of seeing familiar landmarks as we got back into Cleveland. In addition to giving your brain a break, vacations are a great way to remind you why you enjoy the comforts of home.

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend some time together before he went back to school.

One thought on “Strangers in a Strange Land (also, Clevelanders in Enemy Territory)

  1. Love your octopus tee!
    This looked like a fun but exhausting trip! Yeah, def love seeing the familiar sights when heading home and crashing out in your comfy bed.

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