Sat. Aug 25, 2012- PA-WV:
We woke up ungodly early to get to Deluca’s for a Man Vs. Food breakfast. Walking there we were paranoid that the line would be out the door and waking up early (but not early enough) would have been for nothing. The place was surprisingly busy but we still managed to get seats, soon after the place filled up and by the time our food arrived there was a wait to even get in. I had the honey-roasted pecan pancakes and they were amazing, I understand why there was such a huge rush of people wanting to get in. and I can also understand why this place was featured on MvsF, the portions were huge!!! I ended up eating one and a half and it was still too much. Back at the hotel we had some time to kill, the Carnegie Museum was not even open yet. I was going to go to Macy’s alas, it was also not open. That is how early we were up. On the way to the Carnegie Museum we drove by Fredasaurus Rex (a t-rex in a Mr. Rogers sweater with the puppets from the show). We also drove by the 10-storey pole with people sculptures on it. We left the car in the parking lot and backtracked to get a better look at the two roadside oddities, along the way we also saw a Bluth’s Frozen Banana Stand in a frat house parking lot.
The Carnegie Museum was actually two museums, an Art Museum and a Natural History Museum, both under one admission price. It was great, as soon as you got sick of looking at art, you could saunter over to the other half and gawk at fossils. Real fossils, that’s right, they have a huge assortment of real fossils! They also had some wet collodian plate glass negatives (the photography geek in me was so happy), and the icing on the photographic cake? A Jeff Wall light box image! I had only ever seen his images in textbooks and they were alright, but as a giant light box, much cooler. The downside to having eaten so early was that I was now starving, and it was barely noon. We drove over a bridge to get to Mt. Washington to get a recommended view of Pittsburgh from across the rivers. It really was a great view, you could see where the river split into two, and you could see all of downtown as well. There were tons of people straining for a good view. There was a trolley that went from the bottom to the top, but it stayed level, unlike the Mt. Washington cog train we had gone on that went to a 35 degree angle.
We had lunch at the world’s worst Wendy’s, the service was so painfully slow, the fries were gross and bland and the chicken nuggets were not spicy enough. Our entrance into West Virginia caused me to nearly have a heart attack. You may ask yourself why on God’s green earth this is so. It is so because I was asleep in the car (as usual, it just lulls me to sleep) and Brent shouted so loudly, that I awoke with a start thinking I was about to witness my own fiery death. In fact it was just that Brent finally got to cross another state off his list. I was in desperate need of candy, I could barely stay awake. Dunkin’ Donuts had pumpkin flavoured coffee, but only in 1lb bags of ground coffee, so I had to make-do without it. Driving along the interstate we found ourselves in the middle of a biker convoy, of course I ended up singing the convoy song, ain’t she a beautiful thing, convoy! I tried counting how many bikers we were amidst, but I lost track after 25. I was soon distracted by the fact that my ears had popped because we were atop a 2000ish foot elevation mountain. We drove over the Western Hemisphere’s Longest Arch Bridge, which is not as cool as it sounds because you do not get to see the actual bridge arches, nor can you see the river below. There was a toll booth and the toll was 40 cents, we did not have change and there was no attendant. Brent threw into the basket whatever change I had given him (maybe 27 cents?) and a dollar bill, thinking it would register for some reason, it did not. We drove away and a buzzer went off, the toll booths stole my money again! We had paid triple what the toll was and it did not even register!
The baseball stadium in West Virginia was very low-key; we were there to see a lower league but somehow connected to the Blue Jays baseball team. It was so laidback that we got to go in for free because it was their final game. They handed out raffle tickets as well. There was an unbelievably loud and annoying guy heckling the other team and because the place was so small and not a lot of people, you could hear him. I kept wishing he would lose his voice, alas he lasted the whole game. The food looked gross; I could see people walking by with hotdogs and nachos covered in what I can only describe as a poop-like substance on top of them. Regardless, we found ourselves in line at the concession stand ordering food. I forewarned Brent that the food looked gross, but he paid no attention and ordered a burger of some sort, a burger he then left most of under the seat because of how gross it was. The nachos I ordered were ok, not great. We sat closer to the field, but the view was not as good so we took the opportunity to move further away from the heckler who was still yelling. But instead we ended up sitting behind a woman clipping her nails. I thought I was going to lose my mind at this game. I was starving, there were annoying people left, right and centre and the only thing keeping me there was the damn raffle in between innings. Everyone around us was winning (both in seats near us and numbers near ours) and there were only about 50 people at the game, we had very high odds of winning… and yet we didn’t.
Driving back we noticed that there were no lights along the highway, which is fine if there is light from the city, but we were in the middle of nowhere. It was pitch black! The gas station near our hotel did not have Ben & Jerry’s or any good soda, I had to resign myself to eating Ding Dongs for a snack, and they are just mini versions of Jos Louis, nothing special. We were in the middle of nowhere, walking back to our room I saw a guy in overalls and a camouflage print shirt. I felt old by the end of the night, I was in bed and had showered before 10pm.