Thursday, May 25, 2017
The drive from Pittsburgh to Wheeling was rather uneventful, and traffic was light. I had no desire to go back and see the nonworking Perry Como statue, and the two museums I considered stopping at were already closed for the day, so straight into West Virginia it was.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
I woke up, packed, and then said goodbye to my friends in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn Express on a bright Sunday morning. I was grateful I got to spend time with those good people. The past year and a half, they've come to mean a lot to me. The hangover from the previous day’s soccer festivities was quite strong, and food sounded good, but most places nearby were crowded with people seeking brunch along outdoor patios on the first nice day in a while. My breakfast was a handful of off-brand Jolly Ranchers from the bowl at the front desk. I decided to start checking things off the list.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Look, I like sports. In fact, sports are what brought me back to Pittsburgh for the first time in seven years. And I get it: Pittsburgh's MLB and NFL teams are rivals of the Reds and Bengals. I understand the rivalry. I really do. I watched the Reds fall to the Pirates during that 2013 “play-in” game, and I watched the Bengals give up their chance at a modern playoff win in January 2016 to the Steelers. You don’t have to be a fan of those rival teams. I’m certainly not. But just because Cincinnati sports teams haven’t been able to get results in the last few years against their geographic foes doesn't mean you can say (as so many already have) that Pittsburgh’s a "shit hole" or that you can question why I would want to go there. Pittsburgh’s a wonderful city. The Bengals' poor coaching, lack of player discipline, utter failures, or the fact that you got into it with a Pittsburgh fan over a bucket of Miller Lites at your local dime-a-dozen suburban sports bar aren’t reasons to hate a geographic location or place. I remembered this city fondly from my last trip here in 2010, and there was still plenty I wanted to see seven years later—so much so that I had taken extra time off my day job to spend the day wandering before all of my friends arrived.
Monday, May 22, 2017
The first day on a road trip to Pittsburgh and back. Seeking out a ship in Zanesville, some decent food, and a singing roadside statue.