Pittsburgh is an Awesome City

Drinking and Star Wars all with a DD? or my wife rules part deux? Awesome.

IMG_1414Rachel and I went to Pittsburgh for Star Wars in Concert a few weeks ago.  Before we went I learned a little about the city because, honestly, I knew nothing.  Pittsburgh is in the middle of the mountains? Why did I not know this?  It’s only 4.5hrs away.  Really? Why have I not been there before? It takes longer to get to Camp sometimes (driving up route 81 across the Tug Hill Plateau in the middle of the winter is no fun), and we go there almost every weekend.  It’s easy to get to also, just take Interstate 90 to Interstate 79 south right into the city.

We stayed at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Place which we highly recommend, partly because of the quality of the accommodations at their price, but mostly because they include a DD.  They have a shuttle which takes you anywhere within a 5 mile radius every hour on the hour.  Our car didn’t move once we got there until we were headed home which was nice.

IMG_1397First thing we did when we got there?  We headed to the only place (I know of) where you can get your drink on inside a Church, the Church Brew Works.  A little silly for Rachel, but they served an excellent dinner too!  Surprisingly enough, on top of the great atmosphere, their beer and their food were amazing!

A few suggestions from our list of favorite spots for when you go to Pittsburgh.  Be sure not to miss the Monongahela Incline, it provides simply stunning views of the city and it’s cheap.  Or you can just drive to the top of Mount Washington, but what fun is that?


IMG_1534Pittsburgh might be the only place in the world where you can see a real live Transformer, or at least a sculpture of a fake transformer named Arch.  Don’t miss that while it’s there.

IMG_1553The ice rink at PPG Place looks like another Rockefeller Center amidst a beautiful crystal (glass) Palace (office complex).  You can rent skates and skate amongst the palace towers around a ginormous Christmas Tree.  Unfortunately we didn’t discover it until a few minutes before the concert or else we would have partaken.

Our favorite part of the trip was (obviously) the reason we were there. Star Wars in Concert was amazing! What an interesting new way to experience the Star Wars story.  Narrated by none other than C-3PO himself (Anthony Daniels) and performed by a live orchestra.  Hearing the Imperial march live along giant HD images of Vader raised the hair on the back of my neck.  Yes, before anyone asks, there were lots of people in costumes around (I sat next to Obi-Wan) but no, we were not among them.  Overall we’d highly recommend the whole Star Wars in Concert experience.


An incredibly enjoyable weekend.  Pittsburgh is an awesome city and we WILL be back.

Wdljyndham Pittsburgh University Place

Around Portland and Brewersfest

International Rose Test GardenWe slept in a bit on Thursday since we didn’t have anything planned until 2pm and we were driving all day Wednesday.  We started off the day by visiting the Portland Rose Test Garden.  I had no idea there were so many roses, wierd ones too.  They were all in full Bloom and so gorgeous!  Rachel got a few ideas and we found our Portland Magnet.  It was then time to head into the city to grab a bite to eat before our Portland Underground Tour.

After spending a fortune for parking ($12, there are much cheaper places but we didn’t find any right away) we headed to the Old Town Pizza, the first stop on the Underground Tour, to grab lunch and get tickets for the tour.  While I placed our order (a thin house special) Rachel called Portland Walking Tours to book it.  Unfortunately the Underground Portland tour was booked, something we hadn’t planned for.  Because we had plans for tomorrow we decided to take the Beyond Bizarre tour instead.

Portland Brewers FestSince we didn’t have anything to do for about 5 hours we decided to walk around and see a few things, the first being the Tom McCall Waterfront ParkAs we were walking along Rachel said something, my eyes glazed over, the skies opened and it seemed like there was a chorus of angels.  We walked right onto Portland’s Brewers Fest.

Mills End ParkAdmission was free so we went in (we would have anyway).  You pay for a mug with a bunch of chips, each chip is worth a tasting, 4 is worth a pint, but their tastings turned out to be much bigger than 1/4th of a pint.  They have a $10 mug which comes with 4 chips or a $20 mug which comes with 14 chips.  We each got 14 chips, what’s the point in only tasting 4 beers? After all, we had 5 hours.

Most of the beers were delicious, but we didn’t realize until the end that the beers were all west coast, not necessarily Oregon like we had originally thought.  Ahh well, still tasty.  We took a short break in between our 14 beers to wander around, and find the worlds smallest park which was neat.

Afterwards we met George and Stacie for Happy hour at Three Degrees where we enjoyed some great deals and good food (thanks Stacie!).  After that we took the MAX back to Old Town Pizza to catch our Beyond Bizzarre Tour.

EMFOriginally we thought the Beyond Bizarre tour was just the Underground Tour with some ghost stories and an EMF detector thrown in.  We were horribly wrong, and the tour sucked.  They hand out the EMF devices and it was mostly a ghost hunting exercise where they take you to these different locations and tell you why people think it’s ‘haunted’.  It was incredibly lame and we don’t suggest anyone do it.  I’m not sure if I would trust their Underground Tour either…  Perhaps If we had a coupon.

Back to George and Stacies, a glance at some pictures and bed… Another good day, despite the Tour Failure, mostly due to all the drinking.

Mayor Duffy Drinks Beer!

Rohrbachs Downtown BreweryThursday RohrBachs opened their new brewery downtown with a bang. They had a grand opening that included free beer and free food! The food was great and I will definitely be picking up some pierogies from The Pierogie Guy. The beer was, of course, excellent. One of my favorites is always the RohrBachs Scotch Ale which is what we had on tap at our wedding but they had many other excellent choices available such as Nate’s Pale Ale and their Vanilla Porter.

Mayor Bob DuffyTo christen the new downtown brewery Mayor Bob Duffy spoke at the event. It was surprising to see him there as there is trouble with passing the New York Budget this year because of all the scandal surrounding the governor. However; Duffy is taking the renovation of Rochester seriously and he took the reopening of a downtown Rohrbachs brewery personal. That he’s neighbors with the owner of Rohrbachs obviously has nothing to do with it.

Mets 1 Yankees 0

Friday I drove down to Poughkeepsie to see Charles for his birthday. After arriving we went straight to the city to meet some friends of his and goto the Mets game. The Mets won. The game had nothing to do with the Yankees I just like to taunt Yankee fans. After the game we met up with Sanjay for a lesson in expensive drinking and a place to stay.

Saturday Charles headed back to Poughkeepsie while I headed to the International Car Show with Sanjay. Check out the 2008 Ferrari for a sample. I’ll post a link to the whole gallery once the photo gallery comes back up. After the car show we met my Brother for sushi at Lan and had probably the best sushi I’ve ever had. After dinner my brother and I went to one of NYC’s oldest pubs McSorley’s for some Beers. They only give you two options, Light or Dark McSorley’s and when you order a drink they always give you 2 instead of 1. After that it was time to catch the train back to Poughkeepsie so we said our good byes and headed out.

That’s my trip in a nutshell.

Spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s party!”

Is anyone interested in participating in the MS Pub Crawl? It’s for a good cause AND its a reason to drink all day. What more of a reason to participate do you need?

from mspubcrawl.com:

WHO: Everyone is welcome to join the MS Pub Crawl. Please help us spread the word.
WHAT: The Pub Crawl is our way of getting people together and making money for a good cause. We’ll head down Monroe Ave stopping at the bars along the way, 10 in total (see the map). You can stop at every bar, or just the ones you choose. Travel with the group or go at your own pace. To participate you need an MSPubCrawl bracelet – available online; or at Jeremiahs, Oxfords, Spikes, Avenue Pub, O’Callaghans, and Woodys. The bracelet get’s you great food and drink specials.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, April 28th 2007. The Crawl goes all day. The first stop is Jeremiah’s from noon to 2pm – then we spend about an hour at each bar along Monroe Ave and end at Woody’s at around 10pm.
WHY: To support the National MS Society

He was a wise man who invented beer

Saturday we went out with some friends for St Patrick’s. We pre-gamed at Cory’s place and then out to the bars. There was a giant brawl that got us into Pig N’ Whistle for free, afterward I interviewed one of the participants to find out what happened. Check out the Video: