Planning out a road trip in the Northeast US always meant that I would be stopping in Pittsburgh to visit family. While I never grew up there, most of my family did and many are still in town. My aunt and her husband opened their home to me and my mom decided to head up for a visit at the same time. It turned out to be a great opportunity to see Pittsburgh through her eyes and see the city that she remembered.
My visit to Pittsburgh was around labor day weekend. While normally there would be plenty of events and activities, COVID obviously cancelled most of them. It was on par with most cities though and I wasn’t looking to attend events with big groups anyways. I had to work a few days before the weekend and mostly just relaxed in the evenings with the family. We did that most nights eating dinner and watching sports or shows. I’ve gotta say that watching Dave Chappelle with my mom and her sister was definitely not expected though.
On Friday, my company let us off early for the holiday weekend so my mom and I went for a drive. We drove around the Mount Lebanon area where my family grew up. She took me to all the old homes of her and my dad’s families, told stories at each house, and talked about the different buildings as we drove around. I saw her first jobs, where my parents got married, their schools, where they hung out, and more. Finally, we stopped to visit my Granny and Pop Pop at the cemetery.
Saturday was a day for touring around all of Pittsburgh. We got tickets for the Gateway Clipper to take a cruise on the three rivers to see Pittsburgh from a different perspective. It was a beautiful day out with some amazing views of the Pittsburgh skyline, stadiums, and bridges. After learning more about the city on the boat tour, we made our way up the Monogahela Incline to Mount Washington. It was definitely different than the other Mt Washington from NH, but still had great views of the city from above.
After getting some lunch at the top, we made our way back down and walked back through Station Square to our car. With some time left before dinner time, we decided to drive over to Heinz Chapel and Pitt. We walked around a little and then hopped back in the car to drive around more. Our trip around Pittsburgh went through tunnels, across 3 bridges, on all three rivers, under the rest of the bridges, up and down the incline, and had us checking off all the neighborhoods we drove through along the way. I enjoyed watching my mom just enjoy the ride through all the areas she hadn’t see in decades and I had never seen before.
My last two days were mostly relaxing around the house. My trip was over 30 days at this point and relaxing without needing to constantly be on the go felt really nice. We talked a lot about our family history on her mom’s side, the connections to the American Revolution, and as far back as I could connect to the 1100s. I also took a visit with my mom to visit her mom and grandma at Queen of Heaven cemetery. I stopped back the next day with some flowers and an angel on my way to meet my cousin at a park. It was really nice to hang out and catch up with a cousin that I used to see every year as a kid but that got more difficult as we grew up and became adults.
My last night in PA was a delicious dinner and drinks with the family. Then it was time for a good night sleep and repacking the car in the morning before meeting my uncle for breakfast. I had to make sure my car was ready for another round of camping, this time in… West Virginia!