PDA

View Full Version : My Trip



stlrz d
02-05-2009, 03:27 PM
Well it's certainly not some kind of epic story or anything...just a simple little weekend trip that culminated with me celebrating a world championship for the greatest team in all of sports...in their home city! :tt2

I rolled into town about 2pm ET. I missed the exit for the hotel, but my GPS got me back on track. Only had to go about 10 miles out of the way (5 miles up and 5 miles back). But I got there. I checked in and went to the Kohl's across the street. Wanted to see what they had for Steelers gear. Turned out to be not much. Oh well, the one cool thing about Kohl's is that it feels like home. WI Senator Herb Kohl's family owns the company and they are all set up exactly the same. When I was living in Baltimore and feeling a bit home sick I would go to Kohl's and it would actually make me feel better. Odd I know, but it worked.

Anyway, from Kohl's I went to Dick's Sporting Goods in the mall across the way. They had a lot of stuff, but the prices were pretty steep. One thing they didn't have that I was looking for was a Steelers logo decal to put on my rear window. One of the workers there told me to go to the Pittsburgh Sports Store in the mall. He said I'd probably find one there. He was right. I bought the logo decal and a SB XLIII Terrible Towel there. I talked to the people running the store for a bit and they were surprised to learn how far I drove just to watch the game.

I then drove down to the stadium (made the tunnel entrance to the city) to check out Heinz and also get a look at possible locations for game viewing. I spent a bit of time walking around Heinz and then did a walk through Bettis'. I'm glad I did since that's where I eventually watched the game.

From there it was time to get something to eat. The Original Hot Dog Shop came highly recommended to me so I went there.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/originalhotdog.jpg

I'm always a bit hesitant when I go to places like that because I don't know the "rules" for ordering and worry that I'll screw something up or offend someone or not follow protocol or whatever. Anyway, the guy behind the counter (had some kind of foreign accent but I couldn't quite place it...he looked Italian though) asked me if he could help me and then gave me the rundown. You order the hot dogs here and you order fries and drink there is what he said. Simple enough. So I ordered two dogs with cheese, catsup and brown mustard. Off to get the fries. I ordered a small but the guy screwed up and gave me a medium instead. Whoops. No way I could eat all that. Have a look.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/dogsandfries.jpg

I ate the dogs and got the fries to the point that they looked like a normal order of fries. That was the best I could do. I then spent some time walking around looking for the section of Forbes Field wall that remains standing...no one had a clue what I was talking about and couldn't help me. So I explored on my own but never found it. :(

I decided to drive to Station Square to see if there were any good spots there for game viewing. Unfortunately, I got a nasty headache...mostly due to being over tired...and I ended up going back to my room. I took some ibuprofen and laid down (this was at 9pm) with the intention of heading back out once the headache passed. I woke up at midnight, headache gone but feeling quite groggy. I ended up calling it a night and going back to sleep.

Sunday morning I was awake bright and early. Mario's had been recommended to me as a place to watch the game, but I wanted to check out a few other places just in case. I decided to find McFadden's just to see what that place was all about. I couldn't find it. I know now that it is on the opposite end of the building from Bettis' Grille, but I didn't know at the time, never saw a sign and had no clue where to go. I had seen on the website that they were charging $12 to get in because they were providing an all-you-can-eat buffet and that didn't really appeal to me so no biggie.

Off to check out Mario's! When I got there I stood in a line of about 20 people waiting to get in at 11. When the doors opened there was a mad rush to get viewing spots. I could have had a spot at the end of the bar with a big TV right in my face but eventually ended up passing. The bartender told me if I left and wasn't back by noon I'd not get a seat and if I wasn't back by 2 or 3 I probably wouldn't even get in. That wasn't gonna do for me because I didn't want to sit there all day long. I hadn't eaten yet and wanted to see more things.

Here we go to the Strip District! They had the street blocked off and street vendors set up and down both sides of the street. At the second stand I looked at I found a sweatshirt I liked. It was a gold sweatshirt with the name "Polamalu" across the top (on the front) and 43 underneath. "How much?" I asked. "It was $25 yesterday but is $15 today." I was told. Sold. I immediately went back to my truck, took off the gray hoodie I had on underneath my black Troy jersey with the SB XL patch (got lots of compliments on it by the way) and put that one on instead. At another stand I found a black fleece skully with a gold 43 on the front. Dude wanted $10 for it and wouldn't budge. I'm a sucker for Troy and caved.

So now I'm all decked in Troy and walking down the street. I see this place:

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/peppis.jpg

and decide it's time to get my Roethlisberger on. Told the guy to hold the tomato, lettuce and mayo. Said I wanted nothing from the garden. He asked, "What about grilled onions?" I responded, "If it never had a heart beat or wasn't intended to have a heart beat then I don't want it on my sandwich." He kind of chuckled but then asked, "Wasn't intended to have a heart beat?" to which I replied, "The egg was eventually supposed to have a heart beat." He got a big grin on his face, laughed, said, "That's good...I'll have to remember that" and told me he'd find me when the sandwich was done. And here it is:

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/Roethlisberger.jpg

Damn was it tasty!

After eating I walked around a bit more. I thought this was cool so I had to snap a photo.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/Mancinis.jpg

By now it's around 2 so I figure I need to get to Bettis' and see what's happening there. I found a spot on the street right in front of Heinz (on the corner even, right near the *I think* Law Enforcement Memorial?) only a short walk away from Bettis'. On the walk over this dude came driving by...he was beeping his horn and waving to people. I couldn't get to my phone soon enough so I couldn't take a pic...this web pic will have to do.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2007-08-10/0811steel-b.jpg

Wish I could have talked to him but he never stopped.

I got to Bettis' and wandered around for about 30 minutes before finding a spot to stand. There was no where to sit of course, which is what I expected, so no big deal. Anyway, I stood there for about another 30 minutes until I decided to get a bit closer to the bar...before it got too crowded. A guy struck up a conversation with me and we talked a bit before I noticed the couple in front of me (seated at the bar) pointing and talking about my jersey. They got in on the conversation and eventually when the one guy left I continued hanging out with this couple. They had been there since noon so they even took turns standing so I could sit, since they had been sitting so long.

As we were talking I noticed this woman across the bar. She was quite attractive and having a very good time. They had on the pre-game, but during commercials they would play music. When the music came on she would start dancing and twirling her towel around. I thought it was pretty cool that such a pretty woman was just standing there having a good time like that. Eventually some other dude came up to her and they started grinding and so on. I figured they were together but found out I was wrong. I went to the bathroom (for those who have never been to Bettis' that is a pretty funny experience because there is a mirror behind the hostess station...behind that mirror is where the urinals are...and men can see out into the bar while peeing...that way you don't miss any of the game!) and when I came out the dude wasn't there so I tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around and smiled at me. It was loud, so I leaned in close and said, "I just wanted to say I think it is so awesome that you are standing here having such a good time dancing around and waving your towel." The next thing I know she had her arm locked around me and her mouth was on my neck. She was licking and nibbling, slowly working her way up to my ear. She put her tongue in my ear a few times, nibbled on my ear and said quite seductively, "I'm having a very good time baby...are you having a good time?" And back to the licking. Well this caught me so completely off guard all I could manage, "Yes, I am." A certain song came to mind, but luckily that didn't happen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXfHLUlZf4&feature=channel_page). :D Eventually she stopped and we chatted a bit before the dude came back over (he didn't seem to care that I was talking to her) so I walked away figuring he had already made his claim...besides, it turns out she was already wasted and I didn't want to have to deal with that while trying to watch the game. The pic is a little blurry, but she looked a little like Tyra Banks. Brown sugar for sure! The dude in the hat and beard was the one who was hanging out with her.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/Tyra.jpg

Dave and Cathy (the couple I was hangin' with) said after what they saw they figured there was no way I was coming back over by them. :lol: I told them how drunk she was and they understood. Plus that other dude had already staked his claim. So anyway, more talk and pre-game and yada yada yada. Eventually it's game time and the excitement is electric! The opening drive had everyone confident that a blow out was coming. Things settled a bit because people were feeling fairly comfortable until the Cards looked about to score to close out the half. When Harrison picked off Warner the place went crazy initially and then pretty much went into "gogogogogogogogogogogogogogo" mode (it seemed an eternity) until he finally scored. The place went crazy! Then came the review. It got quiet again until it was confirmed a TD...and the joint erupted with pure joy! High fives and hugs all around!

Fast forward to the Fitz TD. There was a loud round of "Oh no's" from the crowd and then dead silence. We get the ball back. The penalty on the first drive had people believing we were finished. Then the magic started happening. At first the crowd was cautiously optimistic, but the feeling grew and grew with each play. On the first pass into the EZ the "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" by the crowd was deafening. Then on the next play it happened...sheer pandemonium! Holmes catches the pass and the bartenders start throwing handful's of napkins, straws and stirrers into the air. Confetti cannons are going off shooting black and gold bits of paper into the air...then comes the review. Dead silence. When the call is confirmed it was like going back in time to when Holmes caught the ball. Madness ensued. Total strangers were running around hugging and high fiving anyone they could! It was amazing!!! When Woodley sacked Warner to end the game I was doused with beer and champagne. People were spraying beer and booze all over the place. Too, too much fun.

These shots were from earlier, but this gives you an idea of how packed it was:

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/bettiscrowd2.jpg
http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/bettiscrowd1.jpg
http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/bettiscrowd.jpg

After things settled down a bit this woman walks up to me, sticks out her beer bottle and says, "Hold this". I obliged as she dug around in her purse looking for gloves. She took her beer back and asked me, "Why do you have band aids on your head?" I said, "That's the confetti" and laughed. She said, "Oh, I'm a nurse and they looked like band aids in the dim light so I was just curious...so what are you doing after this?" Again I was shocked and that song popped into my head again. :P I said I was going to hang out for awhile and go back to my hotel room because I have to drive back tomorrow. She asked where I was driving back to and I told her. She followed with, "You should come over to my place." Cue that damn song again! Once more I am totally caught off guard (this kind of thing doesn't happen to me ever) and can only manage, "Is there going to be a party over there?" Her reply: "There could be." So we're talking a bit and her friend's boyfriend somehow ends up on a argument with some dude over a Terrible Towel. Eventually it ends up outside (no fight though, from what I could see) and that was the end of my invitation. The three of them split and that was it. I watched the fire in Oakland on TV for awhile and then drove to Station Square. There was nothing happening there so I went back to my hotel and watched ESPN for awhile (after having done my little radio call in). I tried to sleep but really, it just didn't work out that way. Damn boyfriends and their fights over Terrible Towels! :HeadBanger

The next day I knew I needed to hit the road because I had a long drive ahead of me, but I wasn't ready to go yet. So I drove down to Heinz once again. I walked around a bit and took a pic of myself in front of one of the gates.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/heinz.jpg

Then I walked down to get a pic of the sign on the back of the score board.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/heinz1.jpg

I wasn't far from the water, so I walked down there and had a cool view of the city so I took another pic.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/daburgh.jpg

From there I went and spent a little time with the Chief. Someone put 6 coffee cans next to him. Written on the cans was the number of each SB the Steelers had won.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/thechief.jpg

I then wandered down to the Steelers shop in Heinz, looked at gear for awhile, didn't buy anything (too pricey and I didn't see anything I really liked anyway) and then reluctantly hit the road.

At every rest stop on the Ohio and Indiana turn pikes I saw at least ONE person other than myself wearing Steelers gear. And that's the truth. Once I got into Illinois I was the only one.

What a great, fun time I had. I don't regret my decision for one tired second.

I hope to make it a repeat performance next year. :D :tt2

papillon
02-05-2009, 03:59 PM
Sounds like you had a great time.

Just some notes...

The Original Hot Dog Shop has been there forever and when I attended Pitt (which you were in the middle of the campus) the building next door was a bar and had empty wooden barrels prtiruding from the facade. When the Steelers won XIII and XIV we climbed up and sat on the highest barrel and watched the cars driving on Forbes Avenue.

You were about 1000 feet from the wall of Forbes Field when you were in the "O". Had you walked across Forbes Avenue and made a left at the next street you came to (Roberto Clemente Drive, I think) you would have walked up a small incline and the wall would have been to your right after about 500 feet or so.

I hope you get to make the trek next year to celebrate another SB in the Burgh.

Pappy

Iron Shiek
02-05-2009, 04:17 PM
Great story d you dam stud. Women just flockin to you. I'm comin with you next time! Ha.

The atmosphere sounded alot like my Super Bowl XL experience at the Hockeytown Cafe in Detroit City. Right down to the napkins flying, beer splashin and stranger huggin. It was surreal for sure and something I won't forget.

Glad you had a good time. Well worth the drive for sure.

Steeler Expat
02-05-2009, 04:35 PM
Great post, I'm so jealous. As a Pitt '96 alum that photo of The O and the Towers in the background (where I lived for 1 year) really brings me back. It does like like CJs bar is gone but other than that it looks exactly the same. Ahhh, I want me some O-fries...

stlrz d
02-05-2009, 04:49 PM
IS - the first one was pretty drunk. And to be honest, I think the second one was a little lit up too. :oops:

SE - would O fries give you an O face? :lol:

Steeler Expat
02-05-2009, 05:24 PM
SE - would O fries give you an O face? :lol:

Haha most definitely. That is basically how we referred to them back in the old days. O-pizza, O-fries... pre-Office Space of course.

DkBlue
02-05-2009, 06:14 PM
Great report and you have me crazy for an Original Hot Dog and fries. Had my first one when I was about eight years old from the first location on Station Street. Also remember going in there one night wearing my Westinghouse football letterman's jacket and being hasseled by a bunch of goons from Peabody...

:Cheers :Cheers :Cheers

rpmpit
02-06-2009, 08:51 AM
Great post, d. Glad you had such a great time. Hope we get a chance to meet up in Pittsburgh for a game next season.

MeetJoeGreene
02-06-2009, 09:33 AM
IS - the first one was pretty drunk. And to be honest, I think the second one was a little lit up too. :oops:

SE - would O fries give you an O face? :lol:

Great story.

I thought that, on a couple of places, you were going to veer off into PH Forum material. :Boobs

For the record, I have never turned down open advances by 2 different drunk chicks in the same day.

For the record, I have never actually RECEIVED open advances by 2 different drunk chicks in the same day.

papillon
02-06-2009, 10:49 AM
Drunk chicks rule! Especially, when you're in college!! hehehehehe

Pappy

eniparadoxgma
02-06-2009, 04:34 PM
Drunk chicks rule! Especially, when you're in college!! hehehehehe

Pappy


Yessir!!!

Sounds like an awesome time, D. I'm going to have to make the trek soon.

flippy
02-06-2009, 04:40 PM
Good story.

Glad you had a good time.

I visited family/friends in the burg to watch. Pittsburgh was nuts.

papillon
02-06-2009, 05:43 PM
Hey D,

Sorry you missed the remnants of Forbes Field. Take a look at these. In the first one after the initial shot and you see the shot with the car on the left hand side of the road (about9 seconds into the clip), the Original Hotdog shop would be located directly to the left of the car.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsRGK4xR-Y&feature=related

Here's another more recent vid of the remaining portion of the wall.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnaqGcsAG1U&feature=related

enjoy my friend

Pappy

stlrz d
02-06-2009, 08:01 PM
Hey D,

Sorry you missed the remnants of Forbes Field. Take a look at these. In the first one after the initial shot and you see the shot with the car on the left hand side of the road (about9 seconds into the clip), the Original Hotdog shop would be located directly to the left of the car.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsRGK4xR-Y&feature=related

Here's another more recent vid of the remaining portion of the wall.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnaqGcsAG1U&feature=related

enjoy my friend

Pappy

Thanks...I'll have to be more diligent next time. I asked several people where to find it and no one knew. I was really surprised by that.

And yes, drunk chicks rule! :Beer

Starlifter
02-06-2009, 11:50 PM
What a great story! I spent a lot of time in the military and had to move away from the 'burgh. The first opportunity to come back I packed up the fam and moved home. I will NEVER take living in this great city for granted. When I read of your adventures it makes me feel very blessed to be able to do all those things on a moments notice. I LOVE THIS TOWN!!!!

stlrz d
02-07-2009, 10:56 AM
What a great story! I spent a lot of time in the military and had to move away from the 'burgh. The first opportunity to come back I packed up the fam and moved home. I will NEVER take living in this great city for granted. When I read of your adventures it makes me feel very blessed to be able to do all those things on a moments notice. I LOVE THIS TOWN!!!!

It's a great city...yinz should be proud!

I was impressed with how clean the downtown area seemed to be. When I lived in Baltimore I noticed there was always trash all over the streets. I didn't see that in the Burgh.

And I forgot to add something that was mildly amusing. It took place at Bettis' when I was trying to order something to drink (I don't drink alcohol anymore).

Bartender (female): What would you like to drink?
Me: What do you have for soda back there?
Her: http://www.radiogodsforum.com/forum/style_emoticons/default/huh.gif
Me: What do you have for soda back there?
Her: http://www.radiogodsforum.com/forum/style_emoticons/default/huh.gif
Me: Do you call it "pop" here?
Her: http://www.radiogodsforum.com/forum/style_emoticons/default/huh.gif Ohhhhh...you want pop! Well we have....

:lol: :lol: :lol: