View Full Version : Our trip back to the 'Burgh - nice to get back!

07-21-2010, 08:25 AM
Well, I'm finally getting around to putting this up here. After a nearly two year wait, my family and I had the chance to visit the 'Burgh again on the weekend of July 10th. Along with the built-in reasons to go back and visit, we went to visit a friend of mine I used to work with whose four year old son was having his birthday party that Saturday. It also happened to be the yearly picnic for St. Boniface Church that Sunday in North Park, so we had plenty to do while there!

After my band played a show for a charity walk/run in the morning, we headed east on 70 to start the big weekend. Around 2:15, we finally get into the city limits. Good thing I knew that 279 heading into the city was now called 376 East or I really would have been confused! Anyway, as we headed toward the Fort Pitt Tunnel, we told the kids about going through the tunnel and seeing the city. Our 4 1/2 year old doesn't really remember the last time we went there, so we were looking forward to her reaction going through it.

Unfortunately, as our first stop was the Children's Museum, the ramp to the North Shore from the tunnel was CLOSED. Detour - West End Bridge. So, no tunnel on the way in. How nice. After finally crossing the bridge and actually getting into downtown, we had our first glimpse of you know what...


This was the first time my kids actually understood that this is where the Steelers played, so that was pretty cool. As we ended up going on a detour to get to the Children's Museum, my wife snapped a few pictures of the city along the way.



We finally get into the museum around 3, and the kids had a blast. There was a Curious George exhibit there along with the regular exhibits, so of course they loved that. This was taken from the outside of the museum. Just a sight you don't see where I'm living now.


Then it was off to our friend's house in Pine Township for some good food, good drinks, and fun for the kids. After they were worn out, we headed to our hotel to turn in for the night.

With some much needed rest, our trip resumed the next morning. We stayed in Robinson Township, right near one of my former employers.


And yes, we DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express that night!


I tell ya, this really was a WEIRD sight to see coming in from the airport area into town. I'm still not used to it.


Some things, though, never change.


We didn't get the before picture, but the after picture of coming out of the tunnel never gets old.


I've been on this one a few times.


Since we hadn't seen the new Consol Arena yet, we drove by it on the way to St. Boniface. First, however, was the old Igloo.



At this rate, it might've been the last time I'll ever see it. And now the new arena. I didn't know it was THAT big. Wow!


Again, some scenery you don't see in too many other cities.


After attending the Solemn High Mass, we headed to North Park for the picnic. Unfortunately, we didn't stay too long as our son got sick while we were there, but we did get a chance to talk to a few families there and had a nice time. After some driving around some of the neighborhoods, our son felt better so we headed out to the Incline for the first ride up for the kids.

What a great skyline.


Another shot of Heinz Field.


And the skyline again. This is from the Incline parking lot.


Now from the top of the Incline. I guess the fountain is closed for repairs until 2010 from what I read. Too bad.


A shot of the Carnegie Science Center. The submarine is still there.


Last shot of Heinz Field. Ahh, what a sight.


And where we spent my brother's 21st birthday. The name's changed a bit but it's still the same place.


All in all, it was a very nice visit back. Will we move back some day? Perhaps, but that's all up in the air. But, if you're in town and you or someone you know is looking for a project manager or business analyst with a good technicial and communications background, then I may consider an offer! :lol:

07-21-2010, 10:00 AM
Sounds like you had a great trip, man!

I know it sounds odd, since I have been in Pittsburgh for every Steeler game since Heinz opened, but I have never taken a ride up to the top of Mt. Washington on the Fort Duquesne Incline! What is wrong with me? I've got to make it a point to do that at some point this year. I've heard that eating at any of the restaurants up there is a treat.

07-21-2010, 10:13 AM
Sweet!!!! Thanks for the memories!!!!

My wife and I were just discussing that we should go back sometime in the summer and go to Kennywood park. We just saw the movie Adventureland which was filmed in Kennywood and we long for those good ole days when we were kids.

I'd also like to take the Duck Boat tour so I can see all the sites again in a 2 hour trip where neither of us have to drive and park everywhere to see stuff.

I'm gonna miss the Igloo. I had a friend that worked for the Pens and she would get us free tickets to Pens games all the time 15-20 years ago back in Mario's heyday. Man do I feel old saying that.

Can't wait to see a game in the new Arena. Although I have to admit, it doesn't seem to have as much character as the igloo. And I'm not sure it lives up to the high standards of Heinz or PNC which are the best stadiums of their respective sports.

And the incline reminds me of proposing to my wife many years ago. I popped the question on Mt Washington and as we rode down, there was the biggest fireworks display I've ever seen. She had the biggest smile on her face in all of her life and she couldn't stop staring at the reflection of fireworks on her diamond. It was a complete accident that it was light up night, but she still gives me bonus points for it because she thinks I planned it that way. :lol

07-21-2010, 12:27 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys. It was nice to be back there for sure, but as always, it didn't last long enough.

The Georgetown Restaurant on top of Mt. Washington is definitely a nice place if you can ever get there. My Dad took us there when we first moved there. And the Grandview Saloon, at least when I was there, was a pretty cool bar. I worked with a guy that lived up there when the tornado touched down there in 1998 (I think that was the year). He actually saw the whole thing on his front porch as it landed and swirled around. Pretty wild.

I'll miss the Igloo as well. I was fortunate enough to see some great games there. My Dad's first game there was game 2 of the 1992 finals. When the Pens scored their first goal, he said he had never heard a crowd that loud in his life, Super Bowl XIII included (yeah, he was there too, I can't tell you how many great sports events he's been to, but that's another story). Hopefully we'll get there for a game next season.

07-21-2010, 01:33 PM
My last game at the Igloo was memorable. We were playing the Bruins and were down 5-4 with under a minute to go. A Bill Guerin goal ties the game with 0.4 second left (the crowd goes INSANE!!!) and we win it in OT on a Pascal Dupuis goal. I had to the rub the ceiling of the Igloo as I was walking down the stairs from our F level seats, to thank her for all the good times.

07-21-2010, 05:35 PM
I've been to so many games at the Igloo it's hard to remember all my favorites.

I remember one game probably in 90 or 91 where Mario scored 4 goals. And the defense was harassing him so much, he got into a fight right in front of me. He dropped a guy with one punch. And it was kinda a sucker punch. He threw off one glove while skating and decked the opposing player while he still had his gloves on. Not that he didn't deserve it. But it was cool seeing Mario stick up for himself. Once they separated everyone, they put Jay Caufield on the next shift and he was literally fighting everyone. It was chaos that game. No idea who we played?

And the other most memorable game was when I was in college. It was a weekend day time game and after the game my friends and I came across a limo and the driver had his window down and so I asked him for a ride (we rode the bus to get to the game) and surprisingly he told us he didn't have to pick up the guy who owned the limo for hours and said to hop in. We ended up bar hopping in the South Side and the guy was our personal chauffeur for the afternoon.

07-22-2010, 12:40 PM
I have a few non-sports memories from the Igloo as well. I saw at least three concerts there that I can remember. When I worked at Bayer, I saw Page/Plant in 1998 from their suite. Free food, free beer, and great music all night long. Couldn't beat that!

The Black Sabbath/Pantera show in 1999...little did I know that it would be the last time I'd see them together, let alone before the tragic shooting years later. I performed with my old band about two years after Darrell's death at the same venue (Al Rosa Villa). I gotta say it was very freaky to think that I was standing on the same stage where it happened. Anyway, this was one of those shows where Ozzy's voice gave out toward the end of the show (not an uncommon occurance), but overall was still good. I much prefer the Dio years, so I was happy when he got back with them in 2006, but that's for another thread.

The last time I was at the Igloo was for the Alan Jackson/Martina McBride show in 2004. As a birthday gift for my wife, we got 8th row seats on the left side of the state. Needless to say, she was thrilled! Sad to think that was the last time we'd ever set foot in it.