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Pittsburgh is not Philadelphia

April 14, 2010

I consider myself a pretty intelligent person — college graduate, newspaper reader, NPR listener — but for some reason when Brittany first asked if I wanted to go to Pittsburgh with her for the day, my mind immediately went, “Oh, Philadephia! Haven’t been there in years. Cool!”

Um, yea… same state, different cities. 😳

It all worked out in the end, though, because we did go to Pittsburgh and made a fantastic day of it.

It was a stunning spring day and after Brittany’s audition (in and out in less than 10 minutes), we knew that walking was the best way to see the city.

But first item of importance? Lunch!

A few people sent lunch recommendations and a couple mentioned Primanti Bros. but it was nearly 3:00 by the time we ate so it was all about proximity. Just around the corner from the cute cultural district is Salonika Gyros and after we spent most of the car ride talking about food (and even mentioned falafel a few times), it was an immediate winner.

Oh, fried chickpeas, you always know what I want. Yes, I promise that there is falafel under all that lettuce and tahini. It can’t compare to DC’s Amsterdam Falafelshop, where the toppings bar alone is worth visiting, but this was pretty darn tasty and you can’t beat getting an entire meal for under $4!

Once I finished inhaling lunch, a walk was definitely needed! Pittsburgh is abloom with tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and cherry blossoms.

We staged our own little photo shoot in the middle of a tiny plaza as businessmen sat around us chatting on their cell phones. No shame, I tell you.

While a lot of the city was like I expected — very industrial — there were also some surprises like a beautiful train station and a Medieval fortress (it’s actually the jail and court system).

It’s always exciting to explore a new city, especially one you know nothing about besides the name of its sports teams. 😉 Steelers stuff is everywhere in Pittsburgh and it’s not even football season!

You know, everyone has a different concept of how far away is too far for a day trip. In Korea, friends were shocked that I would go down to Busan for the day. It takes about 3.5 hours each way on the KTX high-speed train. To me, that was totally doable — we used to take the sketchy Chinatown bus up-and-back from DC to New York for the day in high school and college, and that’s about four hours.

How far is your limit for a day trip? Four hours is probably the most for me, although if money or time were really an issue, I’d push it to longer.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 3:06 pm

    I have totally made that mistake with Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia before! Still haven’t been to Pittsburgh though. Don’t know if/when I’d get around to it now that I am on the other coast. But seems nice. I hear they’ve got great fireworks displays. =)

    My limit is about four hours. Maybe a bit more. I’ve done all sorts of crazy day trips. The important thing is to have multiple drivers when it is driven for that long period of time.

  2. April 14, 2010 3:11 pm

    My limit for a road trip. Hmmmmm 7 hours to Winston-Salem to watch Terp soccer our senior year. Game was like two hours drive was 14ish. And we lost. Dagger.

  3. April 14, 2010 4:48 pm

    I love day trips! Living in Portland, we are 3 hours from Seattle, 2 hours from the Oregon Coast, 1 1/2 hours from Mt. Hood, 3 hours from Bend….so many cool places to explore. My favorite day trip is up the Gorge. Beautiful, lots of hiking, great views, and of course wine tasting in Hood River! 🙂

    My bro lives in Philly!

  4. Susan permalink
    April 14, 2010 5:32 pm

    OMG! I wish I had known you were in Pittsburgh – my home! I know all of those places – gahhh!

    So glad you guys had fun. Impromptu road trips are the best.

  5. April 14, 2010 9:21 pm

    I think everyone has those moments where you’re told one thing and immediately thinking the wrong thing.

    4 hours is the max for a day trip because you have 4 hours back and it can seem longer depending on how the day went.

    If you don’t mind me saying you looked great today!

  6. Danielle permalink
    April 14, 2010 10:40 pm

    haha it’s fine…I like to think I’m intelligent but I’m aweful at geography. I like my day trips short and sweet lol

  7. April 15, 2010 7:02 am

    I love falafals! Looks like a great time!

  8. April 15, 2010 7:35 am

    I love your skirt!!!

  9. April 15, 2010 7:37 am

    I have taken a 6 hour day trip (6 hours there and back) from Rome to… gosh, where was I going? Somewhere else in Rome.

    Anyway, I had a falafel pita for lunch yesterday too! I am totally checking out the place you recommended in DC!

  10. April 15, 2010 7:59 am

    Love falafels, too! And gyros.

    So Erin … since you’re an American who has been to Korea, I’d like to pick your brain a bit. See, I’m taking my husband (Texan) to Korea for the first time this summer (in a month and a half). He’ll only be there for two weeks, and I’m trying to make up a list of must-see places to visit while he’s there. Was there anything that you did, places you went to, things you ate that you would say are a MUST as a visitor?

    I didn’t grow up in Korea, but we visited often enough that it’s hard for me to think with the mentality of “Oh, these are things that I would definitely want to see as a visitor.”


    Oh, and my day trip travel time limit would probably be about 3-4 hours. :~) We’ve driven up to Lake Placid for the day from where we are, but we’ve also driven down to NYC, too.

  11. April 15, 2010 1:29 pm

    For a day trip I’d say 3 hours is my max! If it’s a weekend trip…probably about 8.

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