Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our Time In PA...

After we said our goodbyes with Erin and David, we made our way to my sister's house in PA. Compared to the rest of our road trip, this was a pretty easy drive -- only 3 hours from where we stopped for lunch! We made it there with just enough time to unpack, put Oba in the cage, and head on out to swim practice with the boys.

Due to the fact that our two nephews, Alex and Josh, are on different swim schedules, we hung out with Josh and kept him entertained while Alex practiced first...



It's usually straight to bed for the boys after getting home from swim, so after we all settled in, we headed upstairs. Sweet Bugs (nickname for Alex) decided to make a bed for Obadiah. In the past, Oba would always stay in Alex's room while we tucked him in, but once I left, he would book it out of the room to follow me! Well, Alex did such a great job with making a comfy bed for Oba (and a bed for himself next to Oba's on the floor), that Oba slept there every single night!

The picture's a little fuzzy due to no flash and wrong ISO settings, etc., but cute nonetheless...


The next morning, we took Josh to school (daycare) -- allowing for some nice one-on-one time with him in the truck. Love those smiles...


Afterwards, we hit up the outlet mall -- who can pass up tax FREE shopping on outlet clothes?!?! Oh, how I love Banana Republic -- especially at outlet pricing! We made sure to take full advantage of PA's tax free clothing and shoes and hit up our favorite shops. It's kind of a tradition whenever I visit my sister in PA -- a trip to the outlets is a given.

Since this was James' first visit to Pittsburgh, I made sure to take him to some of the Pittsburgh favorites while we were there. After finishing up at the outlet mall, we headed on over to Primanti Bros. For those of you not familiar with Primanti Bros., their sandwiches are awesome! Anytime I see them mentioned on Man. Vs. Food or some of the other Food related shows, I want one! So as to be a little more unique, they put their fries inside the sandwich, rather than having them as a side dish. Plus, they have their own recipe for coleslaw that goes on the sandwich too. The array of flavors mixed together makes for a great sandwich. Yum!



Just looking at that picture makes me hungry!

Anyways...After we were done, we raced back to my sister's house so that we could make it in time for karate. Alex started karate this fall, and I couldn't wait to see him in action! I just think it's so cute!

Alex taking notes from the black belt next to him...


Kicking some butt!


Poor Bugs was bummin' towards the end though...


I love seeing the nephews in action during any kind of sporting event, so it was great seeing Alex all decked out and ready to go at karate.

Once we got home, it was time for dinner. James ended up spending what felt like an hour debating with Josh about the awesome lasagna that Jen made. He was having issues with the idea of eating it, and James was trying to convince him otherwise. This particular little boy is obsessed with Mario and Luigi right now -- especially Luigi -- so James told him that even Luigi loves this lasagna. He said that Mario and Luigi are Italian and that they LOVE lasagna! Josh got very frustrated and said that he doesn't like "yucky lasagna!" Haha. They ended up going in circles for awhile, and even Alex got involved (helping Uncle James, of course!). It was rather entertaining from our end, but I'm sure it drove my sister nuts!

That next morning, Jen ditched work for a little while and joined us at breakfast. We hit up another institution in Pittsburgh...Pamela's Diner. Man...Visiting Pittsburgh requires that you pack on a few pounds! Such good food! We loaded up on an awesome breakfast, and were able to hang out with Jen for a little bit sans boys. Not that I don't LOVE seeing my nephews, but it was nice having a quiet breakfast with her.

Strawberry Hotcakes...Yum!


As you can see, I was still a bit sleepy -- clearly not a morning person!


Even though Pamela's is the type of restaurant that you feel you must roll out of after eating so much, a little donut shop caught our eye on the way to the car. The name reminded us of the famous Voodoo Donuts in Portland, so we had to check it out!

Peace, Love and Little Donuts: Feed Your Inner Hippie...


We grabbed a few donuts to go and headed back home. I must say...they weren't nearly as good as Voodoo Donuts, but they were definitely unique!

Later that night, we went to my sister's friend's house for dinner -- with Oba, too! During my last visit to Pittsburgh, we had wanted to try and get our pups together, but it just never worked out. So that night was THE night! Obadiah got to meet their pup, Sam...and let me just say...They were nuts the entire evening! They chased each other around the house all night, and when Oba would be totally pooped (happens when you're a senior citizen!), Sam would come back and egg him on for more. It was an entertaining night to say the least -- ending with a bath for a certain soaked (with drool) basset hound.

Two crazy pups...


Until the very last evening there, we just soaked up time with the boys...

Here's the Luigi fan...


Uncle James, the new mode of transportation...


Sweet Bugs...After I gave my sister the Baby Loss magnet, Alex immediately took it and put it on the front door...


On our last night there, my mom arrived in town. She was coming just as we were going -- having already planned to watch the boys the next day while Jen went to a wedding. Here she is with a proud basset. Oba loves his Grandma Julie!


While watching some history program on TV, the boys decided to sit on the shoulders of Uncle James and Grandma Julie -- not sure what prompted this!



Later, Oba decided to have a conversation with Grandma Julie -- or so it appeared, ha. (I'm sure there was some grumbling going on -- he does like to have his voice heard!)


As an end to our visit with my sister and nephews (my brother-in-law was in Europe on business, hence his absence here...), we headed over to the Hofbrauhaus! I still can't believe Pittsburgh has one! James and I absolutely LOVED going to the original Hofbrauhaus in Munich when we lived in Germany, so any time we get the chance to visit one stateside, we jump on it! Great food, great beer -- for those of you that like beer -- and great atmosphere! We're definitely going back on our next trip to Pittsburgh!

Jen and her liter of beer...


James thoroughly enjoying his liter of beer...


(You won't be seeing a picture of me with a liter of beer...while I think it LOOKS good, I think it tastes absolutely foul! It's still fun to go though!)

Amazing authentic German cuisine...


I can't remember if it was a birthday or anniversary, but someone came out to play at the table next to us. Ahhhh, it makes me miss Germany!


After our meal...


The two of us as we were heading to the car...


The drive home was spent with good conversation with Jen about a wide variety of topics. At one point, something came up about Alex and a drawing that he had created. This particular drawing meant so much to me after Jen told us about it. So as to explain...Alex likes to make "books." In order to create these books, he takes a few sheets of printer paper, then folds and staples them together like a book. He then creates a variety of drawings that fall under the specific theme to that book. This book that she told us about was themed around his family. On one of the pages, he drew a graveyard. In this graveyard stood his friends on one side and his family on the other. I think the two pups represent Bo and Oba. Then at the top are three headstones. The one on the left is obviously for Livy, but when Jen asked him who the other two were for, he said they were for our other two -- Jacob and Jordan. What a thoughtful boy! I still can't believe he drew such a picture as this. When I heard about it, I just wanted to give him a big hug -- granted, he was already in bed, so I wasn't going to wake him up, but still. I always love the pictures that he draws. (He drew one of Oba a couple years ago that I still have. Makes me chuckle every time I see it).

Here is the picture that he drew...

Such a sweet, sweet boy! Jen told me that around the same time as he drew this picture, Livy's grave came up in conversation. He showed interest in seeing it, so Jen told him that the next time they visit Indy, she's going to take him there so that he can see where Livy's buried. I know the boys are affected by the loss, too, but this just shows how much Livy's still remembered by all. Even a sweet little 7 year old thinks about her still...

That next morning, we said our goodbyes and headed out for our final destination...COLUMBUS, GA! Our new home was in sight. We were almost there! After 13 hours on the road that day -- driving through PA, WV, VA, NC, SC and finally GA -- we made it to the new house. We soon found the keys hidden by the neighbor (we set up the rental ahead of time), and settled in for the night.

Let the fun begin as we settle in and adjust to life in the South!

1 comment:

  1. Alex's book made me cry. What a sweet little boy! I think it is so special that he knows his cousins and thinks about them. I can only imagine the big hug you wanted to give him!
    It sounds like you had a wonderful time in Pennsylvania. Your nephews are adorable! I bet you guys have a great time with them. And that food....Oh YUM! We had a Hofbrauhaus in FL. It made me want to go to Germany even more so!
    Looking forward to hearing about Georgia :)

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