In Wisconsin, teachers always look forward to the end of October. There is always a teacher convention and we get two days off to go to the convention....or if you go to enough other professional development activities throughout the year, you get two days all to yourself. As I am sure you can guess, Andrew and I always make sure to get the two free days.
This year, we decided to take a trip. We first though about heading somewhere down south to get out of the cold or even out west. We couldn't figure out where to go, so then we thought about finding a sweet football game to go to. We looked to see if Alabama or LSU or Oregon had any good games, but they didn't so then we thought we would try something closer to home--A Big 10 Game. We saw that Penn St. had a big game against Michigan and decided to head out to State College, PA, Andrew's birth place, to watch the game and see some great friends.
We flew out to Pittsburgh and spent about a day in Pittsburgh. The second we got into the car, we headed downtown to go to Primanti Bros., only the most famous sandwiches of Pittsburgh. Boy, we were not disappointed. I had the Pitts-burgher cheese steak and Andrew had the corned beef. If you haven't heard of these sandwiches, they are something to write home about. It is your choice of meat with cheese, cole slaw, fries and tomatoes--Delicious! I also had a craving for cheese fries, so I ordered MORE fries. Andrew was like, seriously, do you not understand the sandwich you just ordered? Here's a look at our wonderful experience at Primanti Bros., the play-by-play...
Look at that sandwich....
I could barely get my mouth around it.
Andrew, on the other hand, had no problem. He was in sandwich heaven.
Andrew had no problem finishing his.
I didn't do so well. Andrew did end up finishing mine though.
We stayed downtown Pitt and asked the concierge where to spend the evening. We had heard the Strip was a cool place, but he told us to hold off until the morning. He then recommended heading to the South Side. He suggested several bars to check out. We started at one called Smokin' Joe's. We enjoyed a nice beer and some delicious wings then our waitress told us a couple other places to hit up. We thought we would do a mini bar crawl and headed to Fat Heads, the next bar. We ended up getting seats at the bar and stayed there the rest of the night. Fat Heads is a brewery and also had about 50 other beers on tap. We had another snack and enjoyed several beers the rest of the night. The bartender was awesome...we would ask about a beer and the next second, we would have a sample in front of us. Between the two of us, we probably had 2 whole beers in samples. It was great. We made friends with the guys sitting next to us and had a great evening. And to end it all, the hotel had a shuttle that picked us up outside the bar. It was fabulous!
The beer list.
Andrew is convinced that Pittsburgh is the greatest city ever, OK, maybe not the greatest, but he LOVED it! Everyone we met was so helpful and for as much crap as we heard about Pitt sucking, we really, REALLY enjoyed ourselves.
We ended our trip in Pittsburgh with breakfast in the strip district. Nothing too special, just more food.
We then headed out east to State College. After about a 3 hour drive, we drove into downtown State College and enjoyed a hot beverage and shopping for some PSU gear. The downtown area is super cute, and kinda reminds us of Iowa City.
We stayed with very, VERY good family friends Darrin, Linda and Layla. We met Darrin at their house to get Layla off the bus (she's in first grade) and headed to Blue Band practice. We toured their beautiful facilities and watched them prepare their show for Saturday. To give you an idea of their band building, they have locker rooms and each person has a locker, just like the football players. It is pretty unbelievable. It was rather cold and windy, so we didn't last long. We headed back for dinner and went to the Rally in the Valley.
We just HAD to get a picture with the lion.
In our Rally gear. Thanks for the Ts D!
The Great Joe Paterno--two games short of win 400. His speech was actually legible and quite a hit. They even talked about it on ESPN. "I'll bring the meatballs!" Here's the video, take a look.
On Saturday we got to experience the great tailgating scene that is PSU. We were all about cheering for the Lions. We met other wonderful family friends, the Grants, for tailgating. And as can be expected, Ann and Gary, had a lovely spread for breakfast and lunch. They really know how to do it. With Laurie graduating from PSU in 2010 and Mark and Elisa being sophomores, they have had plenty of experience. They had the whole thing down to a science. With it being a night game, we tailgated for a good 10 hours. It was awesome!
Along with spending some quality time with some very old friends, we're talking, over 20 years, we enjoyed the local beer, Yuengling, looking at old pictures and some fun tailgating games--we taught them our new favorite game BOOM!. PSU really knows how to do it...almost as good as IC...almost.
Our wonderful hosts-Linda and Darrin
My girl Layla. She looks WAY cuter in the lion hat.
Look! I met Joe Pa!
Enjoying the scene.
Laurie showed us around, took us to some other crazy tailgates and then we went to the TailGREAT! It's like the Rec show that the HMB does, but they call it the Tail Great. It's where the band plays some songs and does a little show before the game. It got us inside after being outside in the cold all day.
Laurie showing us how it's done....1-2-3 Chug! I'm sure our parents would be proud.
All the kids at the Tail Great---Laurie, Mark, Elisa, Me and Layla.
Me with Ann and Layla.
At the game, Darrin scored us some awesome, I mean AWESOME, seats. We were on the 45 yard line about 20 rows up. We have never, ever had seats this good to anything. They were incredible. It was great to see a game at Beaver Stadium. The whole student white out thing was pretty cool, the atmosphere was intense and the Lions beat Michigan. It was an great game.
In our seats staying warm. I was ready for the white out.
Couldn't this be a postcard picture.
Overall, it was a phenomenal trip. We had such a great time in Pittsburgh and State College and seeing our friends. We have already talked about heading out east again for the Penn St.-Iowa game. It's on October 8th, 2011, so I think we will keep our calendars clear--State College better watch out...it's gonna be a Hawkeye invasion!