Day 6 we saved to just explore Pittsburgh. I went out for a short run and then took the kids to breakfast. On the way we saw “Mass Yoga:”
The next 3 days were the annual ACCS conference, which filled our days. I won’t write here about all the great sessions and plenaries, others than to copy in a snippet that George Grant used about “The Long Explore…”
I’ve got a splendid idea! Now listen: we’ll take Tigger for a long explore, see, somewhere he’s never been before. And we’ll lose him there!
Winnie the Pooh:
[awakes] Lose him?
Oh, we’ll find him again next morning, and mark my words, he’ll be a humble Tigger, a small and sad Tigger, and a “oh, rabbit, am I glad to see you” Tigger. And it’ll take the bounces out of him, that’s what! Now, all in favor, say ‘aye’.
Aye. [Pooh falls asleep again] Pooh. [shakes Pooh awake] Pooh!
Winnie the Pooh:
[waking up, then raising his hand] Oh, here.
Oh-ho-ho, good. Just good. Motion carried.
Why include this? It reminded me a lot of why I tackle some of the adventures I do — to be humbled, to be reminded of how small I really am. I don’t get sad, though, I get excited! It’s a beautiful world, meant to be explored!
After the conference was over around noon, we drove up to Grove City College to get a guided tour of the campus. It’s a great little school and a wonderful campus.
And that night Kelly and I went to a fantastic restaurant (Piratas) while the kids stayed back — they were full from lunch and didn’t want dinner just snacks.
A long car ride, packing for multiple trips within a trip (DC, Pittsburg for school conference and exploring, NYC, DE (beach)) and this is what you get:
On the trip to Pittsburg from DC, we decided to stop by and see the United Flight 93 National Memorial in PA. It was amazingly well done, and very much worth the time.
I really had no idea how emotional I’d get at the memorial. It started at the overlook, but inside the Visitor’s center as I was reading the minute by minute account of the day, it got worse. I lost it when the TV clips they were playing replayed the Today Show footage of the 2nd flight hitting the Trade Center — I remember that exact clip as I was watching it live as it happened, and that brought the memories flooding back. For those of you that don’t know, Danny Lewin, the co-founder of Akamai, was on American flight 11, so 9-11 has always been a very emotional memory for all of us that knew him and were working there that day, and I still get so sad when re-living it. 😦
Once we got to Pittsburg, I got out for a quick run along the river(s):
And then we went to Burgatory for dinner, and I got this fortune:
This looks like a great place for a conference and to explore post conference for a couple of days…
Kelly and I got up early and took the subway to the Montserrat train, which was about an hour out of the city. We had a bit of confusion on the “combined” ticket we had purchased back in town and which stop to get off, and what kind of ride we’d get up the last bit, but we eventually made our way up and down. I would like to be on top of the mountain when there are less people, as it was a bit crowded, but it was still beautiful. When we eventually made it back to town, I had to quickly rush off to the conference I’m here for! Kelly flies home in the morning while I need to stay in town and work a couple of days.
On the recommendation of my co-worker Larry, we booked a private tour through Runner Bean Tours. We ended up with the same tour guide he and his family had, Jessi, an ex-pat from Australia. She was fantastic and gave us a tremendous amount of history as we toured the old city concentrating on the Gothic the 1st half, and Gaudi the 2nd. Later in the day we were also able to meet our niece Jessi to hangout for a bit as well as have dinner. She’s in Bracelona this summer on a study-abroad opportunity.
We arrived on the red-eye (neither of us slept much if at all) and then at the hotel around 8:30 a.m. after an easy taxi ride. Unfortunately our room wasn’t ready, so instead of a nap, we headed out to breakfast and then over to the Picasso museum. After that we also walked in and around The Cathedral of Barcelona. We went back to the hotel around 12:30 but still no room, so we went back out. But now it was raining pretty hard, so we just grabbed a coffee/tea in a small shop to wait a bit longer. We finally got a call around 1:30 that the room was ready so we headed back over and got a couple of hours of sleep. Now we should be able to handle a 9 or 10 p.m. dinner like the locals! 🙂
After the nap we went out and had a snack, then explored the area on foot, before eating dinner at Los Caracoles, a place my boss Jon recommended…