Friday, November 26, 2010

Losing is the Pitts - Pittsburgh, PA

Today we went to a Pitt vs West Virginia football game at Heinz Stadium (where the Steelers play).  It was FREEZING cold outside (30s with a good amount of wind) and only survived three quarters before we couldn't take it anymore.  Unfortunately, Pitt lost to rivals West Virginia (10-35).  The crowd was as classy as ever.  Whenever WV scored, the WV fans would chant "eat shit Pitt".  Sorry for the foul language, but we thought it was hilarious.  On a better note, the stadium is in an awesome location.  You can watch the game and have a stunning view of the city all at the same time.  I'd love to come back for a much warmer, fall game sometime.

Scott, Erin's husband, flew in from NYC and met us at the game.  He had to work on Thanksgiving but was able to fly out for the weekend.  We split up in two cars to head back to Adam and Liesel's apartment. We ended up taking two different routes.  One car made it home in about a half hour and the other car made it home in two hours.  Guess which car I was in?  Yes,  I was in the two hour car with Adam.  It was awful!!!  The funny thing was that Adam told Liesel to take the GPS system in Scott's car just in case they got lost on the way back.  Maybe we should have kept the GPS in our car!

We spent the evening watching Modern Family (yes, we are addicted) and eating Vincent's Pizza (yes, you might remember this from the first trip to Pittsburgh).  Another great day in the Burgh!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day - Pittsburgh, PA

Happy Thanksgiving!  We had a wonderful day here in Pittsburgh.  The weather was quite frightful outside today so we spent the whole day inside.  In preparation for an entire day of eating, we completed a Jillian Michaels "Boost Metabolism" workout as soon as we woke up.  The rest of the morning was spent getting the meal ready.  Taking the brined turkey out of the bucket and putting it into the oven was pretty disgusting.  Poor Lucy was in the kitchen when I was doing this and she started screaming and crying.  I won't be surprised if she has a turkey phobia when she is older.  And for the record, I don't understand the brined turkey hype.  It was a lot of work and none of us thought the turkey tasted any better. 

The dinner was amazing (see menu below).  It was definitely a team effort and it turned out so delicious!  After dinner we watched Ratatouille and Elf.  In the evening, the missionaries came over and shared a nice Thanksgiving message with us.  Then, to top the night off, we ate turkey sandwiches and had a Modern Family marathon.  It was the perfect day!

Thanksgiving Menu:

Cheese, crackers, apples, grapes, nuts
Stuffed mushrooms
Artichoke dip

Main course and sides:
Brined turkey
Green bean casserole
Mashed potatoes
West Virginia sweet potato pie
Rolls with butter and strawberry jam
Cranberry ice (yes, ice)

Lemon meringue
Lemon truffle

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What’s up? Turkey Butt. – Pittsburgh, PA

Yes, that’s right.  There just might be a turkey in a bucket brining in the fridge right now (with it’s butt facing the top).  We’ve never brined a turkey before so it has been quite the experience.  Hopefully it will be the best turkey we have ever eaten!

We spent the morning shopping for our Thanksgiving meal.  We went to the classiest place of all – Super Walmart.  I mean, where else can you get really cheap groceries (yes, food for five people for five days only cost $132) and you get to see some of the most amazing people there. 

After our exhausting morning, we came home and took naps.  Feeling like we needed to get up and move a little, Erin, Liesel, and I did a session of Turbo Jam in the living room.  Never have I ever felt so uncoordinated in my life.  Seriously, I had no idea what was going on.  I’m going to give it another try….but I think I should just stick with the treadmill.

Tonight we went to Eat’n Park for dinner.  It’s a cute little chain diner that’s a step up from Denny’s.  The food was actually pretty good and once again the customer service was awesome.  Liesel and I made a late night run to the Giant Eagle to pick up a couple of things we forgot to buy earlier.  Don’t worry I went in my pajamas.  I only wear my finest for the people of Pittsburgh.  We spent the evening baking pies and watching TV.  The simple life is the best!

Take 2 - Pittsburgh, PA

I've been dreaming about my return trip to Pittsburgh for awhile now. Who wouldn't want to spend Thanksgiving with Adam and Liesel?!?! They are the best hosts on the face of the earth (no offense to anyone I've stayed with these last few months). Plus, Thanksgiving dinner is basically guaranteed to be OFF THE HOOK! Warning, if you are currently on a diet, you should probably not read my blog posts for the next week or so. I've seen the menu for the next five days and I promise, it will blow your mind! I actually had to step in and cut things from the menu.

Erin, Lucy, and I were all on the same flight from JFK to Pittsburgh. I am happy to report that none of us had to have a body scan or pat down! I also have to give Erin props for flying with a baby. You have to bring so much extra crap with you when you have kids. It's insane. Also, baby Lucy had to take off her shoes when going through security. What has this world come to?

After a bumpy flight, we finally arrived in Pittsburgh. Adam and Liesel picked us up from the airport decked out in their Steeler's garb. What has this city done to them? I guess I should be happy they are trying to embrace their city "culture". We headed straight to their apartment and arrived to a living room plastered with Hello Kitty decorations (left from Liesel's birthday celebration last week....yes, Liesel is a grown adult). Lucy loved it! We ate Aunt Faye's taco dip, sloppy joes, salad, and chocolate cake for dinner. What a way to start off the holidays.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Home Sweet Home - New York City, NY

NYC is trying desperately to get me to come back permanently!  Seriously, I have had a blast these last couple of weeks in the city.  The weather has been AMAZING and catching up with friends has been a DREAM COME TRUE!  I’ve been staying at Alisa Baker’s apartment while she is in Chicago (just happens to be my old apt in the West Village).  The city feels like home again! 

I’ve spent the days sleeping in, going to the gym, eating at delicious restaurants with friends, and wandering around my favorite neighborhoods.  I’m sorry I didn’t take more pictures but below is a list at all of the yummy places I ate at.  Yes, I ate out almost every single meal.  When you are in the city for such a short amount of time, you have to hit up all of the local favorites.  All of the restaurants have the Sara Sparhawk stamp of approval.  Foodies, eat your heart out!

Thursday, Nov 11th – dinner at Five Guys with John (yes, we are still friends after traveling the world together)
Friday, Nov 12th – lunch with Bree and Jenn at Wichcraft and dinner with Chloe, Jenn, and Jenna at PF Changs in the dirty jerz
Saturday, Nov 13th – brunch at Cookshop with Chloe, Jenn, and Jenna
Tuesday, Nov 16th – mid-day treat at the Doughnut Plant with Bree and dinner at Alta with Milca, Maida, and Sonia
Wednesday, Nov 17th – breakfast at Clinton Street Bakery with Dave and late lunch at Good Enough to Eat with Natalie
Thursday, Nov 18th – lunch at Dean’s Pizza with Liesel (birthday girl), Erin, Julie, and Kimber and dinner at the Burger Joint with Carly
Friday, Nov 19th – dinner at Friend of the Farmer with Christine
Saturday, Nov 20th – brunch at Essex Market with Chloe, Jenn, Jenna, and Noelle and dinner with the Union Square 3rd and Manhattan 8th Wards
Sunday, Nov 21st – homemade dinner with Jenn and Jenna and dessert night at Chloe's place
Monday, Nov 22nd – dinner at Five Guys with Jenn, Jenna, Kevin, Libby, Maria, and the Croppers