Driving Home with a Stop in Pittsburgh, PA

Trip Start Apr 30, 2009
Trip End May 04, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Home, at last! It feels like this trip has just flown by, but it also feels like we've been away from home for a very long time. Today was a very long one, filled with lots and lots of driving.

After a bite to eat at the hotel, we left around 9:00am. The directions that I printed off Google Maps were not clear, and as we discovered earlier, the signs in NJ are not clear at all! We had no idea where we were going - all we knew is that we had to get to the I-95. To make matters worse, we were running out of gas.

Thinking we were going the wrong way, we tried to turn around, but ended up on a toll highway! Quickly paying a toll fee and getting off the highway, we found a place to stop for gas. Miraculously, we spotted a sign for the I-95! Hooray, we're saved! From then on in, the directions and the drive were smooth sailing...er, smooth driving.

It was pouring rain for most of the morning and afternoon, which made for some hectic driving conditions, especially with transport trucks all around. Upon entering Pennsylvania again, we re-visited the beauty in heightened ways. This region, driving from NJ towards Pittsburgh, was even more mountainous than our drive in. On quite a few occasions, we drove through massive transit tunnels through the mountains!

We stopped for lunch at a rest station that had many different foods - we went for some veggie subs at Quiznos. Afterwards, we got some ice cream from Hershey - we were right near Hershey, PA, and little did I know that Hershey's makes ice cream, too! It was amazing - so rich and creamy - I think the flavour was something like peanut butter cup cookie dough. I also grabbed some Starbucks and we were back on the road. 

Some hours later, after countless songs played in the iPod and numerous silly jokes to keep each other laughing for the whole ride there, we arrived in Pittsburgh. It originally struck us that it might be similar to Hamilton, ON, as they are both Steel Cities, but Pittsburgh is WAY nicer, cleaner, and more cultured!

Our sole destination was the Shop Kawaii store on Walnut St. This is the home of our favorite online shopping site, where we have purchased many gifts for Christmas and special occasions for each other. Walking inside, the real-life store did not disappoint; it was better than I could have imagined! San-X characters filled the whole back half of one room, adorable apparel filling another room, and Japanese figurines, collectibles, and Kid Robot/Munny figures lined the walls. This is the store of my dreams! We spent a good amount of time in the shop and it was really tough narrowing it down to purchasing a "reasonable" amount of items.

We left Pittsburgh and drove towards NY state. In Erie, PA we stopped for dinner at Boston's Restaurant and Sports Bar to find it was nearly identical to our Boston Pizza, just with a different logo! The menu was different, too, with a few similarities; the decor inside was nearly identical. We just shared some appetizers, including crispy deep fried green beans with ranch dipping sauce that were awesome - never had anything like that before!

It was now 9:30pm and we arrived at the border. Our border guard was so nice and friendly, and actually conversed with us a bit about NYC! What a stark difference between him and the nasty US border guard! We drove through the border without any difficulties and arrived home around 11:00pm.

It feels great to be back at home and in my own bed, but what a fantastic experience! My third visit to NYC, but my first time experiencing the city with my love, which makes it my first "real" time in NYC. This was the first planned-out trip there with a longer duration as well. The trip to NYC was amazing and we'd both love to visit back sometime as there are many more places to visit and see! I've heard that NYC can be visitd numerous times and you could do different activities each time - upon visiting the city first hand, I'm sure that statement is very much true indeed! We had a wonderful time in the Big Apple!
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loolie on

Re: Welcome home...
It's a fantastic city with something for everyone! If you're ever in this part of the world, I would recommend going! :)

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