Trip Start Oct 30, 2009
Trip End Nov 05, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Saturday, October 31, 2009


Oh my god, is it 6:30 already? I hardly got any sleep... bleh...

I quickly get dressed and go downstairs for breakfast. What is this? Make your own waffle? OMG, awesome. You put the batter in, close the waffle iron, rotate it around, and when the beeper goes off, it's done! Incredible innovation in hotel breakfast facilities. I'm thoroughly impressed.

The result is a perfectly browned waffle, complete with fake tasting maple syrup, I guess you can't fault them, this is definitely not Quebec.

Soon, it's 7:30, time for me to catch the shuttle bus. I am right on time. The driver does not come out... OK, she is now 10 minutes late. What's this? You forgot I was supposed to be at the airport? Ugh, whatever. I'm still early enough, but I have just enough time to make it through security and get to the gate again. No chillout time before the flight.

No matter, it's a really short one anyway.

On the way there, I realize that I left my very favourite hat that I bought in Philadelphia in my hotel room. I try to call the Comfort Inn, but 411 can't seem to find it. I have to quickly catch my plane and forget about it for the time being.
Before I know it I'm in Pittsburgh! I call Arunan as soon as I get there, and he says he will STILL come and pick me up. He is a saint.

Miraculously....my bags are ACTUALLY THERE! WAITING FOR ME!


I collect everything and eagerly go to the washroom to finally brush my teeth and everything else I didn't get to do, because I checked all of my hygienic products... you know... liquid ban and all...

While I am waiting to be picked up, I move some stuff from my carryon to my checked bag and lo and behold (!!!!trumpet jubliation!!!!!) I find my hat!
Before too long, Arunan is there to pick me up in the drizzling rain. He had joked about me bringing him some maple syrup before, and I had it for him in the car. He didn't think I'd actually do it, HA! That showed him!... Maple syrup joker... serves him right... or... something...

Soon, we are off to meet some CSers at an Indian buffet, the Maharaja. It's not as bad as it sounds. I picked it without knowing it was a buffet. It was better than Ottawa buffets. Arunan is Indian and he doesn't like it so much. It's "just wrong", he says.

Anyway, Cathy, Ruchi and Ben join us and we eat wayyyy too much. AND I have to go to Primanti's later... Oh my, that is a disaster waiting to happen.

We hang out for a couple of hours just talking about Pittsburgh things. At one point, a guy at another table overhears us debating the different Rambo movies. I've only seen the parts I saw last night, so I have no idea, but he comes over to explain to us the various parts of the series. Thank you, random guy!

After the relaxing meal and conversation, Arunan and I agree that it would be a good idea to go back to his place and take a nap. I definitely need it.

We wake up around 5:30 and then plan our night. I'm going to go to Primanti's to meet Jeremy and then over to Clearstory Studios for the rest of the time.

So, Arunan (aka my private chauffeur, as he came to be known over the course of the weekend) and I headed to Primanti's. Jeremy was there waiting for us and we ordered a big giant sandwich each.

I was not too impressed with it, it seemed to be that this sandwich that is so famous is really bland! Even after adding hot sauce.

Arunan went to some house party and Jeremy and I decided to hang around and chat a bit. We walked to the house party, but didn't find anyone there. That was because they were in the backyard, as we found out later.

So, we just went to Clearstory Studios for our $8 party. There was a crazy amount of booze  available, as well as a giant orange Gatorade container labelled "Mark's Mystery Punch". There were also lots and lots of kegs in the back corner, that many people had already broken into.

So... what goes with all of this drinking? Lots of peeing of course.

There is only one bathroom for the entire place.

You can see where this is going.

Before even 10 p.m., the toilets are clogged beyond recognition, the floors are flooded and the whole back-left corner of the place stinks of sewage. Dis-gusting.

There is a Giant Eagle (similar to our Metro) that is open until midnight just down the street. I head over there and find that I'm not the only one who has thought of using this washroom. I am shocked to find that someone's ass has exploded all over the toilet there. Blech!

When I get back, Jeremy has found his "cow". His girlfriend, Angie has dressed up as a cow and he has dressed up as a farmer.

Soon after this, Arunan shows up in his "Son of Man" costume, which surprisingly, a lot of people understand.

Rosie the Riveter is there too. She has just been elected to city council and will be starting her term in January. How cool of a city is this, when reporters and city councillors work TOGETHER to put on such a crazy awesome Halloween party every year? Pretty amazing.

I also meet a few social media types like @iheartPGH (Stands for I love Pittsburgh, for those out of the loop) and @deeplocal.

The beer runs out, and people need to pee even worse than before, so the party thins out. The prizes are given out and we end up at another bar down the street where Arunan's neighbours are. I get to try a Yuengling (nobody drinks the famous Iron City brew, I'm told)...

I talk politics with a former marine and then go home for a good sleep back on Arunan's pull out couch.
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big_red_truck on

I thought you Canadians would've seen this before...or do you prefer flapjacks ;)

There have been waffle makers in the Holiday Inn Express hotels since 2004 (first time I stayed in one). That is an especially pretty waffle. Mine normally tear down the middle trying to get 'em out.

starlagurl on

Yeah, I had no idea this existed. That's pretty incredible.

jimoore71 on

they are not bad waffles but like you say- they need REAL maple syrup and not the plastic land stuff

starlagurl on

Definitely agree with you. There is no substitute for the real stuff!

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