Spontaneous Travel: When it’s 80F Degrees in Pittsburgh… You Road Trip!


The weather man was SUCH a tease, predicting the forecast at 60F Degrees for our weekend… until they realized that the warm front wasn’t going high enough to reach Buffalo, and 30F and freezing rain was in our forecast instead.  Matt was especially super disappointed.  He only gets two days a week to enjoy, and we would have to spend another weekend indoors.  Until he started checking the weather in our surrounding cities to find that Pittsburgh would reach 80F degrees for the weekend! 
It was 11am on Friday morning, I was in the gym locker room and got a text from Matt: “Hotel tonight in Pittsburgh… Think about it!” 

I love him.

Of course I am always up for getting away to warmer weather.  So after a lunch date with some girlfriends and naptime for my boys; I packed our bags and as soon as Matt biked home from work, we were on the road. 

At a gas station, we used Hotwire (for the first time!) to book our hotel in the ‘burgh... It’s a great website for last minute deals.  Another great one my friend just told me about the other day is HotelTonight, she found even better deals than Hotwire and booked her hotel a few days in advance!  When using Hotwire, we chose our location, Pittsburgh, and requested at least a 4 star hotel. Then they listed their deal; our “deal” was $99, but we wouldn’t actually know what hotel we’d get until we clicked “yes”!  We really didn’t have a preference, as long as we were in the city- it was just one night anyway!  We ended up getting the WilliamPenn Omni Hotel and it was fantastic!  Right after booking, we called to request a baby bed and ask for an upgrade… and they gave us both!  (It never hurts to ask for an upgrade and we’ve found most hotels will give it to you, especially when you ask the day of and are friendly. ;-))

In Pittsburgh, we parked at BNY Melon Center Garage; $6 for 24 hours and right across the Omni Hotel.  We walked back to the hotel and it was 70F+ at 10pm… amazing!!!!

To eat:
We snacked our way around Pittsburg and here is a list of all the restaurants we stopped at throughout the day!

Enrico Biscotti: This was the perfect spot for our family because the outside section, where we ate, was in an alleyway between two buildings.  We felt safe letting the boys walk around and the owner and wait staff didn’t seem to care in the least.  They were so kind to the boys and the owner even gave the boys huge cookies on the house!!  Matt ordered sausage risotto and I had the smoked salmon dish!  We gawked at a few other suuuper yummy dishes at other tables… “greens, eggs and ham” and their french toast looked AMAZING! 
Palmarya Mediterranean Cruisine:  We had no intention of eating here, but as we were walking by, I saw that it was a middle eastern restaurant and for some reason I ALWAYS crave hummus when we travel, lol, so I had to stop in for some hummus!  It was the perfect snack/bathroom stop for us.  The hummus was AMAZING and we ordered a cucumber/tomato side and some baklava for coffee later! J

Crazy Mocha: These guys made the BEST Americano… (it probably helped that they put in 3 shots of expresso, lol!)  We sat indoors and I charged my phone at the table and enjoyed a little AC because it was actually too hot outside!! Crazy, right!?

Primanti Brothers: Popular to Pittsburgh… like chicken wings are to Buffalo!  Matt ordered their classic pastrami sandwich decked with pastrami, coleslaw, and French fries.  I have to say I asked to try it… and then took a second and third bite! ;-)
Simple Greek: I saw this restaurant in Market Square and immediately started craving greek yogurt! Lol!  We stopped in and ordered at the counter their THICK greek yogurt with strawberries, raspberries, pistachios and honey… it was sooo yummy and the whole family shared a few bites (although I definitely snuck in a few extra bites myself) ;-)
Starbucks: Of course we needed a Venti Starbucks for our drive home. ;-) And I feel like I don’t really need any explanation for Starbucks… if you have kids, you know the wonderful effects a cup of starbucks will have on you. ;-)

What to do:
Matt and I love exploring a city and walking outdoors so we spent the entire day walking all around downtown Pittsburgh.  Some of my favorite sections were: the Strip District, Station Square, and Point State Park.  The boys did great, and we didn’t do a single “kid activity” but I LOVE how they just adapt to any situation and can still entertain themselves!  Dylan was especially adorable this trip.  He’s going through this super hero phase right now where he wants to pretend he has super powers.  So he walked around the city with a second set of shoes on his hands, pretending to be “super dog” and his blanky around his neck pretending to be “batman”.  Side note: he’s never seen “Batman” but LOVES running and saying he has “batman speed”.  Another side note: I always said I would never let my kid wear a cape in public, lol!”   His imagination is amazing and he spent the whole day pretending to save things all around the city.  Christopher is sooo good in the stroller and I think he just loves watching all the people and cars drive by, that he is just so content.  We really do love cities because there is so much action all around, and the boys are always entertained by everything there is to look at!
 



Although we didn’t do much beside walking, there are so many wonderful things you can do in Pittsburgh, especially with kids.  The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum is supposed to be amazing… the top floor has a whole water section where you can literally put your kids in their swim suits and let them go at it!  Of course we wanted to stay outdoors so we skipped this attraction.  Pittsburg also has an amazing zoo that we will definitely come back and visit!  Also, I hear that taking your kids to watch the Pittsburg Pirates play at their baseball stadium is wonderful!  It’s known to be one of the best ball parks in the country and they even have a kid area where your little ones can get their wiggles out before they sit.  And you get a great view of the city when you watch the game! J

Matt and I were joking all day that our spontaneous Pittsburgh “vacation” was our best decision ever, lol!  And I have to say, we didn’t “break the bank” either… the whole trip cost us about $200 (not including gas)... you could spend the same amount on a date night out for dinner and drinks.  Pittsburgh was definitely affordable and SO worth the weather and we feel like we will now be able to get through a few more crummy and unseasonably cold weather days in Buffalo! J



Comments

  1. You photos are absolutely beautiful! Looked like such a fun time! !! I have never been but I would love to visit.

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    1. Thank you Tiffanie!! We had a blast... I'm sure much more fun than we would have had spending the weekend in snowy Buffalo... all churches were even canceled on Sunday because the weather was so bad!!! Soo glad we got to enjoy warm weather and such a beautiful city!!!

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  2. What a fun getaway! We have lost a little travel spontaneity since becoming parents, so I am super inspired by you! I think we need to do stuff like this more often.

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    1. Oh Do It, Lisa!!! I feel so much more alive when we do stuff like this and I think it teaches our kids to be more flexible and easy-going as well!! :)

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  3. Looks like you all had a great time! I am loving all of the fun photos too. Your kids are so adorable.

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    1. Thank you Angela! We really did have a great time.. it was good to be away as a family! <3

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  4. It looks like so much fun! That is the best thing to do when it gets hot! Travel!! I need to hit the east coast again! get a change of scenery from Idaho!

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    1. Oh yes Tia! I hope you come back soon! :)

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  5. I think that's awesome that your family went on a spontaneous road trip! You have a beautiful family and it looks like you all had a great time. Your description of the foods and restaurants have me wanting to make my own trip to Pittsburgh someday!

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    1. Oh thank you Margaret! Yes, we enjoyed all the yummy food and will definitely be back again!!!

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  6. I LOVE your spontaneity! I have never spent any time in Pittsburgh, but it looks like you all had a fabulous, fun weekend there, even though it was a last-minute, spur-of-the-moment trip!

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    1. Yes! It couldn't have worked out better! I'm so glad we went and it was so exciting to get away last minute like that!

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  7. aw what a fun day! you look gorgeous

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