Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 9: Last stop

Some people have the push, the drive, the determination to drive 18 hours in one day to get home.  We are not those people.  We did that once and it was dangerous.  We were driving through Pennsylvania at 4 am, each of us terrified to nap in the passenger seat for fear the other would fall asleep driving, being passed by semis barrelling down the hills.  We slept for an hour in a rest stop and then made it to New Jersey, staring into the sunrise with eyes that we could barely keep open and swore we'd never do that again.

So, remembering that we suck at driving all night, we decided to take two days coming back from Boston.  It worked out that Pittsburgh was about the halfway point and the Pirates were home.  We had something to look forward to after that first day of driving.  More importantly, the kids had a reason to get up early and get into the car: we wanted to be there when the gates opened so we could watch batting practice and hopefully get one more MLB ball.

We were on the road out of Boston by 7:45 am, a minor miracle for us.  With luck, we'd be there by 5:00 and if the construction horror stories we heard about I-80 were true, we'd definitely still make the game.

It was a beautiful drive.  The kids slept for the first 3 hours.  I took adorable pictures of them, but since they are teens, I will respect the fact that they'd be mortified if I shared them.

The drive was beautiful, save the orange construction cones.  We lost about 30 minutes when it went down to one lane for miles and there was no construction in sight.

Driving out east makes you appreciate what a pain it must be to actually build roads out there.  And be grateful that we only have to push around dirt in the Midwest, vs. blowing up mountains.

The camera does a really crappy job of showing you how pretty it really is.  This was my favorite for a sense of the size of the hills. 

In order to get into Pittsburgh from the south, you have to go through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.  Pardon the bug guts on the windshield, but imagine that, for superstition and fun, you try to hold your breath for the entire 4,225 ft length.  Going less than 55 mph.  We failed.  

We made it to PNC just as the gates were opening.  It was all I could do to get the family to pause for a forced-family-fun selfie before we walked across the Clemente Bridge to the park.  It was no Golden Gate Bridge, but I still got a little emotional.  I am such a weirdo.

We were in the front row, just like Bob Uecker.  The front row of the outfield that is, but it was a fun place to sit.  The kids got to play ring toss with the fun crew that was walking around.  We did not get a ball during BP though.  The Nats just weren't hitting them out, at least during BP.  They hit plenty out during the game.

The Pirate Parrot was giving this Nats fan the what-for.  You can see the Pittsburgh Skyline in the background.  It's a gorgeous park.

View from our seats.  Starling Marte was right there.  The Nats left-fielder, den Decker took a little heat from the Pirates fans for that name of his.  The two Ks got a bit of an education.  (I'm sure they've never heard anything like that at school.)

The Pirates hhold Pierogie races for entertainment.  The night we were there, it was a relay race against the National's Presidents.  That dirty Teddy Roosevelt took out one of the Pierogies.

Although we never did get a ball, nor did the Pirates play well, it was still a fun night at the ballpark.  I will always recommend PNC to people.

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