Home Again, Home Again

6.10.2012

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I spent the last week in three cities--Pittsburgh, Houston and now Austin. All this packing and unpacking, moving in and moving out, and re-settling has taken away time from BOD, but I should be back in action for good now. First things first is to document my trip with my parents to greet Carolyn, Art, Elsie, and baby V in Pittsburgh!

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My mom, dad and I were greeted by lots of precipitation as we arrived in Pittsburgh. We explored the neighborhood that Carolyn and Art would soon call home on our way to a lovely (but claustrophobic) dinner at a local Italian favorite, Girasole.

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{elsie cuddling up to the baby Alexander in the belly}
The next morning, we awoke early as we were eager to see our Austrian expats. We met them at their new apartment and didn't waste a minute before we started stocking it with the essentials--paper towels, bathing products, sheets, and of course some treats for Elsie who made her first (and likely last) overseas flight.

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Several Target trips were involved which served as the perfect occasion for the girls to bond over towel and plate options as the boys obediently followed with the cart. You could see the twinkle in Carolyn's eyes as we made our way down each aisle and she was finally in a land of English labels, endless options, and much more reasonable pricetags.

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We managed to squeeze in a lot more "tourist-y" things than I expected.

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We visited the gorgeous Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, where Art will be researching.

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Serving as the main library at the university, it stands 42 stories tall, making it the second tallest education building in the world. It undoubtedly puts the PCL to shame.

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Many of the classrooms are themed with a nationality.

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The Austrian room, coincidentally, was one of the most beautiful and ornate, reflecting the elegance of the Baroque period in the 18th century.

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At least they'll have a little piece of their first home right here in the heart of Pittsburgh.

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We perused through the shops in Shadyside, the neighborhood adjacent to theirs, Squirrel Hill. It hosted a number of stores Carolyn had long been without like Banana Republic, J. Crew, Lulu Lemon, and even an Apple store.

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After an early dinner, Carolyn and Art were jaded from traveling and suffering from jet lag. My parents and I weren't nearly as wiped, so we looked to the concierge to point us to a fun place for a weekend night in Pitt. He led us to a brewery/church. Yes, you read that correctly--a beer hall set in the confines of an old worship center. It was not your conventional cocktail experience to say the least.

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On Sunday, we visited what would likely be their new parish, and then took in what is acclaimed to be one of the best city views in the world at the Duquesne Incline.

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Our waitress at Church Brew Works recommended we visit the National Aviary if birds suit our fancy.

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It was definitely worth checking out. We saw nearly extinct species, had a snow owl fly right over our heads, and I even gave cash to a parrot.

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For our last dinner, celebrating their long awaited homecoming and new baby Alexander coming in August, we went to Meat + Potatoes, a new restaurant and hot spot downtown. We realized its popularity after calling on Friday with the only weekend openings being past 10pm. We feasted on duck, porkbelly mac'n'cheese, wedge salads, pork chops, and strawberry shortcake.

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I can distinctly remember saying farewell to Carolyn and Art, newlyweds at the time, as they embarked on their European adventure, and thinking to myself, "I'll be going into my second year of college before they move back; that seems like an eternity from now." And before I knew it, we're here. They're still a flight away, but at least they're on the right continent now. I'll miss telling people I have one sibling in Europe, but I'm willing to pay that price to have her home for Christmas and other family affairs. In case you haven't heard it enough, we're so glad to have you all back. Now for everyone's favorite question: what will be the next phase of Life in Graz now that y'all are Pittsburghers?

2 comments:

Cathy McConn said...

Flamingos look much better than a tray of orzo. Wink.

Carolyn said...

thanks moll. sweet post.