Friday, April 10, 2015

21 hours in Pittsburgh

Well, if he's not going to let me nap today, only sleeping an hour at 12:30.  Then I shall be productive. and it's time to blog about our impromptu Road Trip.   Our friend Bohl's Dad passed away right before Easter, and though all of us wanted to go to Pittsburgh for the funeral.  So, Eric and Mike both volunteered to work from home, and control the big kids, while Kathleen and I drove to Pittsburgh.  We took Jacob with us, so that helped make it easier on Eric.  We hadn't seen each other in so long, that we talked to each other the entire 6 hour drive there, and still hadn't gotten caught up.

Jacob did really well traveling... as long as I gave him snacks and the ipad loaded up with Yo Gabba Gabba.  Still, he did great.  We really only needed to stop to feed ourselves, pee or get gas.  He wasn't the limiting factor.  The limiting factor was the weather.  There were rows or bad rainstorms.  It was hailing before we hit the road, and we managed to stay between storms most of the day.  We chatted, and sang awesome early 90s rap songs... Loudly.   Surprising how many lyrics I can remember.  "1, 2, I'm a Party Dude...."

We came into Pittsburgh through the Tunnel.  
The Bohls had taken us through the Tunnel the first time we came to town, when we visited over Spring Break 1997.  

Even in the rain, it's a pretty powerful sight, coming through that tunnel, and Blammo - City! 

Pittsburgh is such a pretty city.  
I'm not a fan of driving in it though.  
Thank Goodness Kathleen did all the city driving.  I'm becoming such an old fuddy duddy.

We stayed with some of Sarah's friends, that we hadn't met, but they loved having us, and Jacob.  They treated us so well, we were a little frazzled from arriving and driving in rush hour traffic.  
They were ready for us, they had Pizza and Beer ready for us.   And it was Good.  
Check out this view at sunset.  
It wasn't too hard to find some nice things about being in town for a funeral. 

John was happy to see Jacob.  They were mighty cute together.  Some folks think it's weird to bring little kids to funerals.  Unfortunately, my kids have way too much experience.  But I believe having them present is a sign of the Circle of Life.   I basically brought Jake to entertain John and it worked.  We wanted to support the Family. And help where we could.  And the kids were cute together.  

I wasn't at all surprised that the funeral flowers were mostly red and white.  
On Wisconsin. 

The funeral itself was full of great Lutheran hymns, though a little different from what we sing, but lots of good music, which I would expect nothing less.  It was the kind of funeral, a celebration of Joy, because you Know where the person's soul was headed.  Daddy Bohl was very tight with God, so we knew where he was, and the Service was a Celebration of that.   It was rainy all morning, but then, as we were standing graveside, listening to wild turkeys of all things since we couldn't hear the pastor, when the sky opened up, and a beam of sunlight came down, it was a Sign.  It was Awesome.   

Again, I was very Grateful that Kathleen drove us out of town.  I'm not a fan of parking on hills, or Pittsburgh driving.  How do they cope in winter?

We ended up staying at the post-Service luncheon until 3:00, and it took us a couple hours to get out of town, so that by the time we hit Wheeling, West Virginia, we decided to stop for dinner. 

At Primanti Brothers!  

Kathleen had been to Pittsburgh multiple times, but had never had one of these epic sandwiches.  
So, I had scoped out where they were, Primanti Brothers is a chain all over Pittsburgh now.  
And I found one in West Virginia.  So we had to hit it.  
Kathleen and Jacob were very up to finding a bit of Joy on a sad day.  

And this brought me some Joy.  
It's a Primanti Steak sandwich.   Meat and cheese with french fries, a vinegar based cole slaw. 
I even welcomed the tomatoes.  What is up with me?  I have been majorly loving tomatoes lately, I've hated them all my life unless they were sauced, what is up with that?  I guess as I near 40, my tastes are majorly changing.  

And the sun set while we were in Ohio.  It was actually beautiful, getting a peak of the sunset from under a storms worth of clouds.  As we approached home, we saw another row of storms, watching lightning for like 20 miles before we got close. As we drove down my street, the wind picked up, and the hail hit about 10 minutes after I got home.  We got home just in the nick of time!  

It was a whirlwind, and I was exhausted and sore all day, but it was Worth It.  There are times in life, where it's clear we just have to do the right thing, and it all will turn out ok.