Skype Saved My Day

There have been things bottling up inside for oh… I don’t know how long… but evidently today was when it all caught up with me. I cried not once… not twice… but three times. All in my office. All because I was speaking with my Mom. First legit cry since moving. Naturally when stressed I want to be around those who always bring calm to any storm that’s brewing in my life… family wins! It’s amazing how calm and recollected I was after skyping with the fam tonight (Brian included!). I feel lucky and truly blessed for the unconditional love and strength my family provides me; seeing their smiling faces reminds me why I am here.

circa 2009. oldie but goodie

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The Rents Were In Town!

My parents were in town!!!!!(It’s already been two weekends-I’m just a tad delayed with this one). I was so excited to not just have visitors but the BEST type of visitors! Luckily the entire time they were here there was not a cloud in the sky (literally not a single one) and the temperatures were in the 70s. Go figure on their drive in Friday the alternator decided to fail somewhere in Ohio which delayed them a couple hours. The breaking down of the vehicle ended up benefiting me in multiple ways: I was not rushing to make it home after my class trip to a local farm, I didn’t mind taking that wrong turn – forcing my friends & I on a 30 or so minute “sight seeing” detour of Pittsburgh during Friday rush hour, and I was able to sneak in two delicious beers at happy hour with Eric & Beth. As soon as I met my parents at my place we hopped in the car to get my dad his martini he requested an hour before arriving. Martini turned into margaritas and a happy daughter. After dinner we squeezed into my apartment and before we could gather our thoughts my Dad was passed out snoring per usual.

The next morning I woke up early against my will to drop off Maple Pumpkin Spice Granola I made as a last minute fundraiser for Slow Food Chatham. Another graduate assistant manages a local farmers market on Saturdays and she offered to sell my goods that morning… which my parents purchased once we made our way down there later that morning. Thank you Mom & Dad for buying veggies from our farm and contributing to my program’s scholarship fund! We plan on making the turnips for Thanksgiving! Can’t wait! After we supported my niche at the market we ventured to Coco Cafe in Lawrenceville so I could fulfill my desire for breakfast potatoes doused in Heinz and tabasco. SO perfect. My mom had Blueberry Lemon Verbana pancakes, my Dad had a Cuban sandwich. All was enjoyed. We continued on to the Strip District to hit up some more markets and street vending. Afterwards we ventured to Construction Junction, a huge warehouse with old pieces of housewares and furniture. I managed to salvage a shutter and slated door to organize my jewelry. I then brought them to another thrift store in a neighborhood I thought was legit until a domestic dispute broke out across the street (yes a man hit a women and there was some swearing happening). My Dad wasn’t exactly happy, especially when my car decided to not start. We clearly made it out alive.

As evening approached we went to ride one of the inclines along the riverfront to get a view of the city during dusk. The incline is a few minute ride up the hill with an accompanying beautiful view of the Pittsburgh. At the top there is a lookout area to take pictures where we took advantage…

Afterwards we had these grand plans to head to a wonderful sounding dinner next door to Coco Cafe complete with wood oven pizzas and delightful sounding salads. Highly recommended by friends. Wellll, you aren’t in Pittsburgh if you aren’t getting lost so leave it to me to get lost AGAIN! We finally made it to the restaurant only to find out there was a 90 minute wait and since it was almost 9 PM we decided to peace out. I brought them to Churchbrew Works instead! A quick and easy solution. This beautifully renovated church is now home to a brewery and a tribute to Germans (complete with a man walking around playing his accordion). If you get here at the right time, aka brewing time, the place smells of delicious hops!!!! It’s the perfect compliment to a meal! Anyways, we ended up having a great dinner and Dad still got his pizza.

We were all stufffed and tired.

Next morning we drove out Eden Hall – Chatham’s farm and future eco-campus. I gave them a tour and we harvested some veggies :)

My playground

overgrown knobbly radish.

Native bee nest

PUMA. the farm mascot

Afterwards we stopped by the nearby farm store to grab some fruit for our ride back to Pittsburgh. As I was suppose to read a whole book and turn in a paper the next day that I hadn’t yet started (whoops!) I went to the library for a few hours while my parents watched the Steelers game over lunch. Couple hours later I realized I hadn’t really gotten anywhere so we ended up deciding to grab a drink and go to a movie that night. It was nice to put aside work and continue to enjoy their company. And I’m sure taking me to a movie was a nice break from them having to hear me complain about school :)!!!! I’m lucky to have unconditional love despite my moaning & groaning.

All in all it was such a nice visit, we had awesome weather, and I now have some more furniture and curtains! Every little bit helps to feel a tad more complete. I owe them the world. I plan to help a LOT over Thanksgiving!