A Travellerspoint blog

Pittsburgh

Hockey, Baseball, Flight 93, Pittsburgh parks

overcast 2 °C

Apr 26, my morning walk took me through more of Gettysburg; a dewy, hazy morning with pics taken through the mist.
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The cannon ball that blasted this hole in the upper bedroom wall did not explode and is preserved in the museum at the visitor centre.
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The 4-hr drive to Pittsburgh took us through Shanksville PA, where we passed a sign for the Flight 93 memorial honouring the heroes that fought the high jackets on 9-11, forcing the flight to crash with no survivors, but also with additional casualties.

The site is very well done (no pics in respect for the memorial). The Tower of Voices is a couple of kilometres from the visitors centre.
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With the extra time spent at the memorial, we arrived at our Wyndham Hotel in time to check in and then walk to the hockey game. Our home team losing streak continues with Edmonton winning 5-1.
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Big differences between the experience at the Washington vs the Pittsburgh arena. Washington was really loud; painfully loud from the time we arrived 45 min before game time and during every possible break in play. It was tiring, difficult to talk and impossible to understand announcements and “song” lyrics. In contrast, the Pittsburgh arena also had announcements, music, and other activities before the game and between game play, but the volume was such that it was a much more pleasant experience. We were able to have a conversation with the fans seated next to us. We were able to enjoy the game experience.

One thing I did like about the Washington arena was the scoreboard always showing the players on the ice, with their game stats. We missed that at the Penguins game.

Apr 27 morning and afternoon walks - very cold today with a high of 4 degrees and brisk wind gusts. Glad I brought my winter coat and lots of layers.

In the morning I walked along the north and south shore parks. Memorial to Law Enforcement Officers - very appropriate since there’s a K9 cop convention at our hotel. We are constantly surrounded by cops and service dogs. We were happy the antsy one in the elevator this afternoon was muzzled. The other dogs have been calmer.
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There was also a memorial to Mr. Rogers. The statue seemed a bit odd - looked like it was made of mud.
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I walked across the Andy Warhol bridge and enjoyed the nice parks on both sides
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And a Vietnam memorial - I liked how the statues seemed to be of families reuniting after the war.
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Later in the day (having hoped in vain that it would warm up a bit), we walked to the Duquesne Incline funicular up to the Washington lookout. Up and then backdown again. A nice museum with pictures and postcards of cable cars from around the world and an observation deck with views of the bridges and downtown.
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The official stats show attendance at the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game this evening as 8,331 (22% capacity), but that seems really high compared to what we saw. Perhaps that is based on paid tickets. Only a few braved the cold, bundled up and wrapped layers of clothing and blankets. I think more hot chocolate and coffee was sold than beer. We had great seats, bought cheaply. We spent a couple of innings in the souvenir shop, which was heated, with others watching the game on the TV.
Another home team loss, low scoring. You can see in the pics how few fans were in the seats.
Pics of the stadium and game
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And the cold walk home. You can see the red line of the funicular in the first pic.
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Posted by Deb Godley 02:18 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Civil War sites in VA, MD, PA

Manassas (Bull Run 1 & 2), Antietam, Gettysburg,p

sunny 25 °C

Over the last two days, among other activities, we’ve visited four civil war battlefields. In Virginia, Manassas (aka Bull Run 1&2); in Maryland Antietam; and in Pennsylvania, Gettysburg.

We toured the visitors centre and varying amounts of the battlefields, with a field talk at the first Bull Run, a self driving tour at Antietam, and a bus tour in Gettysburg. So lots of names and battle tactics and positions running through my head, but feel that we have a rough sense of the first couple of years of the war. Lots of deaths, lots of bloodshed, cannons with a range of 2 miles and muskets with ranges up to two football fields. Lots of up-close bayonets and bullets, as I expected, but I didn’t expect the longer distance battles, especially the cannon warfare.

Manassas
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Antietam
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And the founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton
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Gettysburg
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Posted by Deb Godley 02:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Washington DC

Baseball, hockey, icons

semi-overcast 20 °C

In Washington, we dropped off the car at the parking garage associated with the Harrington Hotel and took an Uber to Nationals Park to see the Washington Nationals lose to the San Francisco Giants. This was our 13th baseball stadium and our record for home teams wins is now 11 -2, with only the LA Dodgers and Nationals representing losses. We had great seats, though, in section 128.
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Saw a few iconic landmarks on my morning walks. Can almost tell it’s the White House behind all the security
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The next day, we drove to Manassas to see the Bull Run battlefields (see pics in other post) and then to the Stephen Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum, one of the Smithsonian Institution sites. So, free to enter, but $15 for parking. Fantastic displays of flight with everything from a bicycle-powered plane, to blimps, a Concord, and the Discovery Space Shuttle. I took TONS of pics; here are a few
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And finally, a Caps game. The Washington Capitals is our 19th arena. Our record is less good for hockey at 10-9 (53% wins vs 85% for baseball). The Leafs won in the shootout, but a fun game with lots of goals, including one for each team disallowed (offside, hand pass). I cheered for all the good saves and all the goals for both teams. Unfortunately, saw Ovechkin slide head-first into the boards late in the game; he didn’t return and is day-to-day. Hopefully, he’ll be ok. Again, we had decent seats, purchased just a few hours before game time.
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Posted by Deb Godley 01:28 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Richmond VA

semi-overcast 15 °C

My morning walks included Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery and walking trail by the CSX railway, where they haul hundreds of cars of coal.
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And Belle Isle, former site of a notorious civil war prison
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In the afternoons, we walked a self-guided walking tour found on their tourist website called the Liberty Trail. Unfortunately, some of the sites have been moved and others poorly marked, so we didn’t see as much as planned. We did join a guided tour of the house of Maggie Lena Walker who was the first African-American female bank president - an immense achievement. We also saw the White House of the Confederacy.
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And took a canal tour, which was relaxing, but not really worth the 40 minutes as you couldn’t really see many of the sites from the canal; however, sailing through the huge flood gates was interesting.
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And interesting art
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Including Mr. Bojangles
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Posted by Deb Godley 01:11 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Cape Charles to Richmond VA

Chesapeake Bridge-Tunnel, Virginia Air & Space Science Center, Holiday Inn

sunny 14 °C

Lovely morning walk, sunny and light wind. Today, i took the left at the beach and, with a low tide, walked to Kiptopeke State Park. Lots of birds, in flight, wading in the calm waves, leaving footprints in the sand.
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Beach access for the houses I can’t see…
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Nice little park for fishing, $5/rod
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Immediately after leaving the KOA, we paid the $14 toll and crossed Chesapeake Bay on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. First opened in 1964, it spans 17.6miles with two tunnel sections.
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We stopped at the Virginia Air and Space Science Center. At $22pp, it felt a bit overpriced, given much of it was closed or not operational. We arrived in time to see the IMAX about asteroids, but I thought I already learned as much from the Bruce Willis movie, Armageddon. The ad for the Oceans movie looked more interesting, but the timing doesn’t work now. Planes and NASA space stuff on display. Lots of kids on class trips. So, busy and loud.
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We checked in at the Holiday Inn Downtown, centrally located for seeing civil war sites tomorrow. Executive King room, with lots of room, comfy bed, fridge & microwave. Internet seems good as well.

Feeling like pizza, we walked down Cary St to the Bottoms Up Pizza restaurant, which boasts a sour dough thick, crispy crust. It did not disappoint. Steve ordered a large meat lovers with mushrooms and I ordered a Chesapeake - parmesan-white sauce with crab and onions. Really excellent. Half of the large will be lunch tomorrow.
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Nice walk to/from as well. Not sure the significance of the guys hoisting the sail, but I liked it.
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Posted by Deb Godley 23:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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