Pittsburgh PA

Pittsburgh Trip 2023 Part 1

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Thanks to a work conference for me, Holly and I had an opportunity to visit Pittsburgh. Despite living in Pennsylvania the majority of my life, I had never been there before.

I didn’t get to see much of the city because I was at the conference, but I did enjoy what I was able to do and see. Holly got to do more sightseeing since she didn’t attend the conference.

We opted to take the train, the Amtrak Pennsylvanian to be specific. I looked into flights but saw that the airport is pretty far from downtown. Union Station in Pittsburgh is under ½ a mile from our hotel. Although the train takes longer, it seemed like the better, less stressful option. We live closer to the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station in Philadelphia so getting to and from the train was easier on both ends of the trip.

The train left early Wednesday afternoon so we started our day with a hearty breakfast at one of our favorite local places, Café Lutecia. We went there last spring on our travel day for our Arizona and California trip and enjoyed starting our trip with some delicious and familiar food.

The train ride was long but pleasant enough. There was a short delay due to a switch issue so our 8 hour ride turned into an 8½ hour ride. I was fine for the first 7 hours but grew a little restless toward the end.

We stayed at the Omni William Penn. We’ve stayed at the Omni Shoreham in Washington DC and really liked it which is why I chose another Omni for this trip. Both are older buildings updated with modern amenities so they have a certain charm without sacrificing conveniences.

We arrived at our hotel a little after 9:00 pm and had a rather nice late dinner. We had gone to Di Bruno Bros. that morning to get food for the train so we weren’t starving, but we needed something to eat and definitely needed drinks. There was an incident when we left Union Station that stressed us.

Someone had stopped at the bottom of the escalator ahead of an entire trainload of people. We were yelling at them to keep moving, but they didn’t react at first so people were starting to pile up. Luckily, they moved before anyone (so far as I know) got hurt.

We were glad the Omni still had restaurants open at that late hour. We ate at the Palm Court. Holly had the Spiced Chickpea and Kale Stew and I had their Gumbo. They were both quite tasty and just the right size.

The next morning, we found a really nice place for breakfast, Alihan’s Coffee and Breakfast. We ended up there 3 mornings, twice intentionally and once when another place we wanted to try was too crowded.

For that first breakfast, I had the Meneman (sautéed diced tomatoes and green peppers, mixed with eggs) with aged Kashkaval Cheese. Holly had an egg white omelet with avocado.

I’m not going to say much about the work conference, but the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is right on the Allegheny River and has some great views in addition to some fun art. I didn’t have a proper camera with me so I just used my Samsung Galaxy S9+.

After my day at the conference, Holly and I went for a walk. The day had been nice and sunny, but it was getting cloudy by the time I got out of the conference and that was the end of the decent weather during our trip.

I brought along my Nikon Z fc with my NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 lens.

We walked to and then along the path along the Allegheny River to Point State Park where the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers meet. 

Pittsburgh PA
Pittsburgh PA
Fort Duquesne Bridge
Fort Duquesne Bridge

For dinner, we went to Alihan’s Mediterranean Cuisine owned, not surprisingly, by the same people who run Alihan’s Coffee and Breakfast. As with our morning meal, our dinner was wonderful.

We shared Havuc Tarator (carrots and yogurt dip with orange and garlic) and mini falafel appetizers. I had the seafood ravioli and Holly had the chicken adana kebab. Unfortunately, my photo of her kebab didn’t turn out. We finished the meal with some baklava and Turkish coffee.

We ended the evening by going to Talia, an Italian restaurant nearly right across the street from our hotel. We each had what might have been the best Boulevardiers we’ve ever had.

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