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Day 26 (9.27.07) - We Do Pittsburgh, PA

Met Cousin Paul and toured the town, Heinz Chapel, Cathedral of Learning and Trinity Cathedral

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(No mileage stats as we didn't travel today. In fact, we stayed in a Wal-mart parking lot last night because Pittsburgh doesn't have any RV campgrounds at all! Paul insisted the streets were not suitable for an RV, even a small one like mine, so came an picked us up in his suitably small car.)

I probably had met my cousin when we were both kids, but neither of us could remember for sure. Neither my mother nor I had ever met his wife Sharon, so this was quite a treat.

Paul picked us up at the RV 'Park' (OK - Wal-mart, but we were sure glad to have it). First he took us through Carnegie Mellon University where he teaches part time and Sharon works also. (I don't know why, but I failed to take any pictures). Then he took us across a bridge to the University of Pittsburgh and let us off near the Heinz Chapel while he looked for a parking spot. This was built to honor H.J. Heinz's mother after his death (yes, of the Heinz 57 variety). It is non-denominational and regular services are held her by various churches. There are also about 1,500 special events (weddings, concerts, etc.) held here per year. One thing I learned is that classical style churches like this have a lot of special terms to describe their features. The tall thing I would have called a 'spire' is actually a "Fleche" and is 253 feet above the ground. There are four stained glass windows on the sides, called "Transepts" that are 73 feet tall each, among the tallest stained glass windows in the world.

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There is also a pipe organ, which unfortunately I did not get to hear (but probably fortunately, did not get to play either).

After impressing us with the Heinz Chapel, Paul took us across the lawn to the "Cathedral of Learning". This is not a church but a school building full of classrooms! On the first & third floors, classrooms have been decorated to represent different nationality themes - the "Nationality" rooms. They are actual classrooms however and we couldn't access all of them because some had classes going on while we were there. There is a lot more information then I can relate about all of this, so will refer you to their web site, other than for a few photo's:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_learning

Now here are my photo's (many with Mom and or Paul in them enjoying the visit). Imagine taking your classes in one of these!

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If I haven't lost you yet... after this, we drove through Pittsburgh a bit. I couldn't help noticing the interesting architecture of homes in Pittsburgh, many brick or stone. Paul said one of the reasons he and Sharon fell in love with the city was that they didn't tear down the old homes. This gives it a kind of European feel (that and the steep, narrow streets). I got out to take a few pictures of some of the homes and a postman started calling out to me. HE saw me taking pictures of homes and wanted to suggest a few even nicer ones. We wanted to go check them out also, but were really pressed for time (Paul had some ministeral duties to attend to), so will have to only imagine what other gems we missed:

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Paul also said Pittsburgh had over 300 bridges of many different styles. I wasn't able to get a decent shot of these (the weather wasn't helping much). Mom wanted to see the park where the two river's combined into a third (Confluence Park), but we also didn't make it there.

Paul was pressed for time, since he had some duties to attend to, but really wanted us to see the church where he works. It is the Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh, a very large church in the downtown area. They are renovating the exterior, so it's a little hard to tell what it looks like. I was very impressed with the interior however, I really liked the colors (the trim was green, which doesn't show up very well in the photo). They seemed much more comforting than the hard, grey stone at the Heinz Chapel.

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Finally after his church duties were done, Paul cooked us dinner and Sharon made it home from work. We had a wonderful time with them. Mom played the harmonica and remembered stories from when we were all kids. We all stayed up too late...

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Posted by jl98584 22:01 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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Comments

If you ate at Paul & Sharon's, I know you had a tasty meal! Didn't know Phyllis played harmonica!

by TexasRTJ

very cool utube... looks beautiful...

by rllomas

I think Mom is a little embarrassed that I uploaded the video, she was practicing the harmonica a little while we drove today! Paul did cook a great pasta dish.

by jl98584

So glad to read of your time in Pittsburgh! I did so hastily yesterday, but had more time to go through it now. Is that the harmonica that was my dad's, which I think I gave to Paul? Anyway, great playing, Phylis! And I'm glad you saw the Cathedral of Learning, the nice homes, the cathedral, etc. You're making good progress now into NY, I think. You'll enjoy Niagara. Last year, in eastern NY, we visited William Miller's home, chapel, and gravesite, which are well maintained (and a guide is there at least in the summer)--I think the town is Lowhampton, but it's right close to Whitehall. Over the border in Woodstock, VT, is some nice architecture. The Quechee Gorge nearby is beautiful, with a pullover on one side of the bridge passing over it. VT is a lovely state. Glover is where we had our family reunion/anniversary celebration last year, at Shadow Lake--beautiful.

by msj

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