Friday 23rd May
I would not have chosen Pennsylvania as a holiday destination if it hadn’t been for my friend’s wedding. I met the groom when he was a work placement had my old company. These were the days, we all still remember them with nostalgia. The company was a sociable one and we made friends forever in there. Hence a group of us decided to make the trip to Pennsylvania to celebrate his nuptials with him. And boy, am I glad I went!
Jane and I drove from Washington DC to Pittsburgh. It felt like a mini-road trip, even though it’s only a 3 and bit hours drive. Although it took us closer to 4 and a bit thanks to an epic GPS fail. I say Jane and I drove, but Jane did all the driving as although I do have a driver’s license and they do drive the right side of the road, I have never been a great driver, especially when I don’t know where I am going. What am I, however, is a great co-pilot and despite the issues with the GPS, I kept us going in the right direction (sans maps, if you please!) until we got the bugger fixed.
We arrive in Pittsburgh greeted by a setting sun over a scintillating river dressed with beautiful bridges…poetic, innit? Well it was a gorgeous sight and one I really didn’t expect. I had images of an industrial city, blackened by years of the steel factories black smoke…nuh uh! The steel factories have long been closed and Pittsburgh regeneration programme has done a fantastic job! See for yourself, if you don’t believe me…
We were due to meet at 6pm for drinks and to gather up the crew of guests who were going to see Pittsburgh’s Pirates play the Washington Nationals at baseball. Now what a nice way to start a wedding weekend. I had seen a baseball game the last time I was in the US and I had very much enjoyed it, even though there hadn’t been much action and the hosting team, San Francisco Giants had lost. This time, I was in luck. The game was quite lively and the Pirates actually won and we got given a T-shirt on arrival. Some company sponsoring the team were handing them out for free. We were quite late arriving so I got an XXL sized one. Can’t wear it outside, but makes a perfect nightie! Yaaargh…
We left a few minutes before the end of the game – which lasts 4h if you didn’t know – so we could be the crowd. We were all going back to the lodge we had been booked in by the mother of the bride near where the wedding was happening (on Sunday). It’s about 1h30 drive south-east of Pittsburgh and the GPS got us turned around again. Thankfully, we had the bride in the car so she got us out of the mess and on track in no time but it meant that it took us 2 hours of small, not brightly lit road to get to our destination: Henrietta Lodge in Ohiopyle, PA.
Now if you have never heard of Ohiopyle, don’t feel bad, neither did I. It’s a little river town (emphasis on the little) in the middle of National Park. There isn’t much here to do if you are not into outdoorsey stuff or if you don’t have a car!
The cottage though is lovely, even though I felt like I was in an episode of Full House, with the number of people sharing it!!
NB: I didn’t actually see any Amish as they are much further down within Pennsylvania.