All the glamorous trips have been cancelled these past few years, but it looks like we’ll get to Pittsburgh. I’m sitting in the terminal digesting some black & blue hamburger sliders, a rare breakfast treat, while constructing this post. We got up at the same time as normal, but I had to shorten my run and skip the swim to be out the door by 8:30a. Three hours later we’re about to board our economical Spirit flight. The hour-and-a-half drive into Tampa and parking at the Marriott went smoothly. We’ll leave the car until Sunday when we check-out of the room reserved for Saturday night. It’s a very big benefit of Mother Marriott, considering that our entire vacation will be paid with points and we don’t have to deal with airport parking.

With the grands joining us in Pittsburgh, we are all staying at the downtown Fairfield, not exactly the epitome of luxury when it comes to Marriott choices, but affordable for a family of seven between two suites. We’ll check-out the “City of Bridges” over the three rivers before the Cubs vs. Pirates game tomorrow night. The railway inclines, pizza/sandwich shops, and perhaps the Andy Warhol Museum are on our radar. A Ruth’s Chris restaurant near our hotel may be our dinner destination tonight before the entire gang arrives by car.

It’s hardly the resort lifestyle that we’re now accustomed to and more like our apartment stint in downtown Portland. Hopefully, the city hasn’t deteriorated like our former home town, ravaged by unrest and riots. We want to do some walking if it’s safe and the weather is pleasant, with everything within a mile of the hotel. There should also be a number of parks and paths along the waterfront. Pittsburgh is our last chance this year for a vacation getaway -please don’t let us down! I’m also looking forward to wearing jeans again after four months of shorts.