[Found it! This was the post that went missing yesterday. Still not sure what happened, but I'm glad it didn't completely disappear.]
I've made it back! It feels like I've been gone for a long time, but the conference was only a few days. I think having to work over the weekend messes with your mind a little.
I headed out at 4 AM on Thursday morning to catch my bus at Union Station.
How was the Greyhound experience? Honestly, it wasn't terrible. Timing-wise, it worked out nicely because even with a six hour bus ride, I beat most of my coworkers who were flying because of weather-related delays.
The biggest downside was that when we stopped in Baltimore to pick people up, a guy got on and asked if the seat next to me was open. I said yes, because it was, but then I looked behind me and saw tons of completely empty seats… so there was no reason to have to sit next to someone. I got up and moved to another seat, problem solved. Then we stopped for coffee and after I got back on the bus, the guy came and sat ACROSS from me. WHAT? I was totally creeped out and didn't sleep for the rest of the ride. Luckily, I made it safely to my destination- Pittsburgh- and he stayed on the bus to go somewhere else.
I was impressed with the city of Pittsburgh! Most of the time I was working inside a conference center, but I was able to go out to dinner twice, have a free afternoon and get morning runs in. It was really pretty down by the Allegheny River, which is close to where I was staying. There's a jogging path on either side of the water, lots of bridges and the sports stadiums are right there. It was also really clean.
There was more of a big city feel than I was expecting, and a fun couple of streets with nice restaurants and bars.
I was able to get in some fun while I was working- we had a reception at the Andy Warhol Museum one night, and a bridge party with Brazilian dancers.
Cloud room at the Andy Warhol Museum- this was pretty fun :)
Andy Warhol Museum
Bridge party with dancers
The conference ended at noon on Sunday, but I wasn't on a flight until 7 PM so I had time to explore. I went for a run (in the pouring rain) and then sat in a coffee shop with a book. Eventually, the rain stopped and I decided to check out some traditional Pittsburgh food.
From what I've heard, Primanti Brothers is it. Their specialty is a sandwich with French fries on it.
I ordered a double egg sandwich with cheese. In addition to the fries, it also came with tomato and coleslaw made with vinegar instead of mayonnaise.
It was good! I sat outside and enjoyed it and I'm glad that I tried it. Would I order it again? Not sure. Maybe if it was around and I didn't have to go out of my way for it. This would be particularly delicious after a few too many drinks!
Then I decided to walk through the Pittsburgh Pride festival and listen to some of the music. At this point, I caved to Ben and Jerry's. Eating an ice cream cone while listening to an outdoor concert was pretty incredible.
I also had the most amazing ice cream flavor. Candy Bar Pie. It's new and only available in their scoop shops, which means my waistline is safe because we don't have any of those in DC.
Peanut butter ice cream with chocolate chunks, fudge nougat and salty pretzel swirls (which I thought were chunks of peanut butter pie). It was SO good. So good.
After the ice cream, it was time to head to the airport. It took a full hour to get through security, and while in line, I checked the weather:
Apparently the Pittsburgh airport is on the moon. Can anyone explain this? I even checked to see if there was a town named Moon, PA, but there is not!
The flight was fairly uneventful. It was 15 minutes late, but my lung also didn't collapse so overall I'd say that's a positive experience. When the flight landed, I ran off, jumped in a cap (the process of getting into a cab at Reagan is actually way more slow and tedious than I'm making it sound) and encouraged the driver to speed home. Brian was waiting with a Car2Go and as soon as I tossed my suitcase into the apartment we headed over to the 9:30 Club to see Glen Hansard.
We got these tickets awhile ago and were really excited about it, so I was thrilled not to miss it because of my flight. Glen Hansard was behind that movie Once that won an Academy Award for best song. He is in the band The Frames and also tours with the woman who co-starred with him in Once under the name The Swell Season. We've seen both Swell Season and The Frames at 9:30 Club, but this time he was doing some solo stuff. It was fantastic. He performed for three hours. I can't imagine doing that! I was tired and my feet were killing me after the weekend, but it was absolutely worth it!