Thursday, August 4, 2011

A fond yet odd farewell to the 'burgh

This past weekend when Hans' baby brother came from Toronto to visit us for one last time here in the 'burgh (before we move), we decided to do things right and became tourists in our own city. We went on a Ducky Tour and I have to wonder why we waited until now to take one. We had a wonderful time and I highly recommend this tour to anyone even if you don't intend to move away, and c'mon! how many New Yorkers have yet to see the Statue of Liberty

Quack, Quack, Quack! Get used to yelling this if you want to take the tour!!!!

I did and I'm proud of it!!

Once our ducky vehicle hit the water Captain Hans volunteered to operate it and I was so proud of him I nearly had to wipe the tears from my eyes.

It wasn't until he sat back down and three little kids (I swear one was in diapers) took over the captain's seat that we realized maybe adults don't usually volunteer.

Oh well, who cares! Hans can add this tour of duty to his resume.

We were on our way home when we traveled past an ice cream stand that we've driven past about a thousand times before and asked Baby Brother if he'd like to stop. He didn't, but he asked us if we'd ever been.

My reply was, "No, but I've puked in their parking lot."

And thus began an odd series of reminiscences that I never dreamed I'd engage in.

That being, 'Places I've Puked, in Pittsburgh.'

So, let's jump on the way back machine and zip about seven years ago into my past.

I'd only known Hans for a few months and after attending a Christmas party with some of his friends I thought we really needed to go clubbing. It didn't take me very long to realize that after inhaling prime rib, chocolate fudge cake, and more than a few pints of beer, this might not be such a good idea. The effects of throbbing rap music and over exposure to cheap perfume left me feeling like a drill was being directed straight into my brain. I'm just thankful that the parking lot of the ice cream stand loomed on our horizon when it did because the three mile stretch leading up to it was strictly a no pull over zone.

Rest assured this happened in the middle of winter and I'm sure my deposit was gone long before the store opened in the spring.

Fast forward to a future Christmas when Hans and I paid a visit to the home of an old friend of his. Hans' friend's mother was there and offered to make me a drink. Let's just say that Kay is from the 1950's cocktail generation (where knowing how to mix the perfect martini was as important as getting your washing out on the line first). I should have known better. After sucking down a few screwdrivers that were ninety-nine percent vodka, and perhaps Kay waved the orange juice carton over mine I'm just not sure, I found myself walking a crooked line as I attempted to find the facilities. We had a jolly good time but as soon as I got into our car for the trip home, I knew I was in trouble. While Hans drove, I opened my door and proceeded to decorate a few blocks of gutters along Hans' friend's delightful little neighborhood in a pretty much non traditional way. Thank God snow covers a lot of indiscretions and I learned to never ask for anything stronger than a beer during future visits that involved Kay.

Then there was the time we were invited to a graduation party for the daughter of one of Hans' hockey friends. It was a lovely event and not unlike that of a high end wedding reception. Caterers and bartenders abounded the premises and I found myself sucking down appletinis and margaritas as quickly as they were handed to me. Unfortunately, at the end of the evening Hans had to fish me out of their swimming pool, wring out my sundress, assure me that my new sandals were not ruined, and pour me into our car. I swear the only thing that kept me from falling out as I puked our way home, was the fact that the seat belt was wound about my face.

I was happy to hear that my David Yurman ring (anniversary gift) was found at the bottom of their pool the next day but I wasn't surprised when we were never invited back.

For some reason Hans doesn't remember this next incident, possibly because it didn't involve alcohol but I actually threw up two different times during the same night! A couple of years ago I finally gave in to pressure and had an impacted wisdom tooth removed. This procedure involved anaesthesia, which wreaks havoc on my system, but I finally bit the bullet and had it done. I had no sooner awakened from my surgery than we took off for a graduation party about two hours away. Have no fear, I made sure I had my pain pills in hand and thought I was doing quite well until we pulled into a Wendy's parking lot and I announced, "I have to puke." "Where?" asked Hans. "I don't care where, but I have to puke and I'm not going to make it inside." Hans whipped our vehicle to the back part of the lot that had a small square of grass and I barely make it in time.

I hate anaesthesia.

We got to the party and I spent it with an ice pack on my cheek and a diet coke in my hand. I probably would have been okay if I hadn't caved at the sight of a carrot cake, one of my all time favorites. It came back to haunt me on our long journey home and after too many ess curves I ordered Hans to pull over. He protested that it wasn't the best place to do so, but did, after I asked if he'd rather I puked all over his car.

He pulled over, I lost my carrot cake, and the car didn't suffer one bit

This has been an interesting trip down memory lane and maybe it's a good thing we're leaving.

After all, Pittsburgh, thanks to the steel mills, has long struggled to lift itself from suffering the reputation as one of the dirtiest cities in the world, to being one of the cleanest.

Maybe now that I'm leaving it can now realize its dream.

Wilbur only calmed down about an hour before Baby Brother was scheduled to leave.


  1. We love that you're being a tourist in your own city, and of course, the hilarious stories. I went to visit Pittsburgh once to visit a friend. We had a great time and even flew kites in the park, until my purse was stolen from the trunk of her car. But beyond that, it seemed like a nice, fun place.

  2. Two Pitties, I'm certainly sorry about the purse episode! A couple of weeks ago someone threw a brick through my daughter's car window (like things haven't been bad enough as it is!). Anyway we see people flying kites at the park all the time and I actually just mentioned to Hans that I'd love to do give it a try once we get to Florida.

  3. Oooh, Duck Boats! You know, we have those here in Cincinnati, too, and I have never been on one of the tours. I think I'm going to do that before summer is over! Don't think I'll volunteer to drive, though.

    And OMG, I am so laughing at your stories! And I'm laughing "with" you, because I have more than my fair share of those types of stories, too! It's almost painful to remember them! :o( Next time we meet for lunch, I'll have to share some with you!



  4. Cyndi, do take a ducky tour if you can, it's just plain old good fun! And I'm very glad to learn I'm not the only one with these kind of stories. I would love to hear your (mis)adventures, painful as they may be!

  5. That duck tour sounds like a lot of fun! Happy traveling to your new home! :D

    Waggin at ya,

  6. We finally arrived in hot, steamy Florida. Unbelievable heat!
    I'm not looking forward to 2 weeks of traveling in it.