Good times

Home sweet home

I was the oddball at work who couldn’t wait to travel to see my relatives, and probably, I’ll be the oddball again at Christmas who will look forward to the trip as well.

I loved being in Pittsburgh — I really miss it when I’m gone. Even though I choose not to live there (now, and maybe never), it will always be home to me.

The hardest part of the trip is always saying goodbye to my mom and grandfather. They are both incredible people, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without their influence. I miss them desperately, and I haven’t even been gone 24 hours!

Mom did her usual lavish holiday feast. Two words: Stuffing. Balls. Oh my god, I miss those — Mom makes the best stuffing on the planet. As far as the rest of the meal (like I needed anything else!), she got the turkey from Honeybaked Ham (yum!) and made my favorite: greenbean casserole. She did some kind of sweet potato souffle, too, with crushed pecans, and it was divine. That’s my mom — always trying new stuff! She made a pumpkin cheesecake, too, but loaded us full of treats from the Oakmont Bakery, including cookies, a white raspberry torte and the Oakmonter, which is cheesecake on the bottom, a layer of fudge in the middle, chocolate cake on top, and whipped light chocolate icing drizzed with fudge. You know, I took some of my looser clothes for a reason, and they were ridiculously tight after eating all that fabulous food!

What sucks, though, is living so far away that she doesn’t pack leftovers for me to take home. 🙁 But she sent homemade banana bread home for Shawn and for me, so I’ll forgive her. 😉

Hotel sweet hotel

I grabbed a hotel room at the Sheraton Station Square, which was decent if not cramped and dismal. We had a stunning view of the hotel lobby, the way the windows were set up — I should’ve asked for a riverside view, but whatever — it’s not like we were in the room all that much!

My only real problem with the hotel (aside from drunken neighbors on Friday night) was that, when the cats were sniffing around the room and getting used to it, they unearthed a condom (still in the package) and were playing with it. Ewww. Doesn’t the staff clean under the beds?

Other than the ridiculous cost of hotel parking, I enjoyed staying at the Sheraton (I actually used to live right above it on Mt. Washington, way back in the day). On Friday night, we wandered next door, to Bar Louie and the Hard Rock Cafe for drinks, and I realized how many hot straight boys are in that city. Yum! So while the hotel didn’t have much to offer in the way of scenery, the bars sure did!

Station Square has developed so much in the past few years. I actually worked there for four years in a jewelry store and a now-defunct hot sauce store. The beauty of that complex, though, was that it was a conglomeration of small businesses — the shops were unique and independently owned, and it was a neat little place to find goods that your local mall didn’t have. But with the proliferation of the bars and a variety of chain stores, it lost a lot of its charm. But it needed to get venues that make money in order to keep it viable, so yay capitalism, right? 🙂

Pegasus sweet Pegasus

Shawn and I made our annual voyage to Pegasus, where we ran into, of all people, Frumper. I went to high school with Frumper, and to say things ended badly would be the understatement of 2003. And even though we never even spoke or, for that matter, looked directly at each other, he followed us around, no matter where we went. He was being all loud and swishy and obnoxious, just like I remember him. At first, Shawn didn’t think he was purposely trailing us, but after we left the over-21 area and went down to the dance floor, Frumper managed to wander past us about half a dozen times within a half hour. Loser.

I was surprised that he was the only person I ran into during the trip — I really don’t cross paths with anyone anymore. Hell, when I lived in the city, I was always running into old friends (and rivals). But now, that just makes the trips better, that I can go out and not have to make nice with people I haven’t seen in ages.

Winter fucking sweet winter

On Friday night, there was this huge call for snow in Southwestern Pennsylvania. No big deal for Pittsburgh — they were only expected to acquire one to two inches of it. But the forecasters were calling for up to six inches of snow in the mountains, which we travel through, so in the event we needed to make a quick getaway on Saturday morning, we brought the cats into the hotel with us (they had stayed with Mom on Thursday night). It was pretty easy to sneak them in, even though the hotel lobby is so dead, you can hear a mouse fart. But the girls were quiet — Maddie was in Shawn’s duffel bag, and Kadi (cage and all) were in my suitcase. We hauled their pudgy asses up the steps to the second floor, where we caught the freight elevator, and they were pretty good most of the night. We literally sauntered past the bellhop on Saturday with the cages in plain sight, and nobody stopped us. Operation Puss Drop was completed without incident. 🙂

Apartment sweet apartment

The girls are happy to be home now, what with practically living in their cages for two days. I guess I’m glad to be home, too, but I do wish I were physically closer to my family. I’m debating just taking Amtrak up there next time around and leaving the pusses at home by themselves for a few days, because I hate highway driving, and those two don’t like it any more than I do. 🙂

I spent the morning cleaning my kitchen and bathroom. And by cleaning, I mean scrubbing the hell out of them. I cleaned before I left so that I could come home to a welcoming place, but I felt the need to scrub today. Mom gave me a housewarming gift of a pretty basket filled with green and maroon rugs and towels and potholders and little fruit characters (fruits are on the fabric, and the little characters have joints and sit where you put them), which I wasn’t real sure about when I saw it (you understand, I’m always waiting for Mom to officially lose her mind — I thought she had flipped her lid for good this time with all the fruit stuff, when she knows I decorate in black and blue!), but now that it’s displayed, it looks cute. *whew* Everything coordinates so well (and she bought me a case of paper towels to match, but I’ll have to get those next trip), and I like coordination more than anything, so rock on Mom! And it’s like having a little bit of her here, and I’ll take what I can get, till I get to see her again. 🙂

Comments closed.