Inconceivable!

I spent last evening at the movies, watching one of my favorite films on the big screen. A local historic theater hosted a screening of The Princess Bride for free and I just had to go. It is, after all, one of the most quotable movies of all time!

If you aren’t familiar, or if the line “as you wish” doesn’t ring any bells, please stop reading and immediately go watch the movie. Then come back and we’ll chat about how fabulous it is!

The Markay was on the brink of loss several years ago but an amazing group of people with the Southern Hills Arts Council rallied to bring it back to its present glorious state. The project was enormous. It was costly. It took years because they paid cash for the whole thing through donations, fundraisers and grants.

The thought of all they accomplished by rolling up their sleeves and diving in makes my heart swell with pride and hope for other historic structures that are in trouble.

I’ll tell you more of their story someday but, for now, here’s a couple of pictures from my fun evening there.

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Happy Saturday!

Today will not be an Adventure Day so I’m going to relive last week’s fun with a few pictures. Happy Saturday, everyone. I hope you get to do something that makes you happy.

What’s Better Than This?

One of my favorite things to do is to sit in the middle of a hotel bed and eat snacks while I watch bad tv. Someone else makes the bed and does the cleaning and you just get to come and go as you please. Oh! And the bigger the bed, the better.

It’s a guilty pleasure and maybe a little silly but I can think of nothing better right now.

hotel bed

Pamela’s Diner

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you are aware that I appreciate a good diner. And when I say a good diner, I don’t mean a place that’s shiny and pretty with a menu of locally sourced organic vegetables.

When I say good diner, I’m talking about the kind of place with a counter, a lunch special and waitresses who know how their regulars like their burgers. I’m talking about the kind of place where retirees gather to swap stories over pancakes and where teenagers can grab a quick bite on their way home from school.

With that said, you’re sometimes able to find that magical intersection of polished atmosphere and local hangout with great food. The folks in Pittsburgh are fortunate to have six diners that fit this description. They’re part of a chain called Pamela’s that’s been serving up breakfast since 1980. Each location has it’s own theme and menu so it doesn’t feel at all like a chain and, as I’m typing this, I’m dying to go try another location. But I digress.

My friend Nichola took me to the Mt. Lebanon location during our marathon weekend last fall.

We tried the Hotcakes, Lyonnaise Potatoes and Gail’s Favorite Eggs which are lightly scrambled with cream cheese and scallions. Holy cow – it was good. Yeah – I’ll never make it as a food critic. “Holy cow, it was good” is probably the best I can do. It all was simply delicious and there was a lot of it.

But just as important as the fabulous food is the fabulous atmosphere. I’m not even going to try to describe it. Just have a look here.

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Like I said, each location has a different theme. There’s one near the Strip I’d like to visit for its fifties diner motif.

Want to drool over the menus or maybe plan a visit your next time in Pittsburgh? Check out their website! A couple of things to remember though – they only do breakfast and lunch AND they are a cash only operation. Hit the ATM before you go!

This Winter Has Been Rough

I love Winter. There I said it. It’s not a popular opinion but I do.

I love snow and cold. I love winter coats, cute hats and colorful scarves. I love warm sweaters and nights cuddled up under a blanket with a good book. I love steaming hot baths on frigid nights. I love layering up for a hike on a crisp winter morning. I love going out and coming back into the warmth of home.

But this winter has been miserable.

We’ve had precious little snow. Instead, we’ve been inundated with rain. Well, to be more precise, we have days and days of warm rain that causes flooding that makes us all wish for an ark. Then Mother Nature snaps and we have a few days of freezing cold and snow followed by more rain and flooding.

And sometimes this all happens in a single day. It’s impossible to plan and everyone I know is sick. It’s been miserable.

Worst of all, it alternates between being too muddy, icy, windy and/or frigid to enjoy hiking. Even when you’re dying to go out and try anyway.

Last winter I hiked about every week or ten days. This winter, I’ve been out twice and the last time was so icy it was crazy to even try.

With that said – here are a few happy late winter hiking pictures from last year to get us through until the weather improves and we can enjoy the outdoors again!

Here’s hoping the groundhog was right and spring is just around the corner!

A Man’s Place

Downtown Lebanon, Ohio has the coolest barber shop I’ve ever seen. I thought you might like to see it too. Look at that tile! And the Texaco letters! The whole thing is just fantastic. If I were a guy and lived anywhere near Lebanon, I’d go there just for the atmosphere! Which begs the question- do men go places for the atmosphere? Feel free to tell me in the comments.

Visiting The Phipps

phipps 5.JPGLast fall, my friend Nichola hosted me for a long weekend in her adopted hometown – Pittsburgh. We spent an action packed weekend visiting all of her favorite Pittsburgh spots and I had an amazing time learning about the city from a local.

I didn’t write much about it at the time because I wanted to revisit the memories during the cold, dark days of winter.

It’s cold and dark so I think it’s a great time to start doing that with a visit to the Phipps.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is Nichola’s happy place and I can see why. It encompasses fifteen acres and features a large glass house with fourteen distinct rooms. It feels like an oasis in the middle of the city. In fact, you wouldn’t know you’re in the city at all.

In addition to acres of gorgeous flowers, including impressive collections of orchids and desert plants, the Phipps boasts a spectacular collection of glass art and historic art. You’ll find several pieces by renowned glass artists Dale Chihuly and Hans Godo Fräbel,

Rather than blather more about it, I’m just going to show you some pictures.

If you like flowers and plants or if you crave a place of solitude, I suggest you make time to visit the Phipps. It’s an amazing space and feels like a vacation without ever leaving town.