Friday, August 30, 2013

Blogger Brunch at Meat & Potatoes

The second part of the Blog Days of Summer meet up was brunch at Meat & Potatoes - a cute little restaurant in the Cultural District of downtown Pittsburgh that Julie highly recommended. And boy was she right...this was place was amazing!




The restaurant is located right in the same building as a little theater and the atmosphere is great! Since we had a large group, we were able to have our own little room with a neat wooden table and linen napkins. It had a very rustic vibe, which I loved. I love all things rustic that bring images of the countryside and the woods. It's definitely something I consider for my future wedding, whenever that may be.




I ordered the Breakfast Americano, which includes eggs, bacon, toast, sausage, and potato gratin (which I figured out is just a fancy name for scalloped potatoes). The potatoes were probably one of the best I've ever had. They were so cheesy and amazing. The bacon was peppered and perfectly cooked. Everything was just so delicious and awesome. I ordered some tea with my breakfast too. I figured it was good to get a little caffeinated before driving to back through Pennsylvania.




We didn't take any pictures together at the brunch. It was more about just hanging out, chatting, and enjoying each others' company, plus we all had to go our separate ways pretty quickly. When we got our checks, they gave us these cute little Pittsburgh postcards with them! It was a neat little souvenir to take home.


Before we left, we all said goodbye and after what seemed like such a fast whirlwind of a weekend, Nadia and I were back in the car and heading towards home. Well, we were heading to Hershey to go to Hershey's Chocolate World, but that's a whole other blog post to share. ;)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog Days of Summer Picnic in Pittsburgh

The drive from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh was supposed to take a little under 5 hours, but it took us 6 hours due to one of the tunnels being half closed for construction. And man, does Pennsylvania have a lot of tunnels. The drive across the state was torturous at times. It was a lot of long stretches of highway in the middle of nowhere with exits that are miles apart. Living in New England has given me a case of the small state syndrome where I'm used to exits going quickly by and being in a new state within an hour of driving in pretty much any direction. So for me, driving through Pennsylvania felt like an eternity sometimes! Nadia and I eventually reached our destination (the hotel) at around 11 at night. We went to bed that night excited for the festivities of the meet up the next day!





The first stop for the meet up was Grandview Park for a picnic where everyone brought something yummy to share! I ended up bringing PB&J fixin's while the other girls brought pasta salad and potato salad, cookies, Chex mix and apples. Katherine (Of Corgis & Cocktails) was the first person there, with Nadia and I getting there next. The park had such a beautiful view of Pittsburgh! Also, the weather was amazing, although I ended up getting some sunburn. It's probably because the park was in such a high place. There were so many hills we had to go up to get to it!




[Katherine and I!]
Jackie (Jade & Oak) showed up for a little while to say hello before she had another event to go to. The four of us chatted for a while and took in the views. Katherine took a lot of my outfit pictures for me and Nadia took the rest! :) Katie (Beautifully Pure, which is now Wildwood Flower), Hannah (SheddingGlitter), and Laura (Thrifting Through Life) got lost due to construction, traffic, and whatnot, but they finally arrived soon enough and the picnic was in full swing!


[Me, Katie, and Katherine!]
[Katie, Laura, Hannah, Katherine, and I!]
[Katie and I!]
It was so cool and exciting to meet everyone in person. It's funny because you think it might be awkward since you've never actually met these people in real life, but then you meet them and it's like you're just old friends that haven't seen each other in a long time. Since we follow each others blogs and talk online/text a lot, everything just felt natural. It was great! We talked, laughed, took outfit photos, took silly photos, and stuffed our faces full of all the delicious stuff everyone brought. Everyone was so nice and awesome!

Dress Prints
[c/o Katherine]
Pittsburgh Blogger Meetup 2
[c/o Katherine]



Because Nadia and I are huge fans of the jumping shot, we suggested that we do a group one. It took a lot of tries, but we finally got one where everyone was in the air, thanks to Katherine's tripod/camera setup and skills! :)

Blogger Jump Shot
[c/o Katherine]


We spent a good four hours at the park just hanging out and chatting it up. Afterwards we headed downtown to do some shopping on Walnut Street, which is the cute little strip of shops, restaurants, etc. Unfortunately, there was a parking issue since the street was being closed so that they could have live bands and vendors set up for some sort of event they have. Actually, parking seemed to be the major issue when it came to Pittsburgh in general. It was really busy wherever we went and it was hard to find parking! We managed, though. The meter system there is weird to me. They have these kiosks where you just punch in your license plate number and then put in your money. I'm so used to the meter being by the spot and just putting your change in!




[Check out my supah veins]
Dress w/ belt: Freeway via Unique Vintage//Shoes: Clarks//Sunglasses: H&M
After going in a few of the shops, it was time to head to Verde where we had reservations for dinner. When we got there, I instantly loved the place. It had a very open feel to it with a giant garage door open that led to a little outdoor patio seating area. Julie from Orchid Grey couldn't come to the picnic, but she met up with us at the restaurant and it was really great to meet her! She was super nice, and she was really helpful when it came to places in the area since she lives in Pittsburgh.






I got chicken enchiladas for dinner, and they were amazing. It was probably one of the best mexican dishes I've ever tasted. And the portions were perfect, too. Usually when I go out for mexican food they give you huge portions that make you feel like you're going to die afterwards, but this was just the right amount of food. Between the amazing food and the great conversations, I left the restaurant very satisfied.




Afterwards, Nadia, Katherine and I decided to try out a local bar called 1947 Tavern. Katherine ended up getting lost because she couldn't find parking, so Nadia and I weren't sure if we wanted to stay or not. We ended up sticking around mostly because we felt obligated and pressured to get something after sitting there for so long. The atmosphere was nice and the staff was also friendly, but it seemed like they were trying to sell us drinks rather than just taking our order. Nadia gave in and ended up ordering something, but I didn't really want anything. The bartender asked me if I wanted water, and I said no. He then proceeded to tell me that he'd get in trouble if I didn't have something in front of me and that he was going to bring me a water anyway. He told me I didn't have to drink it, though. So odd. It seemed like a very high-pressure place, but like I said, the atmosphere was pretty cool.


The first day of the meet up was a success, even though there were minor snags in the plans here and there. It's all part of the adventure, and the most important thing was that everyone was there together and we were all able to enjoy each others' company!

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

I have returned from my trip to Pennsylvania for the Blog Days of Summer meet-up and general travels! Since I've never been to Pennsylvania, I decided to try to cram in as much as I could so on the day before the actual meet up, Nadia and I woke up at 4 in the morning to get on the road for 5. And by woke up, I mean I slept for about an hour in total and then got up again. I guess you can say I napped. It didn't really matter though...because you know when you're so excited for something that it overrides your incredible hate for waking up early? That's what was going on there. So anyway....we hit the road a little after 5 AM, listening to My Chemical Romance to relive a bit of our angsty youth.








It was a pretty easy drive to Philadelphia and we got there in only about three hours. Since we've never been there, we decided to be super touristy and visit Independence Hall first and see where the Declaration of Independence was signed. And of course after that, we visited the Liberty Bell! After that, we walked around a bit to take in the sights.









We went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but not to go in. We went because that's where the Rocky Stairs are and we wanted to run up them. And yes, I sang the Rocky music as I climbed up them and then put my hands up and jumped up and down once I got to the top. I'm sure there are people that hate people like me, but I love being a tourist. Plus there were actually people working out up and down the stairs! The stairs were a really nice place to just hang out and enjoy the amazing weather we had too.








Dress: H&M//Sweater (pictured above): New York & Company//Shoes: H&M//Belt: Forever 21//Sunglasses: Forever 21
What I noticed about Philadelphia is that it's a pretty clean city, but it's hard to find parking (as it is in pretty much any city). Luckily I was able to park near this little trail by a river near the art museum. The signs in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in general are kind of sudden and hard to read a lot of the time. They don't give you much warning when a merging point comes up and then you find yourself having to cut across lanes pretty last minute. Also, every time we tried to find a shopping district, it ended up being just a gift shop and some other random things. We couldn't find a place to eat lunch for some reason because we were following the signs to this shopping and dining district but somehow couldn't find it and ended up walking around in circles until we finally came to this place called Rybread. I got a turkey panini that was a little disappointing since I expected it to be hot, but the turkey was kinda only slightly warm. Oh well. Pittsburgh made up for that, which I'll tell you more about in my coming posts.








I liked Philadelphia a lot because of the history and antiquity of the city. I love that it's so old and full of our country's past. So many important people stepped foot in that city and so many important things happened there. It's really incredible to think about and to be in the same buildings and streets as those revolutionary people is awesome. Plus, I'm an It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fan and all day I couldn't stop singing "Flip, flip, Flipadelphia!".

[This reminded me of Monopoly]



[He was having a rough day...]


We saw the LOVE statue, which was pretty crowded. It was hard to get a turn at taking pictures in front of it! There were also these two men who were obnoxiously asking everyone over and over again if they wanted their picture taken and then asking them for money to do it. I met a nice German girl there who said she was visiting cities all over the US. She was super nice and I got to put some of what I learned in German class to use. Not that she didn't speak English, but it's always cool to be able to speak another person's language. I can't for the life of me remember what her name was, though, and I'm kicking myself now.





[A somewhat failed jumping shot]

Our last stop before going home was the Free Library of Philadelphia. One of my professors has talked about what an amazing library it is, so I decided to check it out. It is pretty big and nice, and there was a wonderful man in there who complimented my dress saying that if he were a woman he would definitely wear it because he loves his cat. If he were creepy, I'd be a little weirded out but he was very sweet.




Once we were done looking around the library and sitting on the steps outside to rest, we decided it was time to say goodbye to Philly and venture off to our hotel on the opposite side of the state in Pittsburgh so that we can check in and get settled. I really enjoyed Philadelphia and I'd love to go back sometime and explore it a little more in depth. The adventure continues in my next post! :)