Archive for June, 2008

Akron: former bowling capital of the US!

Well, ladies and gents, as promised, this evening finds the Kellys hanging out in Akron, Ohio, also known as Kelly C’s old stomping grounds. We arrived here this evening, after a brief stop to visit some family in Niles, OH (where I learned what a “redneck flashlight” is—I swear I will eventually add photos to this travelogue), and received a warm welcome from KC’s friends from her raver days. We are staying the night with them in the house that the four of them share. After a super-tasty Thai meal and a brief stop at Strickland’s, a local frozen custard chain which has remained basically unchanged since it was established in 1936 (and KC’s achilles), we returned to the house for several rousing rounds of Wii sports.  This was KC’s first experience with the Wii…and probably the fastest I’ve ever seen a graphic designer create a Mii. She seemed to enjoy the bowling, which seemed an appropriate choice given Akron’s status as the former bowling capital of America.  We cooled off from the Wii competition with a relaxing hangout session on the back deck, where KC and I continued to appreciate the far more reasonable (and downright pleasant) temperatures.

Human hosts: Brad, Jayson, Paul and Maryellen. Kitteh hosts: Irving (a girlcat!), Kitty, and Champy.

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Pittsburgh: Kelly-squared trek, Days 1-2

Favorites en-route:

– Two trucks making out on the back of a trailer (I have a photo)
– The slogan “Kane…is able!” on the back of another truck
– Getting lost in Winchester and seeing all of the cute old buildings and crumbly warehouses
– Graveyard of old tanks
– Signs for a church called God’s Ark of Safety (wish I’d been quicker with the camera)
– Driving over/past Yough river/lake (and later learning how to actually pronounce it)
– Several dramatic versions of the sunset

On Tuesday, June 10th, my friend and recently graduated classmate scooped me up in Richmond, VA so we could embark on a journey to California together, with the ultimate goal of relocating her to Sacramento. Though one might not realize that Pittsburgh, PA is on the way to California from the southeast, our itinerary necessitated a stop in Iron City to visit Joshua, my best friend from Raleigh, who moved here (to “Picksburgh,” that is) about a month ago.

After a scenic and only slightly misdirected drive (I think Winchester’s beltline is some sort of bermuda triangle of western VA), we arrived in the ‘burgh, quite hungry and with just enough time to be seated at Casbah, a very nice restaurant that was far beyond our road trip budget. Reveling in the significantly cooler temperatures and marked lack of humidity, we perched on the patio with Joshua and my cousin Jen, who drove in from the ‘burbs to hang out with us for the evening.

I was excited to need a jacket after dinner for Josh’s late night walking tour of Shadyside, where he showed us his favorite mammoth mansions and cozy coffee shops. We ran into one of his new friends on the street, which is always a sign of feeling “at home” in a new neighborhood, I think.

Josh had a meeting in the morning, so Kelly and I took our time with our morning routines, then ventured to the other side of the river for lunch with my hilarious Uncle Pete, which was quite entertaining. We met up with Josh and meandered over to the Strip District, which he had not yet seen. We walked through the Strip to 16th street, then took the bridge across the Allegheny River. From there, we continued along the Riverwalk, where Joshua fed mulberries off a nearby tree to an eager Canadian goose. Kelly and I were sure he was going to get a buttbite, but unfortunately that never happened. We finally reached the Andy Warhol museum—just in time for the end-of-day free admission (which gave us enough time to visit 4 of the 7 floors). As always, I had much more fun than expected with giant mylar pillows.

For the sake of new scenery, we took a downtown route back to Josh’s car, then drove to meet my Aunt Barb for dinner near my cousin Jen’s house, where we went afterwards for wine and some laughs. Though my cousin loved my friends and seemed to be on the verge of adopting them, we’d planned to meet my friend Mark for a drum-n-bass night at a Polish pub near the Bloomfield bridge. We spent another pleasantly cool evening sipping and chatting outdoors, and Mark and Joshua realized that they are almost neighbors. I think there may have even been some sort of transaction to trade the use of Josh’s truck for a case of beer when Mark moves to a new place in the near future, so that’s a good sign.

Now, drained from a delightful day (and somewhat stressful navigation through a city of bridges and perpetual construction), we rest in preparation for tomorrow’s trip to Ohio.

Look out, Buckeye state. The Kellys are coming.

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