We have just returned to LeuC from spending the last two days with our old friends, Donna and Rob, who live in Pittsburgh. Yesterday, we hopped into our little Fiat and drove about two hours to see them. The last time we had gotten together was about 35 years ago, which is it literally a lifetime ago.
When we arrived in Pittsburgh, we experienced what we thought were a bunch of crazy and rude drivers. There are tons of stop lights in Pittsburgh and none of them appear to be very well timed and all of them seem to ignore the current traffic patterns. In other words, when you arrive at a red stop light, you tend to sit there for what seems an eternity, even when there is no cross traffic. As you sit there, twiddling your thumbs, you can feel the frustration and anger build and build.
Thus, when the light finally does change, you step on the gas to make up lost time and quickly accelerate to move through the intersection. However, as I did this, on two occasions, the driver sitting cross the intersection from us, would turn left and cut right across in front of us as he/she made a left-hand turn. Whoa! Only a quick slam on the brakes on my part prevented an accident. What we did not know at the time, was that we were experiencing what is known as and loved by locals as The Pittsburgh Left!
When we arrived at Donna and Rob’s house and had our hugs and kisses, I was so exasperated that I ranted and raved about the crazy drivers we had experienced driving through Pittsburgh. This resulted in a laugh by our hosts as they explained to us The Pittsburgh Left. Apparently, this novel way of driving is part of the local culture and everyone does it. Holly Molly! If this is so common and is an expected driving habit, the city should post large warning signs along the roads entering the city explaining The Pittsburgh Left as it is so contrary to standard driving customs around the rest of the country.
Once I settled down and decided not to let The Pittsburgh Left get under my skin, I began to enjoy our getting together with Donna and Rob and catching up after all of these years. It was so great to see and be with them again. It was remarkable as Mary Margaret made a comment that was very true. Specifically, it seemed like it was just yesterday we had last seen them as they had not changed a bit and we just picked up our conversations right from where we had left them the last time we were together. How remarkably neat is that!
Donna and Rob took us over to “The Strip”, a section of town that has made a comeback from the disastrous closing of the many steel mills that Pittsburgh had grown up on. We ate lunch in a neat bistro that was housed in an old restored brick building. We then rambled around the strip, taking in the views and inspecting the many trinkets and tourist stuff being hawked there.
When we returned to Donna and Rob’s house, we settled in and continued catching up. We had such a great time doing this. We also were able to meet their son, Grant and his son.
After a wonderful dinner we then stayed up late continuing our catching up. It was only after yawns and heavy eyelids started making their appearance that we all retired for the night.
This morning, after Rob made us all a breakfast of French toast, it was time to part, with hopes of seeing each other sometime in the not so distant future. Our brief stay was wonderful and we are so thankful that we were able to get together again. What dear friends.
By the way, tomorrow we take off for our next campground, which will be the Bulltown Campground, near Burnsville, West Virginia. It is another Corp of Engineers’ site and has not only water and 50 Amp power at each site but all sewer. Whoo Hoo!. Unfortunately, we have read reviews that it does not have cell phone or Internet connection. Thus, we may be “dark” for the next 4 or so days.